“In 2014, posting things online is kind of what news organizations do,” notes MuckRock co-founder Michael Morisy. “But the fact that we give access to documents, free of charge, to the public, without advertising, is used against us and our users, despite the fact that posting documents is something almost every major media outlet does.”
This week’s Seattle Weekly cover “has to be the most ridiculously hilarious thing I’ve ever painted,” says artist Johnny Acurso. “It was just so funny, and so random, that I pretty much fell in love. I mean who wouldn’t right? Look at those abs!”
I think this may have been the first time I’ve been asked to paint abs, so there’s that. Still, I really enjoy doing portraits, especially when I get to go a little nuts, and painting something so ridiculous relieved a lot of the normal tension. Sometimes painting can be a painful process, but this one was pretty much pure joy.
GeekWire reports the original has been sold to “an undisclosed recipient.” Who bought it, and for how much? I asked Seattle Weekly editor Mark Baumgarten.
“Ha! Well, I can’t disclose price or identity, but I can tell you that the buyer works for Microsoft,” he replied.
An executive or a worker-bee?
“A worker bee. The artist probably should have waited longer to sell what with the publicity the thing is getting.”
The Weekly editor says on Twitter that “suggesting that we should maybe give Jeff Bezos rock-hard abs might be the greatest thing I have ever done.”
* Seattle Weekly and sexy Jeff Bezos (Johnny Acurso)
* Q&A with the artist behind the “terrifying” Bezos portrait (mhpbooks.com)
* You can’t unsee this: Bezos as romance novel heartthrob (geekwire.com)
* The perks, pitfalls, and paradoxes of Amazon publishing (seattleweekly.com)
From the daily paper in Logansport, Indiana.
New York Times national correspondent Serge Kovaleski is joining the paper’s Culture department as an investigative reporter, where he will “explore everything from the inner workings of the Met to the evolving culture of EDM [electronic dance music].” He writes on his Facebook page: “It is a brand new world that I plan to storm and own for the Times. I am so excited to work for the amazing investigative editor Kevin Flynn and the phenomenal Culture editor Danielle Mattoon.
Looking At, and Into, Art
I have some great news for our culture coverage: Serge Kovaleski will be joining the department as an investigative reporter with a wide-ranging brief to explore everything from the inner workings of the Met to the evolving culture of EDM. Read more in this note from Danielle Mattoon.
To many of us, Serge needs no introduction, but in an effort to distinguish the myth from the man I did some asking around. It soon became clear if you start talking to people about Serge, the conversation invariably turns to how there’s no one who won’t talk to Serge.
In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings it was Serge who finagled access to the Boston PD. After the Brooke Astor story broke it was Serge who started connecting dots, chasing paintings and relatives around New England, putting The Times ahead on the story. And it was Serge who, during the Spitzer investigation managed to track down Ashley Alexandra Dupré for comment.
Cops, criminals, reticent teenagers — all are apparently helpless. “He goes back and makes his case again and again, often in person, and in the end, people almost always talk,” one of his editors told me, describing the way Serge works.
I couldn’t be happier at the thought of all the things he will do in Culture. He will start the week of Dec. 8.
* Front page of today’s Cedar Rapids (IA) Gazette, without the ad (newseum.org)
* Earlier unfortunate sticker ads from Anchorage Daily News and the Tennessean
* Two investors say Orange County Register’s parent company is insolvent and mismanaged. Freedom Communications says “the company is not considering filing for bankruptcy.” (latimes.com) | (ocregister.com)
* New York Times auto editor Jim Cobb on his section’s demise: “It’s a sad thing, and it’s been fun, but there’s so much I wish we could have done.” (theawl.com)
* The Associated Press asks the Department of Justice to never again impersonate an AP reporter. (ap.org)
* [Right] A Twin Cities TV station claims the mayor of Minneapolis flashed a gang sign. No, says a law prof, “she and the young man were just pointing at each other.” (startribune.com) | Retraction and apology demanded. (tcdailyplanet.net) | The station’s report: (kstp.com)
* Would a real Will McAvoy get fired for his tweets? (washingtonpost.com)
* Third season review: “‘The Newsroom’ is a show that’s smoothed itself out, for good and for bad,” writes Alan Sepinwall. (hitfix.com)
* Bill Simmons blasts ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” show. He tweets that he’s never had respect for the pair. (cnn.com)
* Huffington Post suspends three journalists over a story with “no errors, fabrications or plagiarized quotes.” The problem was it relied on anonymous comments from another website. (capitalnewyork.com)
* White House background briefings “vary widely in usefulness, says NYT’s Mark Landler. (washingtonpost.com)
* Anchorage’s KTUU-TV ran more U.S. Senate ads than any other station. (npr.org)
* FYI: BuzzFeed doesn’t do clickbait. (buzzfeed.com) | Reaction to that claim: (twitter.com)
* You’re right, TV anchor: “Apparently there’s some kind of law that when Starbucks does anything, we have to put it on the news.” (mediapost.com)
* Former Philadelphia newspapers co-owner George Norcross is apparently behind PhillyVoice.com. (technical.ly)
* Winners of the 2014 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards are named.(aaas.org)
* An examination of “basic.” (The term “is problematic because it is used to segregate and demean.”) (pittnews.com)
* That’s not quite right, Justin Hall: “In ’93 you couldn’t just get an internet account; being in college was one of the only ways.” (Remember ExecPC?) (cjr.org)
* “Mobster cache” … or cachet? (@dgroff)