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BuzzFeed’s Malinowski Defends Himself Against NYT Magazine

Talk about not getting it.

Yesterday we highlighted a NYT Mag piece calling out several prominent journalists for helping spread false information via social media in the days following the Boston bombing, information that incorrectly labeled an innocent, missing kid as a terrorist.

One of those named was BuzzFeed sports reporter Erik Malinowski.

Later on Monday, Malinowski posted a defense of himself on Tumblr in which he manages to not only not take a single ounce of responsibility, but to cast himself as the victim. He says he’s been dragged “unfairly and falsely” into the story because NYT made a “major error”—they got the time of his first tweet off by a couple hours. This is apparently more of a bad thing than the “major error” he committed when he spread the false information in the first place because even his Buzzfeed editor felt compelled to contact NYT to explain this to them. In Malinowski’s world, these couple of hours mean he had absolutely nothing to do with the entire debacle.

Let’s take a closer look at just what role Malinowski played, shall we?

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NYT Mag: Journalists Share Blame with Reddit for Boston Bombing Mistakes

New York Times Magazine has an article out this week by Jay Caspian Kang that should probably devastate a few journalists we all know—or at the very least, make them think long and hard about themselves.

You know this story. It’s about how, in the information void after the Boston bombings a bunch of internet sleuths took to Reddit and fingered an innocent kid—Sunil Tripathi—as Suspect No. 2. What you might not know much about is how a few journalists on Twitter fueled the fire by taking Reddit’s accusation and building a bridge from “take this with a grain of salt” to “absolutely credible.”

Whether it was a desire to be first or just part of a really big story, whether it was a lack of experience or training or oversight or naivete or some combination of all of these, these few journalists took absolutely unverified bits of information from Twitter posts and republished them as facts without, at least according to NYT Mag, barely even a second’s thought.

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AnonymASS Tipster of the Week

Okay, so a little pet peeve I have in the Fishbowl is when complainers write in and don’t explain what story they’re talking about or what specifically they’re referring to. They throw out some insulting nugget that’s supposed to stop us in our tracks and make us ponder something. But what? Come on, tipsters. Be as insulting as you want, but at least explain yourselves.

A writer writes in this week…

“How did this Austin Price get the job with you? He must’ve flunked the bad taste and banality test?”

Hey there, ASS: So nice of your to write in and share with us. Your comments are really constructive! Austin Price is our summer intern and a tasteful, talented one at that. So above anything else I will say here, STFU and maybe go take up knitting or Parchisi? The larger matter here is that this is Intern Abuse, which we don’t allow (too much) here in the Fishbowl. I suggest you take the matter up with WaPo‘s Pulitzer prize winning “humor” columnist Gene Weingarten, Washington’s unofficial Intern Police. He provides wisdom and guidance on all intern matters, except when they, of course, pertain to abuses as his own newspaper. Those are fine. (Some may recall last summer when we were squabbling with Gene over one thing or another. We wrote about a WaPo intern who tried to explain to colleagues who the head honchos at WaPo were in an internal statement. Gene was up in arms! How could we stoop so low? He later affectionately called us “noxious little dirtballs.” But low and behold, WaPo was, at the time, soliciting readers to submit their “questionable”  intern experiences on its Facebook page: “Tell us about the questionable interns you’ve encountered and we’ll meme-ify your experience.” And suddenly Gene fell silent. (Smart thinking. You can’t trash your own paper, right?)

HMOW: Weiner’s Wilson

Welcome to FBDC’s new feature “Hot Mess of the Week,” an award of sorts designed to celebrate a special someone who’s acted a fool in the press each week.  The HMOW could be a guest on cable news, a pol, DC journo, or anyone else who’s making hot mess headlines.

Today’s HMOW is the breakout star of Anthony Weiner‘s press conference yesterday – Creepy Cubicle Guy.  This special snowflake reached millions of households in America while doing his best Wilson W. Wilson (*see “Home Improvement”) throughout the “happy” couple’s remarks.

We applaud you Creepy Cubicle Guy! You not only amused us with your hot-mess antics and mid-conference wardrobe change…you managed to connect our favorite 1990s sitcom with Anthony Weiner, giving a whole new meaning to “Tool Time.”

