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Scandalous

A Daily News Lede That Was Anything But Championship Caliber

BillMadden1954CoverAs a reminder of how much times and sportswriting have changed, let’s telescope back – courtesy of Bill Madden‘s recent book 1954 – to this date 60 years ago. On September 30, 1954, New York Daily News readers were treated to the following World Series Game One summary lede by famed sportswriter Dick Young:

The story of the Giants 5-2 victory over Cleveland in yesterday’s World Series opener should be written vertically from top to bottom in Chinese hieroglyphics. It was won on a 10th inning homer that was not only sudden death but pure murder… right out of a Charlie Chan yarn.

Ming Toy Rhodes, sometimes called Dusty by his Occidental friends, was the honorable person who, as pinch hitter, delivered a miserable bundle of wet wash to the first row in right field in Polo Grounds some 258 1/2 feet down the block from the laundry.

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Canned Forbes Contributor Stands By Column

In an email to iMediaEthics managing editor Sydney Smith, Bill Frezza admits that his quickly deleted Forbes blog post was not a good fit for the site and used a photo that was in poor taste.

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But otherwise, he is not apologizing:

“I stand by every word I wrote and it appears that I have kicked off a national conversation on this [college drinking] subject, which was my goal. Most people have no idea what is going on on college campuses these days due to the ill-advised raising of the drinking age from 18 to 21, forcing so much of it to go underground… Unless and until we begin holding individuals accountable for their own behavior, and not institutions, my headline says it all.”

Frezza was quickly axed from the Forbes contributors roster; online reaction to his final column has been swift and, in some cases, questionable. For example, The Frisky headlined him a “Frat Douche.” (Frezza is president of The Beta Foundation, house corporation for MIT’s Chi Phi fraternity.)

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Jezebel Editor Questions ‘Deliberately Misleading’ GMA Reporting

Newly crowned Miss America Kira Kazantsev was on Good Morning America today, rebutting the harshest elements of Jezebel’s Monday exclusive about her alleged involvement in some Hofstra University hazing.

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Jezebel news editor Erin Gloria Ryan questioned, via Twitter, the soft handling of the controversy by a news show airing on the same network as the beauty pageant. She has followed with further accusations of lazy journalism:

It should also be noted that in “reporting” on this story, GMA did not reach out to me or anyone at Jezebel for comment or clarification; they just had Kazantsev on to deliver her talking points to a sympathetic anchor on the TV home of Miss America. If ABC had reached out, they would have known that since the story ran, we’ve learned more, and that things are still developing on our end. It would have been a tougher interview. But that’s clearly not what GMA wanted.

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Article Author, NYT Culture Editor Address Shonda Rhimes Outcry

Sometimes, it’s all about the article updates.

Adding to a post this morning about the furor surrounding New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley‘s weekend piece on Shonda Rhimes‘ new ABC-TV program How To  Get Away With Murder, public editor Margaret Sullivan has shared post-publication feedback from culture editor Danielle Mattoon and author Stanley.

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Let’s start with Mattoon’s remarks. Rhetorical is all fine and dandy, but next time, she and her fellow NYT editors may want to make sure a question mark (or some other equivalent indicator) punctuates this approach. As written, the first-paragraph intent was not clear enough:

“Alessandra used a rhetorical device to begin her essay,” Mattoon said, “and because the piece was so largely positive, we as editors weren’t sensitive enough to the language being used…”

She told me that multiple editors — at least three — read the article in advance but that none of them raised any objections or questioned the elements of the article that have been criticized.

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Outed by TMZ, New York Doctor Scrubs Her Facebook Page

Facebook is where TMZ grabbed a pair of large photos to run with its Wednesday exclusive identifying a New York ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist as the doctor allegedly responsible for initiating an unauthorized biopsy procedure on Joan Rivers at Yorkville Endoscopy. Today, that same Facebook page is blank.

