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Archives: March 2007

Rafat Ali: I Learned From Watching David Carr


Rafat Ali, founder, on where he got his journalistic chops:

One of the things I tell people is that at, how I learned to report was actually from watching you [FishbowlNY contributor Greg Lindsay] and [now-New York Times media reporter] David Carr conduct interviews on the phone. In school, they never teach you how to do phone interviews — they never teach you about interviews in the first place. One of the things I learned from David Carr — I overheard him because he was generally loud, especially at the old building where I sat across from him — was how to ask the hard questions.

By the way: Ali’s guilty pleasure? “Carpenters.” We’re hoping he means the band.

  • So What Do You Do, Rafat Ali? []
  • Media Events 3.29.07


    THURSDAY 03.29.07
    WHAT: SoCal Journalists’ Mixer
    WHO: So Cal Journalists
    WHEN: 6:30 p.m.
    WHERE: Redwood Bar and Grill, downtown.
    WHY: Bitching about the job market is more fun in crowds.

    SATURDAY 03.31.07
    WHAT: Book signing, Storm Runners
    WHO: T. Jefferson Parker
    WHEN: 1 p.m.
    WHERE: Laguna Beach Books
    WHY: Parker bothered to walk the 1/2 mile to the bookstore for the signing, shouldn’t you drive the 20 miles to the signing?

    SUNDAY 04.01.07
    WHO: Trader Joe’s employee, Adam Authier, was hit by a hit and run driver, on Hyperion.
    WHEN: 1:00-6:00 p.m
    WHERE: GRAND AVENUE CLUB, 1024 South Grand Avenue
    WHY: Do good and meet up with like-minded folks, all at once.

    WEDNESDAY 04.04.07
    WHAT: “Big Time,” Filter Magazine’s exclusive screening of film Hot Fuzz
    WHO: Filter Magazine
    WHEN: 7 p.m.
    WHERE: Hammer Museum
    WHY: Because Shaun of the Dead was funnier than you thought it would be. RSVPs required.

    Atoosa On Why She Quit Seventeen: I Was a ‘Kept’ Woman

    atoosa_inc_fine.jpgForbes allows Atoosa Rubenstein to briefly turn its Web site into her own personal MySpace page to explain her departure from the cushy confines of Seventeen:

    After hearing the joke “the new ‘up’ is ‘flat’” one too many times at my former company, I decided I wasn’t going to keep dancing to the string quartet as the luxury liner sank. We have a new world to colonize and an audience who is going there with or without us. I didn’t need to look further than my long-time mentor Helen Gurley Brown for inspiration. During the sexual revolution Helen told the world that being a single girl had never been hotter. Well, during the digital revolution, I realized the same could be true.

    Speaking of brilliant Helen, if she’d have come up with Cosmopolitan today, do you think she’d want to continue to be a salaried employee? Not a chance. She’d be the most widely read blogger in the world. Just food for thought for frustrated Smarties reading this (men or women, for that matter) stuck at big ships struggling to keep up in the revolution. Take a swim if you think you’re strong enough. A small, well-built boat will grow–just ask our friends at YouTube!

    Don’t get me wrong: It was nice being a “kept” woman. My corporate sugar daddy gave me a lot of cool things: a car and driver, a clothing allowance and a sick expense account. But I also had to pretend I was excited making love to an old man every night. It eventually became impossible to do over time–especially with all the fun stuff happening right outside our mansion. And remember that, will you? This is a fun time–have fun with your projects. Otherwise, no one will want to play with you.

    At least she didn’t use “tribes.”

    More here.

  • Atoosa’s Digital Revolution


  • Inside Atoosa’s ‘Tribe’
  • ‘Toos Is Loose: I’m Leaving Seventeen, I’m Not Leaving You
  • Agassi’s $5M Book Deal | Slate Helps NYT‘s Public Editor Search | Dead Sopranos | Ann Coulter 2.0


    • Andre Agassi: Gets $5 million book deal. [NYP]

    • New Times Public Editor: Slate has ideas. [Slate]
    • Whacked Sopranos: Return. []
    • Red Eye‘s Rachel Marsden: Fox’s new Ann Coulter. [Salon]
    • Ads: Appear in “Lonelygirl15.” [WaPo]
    • Do Bloggers: Need a code of conduct? [BBC]

    FBLA EXCLUSIVE: Michael Parks on Seipp-Stein Story: “Most People Don’t Want to Be Nice”


    FOX ran a story about the late Cathy Seipp’s feud with Eliot Stein, the guy who bought her domain name and posted what he called a satire and her friends called an outrage. The story got over 500,000 hits on the first day. Journalist Michael Parks asked us about Cathy for the story, and then answered our questions here:

    FBLA: As a journalist, how do you pick your way through such a minefield of a story–emotional friends, teenage daughter, aggrieved Stein?

