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Posts Tagged ‘Erik Wemple’

Is WaPo’s Wemple ‘Off His Meds’?

kurtz:ailes

No, no. Who knows if WaPo‘s opinionated media blogger Erik Wemple is even on meds? And who really cares? But readers of his story on Fox News’ Howard Kurtz‘ weirdly conflicting report on the government “slimdown” (or, “shutdown” depending who you ask) had hilarious reactions to what he wrote. Read more

Have You Hung Up on This Man Lately?

As  you read this, freelance investigative conservative  journalist Evan Gahr is likely dialing up another unsuspecting media reporter or editor to pose one important question:

Why aren’t you writing about my story?

Forget email. Gahr’s a phone guy and his phone number hunting skills are pathologically effective — he’s dug up WaPo‘s Don Graham‘s home number, Kevin Merida‘s home and work numbers, Jonathan Capehart, Eugene Robinson, Erik Wemple, Politico‘s Hadas Gold and more. He says Politico’s Dylan Byers now recognizes his number and won’t pick up. WaPo‘s Editorial Page Editor Fred Hiatt has not returned his emails (but only because he couldn’t find his phone number). So far, many journos have allegedly hung up on him – count Merida, Wemple, The Daily Caller‘s Jordan Bloom and TWT‘s Jennifer Harper among them.

The story he’s referring to is a lawsuit filed against WaPo by a black sales employee who is charging race and age discrimination. He wrote about it last Wednesday for The Daily Caller.

A conversation with Gahr goes something like this. Read more

Spotted: WaPo’s Wemple Plays Ball (Dangerously)

WaPo‘s always good-natured and almost never mean Erik Wemple was spotted over the weekend on a block off Dupont Circle playing catch and speaking fluent Spanish with his son. The Erik Wemple Blog, as he prefers to refer to himself (relentlessly), wore dark shorts and a red top. He and his son nearly took out some nearby windows of cars and soon decided a park was a better place to play catch rather than a city street lined with parked cars.

We fully blame the missed catches on the Erik Wemple Blog.

Fox News’ Howard Kurtz: As Capable as a Head of Lettuce

Reuters media columnist Jack Shafer joins the bandwagon of writers kicking Fox News’ Howard Kurtz in the gut these days. Only he’s slightly more gentle about it, saying Kurtz’ capabilities are intact, now if only his new producers over at Fox News would get their shit together. Read more

Full Disclosure: WaPo’s Wemple Really F%@ked Up TBD

WaPo‘s opinionated media blogger Erik Wemple wrote a down and dirty piece Monday on Robert Allbritton‘s purchase of Capital NY. Nothing that remarkable in it except for his own disclosures of what a failure he believes he was at TBD. Actually who knows…maybe the story had juicy nuggets, but we were all tunnel vision on those full disclosures. And not one, but two. Come on, Erik Wemple Blog! Couldn’t have been all your fault. Stop being so hard on yourself!

A. “That same year, Allbritton launched Washington-area news site TBD.com, a generously funded project that fizzled in near-record time under the editorial guidance of the Erik Wemple Blog.”

Some 14 graphs later…

B. “By acquiring Capital, the Politico brain trust shows that it’s learned some things since the quick and spectacular failure of TBD.com under the editorial guidance of the Erik Wemple Blog.”

Wemple goes on to discuss the reasons TBD may have tanked, and funny, some seem to have little to do with him. Read more

Politico Says Uptick of Women in Top Roles Was Not a ‘Concerted Effort’

Earlier today we published a story highlighting the marked increase of women in leadership roles at Politico. The publication, clearly founded by two males, has been dogged since it began in 2006 over the heavy presence of males in top roles. Insiders have said repeatedly that the reports were overblown. But that didn’t stop WaPo‘s Erik Wemple from highlighting the startling numbers of women who have left over the years. Or TNR from recently questioning VandeHarris over the reputation of “overt sexism” at the news outlet.

As we reported earlier today, as some top male editors are leaving the publication, they’re being replaced by women. Before this, women had already assumed top roles. We asked if this, as well as a number of other females in high-ranking roles, is a concerted effort to beat the bad rap.

