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Posts Tagged ‘Jack Shafer’

Afternoon Reading List 10.09.13

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Tough-ass reporter survives desert: In an AP story published in NYP, reporter Cathy Frye and her photographer husband Rick McFarland were stranded in the vast desert of Texas’ remote Big Bend Ranch State Park. They decided to separate to survive, with her staying put and him trekking into desert for help. Two days after McFarland set out, leaving Frye alone with no food or water and only a small tree to protect her from the dry heat of the Texas sun, he returned with a search party and rescued his wife.

Why you should read it: Because everyone likes to read stories about heroes, especially one with a happy ending. Read more here.

images-2Up in the air with Alec Baldwin Politico‘s Patrick Gavin had a hard task in interviewing MSNBC’s newest host, Alec Baldwin, in that Baldwin seems to have little idea what his show will be or how he’ll do at it. Which all might be good, better to keep expectations dangerously low and go up from there. Interestingly, Gavin reports, Baldwin has done away with his earpiece. He also may not be interviewing people everyone expects him to. What’s more, who knows if he’s any good at it? “It’s been a tremendous learning curve for me because it really is very different,” he said in regards to interviews.

Why you should read it: Baldwin is all over the map and doesn’t seem to know his ass from his elbow about his show. How can that not be a fun read? Why should you watch his show? Three words: Alec Baldwin’s temper. If we even get a glimpse of it once, his show will be well worth a watch. Read the story here.

Political ignorance in the age of new media: In a Reuters story about George Mason University Law Professor Ilya Somin and his new book, “Democracy and Political Ignorance,” Jack Shafer highlights facts and figures that Somin uses to illustrate how little change has come out of the expansion of media regarding American political ignorance. Apparently, the pervasiveness of information in the world and in our daily lives has had little to zero impact on the political education of the average American, and Somin explains why.

Why you should read it: Remember that scene in “Good Will Hunting” where Robin Williams‘ character tells Matt Damon’s character, “It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault, Will,” then hugs him, and Will has a breakthrough? Well, this article is like that scene for anyone in the media who wonders why Americans lack so much information on politics when it’s so freely available. Read more here.

Find out which CNN host is swimming against the current.

Read more

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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

Afternoon Reading List 08.16.13.

The close ties of MSNBC and Politico — It’s a common practice for cable news networks to bring in reporters from other outlets for roundtables and panel discussions. But, as BuzzFeed’s Dorsey Shaw reports, MSNBC has an extra-special relationship with Politico. As CNN drifts towards celebrity stories and crime, and FNC sticks to their much-loved guns of conservative pundits, the field is open for young-web-savvy journalists to appear on MSNBC from places like WaPo and Politico, who have an almost-constant presence on the network. MSNBC is third in the battle for ratings, and Shaw says they can step up their game by bringing in journalists from the right, who are eager for an ideological debate, rather than flooding their time slots with liberal reporters. With the 2016 presidential election on the horizon, timing couldn’t be better.

Why you should read it: Shaw not only shows the cozy relationship between MSNBC and Politico, but also offers a suggestion on how to improve ratings, something the network is in need of.

‘News never made money’ — There has been much talk in the years since the web has taken over news about the revenue models newspapers can utilize. But, as ReutersJack Shafer argues, “news never made money.” Shafer points out that ad revenues “have fallen to 1950 levels in real dollars.” The news outlets like Politico and the Bureau of National Affairs have succeeded in commercializing news, it is only targeted at an elite audience in Washington, D.C. Shafer argues that “no mass audience is willing to directly pay for such news outside of the one already served by the New York Times.” But in earlier days of newspapers, it was money from political parties that supported what were essentially propaganda rags, something Shafer says is emerging again with entities like FNC and MSNBC, along with a slew of online publications (we’re looking at you HuffPost and Free Beacon). Shafer’s hope: technology will come to the rescue and save the news industry.

Why you should read it: Though a Reuters-style cut-and-dry column, Shafer puts the current conversation about revenues into perspective.

Read more

10 Original Reactions to NYT Shutdown

The Washington and New York media worlds tipped over on their heads today as the NYT shutdown due to technical issues. So we mined Twitter for the best of and — lets face it — endless and some terrible reactionary comments to the temporary interruption. Even crazy bearded Dave Hughes of DCRTV noticed something unusual was happening today: “Journos in a f*ckin’ panic today with the NY Times’ website down. Sheesh…” he remarked.

So who actually had something interesting to say?