    Parks: Actually, my major concern was the timing–I got the story late on a Friday afternoon when I was out in the field till late, so I really only had a couple hours on one weekday to scare up the legal experts who were willing to comment on that particular case. That turned out to be harder than I expected because I needed an expert on California law but was working on an East Coast deadline. I was pretty much on the phone constantly on Monday between noon and 6 p.m. and while I was typing out the story.

    Read more

    Will Jared Paul Stern’s Lawsuit Against Ron Burkle & Co. Botch Hillary’s Prez Run?

    stern_clinton_prez.jpgInteresting question, and one that likely hinges on how much Stern’s conspiracy allegations against Burkle, the former president and current New York senator will involve the latter, particularly if this case ever comes to a jury trial. Specifically, allegations contained on page 14 of the civil complaint filed in New York, which state that Burkle, ex-secret service agent Frank Renzi, PR manager Michael Sitrick and the Clintons “hoped to divert and intimidate journalists who might attempt to report on their illegal activity or publish embarrassing revelations of Burkle and Bill Clinton‘s sexual misconduct, including Clinton’s extramarital affairs facilitated by Burkle, and sexual activity with minors, and even morer importantly dissuade negative coverage of the numerous scandals that have been attributed and which will undoubtedly be uncovered about Hillary Clinton as she runs for the presidency in 2008.”

    We suppose it would depend on the likelihood of a trial before the primaries, the extent of the allegedly “numerous” scandals that have yet to uncovered and just how much interest the general public has in another media-based scandal. (Even a settlement, as the Boston Phoenix notes, could be damaging for Hillary if it unearths something truly scandalous in the process.)

    Another open question: Will the Stern suit usurp recent, albeit limited, progress made in the Rupert Murdoch-Hillary Clinton-New York Post relationship, one that had been thorny during the Clinton White house (the Post famously referred to Bill Clinton as “horndog-in-chief”)?


  • Finally: Jared Paul Stern Sues Billionaire Ron Burkle — Bill & Hillary Too
  • Nice And Natural — That’s The LAT Style

    clairol.jpgIt’s fitting that in an e-mail describing the continuing selling-out of the LAT, ed David Hiller invokes an old hair color ad:


    The Los Angeles Times is making an appearance on this
    Sunday’s episode of The Apprentice Los Angeles (10
    p.m. on NBC).

    In the show, the contestant teams compete to create
    the best advertising preprint insert for distribution
    in our Sunday paper (the winner will be in this
    Sunday). I’m told there’s a scene with Donald Trump
    and his daughter at our Olympic Plant as they’re
    launching the competition.

    Nice, and natural, that when people think of reaching
    consumers in Southern California, they turn to only
    one place — to us. Btw, if you’re curious, the Trump
    people approached us and we get this nice TV exposure
    for free.

    Also, this is a good reminder to all the viewers,
    including our current and potential advertisers, about
    the great preprints they can find in the paper. As
    you know, that’s a big and growing part of our

    If you watch, I hope you enjoy it.


    Trump Wannabes To Create LA Times Supplement

    Onion News Net Gets 400,000 Plays On First Day

    We doubt Brian Williams is losing sleep over Onion launches, but with 400,000-plus plays during ONN’s first day, it should be enough to give Katie Couric pause.

    Onion president Sean Mills told FBNY the early returns had been “fantastic,” and he was pleased, even though “we really tried not to have expectations.”

    Headed by former Onion editor-in-chief Carol Kolb, the Network’s content is created by a staff of freelancers, as well as select Onion writers, and Mills says the programming will be diverse. “We launched a network, not a show. The breadth of the content is still to come,” Mills says. “We are going to be the people’s first source for news.”


  • Onion News Net Launches
  • Onion Online News TV Net To Launch Next Week
  • LAT in 90 Seconds

    grindart.jpgGrindhouse Hits The Screen: Be sure to stick around
    for the commercials.

    unknown.jpgSlow News Day: A lame anonymous e-mail
    makes the news.

    mccain.jpgCorrection: John McCain does NOT support
    hot girl-on-girl action.

    FBLA Suggestions for NY Times Public Editor


    Jack Shafer presents his short list for the NY Times Public Editor as does Gawker, and FBLA is a little dismayed. Some of the choices are predictable, like Joshua Michah Marshall and some are insane, like Rachel Marsden. Shafer wants someone under 40, Gawker wants someone to mock.

    FBLA thinks that the NYT needs to look further afield, like out here. Our choices are:

    Daniel Hernandez — big-paper experience and indie cred. And then there’s the fear factor–the rest of the NYT would think he’s a gangbanger.

    Ken Layne and Matt Welch– tag-teamed the LAT, then infilitrated from within. Their band is the only downside.

    Nikki Finke–she’s ageless, timeless, and knows where all the bodies are buried. And since she doesn’t need sleep, the barrage of email need never stop.

    Jason Blair –you know what they say about reformed sinners.