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Posts Tagged ‘Alessandra Stanley’

Article Author, NYT Culture Editor Address Shonda Rhimes Outcry

Sometimes, it’s all about the article updates.

Adding to a post this morning about the furor surrounding New York Times TV critic Alessandra Stanley‘s weekend piece on Shonda Rhimes‘ new ABC-TV program How To  Get Away With Murder, public editor Margaret Sullivan has shared post-publication feedback from culture editor Danielle Mattoon and author Stanley.


Let’s start with Mattoon’s remarks. Rhetorical is all fine and dandy, but next time, she and her fellow NYT editors may want to make sure a question mark (or some other equivalent indicator) punctuates this approach. As written, the first-paragraph intent was not clear enough:

“Alessandra used a rhetorical device to begin her essay,” Mattoon said, “and because the piece was so largely positive, we as editors weren’t sensitive enough to the language being used…”

She told me that multiple editors — at least three — read the article in advance but that none of them raised any objections or questioned the elements of the article that have been criticized.

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New York Media (Wrongly) Trashes Piers Morgan’s Debut

Last night Piers Morgan began the difficult task of taking over for Larry King, and judging by the reaction of New York’s media, he had a pretty terrible start. The most common complaint was that Oprah was a bad choice for his first guest, followed closely by Morgan being too nice to her. Let’s put aside for one minute the fact that no one is – and ever will be – mean to Oprah, and just focus on what they’re missing: Morgan made a huge splash in his first night, and that’s all that matters.

Alessandra Stanley in the New York Times lead the charge against selecting Oprah, insisting that we all simply know too much about her for the interview to be entertaining. Stanley explained, “Ms. Winfrey was an obvious choice as a first guest, but not a shrewd one. American audiences have seen an awful lot of Ms. Winfrey on television lately.”

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Spot.Us Funded Garbage Patch Story Published|Self‘s January Issue Shows Ad Promise|Letterman Extorter Appears In Court|Layoffs At A&E, Lifetime|Director Speaks Out Against Times Critic

BayNewser: The first Spot.Us funded article published in The New York Times — about the Pacific garbage patch — ran this week.

WWD: It has been a tough year for Conde Nast health magazine Self, but things are looking up for 2010: the January issue will carry more than 70 ad pages, the most for a January issue in 20 years.

New York Times: In court today, alleged David Letterman extorter Robert Joel Halderman claims he was only trying to sell Letterman the rights to his story before he sold a book or screenplay proposal to the highest bidder.

Variety: Over 100 people have been laid off at A&E and Lifetime, stemming from the nets’ consolidation.

Huffington Post: Director Barry Levinson blasts New York Times critic Alessandra Stanley.

The Things We (Almost) Missed This Week

Before we head into the weekend, here’s a look at some big media stories we (almost) missed this week. Better late than never, right?

Times Public Editor Takes On Stanley: New York Times public editor Clark Hoyt tried to explain how an “especially embarrassing” number of corrections appeared in Alessandra Stanley‘s appraisal of Walter Cronkite‘s career. Although Hoyt called Stanley “a prolific writer much admired by editors for the intellectual heft of her coverage of television,” she has a history of making mistakes. As Hoyt explained:

“For all her skills as a critic, Stanley was the cause of so many corrections in 2005 that she was assigned a single copy editor responsible for checking her facts. Her error rate dropped precipitously and stayed down after the editor was promoted and the arrangement was discontinued. Until the Cronkite errors, she was not even in the top 20 among reporters and editors most responsible for corrections this year. Now, she has jumped to No. 4 and will again get special editing attention.”

We reached out to Hoyt and a Times rep to see if we could find out who the three reporters and editors with the most errors are, but we haven’t received any response. For now, it looks like Stanley’s job is safe, but who knows what will happen once the paper appoints a new culture editor, now that current editor Sam Sifton has been named restaurant critic.

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Will Anyone Read Elizabeth Edwards’ Book?

resilience.pngElizabeth Edwards has been all over — showing up in interviews in magazines and on “Oprah” and the “Today Show” — promoting her new book, “Resilience,” in stores last week.

Last week, we sat down to watch Edwards on “Oprah”, expecting to sob hysterically as the terminally ill cancer patient discussed her husband’s affair with campaign employee Rielle Hunter and his possible love child. Admittedly, Elizabeth’s confession that she had only asked John for one thing — loyalty — pulled at the heartstrings. But the sight of former Sen. John Edwards slinking off at the beginning of the interview, and then waiting around to be chastised by Oprah at the end of the show, was off-putting. Then, Elizabeth unfeelingly described how she had learned about John’s affair shortly after he launched his presidential campaign, how she had begged him to pull out, but then stood by him when he decided not to, in order to avoid drawing more attention to their family. There was a disconnect. It wasn’t what we had expected at all.