Wishful Thinking?

10. “What, you thought Jeff Bezos was going to buy the Post and play defense?” — WaPo‘s Ezra Klein.

The Pseudo-Intellectual

9. “Due to an epistemology error, every single sentence and image in the Times was wrong. All the news has been retracted. We regret the error.” Salon‘s Alex Pareene.

The Emotional

8. “I haven’t read Maureen Dowd yet. #PanickingOverHere” — CQ Roll Call‘s Abby Livingston.

7. “Going to grow a mustache & ask cabbies what they think about grand bargains to fill the void in my life #NYTDown” — Matt O’Brien, Associate Editor at The Atlantic.

And the overly helpful…

6. “NYT reporters: b/c im a good dude i will gladly post ur scoops on buzzfeed dot com if you’d like under my byline. you know, b/c i care.” — Charlie Warzel, deputy tech editor, BuzzFeed.

See the remaining five…

Read more

Separated at Birth: Reuters’ Jack Shafer

Our sincere apologies to Reuters‘ media writer Jack Shafer, who has the unfortunate luck of looking achingly similar to Peter Dowling, the Anthony Weiner of the Down Under. Dowling recently stepped down as Australia’s Parliamentary Ethics Committee Chairman after dipping his schlong in a glass of red wine and sexting it to his mistress.

We’re sure the similarities end here.

 

Morning Chatter

 

NO DIGGING FOR GOLD: “My friend Angela spotted me on the CNN feed in her newsroom in Rochester! Glad I wasn’t picking my nose! :-) — ABC12′s Ted Fioraliso.

This Town fallout?

“That hardhitting report based on my eavesdropping on a staff conversation. #partylikeajournalist” — Dylan Scott, staff writer for GOVERNING.

And our Anonymous Ranter has more to say: “This Town”: Unlike most Wash gossip that aspires to wisdom and world-weariness, this one pulls it off with good writing. But I confirm my view that there is no news in the book, by which I mean something that constitutes scandalous behavior, which confirms the penumbra of suspicion of corruption that the book has cast. Andrea Mitchell went to parties but apparently never had a conflict of interest. People worship and fear the Clintons. Most public figures are egotistical. Some of the small details are nice and underplayed (e.g. Duberstein tried to run McCain’s transition planning then endorsed Obama) but nothing really newsy and Nothing but nothing that seems surprising.

Important Q to Ponder: “If a magazine can’t risk being irresponsible, what’s the point?” – Reuters‘ media writer Jack Shafer.

Morning Oopsy: ” One of Politico’s three “DC Hipsters,” Audrey Gelman, lives in New York.” — Washington Examiner‘s Rebecca Berg. See the list here.

Advice to Eliot Spitzer: Stay away from CNN’s “The Lead”

“Watched @jaketapper interview Spitzer. Ouch! Why Spitzer doing ntl tv, beats me. Advice: if caught screwing around, don’t do Jakes’s show.” — CNN Contributor Ana Navarro. Spitzer appeared on the show Thursday.

Email nightmares

“7 am when I haven’t had coffee yet wasn’t the time to be confronted by yet another gmail redesign” — Jessica Taylor, digital reporter for MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” and NBC Politics.

Sometimes it pays to find out what your coworkers will wear to work

“Clash of the anchor patterns on #TODAY Stripes? Check. Checks? Check. Plaid? Check. More plaid. Check and check.” — NBC TODAY Show co-host Savannah Guthrie.

Convo Between Two Journos

This morning’s conversation is between NBC Politics’ Mike O’Brien and BuzzFeed’s Evan McMorris-Santoro.

O’BRIEN: You’re missing my point. I’m not talking about today’s filing, which is basically the last five notes of a 3-hour symphony.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO: I don’t think I’m missing your point. I think you’re missing my point, which is better than your point, haha.

 

Reason Mag Turns 45, Editors Have Managed Not to Kill Each Other

Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch fucking hate each other. Put them in the same air space and you’re likely to hear them discuss their persisting feelings of blind rage for each other. Without even a trace of a smile, Gillespie, dressed head to toe in his signature black frock, explains the dynamic between the two. “We have a tight relationship that usually ends in physical violence,” he says.

Welch, who is editor-in-chief of the magazine, casts a weary glance in Gillespie’s direction: “He’s from New Jersey.”

