Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlee's One Big Mistake Was Our Gain

Categories: Media

The Post's 1981 Pulitzer, lost to fraud, ultimately went to the Voice.
In 1980, a Washington Post writer named Janet Cooke wrote a heart-wrenching story about an eight-year-old heroin addict in Washington, D.C. "Jimmy's World" was a heroic piece of journalism, shedding light on an often unseen world of addiction and poverty and misery.

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Texas Monthly Wants $1 Million From the New York Times for Poaching Editor Jake Silverstein

Texas Monthly editor Jake Silverstein had several reasons to celebrate on March 28. The last installment of an exhaustive five-part, 25,000-word series on a botched triple homicide investigation was live online; the day before, a big Texas Monthly-branded barbecue event had gone off without a hitch in Brooklyn... and, after an extensive search, the New York Times was finally ready to announce it would be naming Silverstein the new editor of its Sunday magazine.

The news, announced on the Times' website that Friday came as a surprise -- Silverstein's name had not been mentioned in speculative articles leading up to the announcement -- and a nasty one for Ian Arnold, vice president of Emmis Publishing, the owner of Texas Monthly.

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The Observer's Embarrassing Eric Schneiderman Takedown Attempt, by the Numbers

On Wednesday the New York Observer published a profile of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. The piece is long, and utterly embarrassing in its exasperated defense of Donald Trump, Observer publisher Jared Kushner's father-in-law and the target of an ongoing lawsuit by the Attorney General's office. Worse, it's an insult to the Observer's readers, who are way too media savvy for the shenanigans.

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Alec Baldwin Takes Ball, Goes Home

Also cancelled: Baldwin's popular cooking tips show.
Alec Baldwin is done with all you tiny, pathetic ingrates. New York has just gotten too mean. A man can't live peacefully in this town anymore. The days when you were free to call people "queens" and "faggots" and "cocksucking fags" as you saw fit are over. Alec Baldwin bids you to say goodbye to these.

That was the news last night from New York magazine, whose cover story this week features a first-person from Baldwin, declaring, "I Give Up." (On Vulture, New York's culture blog, the piece is billed as ""Goodbye, Public Life.")

It's Baldwin's passionate denunciation of the media, as well as New York City and pretty much everybody in it (Shia LeBeouf, Rachel Maddow, Joe Scarborough, er, Bill de Blasio). He declares that he's done trying "to communicate with an audience playfully like we're friends, beyond the work you are actually paid for." His withdrawal, he adds, is because he's been labeled "a homophobic bigot by Andrew Sullivan, Anderson Cooper, and others in the Gay Department of Justice." And barely 100 words into the piece, he uses an anti-transgender slur. Good God, Lemon.

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Laid-Off WBAI Employees Still Waiting for Severance Six Months Later

Categories: Media

It was August when Pacifica Radio's executive director, Summer Reese, took to the airwaves to announce that most of the station's paid staff, including its entire news department, was being laid off. Reese told listeners on the afternoon of August 9 that "we will laying off virtually everyone whose voice you recognize on the air."

At the end of this month, unemployment benefits will run out for the 19 employees who lost their jobs last summer -- and all of them are still waiting for severance checks from Pacifica Radio. At least three of them face becoming homeless, one former employee told the Voice.

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On Hot 97, Bill de Blasio Talks Dropping the Stop-and-Frisk Appeal and Dante's "Extraordinary" Fro

Thumbnail image for Dante.jpg
Image via.
The fro in question, in case you'd forgotten.
In a news conference yesterday, Mayor Bill de Blasio formally announced what he's been promising since he was a candidate: an end to New York City's ongoing legal battle to stop and frisk with impunity. Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the city had been appealing a decision by Federal District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, which called the practice unconstitutional, and which ordered that an independent monitor be appointed to reform the department's stop-and-frisk policies; separately, the New York City Council voted to create an inspector general's position for the department.

In an interview this morning with Peter Rosenberg and Ebro, Hot 97's morning show hosts, de Blasio called stop-and-frisk "a broken policy," and promised "an entirely different approach" to fighting crime.

