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Morning Media Newsfeed: NYT Site Under Siege | Kurtz Column Slammed | AllThingsD Moving On


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New York Times Site Is Disrupted in Attack by Hackers (NYT)
The New York Times‘ website was unavailable to readers on Tuesday afternoon after an online attack on the company’s domain name registrar. The attack also forced employees of the Times to take care in sending emails. The hacking was just the latest of a major media organization, with The Financial Times and The Washington Post also having their operations disrupted within the last few months. It was also the second time in August that the website of The New York Times was unavailable for several hours. The Atlantic Wire The attackers have been acknowledged by the Times to be the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA), a roguish collective sympathetic to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. TechCrunch Once the SEA had gained access to registry records, it was able to change both contact details and domain name servers. Now, the SEA is claiming access to a variety of international Twitter domains. A Twitter representative told TechCrunch that the company was “looking into” the possibility that the SEA had changed DNS records. The Next Web Statements to The Next Web from Melbourne IT explain that the SEA was able to enter its IT system by using a reseller’s username and password. Once inside Melbourne IT’s system, the group had access to a range of data and information. It presumably knew exactly what it was looking for and proceeded to change the DNS records of “several domain names,” Melbourne IT says, one of which was nytimes.com. FishbowlNY About two weeks ago, NYTimes.com went dark due to what a spokesperson called “a scheduled maintenance update.”

Howard Kurtz Perving Out on Yoga Instructors on The Internet Is Now ‘Media Reporting,’ Apparently (HuffPost / Jason Linkins)
I’m not sure what there is left to say about Howard Kurtz, who has long let go of whatever tenuous hold he once had on doing anything particularly noteworthy with the platforms he keeps being given to do “media criticism.” But, OK, Tuesday, in his new space at Fox News, he breaks the story that a young and attractive yoga instructor is young and attractive, and also on Facebook. The Washington Post / Erik Wemple No one cared about the Facebook photos of one Pari Bradlee. No one cared that one of them portrayed her in a “Swiss-cheese bra.” No one cared that another showed her posing nude, “shot from the back, twisting one arm behind her.” No one cared that the photos were “R-rated.” The quotes above come from Kurtz’s posting Tuesday, titled “Ben Bradlee’s daughter-in-law reveals (almost) all on Facebook.” Pari Bradlee, nee Pari Williamson, is married to Quinn Bradlee, son of the former and famous Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Ben Bradlee’s wife Sally Quinn told the liberal watchdog group Media Matters on Tuesday that she was “heartbroken” and “appalled” by Kurtz’s column, which asks whether Pari Bradlee’s Facebook photos “go too far.” “I thought Howard was a decent guy, I thought he was my friend and I’m appalled and really heartbroken that he would do something like this,” she said of the former Washington Post columnist, who now works for Fox News.

AllThingsD Nears Split With Dow Jones (Fortune)
The future of influential tech website All Things Digital is close to being decided. Reuters reported in February that AllThingsD co-executive editors Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg had begun discussions with owner Dow Jones, a subsidiary of News Corp., about either ending or extending their partnership, which is set to expire on Dec. 31. Since then, Fortune has learned that AllThingsD is working with investment bank Code Advisors to find outside investors at an enterprise value that could exceed the $25 million that AOL reportedly paid in 2010 for rival site TechCrunch. FishbowlNY The asking price is rumored to be somewhere between $10 million and $15 million for a 25 percent or 30 percent chunk of the company. Swisher and Mossberg are looking at media companies, and so far three proposals have been submitted; one of which is from NBCUniversal. Other companies that were discussed include Bloomberg, The Washington Post Company and Condé Nast. GigaOM One risk for Swisher and Mossberg in moving to a new home is that if they sign a deal with a new partner other than News Corp. or Dow Jones, they could lose the All Things Digital brand name — as well as the right to put on related conferences. Reuters / Felix Salmon Who is the best journalist (so far) of the new millennium? Who has best embraced the opportunities afforded by digital media, and used them to deliver breaking news and incisive opinion to the greatest effect? Put like that, it’s hard to wind up with any name other than Kara Swisher.

Brian Lewis Speaks Out: Roger Ailes And Fox News Should Fear Him (Gawker)
Brian Lewis’s attorney Judd Burstein has provided this statement to Gawker: “I have just been retained and am still plotting our course of action. But two things are very clear to me. First, Brian Lewis no longer has any confidentiality obligation to News Corp or Roger Ailes because of the false and malicious statements made by Fox to date. Second, Roger Ailes and News Corp have a lot more to fear from Brian Lewis telling the truth about them than Brian Lewis has to fear from Roger Ailes and his toadies telling lies about Brian Lewis.” PRNewser Passive aggressive much? We’re assuming the “false and malicious statements” concern the reason for his release; various sources told Politico and others that they suspected him of leaking information, specifically to New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, author of an upcoming tell-all book about the Fox organization. TVNewser Just last week, Lewis seemed to take the high road about his dismissal, telling TVNewser: “I will say it has been an honor and privilege to work for Roger Ailes the past 20 years and I wish nothing but the best for him and the great people at Fox News.” Burstein’s past clients include Donny Deutsch, Donald Trump and boxers Oscar de La Hoya and Lennox Lewis. Clearly, he’s looking for a fight.

