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Posts Tagged ‘John Cook’

Tony Ortega Gifts Gawker with Ex-Scientologists Rap Song

The latest Church of Scientology scoop fomented by former Village Voice editor-in-chief Tony Ortega is a Thetan level doozy. One that will be reverberating across MSM outlets for days.

The video itself is posted exclusively on Gawker together with a story by John Cook. It showcases a work-in-progress rap song recording laid down by a group of big-name former Church members. Led by Nazanin Boniadi (pictured), the British-Iranian actress at the center of a recent Vanity Fair cover story claiming she was hand-picked by the Church to be Tom Cruise’s girlfriend. One of Boniadi’s lyrics goes like this – ‘It’s a blind alley, like Kirstie Alley.’

In both the Gawker item and on Ortega’s blog, the critical role played by the tireless CoS watchdog reporter in helping flush out this material is explained:

In November, I was in Los Angeles and was hanging out with a British television crew that is making an hour-long documentary about Scientology for Channel 4 that will air in March. I told them about the song, and they were anxious to see if we could get [Tiziano] Lugli to play it for us. We met him at his Hollywood Hills home, and he took us into the studio.

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What People Are Saying About Newsweek Ending Print Edition

As you know, Newsweek has decided to end its print edition. We’re sad about it, but not everyone is. Below is a sampling of what people are saying about an icon going dark.

Howard Fineman, The Huffington Post:

I tweeted earlier today that I was going to be “ruminating” about the death of Newsweek and someone suggested that I ‘ruminate’ instead on the decline of ”News with a capital ‘N.”Well I have, and I don’t believe for a minute that one equals the other. We want to do excellent reporting and writing; the best way to honor a place such as Newsweek is to seek to match what it did in both.

Kevin Lincoln, BuzzFeed:

Critics suggested that Brown had lost her touch, but in fact the game had changed, and she was trying to do the impossible. Brown realized that the media ecosystem favored viral images, and her covers spread on blogs and the social web. But they failed to carry the cover stories, or the magazine, with them.

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Finke-Easton Ellis Feud Gets a Whole Lot Uglier

Reclusive blogger Nikki Finke appears to be foolishly going after someone who has no fear of her.

In the latest bit of news connected to the public feud that erupted last Friday between Finke and author Bret Easton Ellis thanks to an article on Gawker and quick echo at the New York Observer end, the Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the author’s agency ICM has engaged lawyers Howard Weitzman and Lawrence Iser to counter her threats:

The lawyers have fired off two separate letters to her website’s owner demanding that she stop harassing agency employees…

Sources who have seen the cease-and-desist letters say the letters also claim that Finke has told top ICM employees she would reveal their home addresses and where their children go to school. Finke also is alleged in the letters to have told at least one agent that she would write things damaging to the agency on the Deadline blog that the agency’s executives believe to be false.

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Bret Easton Ellis Fills In the Nikki Finke Blanks

In case you have not been paying attention, Gawker did a rather dishonorable thing the other day. They picked up on one old and two new tweets from @BretEastonEllis to pinpoint the alleged exact residential street and West Hollywood condo unit address of Nikki Finke.

In an exclusive statement published this morning by The Hollywood Reporter, Ellis makes no apologies for sparking this latest Finke scandal. (It appears that Gawker reporter John Cook’s emails to Finke for comment before his story went up last Friday not only alerted her to the impending article, but also precipitated a separate rant unleashed on Ellis’ ICM agency staff.) From the THR item:

“I had no idea her ‘privacy’ was so important considering her feelings about revealing the lives of others. Come on, N.F., if you’re going to call out others, then expect it in return…”

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The Best Responses to Politico’s Absurd Media Bias Article

Politico recently published a piece accusing the New York Times and Washington Post of being “blatantly” biased in favor of Barack Obama. The piece was odd/wrong/ridiculous on a number of levels, and the masses have begun to make their opinions known to Politico.

Below are excerpts from some of the best responses. Enjoy the righteous anger.