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Just in Time for February, the Myth of Sex Trafficking and the Super Bowl Returns

Photo by Flickr user Section 215.
MetLife Stadium, where this year's Super Bowl will be played.
It's almost Super Bowl time, and you know what that means: sex slaves, thousands of them, flooding into the area around New Jersey's MetLife stadium to be raped by morally bankrupt football fans.

That's the story from the Associated Press, anyway; an article by Katie Zezima and Samantha Henry published this month warned that sex trafficking is always a huge problem around the Super Bowl, and that the Jersey location of this year's game will only make matters worse: "Many believe the state's sprawling highway system, proximity to New York City and diverse population make it an attractive base of operations for traffickers."

The only problem is, that story -- about trafficked women and children being driven into Super Bowl towns in large numbers to be brutalized every year when game time rolls around -- isn't true. It wasn't true 10 years ago, when a version of the story first started circulating, and it will continue to not be true this year. So, why are you reading about it in an Associated Press article, on PolicyMic, in the New York Daily News, the Huffington Post, and dozens of other media outlets, not one of which can apparently refrain from using some version of the phrase "a dark side to the big game"?

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Former Voice Editor Don Forst Dies; Joined This Paper to Work With Its "Homosexuals" and "Trotskyites"

Don Forst in 2011 at the University at Albany journalism program's graduation. At right is program director Nancy Roberts
Donald "Don" Forst, the former editor of the Village Voice, who also helmed New York Newsday and the Boston Herald during his 50-year career as a journalist, has died at the age of 81. The New York Times obituary didn't cite a cause of death, but Peter Nessen, the friend who confirmed Forst's death to the paper, said Forst was undergoing treatment for colon cancer.

Forst wrote and edited at 14 papers over the course of his career, and was editor of the Voice from 1997 to 2005. He joined the paper after New York Newsday was shut down by its parent company and he ended a brief stint as the metropolitan editor at the Daily News. At the time, the NYT called Forst the "oddest choice" to edit the Voice, given his long run at more right-leaning outfits, as well as the fact that he was a 64-year-old white guy picked to helm a staff of "famously cantankerous writers, a youngish rainbow coalition of color and sexual preference," as the paper put it.

Forst, too, acknowledged that he was a strange fit, giving the NYT this unforgettable quote:

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Poll: Who's the More Horrible Media Troll, Richard Cohen or Lori Gottlieb?

Image via Washington Post
Contestant 1: Richard Cohen
It's been quite a week for people writing what appear to be deliberately stupid editorials, but then, isn't it always? Earlier this week, the internet was in an uproar over Richard Cohen, Washington Post columnist and musty old bigot, who finds a new way to bum us out almost every Tuesday. As a reminder: the last time Cohen seriously upset people was with a column on Travyon Martin, suggesting that he did deserve to be profiled and maybe murdered a little, since he was, after all, young, black, and wearing a hoodie. And who could forget Cohen's delightful piece on Roman Polanski, who, after all, merely "had sex with a 13-year-old after plying her with booze" and obviously did not deserve any silly old rape charge?

But Tuesday's column was a last straw for a lot of folks. Amid a mumbling piece about how the Tea Party doesn't like Chris Christie, thus making him un-electable as president, Cohen busted out this nugget, about how the rightwing sees Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio:

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Uber Delivers Kittens to Newsrooms Around New York

Categories: Cats, Media

Simon Constable of WSJ getting his cat on.
You may have heard that Uber is promoting their product with #ICanHazUberKitten day. No? Then allow us to explain the Internet's latest abomination thing: The mid-to-high-priceed digi-car service is ferrying kittens from office to office all day to promote its services and raise money for the ASPCA.

Unable to contain the cuteness in the physical realm, users of the day's services have posted the kitten house calls all over social media. It seems like media organizations are taking advantage of the service, obviously doing their journalistic duty despite the fact no one would ever click on a headline with "kittens" in it. (Runnin' Scared writers had a serious conversation about who could front the $20 for the service.) NBC Latino, Huffington Post Live, even the Wall Street Journal are on Twitter with their ordered kitties.

Runnin' Scared wanted to get in on this kitty cat media blitz, so we rounded up some of the tweets of the feline fuzzballs hanging out with serious journalists.

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