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Morning Media Newsfeed: Romney Responds to MHP | Zimmerman Out at Gawker | Post Spurs Outrage

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Romney Addresses Melissa Harris-Perry Comments: ‘People Make Mistakes’ (TVNewser)
Mitt Romney has accepted an apology from MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry after she and several guests mocked a Romney family photo that included his adopted black grandson, the former presidential candidate said on Fox News Sunday. “I recognize that people make mistakes, and the folks at MSNBC made a big mistake. They’ve apologized for it, and that’s all you can ask for. I’m going to move on from that; I’m sure they want to move on from it,” Romney said. The Root When asked about the so-called attack on the baby, Romney said, “If you get in the political game, you can expect incoming. But children, you know, that’s beyond the line, and I think they understand that, and feel that as well. I think it’s a heartfelt apology. I think for that reason, we hold no ill will whatsoever.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Harris-Perry offered a tearful and passionate apology to the Romneys on Saturday for remarks she and her panelists made about the family’s adopted black grandchild. In her apology on Saturday, Harris-Perry said she had intended to say “positive and celebratory things” about the photo. “But whatever the intent was, the reality is that the segment proceeded in a way that was offensive, and showing the photo in that context of the segment was poor judgment,” she said. Daily Caller Harris-Perry’s apology to Romney drew derision from yet another one of her former colleagues. “If I cry, will I be forgiven of all my transgressions?” actor Alec Baldwin tweeted on Saturday night, before quickly deleting it.

Neetzan Zimmerman to Leave Gawker (Capital New York)
Gawker viral content mastermind Neetzan Zimmerman is leaving the company for social network startup Whisper, he told Capital on Friday. Zimmerman will be the editor-in-chief of the social secret-sharing app that has recently been attracting tens of millions of dollars from investors. In an email, Zimmerman said that the bulk of his responsibility at his new employer will be to boost the visibility and promote the sharing of content generated by Whisper’s user base. NY Observer During his time at Gawker, Zimmerman racked up the pageviews, prompting the Wall Street Journal’s Farhad Manjoo to write that he “may be the most popular blogger working on the Web today.” Seriously, he’s really good at getting traffic. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer Zimmerman’s mandate at Gawker has been to blanket the world with stories that will be shared on Facebook — from cat-video candy to weird-crime snuff — thus taking the pressure to perform statistically, day in and day out, off of the site’s other writers while they chase more in-depth stories. It’s worked magically: Zimmerman often generates more traffic than his co-workers combined. Business Insider In a memo on Zimmerman leaving, Gawker editor John Cook said, “Anyway, we’re f**ked, start traffic-whoring. But seriously folks: Neetzan will be a loss, but one of the reasons, beyond his talent, that he’s been the guy pulling in the big numbers here is that he has been the guy tasked with pulling in the big numbers here. That strategy — traffic scapegoating — won’t change. We’ll find others to harness the power of Facebook algorithms and make sure we’re hitting the traffic sweetspots that we need to.”

Harsh Murder Headline Has Jewish Leaders Weighing Boycott of New York Post (BuzzFeed)
Sunday’s New York Post cover, depicting slain Brooklyn developer Menachem “Max” Stark and asking, “Who didn’t want him dead?” has stirred outrage in New York City’s political circles and especially among its large, vocal Hasidic Jewish community, of which Stark was a member. The 39-year-old Stark was kidnapped on Thursday outside his Brooklyn office and his half-burned body was found in a garbage can in a Great Neck gas station on Saturday. Capital New York The accompanying story, based largely on anonymous police sources, portrayed Stark as a “slumlord” and a scam artist with a long list of shady business dealings, debts and enemies. CNN “It really hurts that such a heinous crime, instead of being condemned, is glorified,” said Rabbi David Niederman, president of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn. Niederman told CNN he does not know anything about Stark owing money or having legal problems. NY Observer / Politicker Reached for comment, a Post spokesperson stood behind the paper’s reporting, but offered sympathy for the grieving family. “The Post does not say Stark deserved to die but our reporting showed that he had many enemies, which may have led to the commission of this terrible crime. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time of loss,” the spokesperson said in a statement. FishbowlNY It’s what the Post does. They go font-large, politically-correct-slim and let the headline rip. But many feel they have pushed that game too far with their coverage of the Stark murder.

A.O. Scott Tweet Quoted in Full Page Inside Llewyn Davis Ad (TheWrap)
A.O. Scott’s musings are a familiar, oft-excerpted presence in television and print spots for various movies. But an unorthodox advertisement for Inside Llewyn Davis in Saturday’s New York Times seemed to catch the paper’s chief film critic off-guard. Not because it referenced Scott’s rave review of the picture, but because it quoted a tweet he had composed about the film’s soundtrack. JimRomenesko.com Scott was asked Saturday morning if the movie studio asked for permission to use his tweet. “Kind of,” he replied.

