MTA: New York Post 'Harmful' to Union Negotiations

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A disputed tip to a tabloid about MTA employee contact talks could deal a damaging blow to negotiations -- according the MTA Transit Authority's top honcho, Joseph J. Lhota.

In today's New York Post, an article claims that the MTA "has caved to several costly union demands," including "one concession agreeing to give subway operators three paid days off when they hit someone."

An exasperated-sounding Lhota fired back with a statement this morning, disputing the paper's reporting.

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Hunter S. Thompson's Playboy Correspondence: Kind of Tame

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Playboy

The above is Hunter S. Thompson's hangover cure, according to a cache of his letters released by Playboy. It's 12 amyl nitrites and "as many beers as necessary." Amyl nitrites are poppers, FYI. What did you expect Hunter S. Thompson's hangover cure to be? Green tea and a hot yoga session? Color us unsurprised.

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The Wrongest Twitter Policy You Could Possibly Adopt

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The Times ran a pretty worth-a-read article yesterday about the new generation of campaign reporters. In contrast to the weathered chain-smoking Merriman Smith types of The Boys on the Bus, today's campaign reporters are youngsters chosen because they're cheap and willing to put up with uncomfortable working conditions. Which sucks right off the bat, but these kids (full disclosure: I shouldn't really be calling them that, since I'm the same age or younger as most of them) are also being told to use Twitter in exactly the wrong way. And that's the thing that really needles.

Here is the incredibly wrong-headed advice these reporters are being given about Twitter:

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'Help a Reporter' Twitter Is Not Being Messed With, Says Man Behind Funny Tweets

Over at The Awl today, Choire Sicha wondered: who's messing with the Twitter of helpareporter.com, a service that helps reporters find sources for stories they're working on? @helpareporter was tweeting unlikely things like the following:

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Matt Taibbi on Michele Bachmann in Rolling Stone: Not Quite Plagiarism; PBS Hacked Again

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Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone wrote another of his highly entertaining, polarizing, acerbic, hyperbolic and metaphor-laden magazine features, online now, this time about Minnesota politician and presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann, who Taibbi, right out of the gate, calls "almost certainly the funniest thing that has ever happened to American presidential politics." And from there, oh boy! "She's trying to look like June Cleaver, but she actually looks like the T2 skeleton posing for a passport photo," he writes. But overshadowing the colorful prose, big broad claims and even the salient points is a faux-media conspiracy, borne mostly of the fact that Taibbi is seen as unlikable, which says that he may have plagiarized. He didn't, but "mistakes were made," as they say. More inside Press Clips, our daily media column.

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Reporter Trapped in Closet by Biden Staff at Fundraiser

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via The Onion
A reporter for the Orlando Sentinel says he was held captive in a storage closet during a recent fundraiser for Florida senator Bill Nelson attended by Vice President Joe Biden. Political reporter Scott Powers told the Drudge Report that Biden's staff confined him during the event instead of allowing him to mingle freely among the guests. He was allowed out to listen to Biden and Nelson's remarks and then swiftly spirited away back into the closet. Staff members stayed outside the door to ensure that Powers didn't escape.More »

Libyan Journalist Mohammed Nabbous Killed in Benghazi Fighting

The harrowing recording above is independent Libyan journalist Mohammed "Mo" Nabbous' last report for Libya al-Hurra, the Livestream channel where he broadcast widely viewed footage and commentary from Benghazi. He was killed in fighting between rebels and Qaddafi forces in Libya today. Awful stuff.

[@_rosiegray]

Is Western Coverage of Japan Veering Into "Disaster Porn"?

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Reuters via NYT
An idea getting thrown around on the Internet is that American news networks' coverage of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is a form of "disaster porn." This post from Tokyo photographer Rikki Kasso's blog reposted on Tumblr sums up the argument:

Please everybody do not refer to CNN, or most American news networks for accurate updates on the development of the situation here. I would suggest Japan`s news network of NHK. Most news networks keep running the same 4 or 5 video extreme damage loops focusing on the body count and tragedy. Those are valid points as well, but to repeat them with music and logos is sickening, and now Japan has become the lead star in the American News network Natural Disaster Series.

True?

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Al Jazeera English to Introduce Twitter-Heavy News Show

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Al Jazeera English is launching a new show in May called "The Stream" based around input from various social media -- instead of a traditional news program format, The Stream will rely on tweets, Facebook activity, and YouTube videos from people watching and Internet in general. Producers will still control what's covered on the show, but the idea is to pull the content from social networking. In light of the recent popular uprisings across the Middle East and their much-hyped relationship to social media, the idea seems pretty shrewd at first glance.

This could risk being like the current iteration of CNN, which, as Jon Stewart pointed out, has become basically a lawless AOL chatroom. Or it could be cool. The teaser is certainly flashy:

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Lara Logan: The Rape Question, and a Scandalous NYPD Connection

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Lara Logan
​After news of the vicious attack last Friday in Cairo on CBS reporter Lara Logan, the worms started crawling out of the woodwork. So far, the foremost twit on Twitter has been NYU fellow Nir Rosen, whose crassness cost him his job, as my colleague, Joe Coscarelli, notes.

But all this sneering crap from creepy-crawlies like Rosen and right-wing nut Debbie Schlussel still obscures the question: What exactly happened to Lara Logan?

After I posted that question earlier this morning, in light of the Post's saying that sources told the paper that Logan wasn't raped, I had the following exchange with one of my Facebook friends, who wrote me:

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