The editors of Reason Magazine, Reason.com and Reason TV flaunted their hatred Wednesday night at a party in the company newsroom off Dupont Circle to celebrate the mag’s 45-year anniversary. The scene wasn’t raucous. It was peaceful, pleasant and a rarity in Washington parties in that you could breathe, hear and get a drink easily.

One senses that the above scene between Gillespie and Welch has played out in variations before. No less funny, whatever the case. Gillespie, who edits the online publication and Reason TV, has been at Reason for 19 years. Welch, since 2002. “I took two years off for bad behavior at the LA Times,” says Welch.

When I bring up their searing hatred to another employee, it’s explained that they couldn’t possibly have that much friction between them — Gillespie spends a portion of the month in Ohio, where his kids live, and Welch moved to Brooklyn a year ago, but visits D.C. often.

Weave around the newsroom and there is a relaxed vibe along with a mix of various accented employees. A week old intern with spiky hair and English accent greets us outside. Ahh…he’s Guy Bentley, the greeter and the guy whose key fob card is letting guests upstairs. “Great, fantastic, really well,” he says, when asked how his internship is going. “UK is a little depressing,” he adds, explaining that he wants to move to the United States. He says he would’ve been here a week early but for a visa issue.

Later on we run into Guy again who’s chatting with another intern named Zenon Evans. He’s blond, sort of exotic looking and in red trousers. Maybe we were duped by the British intern, thinking all their interns are from around the world. “Where are you from?” we ask.  Clearly expecting him to say Sweden or Munich, he says, “Cleveland.”

Our faces fell as we dipped into complete and utter disappointment. Who comes to a Reason party to encounter an intern from Cleveland? (Only kidding, Zenon.) “I love writing,” he says. “I’m dedicated to the libertarian cause. I feel like I’m actually accomplishing something.”

Reason‘s newsroom is unique in that there is a glass-encased fishbowl of a room plopped in the center. It apparently has poor acoustics and who wants to be on display like a fish with everyone pointing? Nonetheless, it’s a unique place to chat and tonight it’s where the cuisine — a low-key mix of wraps, vegetable platters and such — is situated.

It’s here in the fishbowl where we bump into Matthew Feeney, a British (we think) accented assistant editor. He was born in Scotland, but his parents are from England and New Zealand so his accent is all fucked up. Asked what his pet peeve as an editor is, he replies, “Not for the record.” (Seriously. A softball question to end all softball questions and he can’t say on the record what his editorial pet peeve is? We make fun of him to his face about it, but eventually let it go.) Here’s what he will tell us. Spoiler alert: It has nothing to do with sex or violence. “I’ve been working here since May. I enjoy my colleagues and the freedom to write about what I want, when I want.” Don’t mess with this guy! He’ll kick your ass.

By far the weirdest thing in the newsroom is the male pants-less mannequin located by the bar in the main newsroom. It’s showing off the black Reason T-shirt. (See it after the jump…)

In the back of the office is a library complete with a gargoyle and skeleton head. The library is the place where journalists go to “think great thoughts,” Gillespie explains. It’s just outside the library that we meet Preston Cornish. What kind of a name is this? We have no idea, but he seems to be a solid American. He manages the business advisory council for Reason. Like Feeney, he loves his colleagues, but he doesn’t own any Reason apparel. “It’s a great group of people who are committed to advancing freedom,” he says. “We punch above our weight.”

Somehow we get into the topic of cussing in the newsroom. “First time I heard ‘bloody f–ing c-word’ at 10 a.m. I was like, ‘alright mate,’” said Cornish. (By the way, “c–t” in England isn’t nearly as bad as it is here.) He glances at Feeney, who is apparently a pretty foul-mouthed bloke.

Spotted in the crowd… Read more

David Morrison: ‘Journo, Junkie, Hero, Pal’

National Security reporter David Morrison lost his job as a columnist for CQ in April. Then he died in his sleep in his Washington apartment on June 5. At 59. “My guess is was just plumb worn out,” wrote Spytalk‘s Jeff Stein in a lengthy memorial column for AND Magazine.

His life was rather dramatic. Writes Stein, “At the time, Morrison was looking for freelance work, the last chapter of a career that once produced some of the smartest, elegantly wrought reporting on national security issues around, even while he was reeling from heroin.”

Morrison left no note. His death was not considered or thought to be a suicide.

The reporter worked at National Journal in the 80s. He graduated from the Columbia School of Journalism. The story that put him on the map, writes Stein, was that of his heroin addiction that ran on  the cover of the Washington City Paper in 1995. The byline reads: “By Anonymous.” NYT David Carr, formerly of WCP, had edited his work. It was Jack Shafer, now at Reuters, who edited his cover story.