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The 24/7 drumbeat of online gossip sites and social media has pushed us into a new phase of American jurisprudence – “Guilty Until Proven Innocent.” Even though there is still much to be determined and confirmed by investigators, half the world is calling for this individual’s head. People can still comment to the blanked-out Facebook page and one California doctor is espousing the minority view:

Michio Abe: I’m here for you Dr. Gwen Korovin. I’m simply here to stand beside you because there is zero evidence that you did anything to cause Joan Rivers’ death but yet your FB page has been so full of hatred towards doctors in general. We, doctors, do not deserve that kind of treatment. No, not at all.

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NYT Columnist Defends Provocative Ray Rice Lede

Predictably, the lead sentence of New York Times “Gotham” columnist Michael Powell‘s latest item has generated an instant, massive outcry. From fellow journalists and others:

Say this for Ray Rice: His left cross was of professional quality, a short, explosive punch. And his fiancée’s head snapped back as if she’d been shot.

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Daily News Source Reaffirms Rivers Biopsy Claim

ShutterstockJoanRivers2011On Tuesday, New York Daily News TV editor Don Kaplan dropped a bombshell. According to his unnamed source, an impromptu biopsy was performed at Yorkville Endoscopy on Joan Rivers by a physician who accompanied the comedienne, and it was that procedure that sent her into cardiac arrest.

Wednesday, via Reuters and CNN, the clinic fired back, insisting that such a procedure has never been performed at the clinic. On Rivers or any other patient. However, today, Kaplan informed TV Week that his source remains adamant:

“Yes, our source is standing by the story,” said Kaplan via email, “as are others who have come forward with the same information.”

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Norm Pearlstine Dismisses Spreadsheet Furor [Updated]

Time__Inc_-logo-2ED06AA15C-seeklogo.com_Sometimes, Time-ing can be everything. New York contributing editor Gabriel Sherman has been working on a big feature article about Time Inc. that is due next week.

So… When Gawker fanned the flames of the Sponsored Content Apocalypse with its Monday report about a controversial Sports Illustrated spreadsheet, Sherman was in a perfect warm-phone position to get comment from a top executive. He spoke today with Time Inc. chief content officer Norm Pearlstine:

Pearlstine pushed back hard against the criticism of the document. He said the controversy has been drummed up by the [Newspaper] Guild as part of a tense contract negotiation.

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Dick Cavett, Keith Olbermann Stir NYDN ‘Yellow Journalism’ Debate

During an interview today with HuffPost Live, Dick Cavett told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani that he holds, ultimately, New York Daily News readers accountable for the Robin Williams August 13 front page derided around the world:

“This is the kind of crap that sells tabloid newspapers and there isn’t much you can do about it because the public rewards it by buying it and eating it up,” Cavett said. “It’s none of your damn business what his details were but it’s something we must live with.”

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Meanwhile, Daily News sports media columnist Bob Raissman labeled Keith Olbermann a “hypocrite” for Twitter-raging about the front page and deeming his newspaper colleagues “heartless bastards.” From his column:

Like a lover scorned, Olbermann is obsessed with the Daily News. And when he rips us, viewers actually awake from their slumber and listen. Olbermann needs to keep his base engaged. His audience has shrunk by 21,000 viewers since the end of April.

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Trial-by-Twitter Commences for Boston Radio Host Kirk Minihane [Updated]

Dennis&CallahanBannerCommenting on the erupting controversy stemming from a Boston radio host’s on-air description of Erin Andrews as a “gutless bitch,” Mediaite’s Joe Concha writes:

So what will happen to Kirk Minihane? He not only attacked a female reporter and called her a bitch twice, but it was Erin Andrews — she of filmed-through-a-hotel-room-peep-hole-infamy. Rest assured that trial-by-Twitter will now commence, and it won’t be pretty by the time the mob gets done with Minihane and those who employ him.

For the latest real-time Twitter testimony and cross-examination, click here. At press time, the social reaction includes:

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