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Misfired | New Name | Old Habits

Crossfire304x200TVNewser: CNN’s Crossfire has gone missing. If you see it, please contact its parents. They’re not mad, they just want it home safe.

FishbowlDC: There’s a new sheriff at WaPoFred Ryan. Okay, technically he’s the paper’s new publisher and CEO. Sheriff just sounds cooler.

SocialTimes: A study reveals even the olds use social networking. Please complain accordingly.

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New Catholic Religion Site Features Very Appropriately Titled Advice Column

CruxLogoThe column, “OMG!”, belongs to New York magazine contributor Lisa Miller. It can be found at Crux, a site from Boston Globe Media Partners that heralds as its mission “Covering all things Catholic.”

It definitely makes for a different kind of advice-column read. Here’s part of Miller’s answer to “OMG!” query #1, from someone wondering what to do about the discovery of a friend’s adulterous relationship:

There is no question where Catholic teaching stands on the question of adultery. Marriage is a sacrament and fidelity is required of those who undertake that union before God. But your friend is the adulterer here, not you, and it is he who needs to make amends before God and to his spouse. You are not your friend’s priest or confessor, nor are you his intercessor or his wife. You are merely a nice person who tried to help him out of a tech jam.

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Media Scandalized by Non-Scandal

In his take today on the hacking of naked celebrity cloud photo materials by perpetrator or perpetrators unknown, Forbes contributor Scott Mendelson makes an astute observation.

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From his blog post:

Outlets as mainstream as People and CNN are referring to the photo leak as a “scandal.” All due respect, it’s not a scandal. The actresses and musicians involved did nothing immoral or legally wrong by choosing to take nude pictures of themselves and put them on their personal cell phones.

You may argue, without any intended malice, that it may be unwise in this day-and-age to put nude pictures of yourself on a cell phone which can be hacked and/or stolen. But without discounting that statement, the issue is that these women have the absolute right and privilege to put whatever they want on their cell phones with the expectation that said contents will remain private or exclusive to whomever is permitted to see them just like their male peers. The burden of moral guilt is on the people who stole said property and on those who chose to consume said stolen property for titillation and/or gratification.

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A Storied Photographer Turns 95

When you’ve lived for almost a century, traditional birthday celebrations can seem somewhat redundant. So in Phil Stern‘s case, he is marking his 95th turn around the make-a-wish corner by gifting someone else. Stern, who will officially mark his latest birthday in Los Angeles tomorrow, has donated prints of 95 of his iconic shots to the Veterans Home of California.

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From a report in Variety by Shelli Weinstein:

As a teen, Stern had worked as an apprentice in a New York photo studio and as a local police photographer, but got his baptism of fire, quite literally, at age 21, when he became a combat photographer in Darby’s Rangers during World War II, after convincing Colonel William O. Darby to allow him to join. Stern was decorated with a Purple Heart for his services…

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NY Times Magazine Adds Emily Bazelon

emily bazelon GMake it two. Less than an hour after Slate lost Dave Weigel to Bloomberg Politics, The New York Times announced that Emily Bazelon — who had been a senior editor with Slate since 2005 — is joining as a staff writer.

“Emily writes with engagement, roving intelligence, and deep knowledge,” said Times Magazine’s editor, Jake Silverstein, in a statement. “She has also proven to be nimble at navigating the many platforms of modern media. She’s a smart and supportive co-worker and will be a tremendous asset to the Times. I’m giddy about bringing her aboard.”

Bazelon has been a Times Magazine contributor since 2007.

Dave Weigel Joins Bloomberg

dave weigel GDave Weigel is joining Bloomberg Media’s forthcoming Bloomberg Politics site. Weigel comes to Bloomberg from Slate, where he served as senior political reporter for the past four years. Weigel previously worked for The Washington Post.

“Driven by his own curiosity, he [Weigel] eschews the pack to write and report some of the smartest pieces about how real people perceive their politicians,” wrote Bloomberg’s recently-promoted Josh Tyrangiel, in a memo obtained by The Huffington Post.

Weigel starts September 22.

Bloomberg Politics is expected to launch October 6.

Post-Plagiarism, Ashton Kutcher Site Adds Chief Revenue Officer

BradWestbrookLinkedInIt was an ugly plagiarism scandal.

Last month, thanks to the intrepid efforts of The Daily Dot’s Rob Price, the Ashton Kutcher media empire website A Plus was found to have purloined content from various other Web sources. In short order, posts, tweets and at least one LinkedIn profile were deleted.

The next move for A+, per Michael Sebastian of Ad Age, is not the hiring of an ombudsman. Rather, Wall Street Journal exec Brad Westbrook (pictured) has been enlisted as the site’s chief revenue officer, starting today:

Westbrook joined the Journal in 2011 and has served in several roles, including director of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network, which encompassed WSJ.com, WSJ Live, MarketWatch and All Things Digital, the website led by Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg that became Re/Code and now operates independently of the Journal. He was named chief digital sales officer just in January.

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NY Times Has 1,700 Obituaries for ‘Pre-Dead’

NYtimes buildingAnyone interested in morbid news will appreciate The New York Times pulling back the curtain on its obituaries desk.

According to Margalit Fox, the Times currently has about 1,700 obits for “pre-dead” people on file, ranging from a few hundred words (if you were boring) to more than 10 thousand (if you were rich).

Unsurprisingly, Fox writes that one of the most uncomfortable aspects of preparing obits is interviewing people who the Times deems close to death:

One of the most stressful aspects of reporting an advance entails, when feasible, telephoning its pre-dead subject for an interview. This is one of the stranger social predicaments in human experience and, trust me, there is nothing in Emily Post to cover it. The midcentury Timesman Alden Whitman, an obituary writer famous for sitting down with his subjects in advance, favored tender circumlocutions on the order of, “We’re updating your biographical file” and “This is for possible future use.” I have used both with a fair margin of success.

Another approach we’d suggest: “Hi, this is Margalit Fox with the New York Times. You’re probably about to croak. Any comment?”

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Vice Media Stakes Future on A&E Networks Deal (NYT)
After spending the summer flirting with various suitors, Vice Media said on Friday that it was close to choosing a partner: A&E Networks. TVNewser The investment was announced after Time Warner ended its negotiations with Vice Media. The talks, which had been going on for months, included a plan to spin off Time Warner’s HLN network and refashion it into a Vice channel. The Brooklyn-based media company includes a magazine, book publishing, a massive online presence and gritty, global documentaries which are carried on Time Warner’s HBO. WSJ A&E Networks is nearing an agreement to buy 10 percent of Vice Media for $250 million, in a deal that would value the youth-focused online media company at $2.5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Financial Times Last year, Vice sold a 5 percent stake to Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox for $70 million, which then valued it at $1.4 billion. THR Vice CEO Shane Smith, who co-founded the company 20 years ago, has long wanted to expand into traditional TV. A&E, led by Nancy Dubuc, is a co-venture of Hearst Corp. and Disney/ABC Television Group.

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