Monthly Archives: July 2014

LEBRONAkron Beacon Journal publisher Mark Cohen, who rejected the ad on the right, tells his paper:

“I just don’t think it was appropriate for our community. We’re proud that LeBron is back, this is his hometown, and that [ad] is not something we want to be a part of or want to take money for.”

Miami-based sports talker Dan Le Batard, who was hoping to buy the ad space with Kickstarter contributions, says the Plain Dealer also rejected the ad. “They have declined our money.”

(I’m told a full-page Beacon Journal ad costs about $12,000; I’ve asked the Plain Dealer about its full-page rate. Update: “We don’t have any further comment on the matter,” PD sales/marketing veep Mike Maleski writes in an email. I didn’t want a comment, Mike, I wanted the price of a full-page ad. Update 2: Le Batard said on his show that the PD ad would cost about $90,000.)

The Cleveland paper reports:

Le Batard said during the show that the ad was not intended to be mean-spirited, but rather a way to poke fun at James and Northeast Ohio residents who watched him win two championships in Miami.

* Beacon Journal rejects ad that takes a shot at LeBron James (
* LeBron-bashing ad rejected by the Plain Dealer (

* New York Times considers adding a smaller, cheaper print edition. ( | Ken Doctor analyzes Tuesday’s Times earnings report. (“It’s that awful 6.6% print advertising decline that’s the Times’ big issue.”) (
* Sam Sifton is named editor of Food, a new New York Times department. (
* The plagiarist’s greatest crime is wasting your time, says Jack Shafer. (
* New York Times veteran Carol Vogel declines to comment to the paper’s public editor about a Wikipedia passage in her story. (
box* Al Jazeera America’s ratings jump as viewers tune in for Gaza war news. (
* ABC 7 in Los Angeles takes a call from a fake Department of Public Works spokesman who blames a water main rupture on “a very large dump.” (
* Crain’s: Accepting the reality of declining print readership, the Chicago Tribune recently removed many of its sales boxes from the streets. (
* Single-copy sales of New York tabloids are down, too. (
* Twitter delivered some good news to investors Tuesday, but its year-to-year growth in monthly active users continues to decline. (
* The Province theater critic Alan Twigg explains why he uses the pseudonym Paul Durras. (
* The Westboro Baptist Church will protest at Reddit’s offices and do an AMA next month. (
* Longtime Boston Herald columnist Margery Eagan jumps to the Globe to write for its new Catholic website. ( | The site will be called Crux. (
* Barry Diller‘s IAC buys the Princeton Review. (
* A WDEL-AM reporter gives it to a councilman: Why did you lie to me?! (
* Miami Herald’s Jay Maeder “could have worked for the CIA instead of newspapers and done a heck of a job.” (


The above did not happen in Durango; this is the Durango Herald’s coverage of a training exercise at an elementary school. An editor’s note above the story points out that “the events described … are not part of a true emergency.” Still, commenters are critical of the story.

* Training exercise mimics school shooting (
* “I’m sure the intent was not harmful, but…” (

Update: “They totally changed the article” (@jlgolson) | The first version is here

drewbreesNew Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is on the cover of the July 28 Sports Illustrated “NFL Training Camp ’14” issue wearing a TRX T-shirt. There are seven more Brees/TRX photos in the feature well, along with plugs for the TRX training system.

“A full workout on the TRX can absolutely destroy you,” Brees tells the magazine. (The story is behind a paywall.) SI’s Austin Murphy writes that the TRX Rip Trainer “looks like fun! But it’s serious fun.”

The 11-page spread on Brees and TRX fails to mention that, according to Fortune, Brees is an investor in the company that makes the TRX training system.

What Sports Illustrated says:: “This was a story about how an elite QB entering his 14th season stays at the top of his game, while affording readers access to those same training methods. It was not a story about TRX, though we should have disclosed the relationship. It was unintentional, but it should have been acknowledged.”

* Earlier: Brees is an investor in Fitness Anywhere and its TRX training system (
* TRX features the SI piece on its website (

Washington Post columnist Gene Weingarten warned his Twitter followers this morning that his Tuesday chat intro “is long and angry and will get some people pissed!” His screed calls the BuzzFeed/Benny Johnson saga “silly” and says that “as a plagiarism scandal, this is complete bull-doody.”

Benny Johnson

Benny Johnson

It’s a pathetic little phony scandal, with a dirty secret behind it, and everyone wrapped up in it is complicit to some degree, including Buzzfeed, up there on top of that high horse whose feet are sunk in the mud, and even the indignant Internet sleuths who broke this gotcha thing, and even to a smaller degree my illustrious MSM colleagues who have been far too willing to certify this thing as a major plagiarism disgrace without asking some disturbing followup questions.