In the story, some of his fellow journalists described him as “a talented and lovely soul” and “wise, funny, and grumpy.” Morrison’s brother said he’d been clean from drugs for 19 years and was a recovering member of Narcotics Anonymous.

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

ASPIRING FASHIONISTO: “Spotted in the airport: Man Shawl. Nay, says I. But I’m wearing a tie.” — Logan Dobson, Washington’s own Tim Gunn and a research analyst The Tarrance Group, a Republican polling firm.

The scolder

“A ‘whistleblower’ exposes govt wrongdoing. A ‘criminal’ leaks natl security secrets. Too many reporters confusing the difference lately.” — Brian Walsh, GOP strategist and former spokesman for NRSC. Photoshop credit: Austin Price.

Journo probably shouldn’t share with mom

“I’m sure my mom would tell me this is on ‘no list,’ but planning to do my live shot from roof of truck 2nite.” — Kansas City 41ActionNews reporter Garrett Haake.

Men just don’t do it for her for long

“My brother’s wedding opened this floodgate, but no, I’m nowhere near settling down. Men are just rarely able hold my attention for very long.” — The Daily Beast‘s Meghan McCain.

Traveling journos

“In Brussels – then Strasbourg – for the week learning about European Parliament.” — The Daily Caller‘s Alex Pappas.

“I’m tweeting from the 2013 U.S. Islamic World Forum run by @BrookingsFP here in Doha. #USIslamForum” — The Daily Beast‘s Josh Rogin.

“My American flag Nebraska shirt raised some eyebrows in the hotel gym here in Brussels #uglyamerican” — Washington Examiner‘s Justin Green (selfie at left) who also wrote, “I’m pretty weird in general, but going on 36 hours of no sleep right now and it’s gonna get real.”

MSNBC you listening?

“‘Up With Matt Labash.’ Now there’s a weekend show I’d watch.” — ReutersJack Shafer.

Editor called out for Minnesota accent

“Just learned I say ‘events’ wrong. Thanks, Minnesota. #ah-vents” –  Sara Schwartz, wire editor, intern coodinator at WaPo Express.

Politico‘s Allen Vs. WaPo‘s Tumulty

“mikeallen Playbook says #wapo made “painful climbdown” on NSA. Disagree. Quoted dox accurately, forced govt to clarify. #winwin #journalism” — WaPo‘s Karen Tumulty.

Something to think twice about doing… Read more

Morning Chatter

Quotes of the Day

“This headline writer should get a bonus.” — WaPo’s Karen Tumulty of a headline this week in LAT.

WTF?

“Every time I work outside I’m reminded that mosquitos [sic]:Kevin::Kevin:chicken fried steak. And bug spray must be like cream gravy or something because it has no effect.” — Townhall Managing Editor Kevin Glass, who apparently uses bug spray on his steak.

Uh oh.

“Dear God, glitch in condo quest! Keep fingers crossed, trying to work things out. Kids I can’t take another disappointment…” — ABC7′s Stephen Tschida, who has been through the wringer with his search for a condo.

Wrap your head around this…

“Carol Burnett to receive Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.” — WaPo Book World Editor Ron Charles.

“I award @RonCharles the Carol Burnett Prize for American Humor.” — ReutersJack Shafer.

Bureau Chief gets touch of road rage 

“Oh my god, this traffic is soul crushing. …I don’t know how people drive to work. I’d murder all the things if I had to do this.” — BuzzFeed Bureau Chief John Stanton on Tuesday evening.

WTF Part II

“So, I know I’ve been going on all day about graduations, but something crazy just happened on FB, and I had to immediately defriend someone. Am I crazy for this? When is it ever really appropriate to hit someone with a ‘yo you didnt call me?’ if y’all don’t really talk?” — WaPo ExpressClinton Yates. First off, yes, Yates, you’re crazy for this. Dear Readers, we tried in vain to get the complete story out of him last night as to what happened here, but failed miserably. Either his story sucks or we don’t get it. We’re willing to concede both. But you’ve been warned. Go “trolling” in the vicinity of Yates on social media and you could be defriended, blocked, etc…

Learning the lingo 

“I also learned that ‘Katie Holmes’ Knee Vagina?’ is an actual headline.” — Jazz Shaw, weekend editor at Hot Air.

Katie Holmes photo credit: TMZ

 

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