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Posts Tagged ‘Patrick Pexton’

Morning Chatter

SUMMER SLIPPERS: “So [Matthew Fuller] is wearing fuzzy slippers in the office today. No joke.” — Roll Call Deputy Editor Emily Pierce.

White House correspondent encounters skunk

“Ever heard the phrase ‘skunk at the picnic?’ Some reporters dining al fresco on the Vineyard had a close encounter with Mephitis mephitis. Fortunately the skunk that meandered through a Vineyard outdoor restaurant last night didn’t do what skunks do. A definite uninvited guest.” — CBS’ Peter Maer.

Josh Marshall as the Dalai Lama

“Can anyone honestly say they don’t slightly regret the eclipse of the dick pic sub-theme in this race?” — TPM Editor Josh Marshall.

A picture is worth a thousand memes

“Great photo of @buzzfeedben in high school”BuzzFeed‘s Andrew Kaczynski.

Tapper V. Gregory?

“Re: MTP ratings and Gregory rumors, it’s still ridiculous that @jaketapper doesn’t anchor a Sunday am show.” — Townhall Political Editor and radio host Guy Benson.

Mediabistro Course

Social Media 201

Social Media 201Starting October 13Social Media 201 picks up where Social Media 101 leaves off, to provide you with hands-on instruction for gaining likes, followers, retweets, favorites, pins, and engagement. Social media experts will teach you how to make social media marketing work for your bottom line and achieving your business goals. Register now!

WaPo’s Rubin to Pexton: ‘Hahahahahahaha’

WaPo’s ex-Ombudsman Patrick Pexton had some raw advice for the publication’s new owner Jeff Bezos in a story for Washington City Paper this week. Among his suggestions: Fire right-wing blogger Jennifer Rubin. He whined about how terrible he thinks she is, and said he received more complaints about her than anyone — because that’s exactly what newspaper publishers don’t want in a writer, to make waves and increase web traffic, right?

We asked for her reaction. Her response to FBDC? “Hahahahahahaha.”

An excerpt from Pexton’s column in WCP:

“Jennifer Rubin. Have Fred Hiatt, your editorial page editor—who I like, admire, and respect—fire opinion blogger Jennifer Rubin. Not because she’s conservative, but because she’s just plain bad. She doesn’t travel within a hundred miles of Post standards. She parrots and peddles every silly right-wing theory to come down the pike in transparent attempts to get Web hits. Her analysis of the conservative movement, which is a worthwhile and important beat that the Post should treat more seriously on its national pages, is shallow and predictable. Her columns, at best, are political pornography; they get a quick but sure rise out of the right, but you feel bad afterward.” — …Rubin was the No. 1 source of complaint mail about any single Post staffer while I was ombudsman, and I’m leaving out the organized email campaigns against her by leftie groups like Media Matters.”

(Note to Rubin: We’ve always enjoyed your nerviness. To bring Media Matters into the argument–even while “leaving them out”–only muddies Pexton’s argument. They are big on email campaigns, small on thought. Of course they live to hate bloggers like you — that’s called breathing over at MMFA HQ.)

WaPo Ombudsman Insists the Paper’s Head Honchos are Committed to Survival

Over the weekend, WaPo‘s ombudsman Patrick Pexton signed off for the last time. Pexton completed his two-year position. And now his position has died. As has widely been reported, WaPo‘s days of having an ombudsman are over.

In the writeup, Pexton compliments the paper, the reporters, the copy editors and management profusely. He insists people should have compassion for those tasked with making tough calls where layoffs are concerned. But one line that jumped out at us as odd in Pexton’s farewell was the following, perhaps unintentional, kick in the pants that he sandwiched in right after thanking Post Co. chief executive Donald Graham and Publisher Katharine Weymouth for never interfering with what he wrote.

“And readers, you should know that, although the future Post may not look like the present Post, the commitment of Graham and Weymouth to the survival of this publication is ironclad.”

Whoa! Survival? Read more

WaPo Misses Teen Rape Story: The Big Question is Why?

Last week a variety of news outlets reported that a teenage girl was raped by an Uber driver and that it was caught on tape due to surveillance cameras at a family’s northwest Washington home. The home, situated in an affluent neighborhood mere blocks from the National Cathedral in Cleveland Park, is nearby to where WaPo CEO Don Graham used to live.

And yet, guess which hometown publication had NOTHING on it? If you guessed WaPo, you’d be right. So much for local news. Right, Marty Baron, who is apparently crazy for local news, doesn’t start until January 2, 2013.

