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Whoopsie Daisy!

Toronto Sportswriter Bemoans City’s Newest Buffoon

MasaiUjiriPicToronto Sun columnist Steve Buffery has wasted no time committing the misdeed of a local sports team GM to the public record. In case you missed it, Raptors exec Masai Ujiri (pictured) was done in today by an Instagram user and had to quickly apologize for rallying local fans, pre-Game One against the Nets, with the cry of “F*** Brooklyn!”

Here’s Buffery’s article intro:

Could Saturday’s NBA playoff opener at the Air Canada Centre against the Brooklyn Nets be any more of an embarrassment for the Raptors and the city of Toronto?

The only thing missing was Rob Ford juggling plates at halftime and then falling on to a coffee table.

In a drunken stupor, of course.

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The Tenets of Solid Journalism Get Pooped On, Again

ICNPhotoFor the love of fact-checking!

On April Fool’s, UK website Independent Catholic News published an item, complete with hilarious photo (at right), about a hawk enlisted by the Vatican to help tend to aviary security matters. On April 15, per a summary of this sorry trail by iMediaEthics managing editor Sydney Smith, The Guardian replaced its pick-up with this note:

An agency story about the Vatican recruiting a hawk to protect the Pope’s doves was deleted on the 15 April 2014 because it was discovered to have been an April fools’ joke.

As the crow flies, or any other trajectory, it’s a long way from Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden NSA scoops. Per Smith, other major outlets fooled were said agency, AFP, and the Washington Times.

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Salon Revisits the Time an NYT Reporter Was ‘Swung on the Flippity-Flop’

RickyMarinPicIn hindsight, one of the few consolations is the fact that social media had not yet reared its Hydra-heads when the New York Times was fooled by a Seattle woman’s faux grunge glossary. Can you imagine the hashtags that would have sprung from the 1992 article being exposed the following year as having been victimized by a hoax?

If you’re too young to remember “grunge speak” or if the details have become a little hazy, click on over to author and musician Tom Maxwell‘s fun piece on Salon, hitched to the 20th anniversary of Kurt Cobain‘s death. (Shockingly, the Web archived version of the November 21, 1992 NYT piece still features the erroneous sidebar and some wrong-employer attribution for the hoaxer.) From Maxwell’s article:

Thomas Frank (now a Salon contributor) revealed the hoax in The Baffler’s winter-spring 1993 issue and explained that: “[Gag lexicon author Megan] Jasper was surprised by the various journalists’ ’weird idea that Seattle was this incredibly isolated thing,’ with a noticeably distinct rock culture. The result of this credulity was that, as Ms. Jasper puts it, ‘I could tell [the interviewer] anything. I could tell him people walked on their hands to shows.’”

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A Hazy Jay Z News Trail

TroiTorainIt started with a New York Internet radio host dissing a New York rapper. Troi Torain (a.k.a. DJ Star), speaking with a March 19 caller, claimed that Jay Z is in fact 50.

It continued with a March 25 tweet and some lazy media pick-ups before being mercifully put to rest today by New York-based E! Online writer Rebecca Macatee. From her report:

Stop the presses, y’all: E! News can confirm that public records show Shawn Corey Carter (yep, that’s Jay Z’s pre-Hova name) was born December 4, 1969. In case you need some help with the math, this makes the king of hip-hop 44-years-old — a.k.a. his actual age.

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Staten Island Production Company Clowns Local, National Media [Updated]

SIClownPicFuzz on the Lens Productions has authored a number of shorts and features. But nothing – not even their revisiting of the Halloween horror franchise – has come close to the publicity generated by the company’s “Staten Island Clown” stunt.

Company principal Michael Leavy tried to deny the connection at first. But when Staten Island Advance reporter Mark D. Stein reiterated some Post info and pointed out that Leavy was Facebook friends with two others also responsible for spreading the early viral word, the SI Clown caper was blown*:

“Just saw that,” he said of the New York Post story. “I think he’s funny and this whole thing (is funny), so if people want to think it’s me or whoever I won’t stop them, maybe I should go get a clown suit though, hopefully they are not sold out.”

When told of the Facebook post linking the bunch, he changed his tune.

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Idina Menzel Says She and John Travolta Are Now ‘Buddies’

Billboard is teasing its upcoming Idina Menzel cover story, which will be online Monday.

Menzel told reporter Suzy Evans that John Travolta‘s epic Oscars flub threw her for a minute. But only a minute. She has since benefited as much as Slate. On all fronts, it has turned out to be a royale flub with cheese.

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Newman Death Hoax Was *Not* Reported by TMZ, US Weekly

Here’s a new twist on the old game of a celebrity still very much alive being reported dead.

WayneKnightTwitterProfilePicPer Mashable real-time news editor Brian Ries, it was *not* TMZ or US Weekly that reported the erroneous death of Seinfeld actor Wayne Knight over the weekend, but rather a man in Texas. The US item was in fact attached to a dot-.us URL fake-out, while TMZ in this case was anchored to TMZ.today rather than TMZ.com:

The address for the [US Weekly] website, designed to resemble the real US magazine website, was registered on Saturday by a man in San Antonio, Texas, according to WhoIs records. The creator of the hoax website did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Kane-based state police have identified the deceased as the lovable ‘Newman,’” added tmz.today — a website that resembles the real TMZ.

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Winner of Second Place Behind Slate/Travoltified: The LA Times

Bravo, LA Times editors. Bravo!

In today’s print editions, for a Calendar section article by David Ng and Oliver Gettell about the endlessly fascinating John Travolta/Adele Dazeem flub, the paper went with the following headline:

LATTravoltaAdeleDazeemHed

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ABC News Drops the ‘Macho’ from Sochi Article Headline

ABCNewsLogoLet’s start with a dictionary definition of “macho” when used as an adjective:

Having or characterized by qualities considered manly, especially when manifested in an assertive, self-conscious or dominating way.

Now, let’s bring in another word – “awful.” Per some intrepid efforts today by Think Progress senior editor Annie-Rose Strasser and The Huffington Post, that’s the adjective ABC News correctly, subsequently opted for after having altered its “Women Olympians Getting Hurt on Macho Sochi Slopes:”

A spokesperson from ABC News informed The Huffington Post in an email that the headline has been changed, adding, “We completely agree that it was an awful headline.”

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Sun Sets on False, Widely Disseminated Beijing News Story

JamesNyeTwitterProfilePicNew York-based Quartz reporter Gwynn Guilford shared a brief but salient summary of an inane international news story trail about folks in smog-shrouded Beijing reportedly being forced to make do with a daily, digital sunrise. The erroneous reportage started via Manhattan-based Daily Mail writer James Nye (pictured) and mutated to outlets including Time, cbsnews.com and The Huffington Post. Let’s start with the Time article corrections, posted January 17 and somehow, 9:20 p.m. ET later today:

Correction: The original post did not mention that the large screens in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square broadcast panoramic scenes on a daily basis, regardless of atmospheric conditions, nor did it state that the sunrise was part of a tourism commercial.

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