Yahoo Gets Inspiration From Now This News

On Wednesday morning, Yahoo published this piece on Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). The headline is “What is it like to be a Muslim in Congress?” It’s no secret that Ellison is one of the only two Muslims in the U.S. Congress. The other is Andre Carson (D-Ind.). He’s an interesting character. Young, extremely liberal, African-American, and he’s in the middle of Ramadan. During the holiday, observing Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, which can be a drain on Ellison. He tells Yahoo that he limits his physical activity during the day while celebrating the month.

On top of all that, he plays guitar. Yahoo made sure to get video of Ellison jamming in his office. While he cranks out a little “This Land is Your Land,” ABC’s Jeff Zeleny, who conducts the interview, awkwardly watches on.

It’s rare that we get to see members of Congress cut loose like this so, it’s refreshing. Except for Yahoo, this isn’t such an original idea.  Read more

Editor Laments Turning Down TV Hit for Honeymoon

In what may be the most obnoxious use of Social Media comes this morning, as Fran Chambers, editor of Red Alert Politics and a Washington Examiner contributor, took to Twitter to lament the fact that she couldn’t do a TV hit on Trayvon Martin because she was on her honeymoon in the Virgin Islands.

From start to finish, Chambers spent her wedding week on Twitter. Only two days passed with silence as she tweeted her way through her beach nuptials and honeymoon. In her exhausting coverage, she revealed that her new husband ran into the ocean with his cell phone in his pocket and will “REALLY” be offline for the week. Too bad the same didn’t happen to hers (but no doubt she likely has a few backups).

 

 

Yeah, that really stinks that we can’t have yet another journalist weighing in on George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin because we don’t have enough Washington journalists discussing the case this week.

Read more about her week because yes, there’s more. Read more

Fournier Gets Parenting Book Deal

National Journal’s Ron Fournier wrote about his experiences as the parent of a son with Aspberger’s last year in this piece, which had people coming out of the woodwork to tell him what a wonderful piece he had written. Fournier even tried getting the hashtag “#lovethatboy ” up and running on Twitter. When Fournier was trying to connect with his son, he did what all fathers do: Take them to visit two former Presidents of the United States!

That piece has now led to a book deal, according to Politico’s Mike Allen, who wrote in Monday morning’s Playbook that the book will be called. “A Father’s Journey to Understanding My Son And What is Fair to Expect of Our Kids.” Allen explains that the book “grows out of Ron’s National Journal cover story about his struggle to connect with his mildly autistic son. It will use this story of father-son bonding to explore what it means to accept our kids on their own terms, rather than trying to push them to fit societal norms and expectations.”

Sorry, did anyone bother reading Fournier’s piece? To me, it reads like a what NOT to do with your children.  Read more

Morning Oopsy: HuffPost Wrecks Charlie Sheen Tweet

Cupport. Support. Who cares, right? HuffPost‘s tweeter celebrated his or her Fourth of July in style with this promo that might be clickbait-worthy had it not been so butchered.

 

Early Morning Hashtag Blather

Ever get bored when you’re home alone and start rambling to yourself about nothing particular or even that funny? But there’s no one around to hear what you say, so it’s totally, like, okay? Ever do that on Twitter? Yes, some of you do that all the time.

We don’t want you to stop, though. It amuses us endlessly.

Take Talking Points Memo’s Brian Beutler.

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Why Washington D.C. Gossip Sucks

In what falls into the this is not even gossip category, The Hill’s Judy Kurtz—editor of The Hill’s so-called gossip blog (gossip, we thought, was a keyword)—brought us a most absurd story yesterday about President Obama‘s workout routine that reeks so much of a publicist’s pitch that it might’ve been more interesting had the publicist been allowed to write it.

The story is all about what Extra host and “Saved By the Bell” alum Mario Lopez says about the President’s workouts. Lopez is qualified to comment on this and it merits a story because he a) spoke directly to the President once b) has a well-known 12-pack and c) has his own line of underwear.

For those wondering about the big question here—namely, when such a busy guy like the President finds time to work out—the astounding answer, according to Lopez, is in the morning. And also, whenever else he can. A few questions: 1. Does anyone give a sh*t? 2. See question #1. 3. See question #2.

The best part of the whole piece, though, is that Kurtz runs out of creative ways to refer to Obama somewhere around her very first reference. She starts out with “commander-in-chief,” but by the  final graph she’s calling him “the White House resident.” No, really.

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