Daily Archives: August 14, 2014

This is the third paragraph of Louisville Courier-Journal restaurant critic Nancy Miller’s review of Palermo Viejo:

I’m all for mothers (I am one) and I’m all for eschewing baby formula for the real thing. But I wish the nursing mother at an adjoining table would have thought to bring a cover-up or would not have assumed that other diners would welcome being that close to what is undeniably a natural and loving bonding experience. However, Palermo Viejo is the kind of place where guests feel comfortable to be themselves and revel in the togetherness that’s fostered by a much beloved neighborhood restaurant. That’s a good thing, but so is a cover-up.

Predictably, Miller heard from angry readers who claimed that she had “shamed” the mother. Miller went on Facebook to answer her critics.
“In no way did I shame the mother,” she writes. “I did, however, suggest that other diners might not ‘welcome being that close to what is undeniably a natural and loving bonding experience.’ …

“Several people called for me to apologize to the mother, other nursing mothers and, I assume, breasts in general. Since I did not shame or attack the mother, there is no apology needed and I don’t offer one.

“Many of those same people said I should put a blanket or towel over my head when I eat in a restaurant. I’m planning on going out to dinner tonight. Their comments give an entirely new meaning to the question, ‘What to wear?'”

* Nancy Miller gives 3.5 stars out of 4 to Palermo Viejo (
* Miller addresses comments about breastfeeding (

Letter to Romenesko
From FRED LEONHARDT: In her disingenuous diatribe, [former Oregon First Lady] Mary Oberst (at left)newoberst fails to point out that her real gripe against The Oregonian might also stem from [a 2004 Oregonian] article in which her husband, Governor Ted Kulongoski, was accused of having appointed a man he knew to be a child rapist to the state board of higher education, and then lying about what he knew. [Leonhardt had worked as the accused man’s speechwriter.]

The story was then followed-up by Oregonian columnist Steve Duin, with such scathing headlines as “Kulongoski is a Liar and the Oregon State Bar Couldn’t Care Less,” and “Ted Kulongoski’s Pants Just Caught Fire,” among many others.

* Good to meet you, Mary Oberst (

Alex MacCallum has been promoted to assistant managing editor at the New York Times, in charge of expanding the paper’s audience “and deepening its engagement with Times journalism.”

Here’s the memo from executive editor Dean Baquet and editorial page editor Andy Rosenthal:

To the staff,

We are pleased to announce that Alex MacCallum will join us as an assistant managing editor, in charge of expanding our audience and deepening its engagement with our great journalism.

Alex MacCallum (from her Twitter feed)

Alex MacCallum (from her Twitter feed)

In the coming months Alex, who has been the business-side executive assigned to the Cooking app, will build a team devoted to using search, social and other strategies to draw more people to our news articles and editorials. There are already talented journalists working in this area, as well as a team on the business side. But all of us believe that there is an even greater opportunity to find more Times readers.

Two recent projects involving audience development strategists from the business side, working closely with us, showed the possibilities. The Opinion series High Times drew 1.6 million visitors, 27 percent of them for the first time. The World Cup coverage attracted 17 million visitors, 42 percent more than the Winter Olympics.

Alex started her career as a researcher and freelancer at The Washington Post. She was one of the first three employees at The Huffington Post, where she served as the Founding News Editor, working closely with the leadership on strategy, technology, and growth. She went to law school and eventually became The Huffington Post’s corporate counsel. In recent months she has worked with Sam Sifton on Cooking, and he attests to her creativity, energy and strategic thinking. In our discussions with candidates for the job, Alex had the best ideas. More than that, she displayed a fierce passion for The Times and its journalism.

She will report to both of us. The Audience Development department will be a shared resource, like photography, video and news design. She will start sometime in September and will be making the rounds of news and editorial to meet all of you.

Obviously, more changes are in the offing for the newsroom’s masthead, and this is a big step toward bringing in more editors with deep digital experience.

Andy and Dean

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is looking for 750-word essays “about concrete experiences rather than opinions” to be published in its Portfolio section. I asked in comments below the P-G’s solicitation if writers would be compensated. I didn’t get a response, but a Romenesko reader points out that others inquired on the paper’s Facebook page, and got this answer:

While freelance contributors may be compensated in other parts of the newspaper, Portfolio serves as an outlet for writers who enjoy seeing their work in print and want to share their experiences.

It has not been a problem in the past, as most Portfolio contributors are not professionals seeking to do this for a living or as an income supplement.

Ah, the Huffington Post model!

The Post-Gazette is owned by Block Communications, which recently paid Ted Nugent $50,000-plus for an appearance.

* Want to write for the Post-Gazette? (


Mere mishandling by a United States Postal Service employee? asks @assignmint founder Jeff Koyen. Or an artistic statement? (Here’s the cover story.)

Philadelphia Daily News reporter Will Bunch tweeted late last night: “Based on reader reaction [to the cover on the left] we’re changing our front page image — so we actually do listen.”
Philadelphia magazine’s Joel Mathis writes: “It’s rare that newspapers rip up planned front pages in response to real-time reader feedback. Is that a force that will always be used for good? Who knows? But it shows how technology gives ordinary citizens the power to shape the news report in so-called legacy media operations these days.”

* Reaction on Twitter to the first cover “was swift and angry” (
* “Keep the headline, kill the photo” | Cover #2: “This is a lot better” (@PhillyDailyNews)

* Update: Comments about the covers from my Facebook friends and subscribers

* Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery writing from Ferguson: “As they took me into custody, the officers slammed me into a soda machine, at one point setting off the Coke dispenser. They put plastic cuffs on me, then they led me out the door.” ( | Marty Baron: “We are appalled by the conduct of the officers involved.” (@charlie_savage)
* Huffington Post’s Ryan Reilly, who was also arrested, says the police resembled soldiers more than officers. (
* Ferguson’s police chief learned of the arrests via a Los Angeles Times reporter. (
* Nate Silver picks a bad time to share his arrest story. (
* Rebecca on Twitter: Newspapers sent reporters to Ferguson, so I subscribed to thank them. (@westofbecca)
* SEC’s aggressive pursuit of leaks to media “is worrisome.”
* Not all Lands’ End customers appreciated their free copy of GQ. (“I ordered Christian private school children’s uniforms from your company and you sold my home address to a magazine company that peddles in soft porn for men???.”) (
* Hong Kong newspaper publishes fake obit of rival paper’s owner. (
* Oregon’s former First Lady bad-mouths The Oregonian in the Guardian. (
* New York Times reporter James Risen wins the Herbert Block Freedom Award. (
* PR giant Edelman apologizes for its Robin Williams blog post. (
* Charleston Gazette sues to get documents from West Virginia’s Attorney General. (
* Philadelphia Inquirer wants New York Times-like rates to run an Elie Wiesel ad. (
* Metro buys Philadelphia City Paper for an undisclosed price. (
* Uh-oh: “I’m not commenting on [the state of] our pension fund,” says Orange County Register owner Aaron Kushner. (
* Video ads are coming to Flipboard. (