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Uber Exec Suggests Digging for Dirt on Critical Journalists

Uber logo GAn Uber executive, speaking at a dinner, told an audience that included journalists that in order to defend itself from critical reporters, the company could look into “your personal lives, your families.” BuzzFeed reports that Emil Michael specifically cited PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy:

At the dinner, Michael expressed outrage at Lacy’s column and said that women are far more likely to get assaulted by taxi drivers than Uber drivers. He said that he thought Lacy should be held ‘personally responsible’ for any woman who followed her lead in deleting Uber and was then sexually assaulted.

Then he returned to the opposition research plan. Uber’s dirt-diggers, Michael said, could expose Lacy. They could, in particular, prove a particular and very specific claim about her personal life.

BuzzFeed noted that Michael made the comments in a conversation he later said he thought was off the record. Through a spokesperson, Michael has already made an apology. Because threatening people — especially journalists who love nothing more than to talk about themselves — is likely never a good business strategy. Unless you’re in the mob.

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Millennials Go to Vice for News

Vice is going to love this. According to a report by Nieman Lab, Vice is the number one news site for youngsters among us. About 54 percent of visitors to Vice.com are millennials. Trailing — but not far behind — is BuzzFeed, at 52.9.

This isn’t that surprising. After all, Vice couldn’t try harder to court a young audience.

What we did find interesting was that The Guardian was the most popular among newspapers. Roughly 40 percent of The Guardian’s visitors are millennials; a solid lead over The New York Times (35 percent) and The Wall Street Journal (30 percent). We wonder — what is The Guardian doing that the Times and Journal are not?

The fact that newspapers are even in this battle is a good sign:

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Retired Manhattan Lawyer Gets His Jaguar Back

The media is having a lot of fun with this story and who can blame them? It’s not every week that a car stolen when a gallon of gas cost a quarter is returned to its rightful owner.

Per an item by Los Angeles AP writer Justin Pritchard, Miami Beach retiree Ivan Schneider thought at first that he was being pranked when west coast law enforcement officials contacted him to say they’d tracked down his beloved 1967 XK-E white convertible Jaguar, stolen from the Upper East Side in the spring of 1968:

“After we convinced him, he was excited,” said California Highway Patrol investigator Michael Maleta.

After all, Schneider told The Associated Press, he would think of the 1967 car every time he bought a new one. And, he said, he is a car guy who has owned quite a few exotics.

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Study: Majority of Black and Hispanic Consumers Don’t Trust News Media

Well, here’s a shocker: According to a study by the Media Insight Project, a majority of Black and Hispanic consumers don’t trust the news media to portray them accurately. We wonder why that could be! Seems so strange.

The Associated Press reports that when asked if news reports on their communities was accurate, 75 percent of Black respondents said “moderately” or “not at all,” and 66 percent of Hispanics answered similarly.

Tia C. M. Tyree, a Howard University professor, told the AP that Blacks and Hispanics don’t trust the media because there’s never been a reason to. When the news constantly stereotypes them, it’s a problem. When only white males own networks, it’s a problem.

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More of The Same in Ferguson

Another day of protests in Ferguson, Missouri; another day of reporters getting harassed, threatened and arrested by police.

Last night, Getty Images photographer Scott Olson and The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux were both arrested while covering the tense situation. Olson has been released and Devereaux is expected to be freed this morning — with no charges, of course.

Those reporters lucky enough to avoid being arrested dealt with what has become typical threats and harassment from law enforcement. Vice’s Tim Pool had his press badge ripped off of him by a cop who yelled “This doesn’t mean shit!” CNN’s Don Lemon and Jake Tapper had to run from a tear gas canister used by police to disperse a crowd.

At this point you can probably just treat this post as a Mad Libs for reporting on Ferguson. The names and the details will slightly change, but the story will — unfortunately — remain the same.

[Image: Ryan Devereaux / Twitter]

Ferguson Police Threaten to Shoot, Mace Journalists

Police in Ferguson, Missouri have once again clashed with reporters covering the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting. One cop, who was being filmed by local radio journalist Mustafa Hussein, threatened to shoot to Hussein if he didn’t stop.

The cop can be heard yelling “Get the fuck out of here! You get that light off or you’re getting shot with this!”

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Two Journalists Assaulted and Arrested in Ferguson

Two journalists — Ryan Reilly (pictured) of The Huffington Post and Wesley Lowery of The Washington Post — were assaulted and arrested last night while covering the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

According to Lowery’s Twitter account, the two men were working in a McDonald’s when a SWAT team burst in and demanded that everyone leave. The SWAT team grew upset that Reilly and Lowery were recording the events (which is completely legal) and so they decided to slam Reilly’s head against a window and shove Lowery into a soda machine. Both were eventually arrested, booked, and then suddenly released. All without any record of the incident or explanation from the cops.

The behavior of the police was naturally met with outrage. Marty Baron, WaPo’s editor, and Ryan Grim, HuffPost’s Washington bureau chief, both issued statements denouncing the incident. The National Association of Black Journalists demanded a full investigation.

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AP Video Journalist, Freelance Translator Killed in Gaza

AP logo GSimone Camilli and Ali Shehda Abu Afash — an Associated Press video journalist and a freelance translator, respectively — have been killed in Gaza while covering the conflict there.

The pair, along with three police engineers, were killed when an unexploded missile detonated as the engineers attempted to disarm it. The missile was thought to have been dropped during an Israeli attack. Another AP staffer, photographer Hatem Moussa, was badly injured by the explosion.

Camilli had worked for the AP since 2005. Abu Afash, a Gaza resident, worked often with the media as a translator and assistant.

“As all of you know, this has been a very difficult year for AP,” wrote the AP’s CEO and president, Gary Pruitt, in a memo to the agency’s staffers. “Simone is the second staffer to die in the line of duty this year and the 33rd person since our founding in 1846. As conflict and violence grows around the world, our work becomes more important but also more dangerous. We take every precaution we can to protect the brave journalists who staff our frontlines. I never cease to be amazed at their courage.”

Reuters’ Jeff Mason Named White House Correspondents’ Association President

Thomson ReutersJeff Mason, a Reuters reporter, has been elected the new president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. Mason beat out Fox News’ Wes Barrett by a landslide — 172 votes to 23 votes.

Mason has covered the White House for Reuters since 2009. He also served as the news agency’s lead correspondent for President Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.

Mason is the fifth Reuters correspondent to serve as president of the WHCA.

Study: Everyone Hates News Media

Americans might not be able to agree on the best condiment (ketchup); which way to vote (liberal); or what Outkast album was the best (Atliens), but we do apparently all concur on one thing: News media is mostly garbage. According to a new Gallup Poll, which measured confidence in the news media, Americans’ confidence “is at or tied with record lows.”

The survey of 1,027 adults found that the percentage of people who have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers or television news has dropped to 22 and 19 percent, respectively. That’s down from only 23 percent for each last year. People don’t like online news sources either. Confidence in Internet news media has remained flat — at about 18 percent — for several years.

Things are so bad that even Gallup couldn’t manage to find a silver lining amongst all the clouds. “How these platforms can restore confidence with the American public is not clear, especially as editorial standards change and most outlets lack the broad reach once available to major newspapers and broadcasters,” reported the site.

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