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

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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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New York Times Traffic Down 24 Percent From Paywall; Erik Wemple to Washington Post

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Lately, the New York Times has lost a few of its star writers including legendary critic and columnist Frank Rich and foreign correspondent Dexter Filkins, along with a handful of others, and although people change jobs all the time and for a variety of reasons, the timing was enough to make us wonder, "Will the New York Times Paywall Be a 'Wasteland' for Writers?" April was the first full month in which the newspaper's website wasn't free and while "wasteland" may be a little harsh, readership is indeed down. In our daily media column Press Clips we'll tell you how much and what it means, in addition to news about Washington, D.C., stalwart Erik Wemple's new job and a small snafu at Forbes.

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Osama Bin Laden Death Pictures Now in Freedom of Information Act Limbo

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Since President Barack Obama decided that the pictures of Osama Bin Laden were too gruesome to make public, lest they inflame violence or be used as anti-U.S. propaganda, it will be up to journalists to force transparency from the administration. (That, or Obama could have them leaked, thereby avoiding the complications that come with an officially sanctioned government release.) But assuming that won't happen, the Associated Press has already taken it upon themselves to file a Freedom of Information Act for a pile of Bin Laden dead body-related media being held by the government, which, if granted by the courts, could require the info to be made public. It probably won't work! But we still have more details about it in our daily media column Press Clips.

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U.S. Media Favoring Scary Side of Guantanamo Detainees Instead of American Screw-Ups

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Front and center in today's edition of the New York Times is an article entitled "In Dossier, Portrait of Push for Post-9/11 Attacks," a piece that uses this week's WikiLeaks document dump about detainees held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay to tell of terrorist plans never carried out. The article is one of many Guantanamo angles so far this week, not only from the Times, but other domestic news organizations like the Washington Post and NPR, along with international outlets like Britain's Telegraph and Guardian, which are culling the raw classified documents and repackaging them as news stories. But are American outlets being more deferential to the U.S. government than their international counterparts by highlighting the danger of the detainees instead of the well-documented innocents held uncharged, the abuses they suffered and the flawed system of interrogation? Let's explore in Press Clips, our daily media column. Plus: the Village Voice has a new Metro columnist!

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Guantanamo Bay Is a Complicated Hell on Earth, New WikiLeaks Documents Show

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On Sunday night, various media outlets like the New York Times, NPR, Washington Post, McClatchy, the Guardian and the Telegraph published numerous classified files and accompanying in-depth reports about the prisoners of Guantanamo Bay. WikiLeaks, Julian Assange's pro-transparency organization, received the leaks and offered them to organizations like NPR and the Post, likely due to ongoing issues with previous publication partners like the Times and Guardian (stemming from personal dramas with Assange), who got the info regardless from "another source." But now that it's all out there, a fairly clear picture is starting to emerge, not that it wasn't known already: Guantanamo Bay is a really screwed up place. And it's still open.

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Every Thing You Always Wanted to Know About the New York Times Paywall, But Were Too Poor to Ask

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​Big news in the world of meta media news today! Details of the long-awaited, vaguely teased New York Times paywall have arrived via a press release from the Paper of Record. It's sort of expensive, compared to free! It's also sort of reasonable, if you feel inclined to support the making of good news, but don't want all of the unread papers to pile up in your kitchen. (Some sections are boring.) We have all of the pertinent information inside an early afternoon edition of Press Clips, our daily media round-up. Plus! Plagiarism at the Washington Post and The Daily iPad newspaper is almost no longer free, but it is going overseas. But mostly the New York Times paywall -- always the New York Times paywall. (Don't be too afraid.)

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Bloomberg Names First Chief Digital Officer; New York Times Readies Online Paywall

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Rachel Sterne, a 27-year-old child of New York City's burgeoning start-up scene and a citizen journalism early adopter, has been named the city's Chief Digital Officer by the Bloomberg administration. What on earth does that mean? Find out inside Press Clips, our afternoon media round-up. Plus: can The Huffington Post fire people they don't pay? What's up with Harper's? And did you know the Sunday edition of the New York Times costs $5.00? Get indignant. And be sure to email with tips, curses and funny YouTube videos.

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Sarah Palin Getting the Silent Treatment For February

By one man at least: Dana Milbank of the Washington Post used his column space at the end of last week as an opportunity for mild self-flagellation, admitting that since the 2008 election, he has written about Sarah Palin in 42 column and in "dozens more blog posts, Web chats, and TV and radio appearances." He flat out calls it an "obsession," one that both "cheapens and demeans" him. So he's going to take a break for one month.

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Press Clips: The New York Observer's New Disclosure Problems

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Only one item today: Why didn't the New York Observer's new media writer disclose any potential conflicts of interest with his first cover story for the paper, on Slate? Feels like he should've. Why? Press Clips, Day 19, Late Disclosure edition, right here. UPDATED.

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Who Is Howard Kurtz and Why Shouldn't You Care?

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Regardless of the likely event you're like the majority of the universe and don't follow the navel-gazing meta-narrative that is media reporting, you may have come accross the fact the one of the nation's most known media columnists -- Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post -- is leaving his job at the paper after over two decades to go work for Tina Brown's news website, The Daily Beast (a site he once fawned over in the pages of the Post two years ago). And just how did everyone react to the news of an old, supposedly revered news vet going to work for a WEB BLOG SITE THING?

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