Editor-in-Chief John Harris told FishbowlDC, “To be clear, I don’t  believe in our many years as editors and reporters either Jim or I were ever ‘accused of being anti-women.’ It is true that due to the circumstances of our launch we were for a time kind of top-heavy with men in ways that did not reflect our vision for POLITICO. By no means are any recent moves a reflection of some sort of ‘concerted effort’ on gender grounds. Instead, they flow naturally from our determination to get the most talented and ambitious people in jobs where they can have the most impact on our newsroom, on our business, and for our readers.”
Read more

Ben Freed Fired From DCist

DCist Editor-in-Chief Ben Freed has been fired after fighting with his employer about publishing a story for BuzzFeed. The news was first reported by WaPo‘s Erik Wemple.

Wemple writes that Freed was given the axe after he freelanced a story for BuzzFeed on the impact of the $250M WaPo sale on local D.C. news. The part of the story that is still a mystery, and we don’t get why Wemple didn’t ask this, is that Freed’s Publisher, Jake Dobkin, told him to spike the story. BuzzFeed said they would be amenable to spiking the story, but also thought it would bring attention to DCist.

And yet… it still ran.

We’ve reached out to BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith on whether he’d hire Freed as well as the details of why the story was not spiked. Unfortunately Smith is on vacation until Aug. 12 so we’re reaching out to other BuzzFeed sources.

Developing…

WaPo’s Wemple Wimps Out

Dear Readers,

At 1:46 p.m. Monday, WaPo‘s opinionated media writer Erik Wemple wrote to ask about the whole Friday flap with Wonkette Publisher Rebecca Schoenkopf. In case you missed the fiasco, on Friday she fabricated a story that I was going to be fired. Why? Because she – her words – wanted it to be true. Wemple wrote me by email, “Schoenkopf says you called her a liar over the Politico party thing without even checking first with Politico itself. Then, she says, you took their version of events at face value and smeared her. Any response?” A second later he wrote back: “And to tack on one other: Does FBDC have higher standards than Wonkette and if so, in what way?”

Before we examine Wemple’s questions, let’s give you proper context since he couldn’t be bothered. Schoenkopf is Wonkette‘s editor who admittedly hates my guts for this, this and this. All the stories were based on actual reporting and sources. One includes research and numbers regarding Wonkette‘s web traffic after we noticed Schoenkopf was on the record stating wildly different numbers to different reporters (a story we’d cover no matter who it was about). Another discusses a party at the GOP Convention in Tampa at which Schoenkopf, according to witnesses, got sauced at a Politico soirée and claimed to be tossed out of the party. The funniest part was her nonsensical writing. She herself admitted to FBDC that she was 7 out of 10 on the drunken scale. Based on witnesses, we’d put her at 11.

Wemple called the details of the original story and source of her hatred for FishbowlDC “irrelevant.” Yes, Erik, why let facts and reporting get in the way of your story? But don’t worry. You’re in the same boat as Schoenkopf in that she doesn’t have time for facts either. In fact, she’s allergic to them–I think they may give her hives. She thinks I’m “vile” and  a “c–t” – and, wow, she sounds just like Anthony Weiner‘s Communications Director Barbara Morgan.

So according to Wemple’s statements in his email to me, Schoenkopf says I called her a liar over the Politico party incident without checking with Politico first. Simultaneously, I fell for Politico‘s statements because we never write anything negative about Politico or question them about anything. So somewhere in the craziness of Schoenkopf’s mind I both did NOT check in with Politico and I ALSO believed them because I – what? – talked to them? Come on, Wemple, even you can see that that’s a whole pack of stupid in one sitting.

But no.

Wemple offered a woman who INVENTED an entire story simply because she wanted it to be true the opportunity to insult me and my colleagues for most of his post.  Normally a reporter at a news outlet would be fired for intentionally publishing a false story for malicious reasons. But instead of questioning Schoenkopf hard on her brand of fairytale journalism, Wemple went easy on her and reduced the incident to little more than a cat fight between two websites run by women.

As Wemple so brilliantly put it… Read more

Afternoon Reading List 07.30.13.

