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Posts Tagged ‘Hamilton Nolan’

The Dog That Ate the Media’s Homework

Cultural norms don’t change easily.

Last week WaPo published two analysis stories on the forced resignation of Politico‘s Kendra Marr due to plagiarism. Neither credited the outlet that broke the story.

Wasn’t it Paul Farhi who roughly one year ago said citing the original news source didn’t matter? Here’s what he told us at the time: “Personally, I believe it’s a courtesy to credit the original news source of a story, but I don’t think it’s a requirement or even important. All news originates from somewhere (a neighbor, a whistleblower, a government official, a press release, a wire service, whatever) and it’s a reporter’s obligation to check and verify the original information (which in this case it certainly was). Unless one is taking someone else’s work without attribution (that is, plagiarizing it) any news story should stand on its own and speaks for itself as an original piece of work.”

Clearly that view still holds. His newish colleague Erik Wemple has followed his lead despite openly disagreeing with Farhi’s remarks at the time. Wemple was heading up TBD when he wrote this under the post: “When a news organization writes a news story that is already ‘out there’ without giving proper credit to the origin, then it’s creating the impression that it is breaking the news. If indeed another outlet already reported that news, that is a false impression. Or a lie, if you will. So if you’re a news organization that doesn’t credit outlets that break something and act as though you are writing the exclusive, you’re committing an offense that’s tantamount to misleading your readers. And that’s not something that news organizations should be doing. If you care about honesty and transparency, you over-credit.

Does anyone else see the irony of Washington media falling all over themselves to cover a story on a woman being forced to resign for not properly citing other publications and then not attributing to the outlet that broke the news?

Tale of the Tape…Last Thursday night FBDC broke the story of Marr’s resignation. Some might argue that Politico themselves broke the news on the website but newsflash: a publication cannot formally break its own news. What they did was the equivalent of sending out a mass press release. At 8:34 p.m. editors posted an editorial note but not the internal memo. They offered no public accounts of the aftermath. Associated Press rolled in later. No time stamp. No attribution. HuffPost? Basic recap. Nothing new. No attribution. The following day WaPo turned around their typical half a day later analysis stories by Farhi and Wemple. Reuters ran a story by Lucas Shaw of The Wrap: Nothing new. No attribution. Poynter: No attribution, but at least they offered new news. NYT‘s Media decoder blog came in with an embarrassingly late story sans attribution Friday afternoon by Tanzina Vega. Pretty odd considering that a NYT scribe first discovered Marr’s plagiarism and brought it to the attention of Politico brass. Finally, Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan offered a ray of hope akin to kicking a horse when it’s down. “You messed up bad, Kendra. But it only takes five years to be forgiven for anything. Good luck in your next career.” Again, no attribution.

Those who offered citations on how the story first broke: Mediaite, Yahoo! News‘ Cutline Blog, The Weekly Standard. A note to The Weekly Standard’s “Scrapbook” from the latest issue: Why not hold the editors responsible for Marr accountable? I stand by what I wrote: Marr was a solid reporter who didn’t intend anything malicious. This was most prevalent in conversations with newsroom sources at varying levels of power within the publication. Marr’s plagiarism wasn’t an “aberration” as you said I intended with my post. She bears enormous responsibility here. But to say this began with Marr in a vacuum is shortsighted. It was a culture that prompted it, pushed it, even willed it to happen. You make a valuable point on her future and the 25-year-old landing on her feet sometime soon — many hope you’re right.

But all of this begs the question of whether you, Scrapbook, spoke to anyone within Politico’s ranks before writing “Plagiarism Watch.” My money’s on no.

(See what The Weekly Standard had to say after the jump…)

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Another Journo Makes Offbeat Broder Joke

What does it take to make a dead journo joke these days? Oh, not much. Slate‘s Christopher Beam threw a seemingly innocent question into the online universe Monday and what does he get? Left-leaning journalist and ardent “Juicebox Mafia” member Matt Yglesias of the Center for American Progress, who took this as an opportunity to bizarrely mention WaPo’s Pulitzer Prize-winning David Broder, who has been dead all of three and a half weeks.

Beam: What happened to @DCJourno?