Jeff Bezos Plans to Visit Washington Post Next Week (Poynter / MediaWire)
Future Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos will visit the paper next week, sources tell Poynter. The visit may happen as soon as next Tuesday. Bezos sent an advance team to the Post last week, other sources told Poynter. He has not yet revealed any of his plans for the paper, which announced on Aug. 5 that he’d buy it.

Former Patch Editor Sues AOL Over Treatment During Pregnancy, Chronic Illness (St. Paul Pioneer Press)
Mary Vandergrift’s pregnancy had been a difficult one: She had Crohn’s disease and had been in and out of the hospital several times. But on July 5, 2011, she gave birth to a girl. Within five hours of the cesarean section delivery, she says, her bosses emailed to congratulate her — and to ask her if she could work from her hospital bed. In a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal district court that alleges abusive tactics, the former employee of AOL’s Golden Valley news website Patch claims AOL and Patch failed to accommodate her under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as the Family Medical Leave Act and other laws. FishbowlNY In the wake of the Aug. 16 Patch layoffs, a messy aspect has been the posting and quick deletion on network sites of various farewell messages. For example, a goodbye from Prospect Heights, NY local editor Amy Sara Clark was quickly taken down. Even though there’s nary a negative word in the article about AOL or Patch. But evidently, the policy is to wipe all such traces clean.

The Big New York Post Digital Revamp, Close (Capital New York)
The New York Post is about to flip the switch on its long awaited Web reboot. Interim Post editor Jesse Angelo revealed in an internal memo obtained by Capital Tuesday evening that a “completely revamped nypost.com will be launching next week” with a just-announced staff that includes alumni of Time Inc., Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, Gawker, Newsweek, Microsoft and, of course, rival tabloid the Daily News.

Al Jazeera America Launch Ratings (TVNewser)
Al Jazeera America launched last week, and we have the ratings from Nielsen for its first few days. Not surprisingly given the low-rated channel it replaced (Current TV), and the fact that it lost a few million homes from AT&T before launch (it is currently in just over 40 million homes), AJAM’s launch ratings were pretty low by traditional cable news standards. The highest rated show on AJAM last week was the Thursday evening edition of Real Money with Ali Velshi, which drew 54,000 total viewers.

Fox News Mocks Chelsea Manning With ‘Dude (Looks Like A Lady)’ Song (TPM / LiveWire)
Fox & Friends on Tuesday made light of Chelsea Manning’s intention to live as a woman, playing a transgender-themed rock song over a pair of photos of the convicted soldier who went by the name Bradley Manning prior to her sentencing. Before cutting to a commercial break, host Gretchen Carlson previewed a segment on Manning. As Carlson spoke, the Aerosmith classic “Dude (Looks Like A Lady)” could be heard playing as the camera panned on a screen with two photos of Manning.

French Public Broadcaster to Cut 600 Jobs (THR)
Following a year-long financial crisis as government funding cuts and the loss of evening advertising resulted in a massive budget shortfall, public broadcaster France Televisions has announced plans for up to 600 voluntary job cuts as it seeks to cut costs as part of its recovery plan. France Televisions president Remy Pflimlin has been under pressure to downsize the public broadcaster’s workforce following the budget implosion, and more job cuts had been expected since the national network announced its savings plans in 2012.

Michael Hastings’ Family Chides Media for Inaccuracies, Guards His Legacy (TheWrap / MediaAlley)
In the wake of the L.A. County Coroner’s report concluding that BuzzFeed journalist Michael Hastings’ death was an accident, his family is speaking out about inaccurate media reports surrounding the 33-year-old’s demise and doing its best to keep his legacy alive.

Vine Gets Better With Age: How Screens, Speed And Networks Are Changing The Future of Online Video (GigaOM)
Just as movies were different from Broadway and television shows were different from feature films, every form of online media is also different. Network speeds and availability of the network along with the size of the screen define storytelling and viewing experience.

Oxford Dictionary Adds ‘Twerk,’ ‘Derp,’ ‘Selfie,’ ‘Phablet’ And More Voguish Vocabulary (Quartz)
Oxford Dictionaries Online is adding a slew of words that only recently came into general usage, many driven by fast-moving trends in technology and culture. Yes, “twerk” is now in the dictionary.

The Washington Post Starts Selling Native Ads for Print (Ad Age / Media News)
What’s old is new again at The Washington Post. The paper, which Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos agreed to buy, is pitching advertisers on “native” advertising to run in print. The ad units on offer include one the Post calls an “agenda setter,” wrapped around a portion of the front page and featuring both display advertising and copy resembling editorial content. Another execution sits among true editorial content on the fold inside the paper.

Away From Daily News Grind, Soleded O’Brien Continues to Chart New News Path (TVNewser)
Soledad O’Brien continues to blaze a trail for what she sees as a new news model — where journalists produce stories for any number of outlets, reporting on things they are passionate about, while immersing themselves in the communities they cover.

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FishbowlNY NYTimes.com Goes Down for Second Time in One Month

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