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The Media Can See the Future and It’s Spelled ‘President Obama’

dewey_defeats_truman.jpgSo now that the press has decided that Barack Obama has won the election there is a new story line to get us through to election day! It’s all about how the press has decided Obama has won the election! We hinted at this yesterday when we warned the media might be experiencing its own election meltdown but today the story has progressed to how the press appears to be reporting on the results of an election result that has yet to occur. Over at Slate Jack Shafer says that,

Tiny tendrils of trepidation are starting to drift over the liberal members of the commentariat and the political press corps…if Obama wins, these scribes know that they’ll be facing the toughest assignment of their careers…Will what I write be worthy of this moment in time? they’re asking themselves.

Ha. Arguably this is a question they should have been asking themselves for the last eight years or so. Another problem with all this presuming? It makes for boring television! Per Alessandra Stanley: “News shows should probably come with a spoiler alert: the following program contains images and language that seem to jump to a foregone conclusion.” We think — taking into account the press’ accuracy in these matters these last eight years — everyone might do well to exercise a shred of caution in matters of advanced party planning.

Sarah Palin Makes Her Debut: ‘Strange and Illuminating’

PalinGibsong_9.11.jpgIt was the television we’ve all been waiting for &#151 at least for the last seven days. Parts one and two of Sarah Palin‘s interview with Charlie Gibson aired last night, and as you might imagine a lot of people had a lot to say about the Alaskan governor’s introduction to the press, and, you know, the fact she needed to have the Bush Doctrine explained to her by a very professorial looking Gibson (did anyone else get a My Fair Lady flash during that segment?). After the jump we take a quick look at the early reactions, and Joan Walsh isn’t pulling any punches.

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Oscar Hind-Sight is 20/20


The Academy Awards from the rear-view mirror:

The Fug Girls should replace Kimora.

Alessandra Stanley just about nails it, except for getting the Busey moment wrong.

Worst clip montages ever–in some cases, stills were used, probably because there’s no WGA payment involved.

Obit sequence–where was Brad Renfro? Charles Lane? (Roy Schneider missed the deadline, no pun intended.)

Brian Lowry seems to have watched an entirely different show than everyone else.

Nikki Finke live-blogged, and some of her readers are miffed.

Jay Fernandez recaps the Diablo Cody legend. Cody says she’s tired of the stripper references:

If I had the money, I would pay off people in the journalism world to not mention it again.

which is pretty much biting the pole that vaulted her here.

Chris Ayers counts the Brits.

Jon Stewart’s performance gets the FBNY look-over.

Ken Levine:

Tilda Swinton looked like Conan O’Brien

Julie Christie–what’s with the gloves? Formal wear for the food-service professional?

Lynda Obst’s writing is so on the mark, polished and smart. Her taste is impeccable. So why does she produce such crap?

WGA 07 Strike Week 5 Name Dropping


Quick! Call the people who make Glade and tell them you won’t buy their stinky product til the writers win.

United Hollywood has the latest response to the AMPTP proposal.

AMPTP finally hires a PR firm.They’re going to need more than air freshener.

John August, Craig Mazin, Jane Espenson, and Josh Friedman pulled the 8-11 a.m. shift at Warner Bros., gate 2/3.

Ken Levine is picketing at CBS Radford.

Alessandra Stanley notices that talk shows aren’t as timely, in her own tardy fashion.

Rachel Sklar stirs the passions of those who admire Ayn Rand.

Will Posh Be More Popular Than Becks? Victoria Beckham Wins Young Viewers


David Beckham has an “official blog“, and it’s as blah as might be expected.

He’s been here a week, and already calling in sick? What does he think this is–an internship? Or does Galaxy not want to risk their high-priced show pony in an exhibition game?

Victoria Beckham’s TV show premiered last night, to little or no acclaim, winning its time slot with the 18-49 group, but NBC still finished in 2nd for the night.

Alessandra Stanley was inspired to actually toss off a quip:

Mrs. Beckham is oddly unsensual on television; she somehow takes the sin out of synergy.

Can this showbiz marriage survive success? Check out X17′s video of the pair–he sure looks cranky.