About that NYT article — Jonathan Van Meter’s piece on Anthony Weiner for the April 2013 issue of NY Times Magazine was well received. The story with the headline, “Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin’s Post-Scandal Playbook,” narrated Weiner’s fall from Congress, his life after and his first steps back into politics. But WaPo’s Erik Wemple argues that the story is now “being blamed for enabling Weiner’s political rehabilitation.” Weiner told Van Meter that he was “eying” the mayor’s race and enlisted the help of pollster David Binder. As many journalists do when writing profiles, Van Meter immersed himself into Weiner and Abedin’s life. But, Wemple argues, immersion wasn’t the key to this story. Instead, skepticism should have ruled his reporting. Van Meter didn’t question Weiner on when he ceased having those online sexy chatfests or phone sex, which we now know he continued having after he resigned.

Why you should read it: The NYT piece drew well deserved praise, even from the likes of Poltico Editor-in-Chief John Harris, when it was first published, but had Van Meter pushed Weiner on whether he had halted the online relationships, it could have been a very different story.

Hindsight is 20/20 — In an op-ed for Scoop San Diego, Doug Curlee says he has covered Bob Filner, San Diego’s pervert mayor, since he was elected to school board in 1979. He says that he and many other San Diego journalists knew how abrasive and abusive he was throughout his political career. Now that Filner is facing a slew charges of sexual harassment, Curlee questions why the media, including himself, didn’t investigate Filner earlier. He doesn’t know the answer, but offers a few suggestions: the media could have been lazy, because Filner had established himself as a Democratic power or because Filner controlled votes and campaign funds of “large and ever-growing organized labor groups, the unions.” None seem like good reasons to not investigate the mayor’s behavior, but Curlee says the media as a whole “didn’t try, or try hard enough” and that San Diego journalists “should be a little ashamed of that,” noting that he is.

Why you should read it: How often does a journalist say he f–ked up? That in itself is a good reason to hear him out. According to Curlee, Filner had been a subject of speculation among San Diego journalists, and he offers insight into why those stories were never pursued.

Prepared for battle — Religious scholar and author Reza Aslan’s interview Friday with Fox News’ Lauren Green has spread around the Internet like Chicken Pox before there was a vaccine, starting with it being posted by BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski, and labeled as one of the most embarrassing interviews to appear on the network. Green tore into Aslan asking how, as a Muslim, he can write a book about Jesus Christ. But Slate’s Josh Voorhees argues that Aslan knew what he was doing coming into the interview. In battling Green and establishing credibility for himself by listing off his college degrees, Voorhees says that Aslan “highlighted the gaping hole in Green’s line of questioning.” The interview worked out well for Aslan. After the interview, Zealot was at the top of the Amazon and Barnes & Noble best-seller lists.

Why you should read it: Voorhees offers–something different–a look from Aslan’s side.

Afternoon Reading List 07.08.13.

The hut in the Philippines where the Internet started  Once upon a time, the Internet didn’t exist. Instead of Googling everything, people actually had to know things. The origins of the web can be traced in part back to a hut in the village of Leyte in the Philippines in 1945. As The Atlantic’s Alexis Madrigal writes, it was there that the young Navy radar technician Doug Engelbart picked up an issue of LIFE magazine and read an article titled “As We May Think” by Vannevar Bush, a science icon of the time, that presented Bush’s vision for a system to improve human understanding of the world (the article originally appeared in The Atlantic, Madrigal is sure to note). Engelbart, who died last week, went on, inspired by Bush’s essay, to work on groundbreaking technology that inspired generations of scientists. He invented the computer mouse and demonstrated what could happen when computers communicate with each other, showing hypertext links, video conferencing and hypertext links more than a decade before IBM released the first personal computer.

Why you should read it: Because you can, by just clicking the link. Engelbart was a major force in the early development of the personal computer and the web and worked hard so that doing that would be possible.

Rupert Murdoch is a happy guyRupert Murdoch has not just owned the news, but he’s being the subject of it lately as he and Wendi Deng have filed for divorce. But he’s not upset about it. As Michael Wolff wrote in his column for the Guardian, Murdoch is “happier than he’s ever been.” Those close to the media tycoon say Wendi is “a terrible person” and that she spends money and parties out of control, among other accusations. Murdoch also apparently believed that Wendi would upstage him after his death and that she “doesn’t deserve to be my widow.” Ouch. He believes he’ll be around for another decade.

Why you should read it: It’s an interesting look at Murdoch in the present. He’s had a storied past, and this piece looks into what may be ahead for the media mogul.

Read more

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