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The Washington Post reports this week that it warned in 2003 that the Knee Defender device is “a recipe for air rage.”defend

What the paper doesn’t report is that in 2004 it called the Knee Defender a “solution” to the problem of reclining airline seats. From that story:

* SNAG: The guy in the seat in front of you has reclined his seat so far back your knees are in your face.

* SOLUTION: If the guy won’t compromise, whip out your Knee Defender (www.kneedefender.com), a plastic device that snaps onto your tray table and controls how far your nemesis can put his seat back.

The Post’s decade-old mention is being used as an “endorsement” for Knee Defender.

* “The Post noted presciently in 2003: ‘It’s a recipe for air rage.’” (washingtonpost.com)
* “If the guy won’t compromise, whip out your Knee Defender” (washingtonpost.com)

Contently sent an email Wednesday night with the subject line, “Why You Should Work for Free.” (It was attached to this story.) I’m guessing it heard from some freelance writers because less than an hour later it followed-up with this:

apology

* Writing for free can pay off. But only for a select few (contently.com)

– h/t Nicole Bleier


Letter to Romenesko
My name in Chris Herries. I was mentioned in a recent piece by Bloomberg News entitled “Hook­up Culture at Harvard, Stanford Ebbs Amid Assault Alarm” by John Lauerman.

Chris Herries

Chris Herries

The content of the original Bloomberg piece regarding my views on the concept of victim blaming were highly misleading. The article made it seem like I endorsed the practice of victim blaming when the opposite is true. After I raised concerns with Bloomberg News, they did a fantastic job reevaluating my position, listening to what I had to say and coming up with an acceptable edit. That edit more accurately reflects both my present views and my two previous articles on victim blaming written in 2012 and 2013. My latest piece for the Stanford Daily sums up the situation fairly well, and is worth the read.

My frustration now rests with three additional articles that fed off the Bloomberg piece. I wrote to .Mic regarding at least two pieces that have appeared on their website, entitled “Worried About Coming Off as a Creep?” and “One Stupefying Dumb Quote Sums Up Rape Culture in America” by Elizabeth Plank and Jared Keller, respectively. Both these articles contain content regarding me and my alleged views on victim blaming that is blatantly false./CONTINUES Read More

* What James Foley meant to us, by the GlobalPost staff. (globalpost.com) | Foley’s “E-Team” film to air on Netflix in October. (marquettewire.org)
* “The worst part of my life is newspapers are still alive,” says Maine Gov. Paul LePage.asshat (bangordailynews.com) | Earlier: LePage tells a flight simulator to blow up the Portland Press Herald building. (jimromenesko.com) | There’s a lively discussion about LePage on my Facebook wall. (facebook.com)
* It was USC Athletic Department’s social media director who put out the bogus story about Josh Shaw rescuing his young nephew. (latimes.com) | “USC regrets the posting of the initial story.” (usctrojans.com)
* The London Times doesn’t just have typewriter sounds; “we brought back green visors; eye shields,” a staffer tells NPR. (npr.org)
* Deadline’s Mike Fleming Jr. on yesterday’s Nikki Finke stories: “I cannot remember observing a personal attack as reprehensible, mean spirited and disgusting as this.” (deadline.com)
* “I think the 6:30 news is more important than ever,” says new ABC “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir. (nydailynews.com) | Diane Sawyer says goodbye to “World News” viewers with little fanfare. (washingtonpost.com)
* Catching up with the woman who wrote the syndicated sex column “Ask Isadora.” (tabletmag.com)
* Triad City Beat, a six-month-old North Carolina weekly, tries to raise $10,000 on Kickstarter. (kickstarter.com)
* Binge-reading at The Awl: “We are trying an experiment in which we publish all of the day’s stories at once.” (theawl.com)
* David Sessions: At one time I would have mocked Harper’s publisher John MacArthur‘s anti-Internet/pro-print views; now I agree with him. (patrolmag.com)
yo* Washington Post and a few other news outlets are trying out Yo. (ajr.org)
* What? We can no longer trust the tabloids’ coverage of celebrity couples?! (@ditzkoff)
* Ads are coming to Quora next year. “This is a company,” the CEO notes. “It needs to be sustainable.” (recode.net)
* Hey, Milwaukee TV station, “Theresa” really isn’t that hard to pronounce. (@WISN12News)

Gannett U.S. Community Publishing president Bob Dickey’s USCP Quarterly Newsletter went out this afternoon, and employees noticed that the name of their company was spelled “Gannet.”