David Brooks’ Marijuana Confession Generates Ridicule And Debate Online (International Business Times)
New York Times columnist David Brooks is known for a lot of things, but up to now, smoking pot wasn’t one of them. His decision to reveal his past dalliances with marijuana was a key part of a Friday column in which he made clear that though he doesn’t believe occasionally partaking is a terrible crime, he thinks that the legalization of the drug in Colorado and Washington state will most likely have negative consequences for the populace. Slate / Counter Narrative In “Weed: Been There, Done That,” Brooks makes a case for a “moral ecology” that curbs individual freedom for the collective betterment of potheads who would be better served devoting their energies to higher aspirations like running track. ThinkProgress Gary Greenberg, the psychotherapist who had unintentionally convinced journalists around the country that he had grown up toking up with Brooks, was having a good day. Greenberg’s essay, a takedown of Brooks’ anti-pot confessional column written as if Greenberg and Brooks were childhood smoking buddies, had become easily the most popular piece ever published on Greenberg’s personal blog. He had gotten interest from (among others) The Atlantic, The Washington Examiner, and The Huffington Post. “First of all,” Greenberg said, “almost everyone thinks it’s true.” Including, for a time, me.


North Korean Execution by Dog Story Likely Came From Satire
(Reuters)
An international media frenzy over reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle had been executed by throwing him to a pack of dogs appears to have originated as satire on a Chinese microblogging website. The story, which spread like wildfire after it was picked up by a Hong Kong-based newspaper, has created an image that Pyongyang’s young ruler is even more brutal and unpredictable than previously believed. While North Korea has said it purged and executed Kim’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, last month, it did not release details of how the man who was once the second-most powerful figure in the isolated country was killed.

Jeff Zucker: CNN Prime-Time Shakeup Coming in 2014 (Ad Age / Media News)
When Jeff Zucker joined CNN Worldwide as president last January, the media and ad industry expected the former chief of NBC Universal to take big risks on programming, formats and talent. A year in, everyone is still waiting. In an interview in the wake of his one-year anniversary at the helm of the news giant, Zucker promised bigger changes this year.

An NPR News Show, Reconsidered (Politico)
The move west earlier for NPR’s weekend version of All Things Considered marked something of a seismic shift for the long-running news program. And the relocation to NPR West in Culver City, Calif., wasn’t the only major shakeup for the show: Arun Rath, previously with PBS Frontline, joined the program as the new host for its Los Angeles launch in September. For the NPR institution — the radio show had been broadcast from D.C. for 36 years before it set up shop in LA — 2013 turned out to be a year of reinvention.

Big Roll-Out Begins for Roger Ailes Book (Capital New York)
Random House is preparing for a “sh*tstorm,” to cite the phrase Matt Drudge used in a tweet four months ago, that will surely ensue with the publication of Gabriel Sherman’s forthcoming Fox News book, The Loudest Voice in The Room, which is scheduled for a Jan. 21 release.

A New Power in Conservative Media (Politico)
A player in Christian and talk radio stations is buying up popular conservative websites — moves that could make Salem Communications the next big thing in right-wing media. The California-based company has recently gobbled up sites that reach millions of readers, like Michelle Malkin’s Twitchy.com, the Eagle Publishing group (home to RedState.com and HumanEvents.com) and the conservative publishing house Regnery. The Salem empire already includes more than 100 Christian and conservative talk-radio stations and several Christian-themed websites, as well as HotAir.com and TownHall.com.

David Zaslav Will Run Discovery Communications Through 2019 (Adweek)
David Zaslav, president and CEO of Discovery Communications, will continue in that role through 2019, the cable conglomerate announced Friday. “David has done a superb job,” said Liberty Media’s John Malone, chairman of Discovery’s board of directors. “He built a strong management team that has expanded the company’s reach and relevance, increased its market share domestically and around the world, and created a bigger, stronger portfolio of brands.”

Print Starts to Settle Into Its Niches (NYT)
Kevin Kelly is not a dumb guy — far from it actually. As the founding executive editor of Wired and one of the people who helped build The Well, among the earliest online communities, he has done a good job of seeing what is coming next for decades.

Banished for Questioning The Gospel of Guns (NYT)
The byline of Dick Metcalf, one of the country’s pre-eminent gun journalists, has gone missing. It has been removed from Guns & Ammo magazine, where his widely-read column once ran on the back page. He no longer stars on a popular television show about firearms. Gun companies have stopped flying him around the world and sending him the latest weapons to review. His experience sheds light on the close-knit world of gun journalism, where editors and reporters say there is little room for nuance in the debate over gun laws.

Life After Amazon (Publishers Weekly)
In January 2012, one of the sales representatives for my company, Educational Development Corp., made a call on a school that was unfamiliar with our books. As a result of the presentation, the school committed to a purchase, but a few days later the rep discovered it had placed the order with Amazon instead. This was particularly distressing to me: Selling 101 dictates that the person who makes the sale is the one who should be compensated. Recently, I heard from a longtime customer in Mill Valley, Calif., that closed its doors because it had effectively become a “showroom” for Internet retailers — people would see books in the store and then buy them online.

‘Click Farms’ Making Millions by Duping Social Media (FoxNews.com / AP)
Celebrities, businesses and even the U.S. State Department have bought bogus Facebook likes, Twitter followers or YouTube viewers from offshore “click farms,” where workers tap, tap, tap the thumbs up button, view videos or retweet comments to inflate social media numbers. Since Facebook launched almost 10 years ago, users have sought to expand their social networks for financial gain, winning friends, bragging rights and professional clout. And social media companies cite the levels of engagement to tout their value. But an Associated Press examination has found a growing global marketplace for fake clicks, which tech companies struggle to police.

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