The order of reportage is as follows: The news first broke on a Cleveland Park listserv and was then reported by Popville, which covers D.C., on Dec. 14 at 3:50 p.m. Washington City Paper ran a story that same day at 7 p.m. but gave no credit to Popville. A site known as Nibletz also ran something that day — no specific time stamp. NBC Washington waited until that following Monday, a gargantuan three days after Popville, to run anything. They, too, gave no credit to the previous publications that had stories.

Why the lack of coverage by WaPo? Read more

Incest Desk: A Flocking for Elizabeth Flock

On Wednesday, U.S. News & World Report allowed its writer, Elizabeth Flock, to write a story in which she left out key details. The story involved FishbowlDC’s post on a WaPo internal document introducing their summer interns.

At the end of her story Flock added a line saying she used to work at WaPo and had been the subject of a FishbowlDC item. So we wondered, what could that have possibly been? A simple revolving door job announcement or something more sinister?

From the tone of Flock’s incredible Ass Kissing Expedition of her former colleague, WaPo‘s Gene Weingarten, we assumed the latter. In her story she glorifies him and writes about how he “berated” us, calling us “petty” and “cruel” and “crappiest.” We responded, pretty tamely at that, saying that self righteousness didn’t suit him well, and that translated into we  “don’t take criticism well.”

In her story, Flock conveniently leaves out key information, which is that WaPo recently issued a request for readers to — get this! — mock interns. You’d think this would be a vital detail considering that is what had gotten Weingarten all whipped up into such a lather about FBDC. WaPo asked readers to send in their “questionable” experiences with summer interns so that they could meme-ify them. Nope, that wasn’t relevant to Flock at all. Or maybe Flock’s editors over at U.S. News & World Report were taking a snooze.

Wouldn’t be the first time that Flock had editors who didn’t read her work carefully. In December of 2011, Flock was sent on a forced vacation from WaPo after she wrote a post on Mitt Romney using a KKK slogan in his speeches. The headline: “Mitt Romney is using a KKK slogan in his speeches.” Pretty big story, right? But he never did such a thing AT ALL. Editors insisted that she write the Romney campaign for comment. She said the comment went to her Spam folder. She also posted a Romney campaign ad that was not actually a Romney campaign ad. At the time, Ombudsman Patrick Pexton, as we reported, gave her a public flocking for her journalism, ethics and common sense.

Now we understand Flock’s half-assed report on our WaPo‘s intern story and her need to paint FBDC in a less than favorable light. She has a history of that sort of thing and we can’t wait to follow more of her “work” at U.S. News & World Report. Nothing personal, Liz. Hope you take the criticism well. We’re just glad you didn’t call us Nazis.

WaPo Reporters Meet in Secret

Against a backdrop of buyouts and plummeting circulation and a disappointing Pulitzers outcome, a group of prominent WaPo journos met secretly at the Bethesda mansion of Bradley Graham, a former WaPo reporter, to talk to Steve Hills, president and general manager of the newspaper. Adweek has the story this morning. The meeting transpired on April 17.

Although the 10 or so journalists who attended agreed not to talk about the meeting, Adweek‘s Lucia Moses got someone yapping. Hills is one of three WaPo employees quoted in the story. He downplayed the importance of the meeting. The others: Executive Editor Steamed Marcus Brauchli and WaPo Ombudsman Patrick Pexton, neither of whom attended the apparently not so hush-hush meeting.

As the magazine states, if the goal was to get assurances that there would be no more cuts and to convince Hills that the newsroom needs more to produce the high-quality journalism and investigations it’s known for, they left disappointed. Question swirled around the fate of the investigations unit, a permanent group started by Bob Woodward in 1982 and a crown jewel of the paper.

Brauchli insists he is committed to investigative journalism and will not dismantle the unit. Pexton spoke of newsroom pressure to pick up the pace of reporting.

WaPo Evasive on Important Buyout Question

What if WaPo doesn’t reach the necessary maximum number of voluntary buyouts?

Some who attended the Town Hall style meetings yesterday at the newspaper found Exec. Editor Marcus Brauchli‘s comments too vague for comfort on this point. The bottom line: They want 48 employees to agree to the buyout, 33 will do. For now, this is voluntary. He hopes it will stay that way.

Reports are growing increasingly confusing as to who is eligible and who is not. In a few tweets, Ombudsman Patrick Pexton said that the Investigative Team wasn’t eligible for the buyout. He has corrected this to explain that, in fact, they are eligible. The way it works is this: There are seven employees on the Investigative Team. Up to three can take the buyout. But no one is being forced and maybe none will volunteer. The Post Guild website explains that some are exempt from the buyout altogether: “Certain departments, departmental units, and positions have been exempt from the buyouts, including Foreign, Sports columnists, Style columnists, Outlook, National enterprise and politics teams, and others. Part-timers and recent hires are also exempt.”