Devin Gordon, GQ:

Politico published this story the day after one of its targets, The Times, published an astonishing expose about President Obama’s personal oversight of a terrorist ‘kill list.’ In what universe is that not vetting? Part of Politico’s argument is that these two media outlets have spent far too much time on the silly stuff about the Romney family, chasing stories that have no bearing on candidate Mitt’s qualifications for office — but then, in the same breath, they ignore the Times when it focuses, exceptionally, relentlessly, on the truly important stuff like Obama’s record on national security.

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Gawker Continues its Assault on Frank Bruni

For some reason, some of Gawker’s writers absolutely hate Frank Bruni, the New York Times columnist. The site has labeled him as one of “10 people who should quit media,” someone who once wrote “the most boring story ever told” and more. Is his writing that bad or is there maybe some jealousy involved? Hahaha! There’s no way it would be the latter! That would just be… Well, anyway.

Today at Gawker, John Cook has some more choice words for Bruni’s recent work, in which Bruni tells the story of a doctor friend who performs an abortion on a pro life activist who has intensely protested outside of the doctor’s office. Cook thinks it’s too good to be true, and asks a bunch of questions like how the pro-lifer could have slipped past her protesting friends and why the protestor chose the same clinic she frequently attacked to have the procedure.

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Gawker Journo: Pulitzer Prizes Don’t Matter Anymore

Today’s Gawker Op Ed by John Cook is perfect spring fodder for students at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism. That’s where Sharon Bernstein, one of Cook’s cited examples of Pulitzer’s 21st century irrelevance, will soon be teaching as a visiting professor.

Cook points to laid off LA Times staffer Bernstein (now with NBCLA) and other Pulitzer Prize winners who have been terminated, including a former workmate at the Chicago Tribune, Jeff Lyon, who took a buyout in 2009. Cook recalls how shocked he was one day after joining the Chicago paper to learn that Lyon was part of the Pulitzer prize-winning ranks.

The hook for this provocative opinion piece is the fact that next week is the submission deadline for 2012 Pulitzer consideration. Writes Cook:

If a Pulitzer isn’t a guarantee that, at the very least, you won’t get canned tomorrow, then what good is it as a mark of journalistic excellence?

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Has Gawker Spooked Fox News?

Fox News has declared Gawker “dead or dying,”reporting that the site’s traffic is down 75%, though that doesn’t appear to be even close to the truth. The erroneous numbers were first mentioned on the Fox News website yesterday, then repeated by Steve Doocy on Fox and Friends this morning. There are so many legitimately negative things to say about Gawker, why make one up?

John Cook is pretty sure it’s his fault:

I have for several weeks been working on a story about a Fox News personality that Fox News really does not want published! Fox knows what the story is, because I’ve asked its PR department for comment (they refused).

Gawker will publish the story next week, and we will be personally contributing to their web traffic.

Slandered Schwarzenegger Flight Attendant Goes After Gawker

When LA Times media critic James Rainey called out Gawker this spring for completely bungling a report about Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s love child, the first reader comment suggested that flight attendant Tammy Tousignant, wrongly tagged by reporter John Cook (pictured) as the mother of the ex-Governor’s love child, should sue the Nick Denton publication. That has now, belatedly, happened.

Tousignant wants a minimum of $10 million from Gawker, the National Enquirer, and UK’s The Daily Mail. In her Orange County Superior Court complaint, she is basically alleging that the extensive correction posted on Gawker in place of the erroneous May 17 item was not nearly enough. Per Rainey’s original report:

I asked Gawker editor-in-chief Remy Stern how the error came about. Stern said the reporter is one of “the very best.” He called the Schwarzenegger story an anomaly.

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Gawker Suing Chris Christie Over Fox News Probe

Gawker is bringing Governor Chris Christie to court, alleging that he and Roger Ailes have exchanged emails that go beyond the typical LOLCat forward.

John Cook, a writer for the site, tells The New York Times that he believes those emails (which the governor’s office is refusing to give up) will prove that Ailes is providing political advice to Christie:

Through the lawsuit, Mr. Cook hopes to either obtain the records of contacts between the two men, or, alternatively, to have Mr. Christie’s office explain to a judge why each of the records is confidential. ‘That,’ he said, ‘would be, in and of itself, a newsworthy outcome.’

This is the first time Gawker Media has filed a lawsuit to obtain information, and they sure picked a big target. If it seems like pretty much every News Corp. entity is under attack lately, well, that’s because they are.

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