Yglesias: That was David Broder’s twitter handle.

The fake Twitter account, @DCJourno, which was featured in the NYT and on this site, has been mute as of late. Yglesias is not alone and it’s no secret that he and his liberal cohorts didn’t agree with Broder’s centrist beliefs. Two weeks earlier, when Broder had been gone a week, Salon‘s Alex Pareene and Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan also made off-color Broder jokes, with Pareene saying he only wished he had come up with Nolan’s joke. Read “Two journos with zero taste” here.

Washington Journos React With Disgust to NYT Style Piece

NYT‘s Style section has dipped to a new low in Washington.

This is the deafening refrain that we’ve been hearing all day long today after Sunday’s story on the “Juicebox Mafia,” which involves a group of Boy Band liberal journalists who once belonged to the now defunct JournoList listserv. The featured “new brat pack” is comprised of four relatively short white liberal guys in their 20s: WaPo‘s Ezra Klein (pictured at left) Slate‘s Dave Weigel (pictured below), TPM‘s Brian Beutler and Center for American Progress’s Matt Yglesias. But there’s nothing “new” about them and they’re not really older or seasoned like the story suggests even if Klein does dine at Potenza, which he did recently with the story’s author and with Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson last summer. This was before Klein printed obviously private emails from Carlson on his WaPo blog because isn’t that what someone older and sophisticated does when seeking revenge? A true veteran D.C. journalist remarked, “Nice story, but I don’t think the young bloggers are going to replace [WaPo's] Dan Balz and [NYT's] Carl Hulse.” Another wondered, “Why do New York Times reporters always have to cover DC like National Geographic would cover a new species found in the depths of the ocean? Or like they are narrating the March of the Penguins?”

Sunday’s article is most noteworthy in that, well, most of our readers thought it was a joke.

Full disclosure: The story’s author, Sridhar Pappu, who is not a close friend short of a few emails and phone conversations, quoted me in his story. He wrote what I said and verified the quote with me prior to using it.

But Pappu, please. Did he or his editors ever think to fully disclose that  he used to work with some of these ultra-cool cats at the Washington Independent? Did he think to disclose that they’re in this “mafia” simply because they’re all friends? Friends who do mafioso things together like cook, tweet, retweet, drink, play video games, read comic books and occasionally knock their heads together on MSNBC. Journalists in Washington struggle with the very premise of this story, that these guys have grown up as Pappu suggests, and that they’re somehow powerful and prominent figures. No time for geek trivia these days, claims Weigel. Why? Because his ancient 26-year-old friend, Ezra, is always on TV. Weigel’s cable TV career, meanwhile, has deflated since staunch defender Keith Olbermann departed. And it’s a wonder why he was so devoted. A hush fell over the Boy Banders when Olbermann disappeared.

Also Pappu, didn’t you or your editors think to note that all those media outlets such as TPM, MSNBC, Think Progress and The American Prospect are “liberal” since you called the The Daily Caller out for being “conservative?”

Questions from a D.C. journalist: “Why aren’t there any non-white, non-male characters included? Who the fuck edits this shit and hits “publish”?”

Executive Editor of Good Magazine Ann Friedman calls bullshit on the piece…

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Good Morning FishbowlDC Readers


The Daily Beast columnist and Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) daughter Meghan McCain: “Hola from 35,000 feet! (I look weird because it’s hard to twitpic on a plane).”

CBS Sports Correspondent  Kaylee Hartung: “My mom @julieetucker is in the studio with me… Being, well, a mom.”

Scribe offers St. Patty’s threats

“If anyone mocks the Irish today I’m gonna put down these bagpipes, drink too much of this Jameson, and start a fight. #HappyStPatricksDay” — NJ‘s Susan Davis in a Thursday tweet.

WTF at a glance

“Bonefish w/ the wife. Bang bang shrimp here I come” — The Washington Examiner‘s Freeman Klopott in a Wednesday tweet. We hope Klopott never employs these words again to his wife, to us, to anyone.