What Benny Johnson did isn’t real plagiarism, says Weingarten, because “to be guilty of theft, one must steal something of some intrinsic value” – an original insight, for example.

“But I contend you cannot steal something of no intrinsic value; say, a fart,” he continues. “Someone who steals a fart is a weird, disreputable person, perhaps, and even someone deserving of firing, perhaps, but not a thief. This is Mr. Benny Johnson.”

Veteran press critic Jack Shafer disagrees.

* Chatological Humor with Gene Weingarten (
* Twitter user who exposed Johnson says a lot of the personal attacks on the fired writer were over the top, but… (
* The BuzzFeed saga explained by “Shattered Glass” GIFs (

Version #1

Version #2

Ouch! “@AP Still drunk from last night?” asks one commenter.

* “Hello from @AP, and thanks for your feedback on this tweet (@EricCarvin)

* Newspaper newsroom employment declined by 3.2% in 2013, but the number of minority journalists at papers increased. (ASNE)chart
* New York Times Co. profit falls 21% in the second-quarter. Severance expenses – for Jill Abramson, no doubt – are listed at $2.2 million. ( | (
* It’ll be a $79 million payday for Time Warner execs if the company is sold. (
* Ad buyers don’t give a hoot about BuzzFeed’s plagiarism scandal. (
* Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post correspondent being held in Iran, suffers from high blood pressure and probably doesn’t have access to his medication. (
* Corey Pein: The most influential journopreneurs – “brand names” who go off on their own – “actually exude disdain for traditional reporters and their craft.” (
* Facebook investor Marc Andreessen takes a victory lap. (
* Rachel Smolkin quits Politico to become executive editor of CNN Politics. (
* Newspaper chain Morris Communications says it’s out of debt and can now offer a 401(k) match. (
* NPR to staff: Don’t use first names on second reference – unless it’s been discussed. (
* The just-launched NPR One app targets casual public radio listeners. (
* The alt-weeklies convention “was like a three-day journalism high,” says a 24-year-old attendee. (
* Tell that to Marquette University! “An overdue book is nothing to be ashamed of.” (

Let’s be honest: If you grew up wealthy, you probably don’t want this job.

* A joke? Seeking an emotional writer who understands wealthy people (
* Commenter: “Couldn’t suppress sarcasm for less than $250 a post”

— h/t Amy Yarbrough

* Confessions of Comcast customer service reps. “We slowly became sales. We were given quotas,” says one of the 100+ employees interviewed by Adrianne Jeffries. (
* Watchdog reporting is coming to your radio. “Reveal” goes weekly in 2015. (
* Roger Pielke Jr.: “The main thing I would do differently would be to simply not write about climate change at 538.” He’s left the site. (
* Liberal sites fall for fake Michele Bachmann story. ( | Critical comments removed?(
* Oops! That’s the late “Jackass” star Ryan Dunn — not an Israeli soldier killed in Gaza. (
* Ira Glass says “Shakespeare sucks.” (
* RIP NPR veteran Margot Adler. “Her reporting was singular and her voice distinct.” ( | Niemans recall the 68-year-old journalist. (
* New Haven Register, a Digital First paper, is downsizing again. (
* Fareed Zakaria joins The Atlantic ( | Jack Shafer reacts here and here.

“Legs for Bomb”bomb

Tom Wood was in Atlanta when Eric Rudolph’s bomb exploded in Centennial Olympic Park eighteen years ago. “I had just published my first story as a New York Times stringer at the beginning of July, and I was in the process of pitching other ideas at the National Desk,” he writes. “I had memorized the 800 number for the desk. I found a pay phone and dialed the number.”

The Timesman on the desk at 2 a.m. told Wood to get quotes from victims as they were released from the hospital.

I had my tape recorder with me — why, I have no idea. The first patient came out within a few minutes, and others emerged at intervals in the hours that followed. As best I can recall, all were willing to talk, and I got a lot of detail about the bombing scene, taking notes feverishly while recording for backup purposes. …

When I think of the vigilant security and PR guardians detailed all around most hospitals today, I can hardly believe my luck that night. I kept gathering quotes and phoning them in to New York until the pace of patient releases petered out a little before dawn.

His check for $75 arrived a few weeks later. “Naturally, in the parlance of the paper, I had been ‘legs for bomb.’ If I ever write a memoir of my freelancing career, I know what the title will be.”

Wood tells me in an email: “I have been telling this story for years, and people seem to get a kick out of it. Now, on the 18th anniversary of the event described, I have written it up — mainly for my friends, but it occurs to me you might take an interest.”

* “Legs for Bomb 7/27/96” ( | Recorded interviews
* July 28, 1996: Bomb at the Olympics (