Daily Archives: July 25, 2014

* Shortly before midnight, BuzzFeed announced that it had fired Benny Johnson for plagiarism. After reviewing 500 posts, “we have found 41 instances of sentences or phrases copied word for word from other sites.” (@BuzzFeedBen) | ( || Dave Weigel on Johnson: “There’s been a healthy burble of Internet hatred toward the guy for ages.” (
* How the Denver Post got its “super scoop” about Broncos owner Pat Bowlen – and kept his secret for a couple of years. “I believe that the respect The Post showed for Bowlen’s privacy helped the family decide to release the information [‘Mr B. was slipping away’] to The Post exclusively,” writes editor Greg Moore. (
* Ken Doctor says explainer sites aren’t just a fad. (
* The perfect Awl post, says co-editor John Herrman, “is pretty much anything we won’t regret publishing in a year.” (
pin* Pinterest’s tech department is twice as female as Twitter’s. (
* Media reporter Joe Flint quits the Los Angeles Times and returns to the Wall Street Journal. ( | (@JBFlint)
* Charles Koch‘s wife has had it with all of those “evil Koch brothers” stories! (
* Good luck getting an interview with someone high in the EPA. “The process usually goes like this: A journalist calls the press office to schedule an interview but instead is told to submit written questions. Once these are in, a press officer gets answers from scientists or other officials and then crafts a written response. In most cases, nobody involved in the process—not even the EPA press officers—will agree to be quoted by name.” (
* Why Time Warner said no to Rupert Murdoch. (“The rejection wasn’t simply a matter of money. …Differing views on corporate governance and succession planning also played into Time Warner’s dismissal.”) (
* Secret founders pocket $6 million just six months after launching their app. (
* Survey: 47% of app developers either make no money or less than $100 per month, per app. (

Waukesha County was my first newspaper beat. I’m tempted to return there to cover cops.

* @WaukeshaFreeman

Father Robert Purcell (aka “Father Bob”) was removed from ministry by the Albany Diocese three years ago, but that wasn’t mentioned in the glowing death notices published in New York state newspapers. “This was a paid obituary,” Glens Falls Post Star editor Ken Tingley tells me. “Editorial employees have no control over the content in those obits. They are not reviewed by us or edited by us.” Albany Diocese spokesman Ken Goldfarb says the Purcell tributes “disturbed us deeply, primarily out of empathy and concern for persons who may have suffered as a result of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy.” He tells me that at least four papers ran the Purcell tribute.

* Albany church officials condemn tribute for accused ex-priest (
* Glowing notice fails to mention allegations against “Father Bob” (
* From 2011: Local priest dismissed over sexual abuse allegations (thedailystar)

Update: There’s an obit vs. death notice discussion on my Facebook wall.

Aspen Institute CEO Walter Isaacson writes in his invitation: “My good friend Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter knows how to throw an event and we are collaborating with him to create quite a unique program” – at $5,000 per person.

From: Sent on behalf of Walter Isaacson
Sent: Friday, July 25, 2014 1:13 PM
Subject: Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit Invitation


I’m writing to extend an invitation that I’m very excited about. On October 8 and 9, 2014, Vanity Fair is holding its first New Establishment Summit at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco. My good friend Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter knows how to throw an event and we are collaborating with him to create quite a unique program. These should be a spectacular two days.
The Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit will run from the morning of Wednesday, October 8, through the early evening of Thursday, October 9, and will include unconventional pairings of influencers and disruptors discussing the pressing issues surrounding this year’s inaugural theme: “The Age of Innovation.”

Among those scheduled to appear are: [the names are in an image that I didn’t get in my email]

A party that only our friends at Vanity Fair could host is being planned for attendees and speakers on Wednesday evening at the Ferry Building, one of San Francisco’s famed landmarks.

Other featured guests already committed to the event include: Preet Bharara, Amanda Burden, Brian Chesky, John Doerr, Mickey Drexler, Daniel Ek, Tony Hsieh, Mike Judge, Yuri Milner, Jonah Peretti, Richard Plepler, Eric Schmidt, Jeremy Stoppelman, Astro Teller, Peter Thiel, Bob Woodward, Reed Hastings, Tom Freston, Salman Khan and David Zaslav.

Passes and more information about the event are at

The event is limited to a small number of attendees. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and cost $5,000 per person.

I hope to see you in San Francisco in October.

All best,
Walter Isaacson

Julya Johnson of Knoxville’s WATE writes on Facebook after receiving this wardrobe criticism from an elderly viewer: “I will never, ever be able to please everyone with my appearance. It’s not possible. I have tried for 12 years on-air to do that. I have ‘changed my appearance’ to try to please people before. It never works. So, I please myself. I like my dresses. I feel good about my appearance.” | What “fashion tips” have you received from viewers, TV journalists? Tell us in comments, or send me an email.
Hello Julia [sic], You are a great meterologist [sic]! I am at [sic] elderly person who depends on WATE 6 News for my daily news and weather – my daily beginnings – I watch this news from 2 a.m. – thru the day. I observed every one gets great compliments about their job, How they give great forecast [sic]. There are not any compliments about you! Why? Please change your appearance!! Those high Bodice dresses are Not (for) you. Do you Have any dress or dresses that don’t fit snugly under your (Bust)? Please! You are Beautiful – But you need a change. Please don’t feel like I’m putting you down. Allow me to apologize. This letter is meant for the beautiful lady you are. Go forward (Be happy!)

* Julya Johnson: “It’s not fun to wake up to things like this” (

* Washington Post gets “credible reports” that correspondent Jason Rezaian and his wife are being held in Tehran. “It is unclear who detained them or why,” the paper says. ( | Update: Iran confirms that Rezaian has been arrested. ( esquire
* NPR’s ombudsman reviews the radio network’s Gaza coverage and finds it “fair and accurate.” (
* Noted: New York Times’ use of the word “famously” reached its peak in 2005. (@MonkovicNYT)
* TMZ’s Harvey Levin “absolutely changed the way celebrities function today.” (
* An Albany TV crew is threatened with arrest while working on a story about the historic Grant Cottage. (
* Esquire’s David Granger: “Twelve years ago, 15 years ago, if you were interested in style, then you just were [considered] gay.” (
* Pando, which abruptly fired Ted Rall and David Sirota a month ago, says its political posts hurt traffic. (
* Paul Farhi on journalists getting in trouble on Twitter: (
* Former Charlotte Observer religion writer Ken Garfield will write your death notice for $300. (
* The Star-Ledger’s Newark home for 50 years is sold to a New York developer. (
* Eric Deggans: “No one knows how to make lots of people watch smart, critically adored [TV] comedy.” (
* If Rupert Murdoch ends up buying Time Warner, “I’m going to be so angry at the FCC,” says Jane Fonda. (
* NPR Education team: We get a lot of money from the Gates Foundation, but we’re not its mouthpiece. (
* Harry Shearer: “Some heavy-duty reporting going on” at KCRW. (@theharryshearer)
* The New Yorker stories you should read while the magazine’s archives are open to all. (