See the breakdown of of 33 positions being targeted after the jump…

For up to the minute information on the buyout ordeal, visit the guild website here.

Read more

Separated at Birth: WaPo’s Patrick Pexton

This morning we find major uncanny similarities  in WaPo Ombudsman Patrick Pexton and former Rep. Jim Traficant (I-Ohio). Traficant used to say he got his hair cut by a weed wacker. Though we suspect Pexton likely addresses his locks in a far more civilized manner, the result may be one in the same: extremely stylish.

Was WaPo’s Flock Forced on Vacation?

Like some reporters, WaPo‘s Elizabeth Flock was off last week — conceivably for the holidays.

But FishbowlDC sources are insisting that Flock was suspended last week for writing that post on GOP Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney‘s using a KKK slogan in his speeches. Editors who oversaw the post insisted that she call Romney’s campaign for comment. She did so via email and the comment went to her spam folder, as reported by WaPo Ombudsman Patrick Pexton on Dec. 16. In his piece, Pexton gave Flock a public flocking on many levels — her journalism, her ethics and her common sense. He suggests that she pick up the phone once in a blue moon and use it. He also suggests she think before associating someone who has never been accused of racism with the KKK. Then this morning, weirdly, she writes about an 8-year-old American girl being targeted by Ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel. Coincidence perhaps?

Sources in WaPo‘s newsroom say word spread last week that WaPo had suspended Flock. She didn’t post anything last week, nor tweeted about anything work-related. But today she’s back on BlogPost. Was she on a regularly scheduled holiday or what some are calling a “forced vacation”? At WaPo Managing Editor Raju Narisetti‘s newsroom Q&A last week, he said experienced editors read the post before it went up and didn’t flag it.

Flock did not deny the news. But she responded to FBDC, saying, “Thanks for your email. I can’t comment on the matter. You will have to go through Marcus Brauchli.” Narisetti, who oversees the entire website operation,  also wouldn’t comment. “Happy holidays,” he said in response. “As you might imagine, I can’t comment on personnel issues.” To that end, we sought comment from WaPo Director of Communications Kris Coratti. We also threw in an email to Executive Editor Steamed Marcus Brauchli for kicks and will check our spam filters pronto. We’re hoping four’s a charm.

UPDATE: Coratti wrote, “We don’t comment on personnel issues. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.”

WaPo Clears Ezra of Wrongdoing

WaPo‘s Ombudsman Patrick Pexton has declared that whatever liberal blogger/news reporter/Democratic activist Ezra Klein did at a recent briefing of top Democratic Senate aides was not “evil.”

In fact, he says it wasn’t a “briefing” at all. That’s what Klein declared. That’s what three Democratic chiefs of staff with whom he spoke said. Case closed, right?

Maybe. But not so fast. In Pexton’s story published late Friday afternoon is the news that the briefing (or whatever people are calling them these days) was in fact a “private meeting” of Democratic chiefs of staff to discuss “strategy, coordination and policy.” At some point they supposedly stopped the “private strategy meeting” and invited in Klein. Did they pound a gavel and declare, “Strategy Session Over” and let Klein in the thick wooden doors? It’s so normal, they say, that they’ve done this in the past, with WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza or NBC’s Chuck Todd. Interesting to note that neither Cillizza nor Todd came forward when Klein was being criticized for participating in the so-called non-briefing and non-strategy session. One chief of staff, however, declares the idea that Klein would “brief” them as “absurd.”

The ombudsman notes that Klein’s blurred role as a reporter whose opinionated work appears on WaPo‘s news pages is something that bothers his colleagues and “makes reporters in the Post newsroom, and readers, uncomfortable.”

Pexton’s report adds up to a whole lot of new, unanswered questions. If the briefing/strategy session/séance is so innocent, why are the contents still a mystery? Klein says the meeting was a way to develop sources, something all reporters in Washington do. But talking with a group of Senate aides who have supposedly blended a strategy session into a undisclosed off-the-record meeting with a reporter in the Capitol? That is not something all reporters do.

“Evil” may be overkill and not a word we’ve ever used to described Klein. We’ll reserve that for Gargamel (the sworn enemy of the Smurfs) and Osama Bin Laden. But unusual and likely unethical behavior for a reporter, aides and WaPo? Now that’s right on target.

Read Pexton’s story here.