Two journos with zero taste

“It’s a good thing they waited until David Broder passed away, or they would have had to give him his very own tab.” — Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan in a Wednesday post. Followed by Salon‘s porn star mustachioed Alex Pareene, who couldn’t even come up with an original disgusting line regarding the late Broder (who died just last week). Pareene had to borrow Nolan’s “joke” and declare that this was the “joke I wish I’d made.” Pareene goes a step further — he can’t even spell JournoList correctly — he spelled it “JournList,” saying, “Had they not fired Dave Weigel I assume he’d be left-leaning, maybe? Or maybe they fired him not for his JournList comments but because they weren’t sure where to put him after the redesign.” Pareene, you are such a class act. Brings tears to our eyes. [No links for losers.]

Hulse adds a little color to Twitter

“Lots of colorful metaphors in House debate on CR – lurching like drunken sailor, no way to run a railroad, water torture, pile of crap.” — NYT Carl Hulse in a tweet earlier this week.

TV Journo off to Rio

“Morning all! having breakfast with my family then off to Miami later today. Tomorrow I fly to Rio de Janeiro Friday for White House trip.” — NBC Washington’s Jim Long in a Thursday morning tweet.

Pundit wakes early to write

“My weekly column is due on Thursdays, so I get up at 3am — honestly it is the best hour to focus on the day ahead. Writing about budget.” — Democratic pundit and CNN Contributor Donna Brazile in a Thursday morning tweet.

Watch Out: An FOW (Friend of Weigel) on the loose

“Among the perks of hanging out with @daveweigel is that when he mentions you on Twitter the DC blogs who hate him start following you. #SXSW” — Matt Repchak in a Wednesday tweet. God knows who Repchak is, but he says he tweets for work (a sports outlet) and is otherwise hanging with Weigel in Austin.

The Critic

“The redesign makes me less likely to go back to their webpage, which i typically visit frequently.” — Politico congressional reporter Jake Sherman in a Wednesday tweet.

WaPo’s Shapira Questions Journos ‘Sniffing Out’ Other Journos

dog-sniff.jpg WaPo’s Ian Shapira is irate with Politico’s Patrick Gavin, who has been filling in on the “On Media” page.

Why? In a story Gavin published yesterday regarding the potential purchase of the TWT, Shapira claims Gavin sought to find out who Shapira’s sources are — a practice that makes Shapira “grimace”. To read Gavin’s post, he’s reporting on the reporting that has been done about on TWT’s potential sale, which is in line with what media writers do — they cover what the media is covering. In addition, it appears Gavin is questioning the accuracy of WaPo’s reporting, which is essential in a story like this when sources have motives.

FishbowlDC sought comment from Gavin but he declined. Gawker, however, has taken Shapira to task with this post. “In how many ways is Ian Shapira wrong?” writes Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan. “Let us brainstorm.”

An excerpt from Shapira’s story:
…Politico reporter Patrick Gavin’s story was in part about who my sources might have been.

“Who’s doing the leaking?” he asked. I grimaced. Why would another reporter seek to expose anonymous sources? I can understand why company or government officials, or anyone threatened by the release of unauthorized information, might feel motivated or obliged to sniff out those who were giving information to reporters.

…But it’s rare for journalists to try to out a competitor’s unnamed sources. Presumably, reporters don’t have quite the same interests as government prosecutors or corporate chiefs. Even as we are competing on a story, reporters share a mutual interest in preserving a free-flowing environment — in making potential sources feel comfortable providing important information to reporters without feeling as if they are therefore subject to being exposed by a reporter’s peers. To Gavin’s credit, he didn’t actually create a list of names of people who might have been my sources, but his speculation about even just one name bothered me.”

Read Shapira’s full story here.

Uh-Oh…Somebody Needs To Call This Writer A Waaaaa-mbulance

PR Week’s Hamilton Nolan says that we should put an end to these Gridiron / WHCA / Radio & TV Correspondents dinners…

    [T]the politicians who participate in these events aren’t doing anything wrong. Their job is to be popular. For the journalists, it’s a different matter. News organizations that won’t even allow reporters to place a campaign sticker on their car or march in a protest on their own time have no problem with them playing footsie on C-Span with the key subjects of their beat.

    The public sees that as an indictment of journalists’ ethics, and predictably so. With so much effort being put into minimizing “the appearance of conflict,” the media should take the logical step of abandoning these events to history.