“This is a great example of what happens when a company lays off almost all of its copy editors,” writes one of my many tipsters on this. The PDF version of the three-page newsletter is here.
gannettpage

* USCP Quarterly Newsletter: 2nd Quarter
* Earlier: Job descriptions for Gannett’s “Newsroom of the Future” (jimromenesko.com)


Colorado Springs Gazette sports columnist’s tweets:

The columnist goes on to tweet that he had a 20-minute conversation with Armstrong that was “man to man” and not on the record. (They discussed Ramsey’s piece, headlined “Lance Armstrong is falling, and he’ll never get up.”)

“He is extremely sorry for his mistakes,” writes Ramsey, and “his regret is sincere. He realizes he betrayed millions of his fans, and this haunts him. I wondered about his sincerity before. I wonder no longer.”

* My phone conversation with Lance Armstrong (gazette.com)
* Lance Armstrong is yelling at the Gazette (csindy.com)

Associated Press Rhode Island correspondent Michelle Smith‘s eyebrow was raised over former Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci’s claim that sales of his “Mayor’s Own Marinara Sauce” benefit the city’s school kids.
mayor

An AP memo reports:

Smith dug into the charitable claims and discovered in recent years that in truth, no money from the sauce’s sales had been donated to Cianci’s charity scholarship fund. And from 2009 to 2012, the sauce made a total of $3 in income. …

A day after the sauce story, Smith followed up with an examination of Cianci’s charity’s finances, finding it gives just a small fraction of assets out in scholarships every year, and spends most of its money on expenses other than for kids.

The AP’s Brian Carovillano writes: “For hitting the sauce in a way that made AP proud, Smith wins this week’s $300 Best of the States prize.

* Stirring the sauce for a spicy story (ap.org)
* Cianci sauce made no money for charity in four years (ap.org)

P.S. Mueller‘s cartoons have run weekly (or almost weekly) in the Chicago Reader and many other alternative papers for decades. This morning he was told by Reader editor Mara Shaloup that his work would job now be published only occasionally, “most likely to prevent me from saying I’ve been sacked.”

“It’s been a great 35-year run,” Mueller tells Romenesko readers, “and I believe, as far as cartoonists go, there is no one left there to turn the lights out.” He notes that “I owe my career to what the Reader was [in its heyday].”

For the past year or so they have been running me weekly after getting rid of all the other cartoonists. [Reader co-founder and former editor] Bob Roth started me out in ’79 at a generous $35.00 per, then later jumped it to $80.00. I’ve gone from [being published in] over 60 alt weeklies to less than a dozen these days, though I never know for sure if that has changed from week to week.

Mueller, who once had a side job as the voice of Onion Radio News anchor Doyle Redland, adds: “I suspect the prospect of some kind of continuation would prevent a lot of folks from making public mention of the whole thing, but really, for me the Reader hasn’t been the Reader for a good while. (The alt-weekly was sold to the Sun-Times’ parent in 2012 for $3 million.)

I’ve asked editor Shaloup about cutting Mueller’s publication schedule.

* Mueller in 2011: “I figure I can probably continue doing [my cartoons] until 80″ (jimromenesko.com)

Posted Tuesday on a Fort Myers News-Press Gannett private Facebook #picassolution discussion board by the paper’s engagement editor:
whatif

From the Gannett “Picasso, baby” Tumblr:
picasso

A Romenesko reader has previously described Picasso as an initiative “in which journalism is driven solely by metrics and journalists are expected to be marketers and ‘community connectors.’” Another Gannett employee insists its more than that.

I’ve asked David Plazas if a discussion about election coverage is continuing in the newsroom.

Update – Plazas sends this email:

Thank you for your email. I’m sorry I didn’t have a chance to respond to you this morning. I saw that you posted the screen grab of the discussion I started last night on covering elections, and I think it was a very healthy conversation among Gannett journalists about understanding how we serve our readers and community best, given evolving reader and viewer habits.

David Plazas

David Plazas

Since your post was leaked from a private Gannett group (not Fort Myers News-Press) where our journalists have been encouraged to have hard and intimate conversations about Picasso, I am concerned that you and your readers may be led to develop conclusions that might not have all the context. The question posed shows a level of awareness among our staff that just because we build it, doesn’t mean our readers will come. In our minds, there was never a choice of whether we should cover elections or not. While our mission and our gut tell us we must cover them, metrics help us understand how we cover elections in ways that resonate more and best with readers. This applies to all our most important work. If we are truly dedicated to serving the public good, let’s do it in a way that best fulfills our responsibilities in and to the community. Let’s do it in a way that best informs and excites our readers and viewers./CONTINUES Read More