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Archives: December 2010

Jonathan Gold Weighs In on Red Medicine’s Outing of a Food Critic

Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold meditates on the issue of anonymity in the current LA Weekly, and offers his take on Vietnamese restaurant Red Medicine‘s decision to refuse service to and publish a photo online of S. Irene Virbila, a longtime restaurant critic for the LA Times.

I can even understand, almost, why they felt obligated to do what they did: They had kept Virbila waiting, they were slammed, she had been pretty brutal to chef Jordan Kahn’s desserts when he was the pastry chef at Michael Mina’s XIV, and they sensed disaster. It was a panicked move, and I suspect they knew it was dumb even as they were doing it. They did no real harm to Virbila — if anything, they lent her pluckiness — but they made themselves look second-rate.

Gold himself was “outed” by a picture posted on the LA Weekly website of him celebrating his Pulitzer win with staff.

* Photo by Anne Fishbein

Milwaukee Sportswriter Bemoans Rose Bowl Stereotype

Michael Hunt, a columnist with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, is in town to cover the Rose Bowl match between his home state Wisconsin Badgers and the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. With a few days to go before the big contest, he’s already tired of an age-old cliché being bandied about by his fellow journalists.

Sometimes I’m embarrassed for my media brethren. The lead-up to the Rose Bowl would be one of those occasions.

Some of us, apparently the part that has not seen Wisconsin play since the W was on the front of the helmets, have decided to reduce this game to a conveniently packaged generalization: It’s Texas Christian’s blazing speed against the brute-force power of the otherwise plodding Wisconsin Clydesdales!

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Show Your Hidden Talents as WNYC’s New Freakonomics Radio Producer

Are you a Freakonomics freak? WNYC is looking for a new producer to help bring the hidden side of everything to public radio. You’ll work on the production of Marketplace segments, podcasts, Web content, live events and hour-long programs, hosted by Stephen Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics.

As the producer, you’ll collaborate with Dubner and the executive producer to generate themes and story ideas for the program, while serving as a liaison for the Freakonomics Radio project with Marketplace headquarters in Los Angeles. You’ll also organize guest interviews, edit program content and ensure that editorial goals are met. Read more

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The Diminished Impact of an EW Cover

There are exactly 408 hours left until the January 14th, 5 p.m. PT deadline for submitting 2010 Oscar ballots. That still leaves plenty of time for 5,755 Academy shoppers to browse the merchandise and revise their lists.

However, according to’s veteran awards watcher Gregory Ellwood, some window dressing doesn’t quite carry the weight that it used to. Reacting to Entertainment Weekly‘s cover choice of The Black Swan‘s Natalie Portman and 127 Hours star James Franco, Ellwood suggests:

This web veteran doesn’t mean to knock an already crumbling print industry, but you hardly hear anyone talking about who made the front page of Friday’s New York Times Arts & Leisure or LA Times Arts Calendar sections these days. And a whole generation will soon work in movie marketing never understanding what a “double truck” print ad is (figure it out) after the two biggies used to be full of them.

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The Foiled Attack on Danish Newspapers

American blowhards want to see Julian Assange assassinated. Tucker Carlson wants to see Michael Vick executed. All denounce terrorism. They condemn “extremists” and jihadists, but like to use the same rhetoric as the terrorists.

Case in point for the NYT:

The police in Sweden and Denmark arrested five men on Wednesday suspected of plotting an “imminent” attack against at least one Danish newspaper that published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed in 2005, according to security officials in those countries.

We asked newspaper cartoonist Rob Tornoe what he thinks of a plot to blowup a newspaper for publishing something offensive. “It’s sad that we continue to live in a world where freedom of expression itself can be such a dangerous thing, ” Tornoe tells FBLA. “I think reasonable people could argue about the judgment and motifs of the Danish artists who decided to draw the prophet Muhammad back in 2005 for Jyllands-Posten. However, people who are willing to assassinate cartoonists or blow up newspapers for expressing their views seems to validate the criticisms in the first place.”

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Tucker Carlson Needs Some Press: Goes After Michael Vick

Alright, all of us like dogs. They’re great. And Michael Vick deserved to go to jail: which he did. But execution? Really, Tucker Carlson? We know you like animals, but this stinks of desperation and attention-seeking hyperbole.

Former MSNBC Anchor Randy Meier Fills WCBS Gap

As first reported by our sister site TVSpy, veteran anchor Randy Meier is being brought in to WCBS/Channel 2 during the holiday week.

Meier spent three years (2003 - 2006) as an MSNBC daytime anchor.

He is filling in at WCBS as the station is undergoing a major anchor shuffle.

A WCBS spokesman says Meier is not joining WCBS, rather he is simply helping out for a few days while they are shorthanded.   

Earlier this month, Chris Wragge left Channel 2 and his evening anchor duties, for The Early Show. His replacement, Maurice DuBois moves to nights from mornings, while weekend a.m. anchor Rob Morrison gets the weekday dawn patrol.

Both were expected to start on January 3, but likely due to the extended blizzard coverage, were already seen in their new roles.

Update: FishbowlNY has learned that Meier’s first WCBS shift is tonight at 5 p.m.

The Gospel According to

As part of the PR campaign for’s brand new book of comedy lists You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News, the Demand Media affiliated website is offering a sneak peak at one of the 18 countdowns that have not previously appeared online.

In terms of holiday ho-ha-ha, it’s hard to beat “Five Real Deleted Bible Scenes In Which Jesus Kicks Some Ass.” Although the article went live only yesterday, it already at press time has half a million page views.

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Sales for iPad Magazines Fall

John Koblin of WWD has a report today that iPad magazines from popular titles like GQ, Wired, Glamour, and Vanity Fair are hitting a rough patch. In November GQ posted its worst month since the iPad came out (selling only 11,000 times), Wired sold almost 10,000 times less than its debut month, Glamour’s iPad sales dropped 40 percent, and Vanity Fair sales dropped to 8,700, down from its average of about 10,500.

There is hope, however, as Koblin points out that the magazines might get a boost in sales from people getting gadgets for the holidays. Here’s hoping people will be nice, and not naughty to the mags.