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NY Times Editor Calls NY Observer Piece ‘Crazy Rant’

Cat fight! Sort of. The first strike was by The New York Observer’s editor — Ken Kurson — on the unsuspecting New York Times. Now, the Times has responded. A little background: Kurson’s cover story was a takedown of the Times’ editorial page and its editor, Andrew Rosenthal.

Kurson essentially described the Times’ Op-Ed desk as all the bad stuff about high school. Rosenthal was called “petty” and the environment was labeled as so bad that reporters won’t even let Rosenthal sit at their lunch tables. The piece is hilariously amazing. It’s also, according to Jill Abramson, executive editor of the Times, wrong.

In an email to Capital New York, Abramson called the Observer piece “the crazy rant of someone with an agenda, certainly not the view of the newsroom of The New York Times.”

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USA Today’s Digital Platforms Exceed 1 Billion Page Views

USA today logo GFor all the ridicule USA Today gets, someone is apparently a fan. According to a memo obtained by Jim Romenesko, in January, USA Today received over one billion page views across its digital platforms.

“Our total of 1.1 billion pages views over mobile, tablet and desktop was a 36.7 percent jump over last January and 17.6 percent over last month,” wrote the paper’s publisher, Larry Kramer. “This is a huge milestone on our journey to the top of the digital news and information world.”

Nice work, USA Today.

John Henry Names Himself Publisher of Boston Globe

John Henry GJohn Henry is not only the relatively new owner of The Boston Globe, he’s also the publisher. Henry, who bought the Globe from The New York Times Company for $70 million last October, has tapped himself for the role. This is the kind of decision you can make when you own things.

In an announcement, Henry said “My main role as publisher is to ensure that the Globe has the right management and that management has the resources to accomplish its mission.”

In other Globe news, Henry named Mike Sheehan CEO. Sheehan was formerly a CEO at the ad agency Hill Holliday.

NY Times Tightens Paywall on Mobile Apps

The execs at the New York Times appreciate that you read lots of articles via the paper’s mobile apps, but they just have one little request: Ante up. To nudge readers toward that goal, today the Times has tightened the paywall on its mobile apps.

Previously, anyone using a Times mobile app could access three free articles per day. The paper will now allow you to access just 10 free articles per month. After that, you’ll be prompted to pay for a subscription. Any articles reached by social network links still won’t count toward your monthly limit.

Now please, you know what to do: 1) Listen to some Mash Out Posse and 2) Buy a Times subscription.

Does WSJ Have a Problem Disclosing Conflicts of Interest?

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A letter published by The Wall Street Journal on Saturday drew criticism from Jewish groups and readers for comparing recent protests targeting San Francisco’s wealthiest residents to a series of 1938 riots, instigated by German Nazis, that left dozens dead and kicked off the Holocaust.

And as some began to question why the business paper of record give a platform to such a far-fetched analogy — in a letter that also unexpectedly glorifies serial novelist Danielle Steel as the city’s No. 1 celebrity — even if the writer was a legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist.

In an italicized tagline beneath the letter, WSJ introduced the author, Thomas Perkins, as founder of the VC firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers — which, despite bearing his name, distanced itself on Saturday from the “partner emeritus” profiled on its website.

A quick Google search reveals more relevant biographical details.

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WSJ Allows Former News Corp. Exec to Compare ‘War’ on Rich to Nazi Anti-Semitism

Something-Ventured-Tom-Perkins

Nearly eight decades ago, Germans, enraged by Nazi Party propaganda, burned and destroyed Jewish shops and synagogues, killed 91 Jews and arrested 30,000 more, deporting them to concentration camps. To Thomas Perkins, a billionaire Silicon Valley investor, that sounds just like recent protests targeting San Francisco’s monied tech workers.

In a letter published by The Wall Street Journal on Saturday — provocatively headlined “Progressive Kristallnacht Coming?” – Perkins, a former News Corporation board member, wrote:

Writing from the epicenter of progressive thought, San Francisco, I would call attention to the parallels of fascist Nazi Germany to its war on its “one percent,” namely its Jews, to the progressive war on the American one percent, namely the “rich.”

From the Occupy movement to the demonization of the rich embedded in virtually every word of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, I perceive a rising tide of hatred of the successful one percent. There is outraged public reaction to the Google buses carrying technology workers from the city to the peninsula high-tech companies which employ them. We have outrage over the rising real-estate prices which these “techno geeks” can pay. We have, for example, libelous and cruel attacks in the Chronicle on our number-one celebrity, the author Danielle Steel, alleging that she is a “snob” despite the millions she has spent on our city’s homeless and mentally ill over the past decades.

This is a very dangerous drift in our American thinking. Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent “progressive” radicalism unthinkable now?

Todd Gutnick, a spokesman for the Anti Defamation League, demanded an apology from Perkins, and called the comparison “outrageous” and “deeply offensive.”

In an email to FishbowlNY, he said:

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Most Popular NY Times Article of 2013 Was About How People Talk Weird

The New York Times just released its most popular articles of 2013. What was the number one most visited piece? An interactive feature that proved how Americans talk weird. Hey, news is great and all, but fun is fun!

Titled “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk,” the piece presented questions to readers about dialect, analyzed their answers, and then spit out a location that was supposed to pinpoint where in the nation the person was from.  [Editor's note: For the record, the thing worked. I was raised in Pittsburgh and my "most likely" location was Pittsburgh.]

See below for the rest of the top 10 most visited Times articles for 2013.

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NY Post Editor Calls Newtown Tragedy ‘Little Convenient Massacre’

s-FRED-DICKER-largeFredric Dicker, The New York Post’s New York state editor since 1982, might want to be a little more careful with his words. The New York Daily News reports that during his WGDJ talk show, Dicker described the Sandy Hook shootings as a “little convenient massacre.” Not only is that not smart, it’s a bit of an oxymoron, right? Massacres aren’t little, and they’re definitely not convenient.

Dicker’s odd comment came while he was addressing Governor Andrew Cuomo’s gun-control legislation. Dicker, a gun enthusiast to the point that he was ammunition in his office, said, “That was his anti-gun legislation, which he had promised not to do, but then he had a little convenient massacre that went on in Newtown, Connecticut, and all of a sudden there was an opportunity for him.”

The New Yorkers Against Gun Violence caught wind of Dicker’s words, and are demanding that he apologizes to the families of the Sandy Hook victims.

Dicker said his comments were taken out of context:

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Former NY Times Mobile Editor Heads to Meetup

Top editors just can’t resist shiny new job titles in the Silicon startup scene lately.

Nearly a week ago, The Wire editor Gabriel Snyder announced his jump from the Atlantic Media site to Inside.com, a mobile news venture.

And on Monday, Fiona Spruill, the former mobile and Web editor at The New York Times, revealed her new gig as head of global growth at Meetup.com, a site for organizing in-real-life gatherings.

 

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LA Times is Getting Into the Online Retail Business with District West

DW-badge-logoThe Los Angeles Times is facing a murky future, as fears mount that the Tribune Company, its corporate parent dogged until recently by years bankruptcy, will further gut the paper’s editorial staff. Or, perhaps worse, sell it to billionaires with nefarious political agendas.

But the executives at the Los Angeles Times Media Group see ecommerce as a possible revenue stream to buoy the paper.

Hence Monday’s launch of District West, a boutique retail site featuring clothes, kitsch, food and home goods from a variety of local vendors. The site is broken down by neighborhood, too, so you can get your vintage leather eyeglass case from Echo Park and any one of a selection of funky bowties from Hollywood.

“District West makes SoCal accessible to anyone hoping to tap into its unique sensibility or buy hyper-local,” Jennifer Collins, vice president of revenue development, said in a statement. “A visit to District West is like finding a cool, hidden gem – full of style and panache that’s straight off of LA’s streets.”

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