John Miller's New NYPD Gig and the Terrible Revolving Door

John Miller
Three times John Miller has jumped from reporter to an institution he covered as a reporter.

Here's a brief timeline:

1973-1994: Journalist, including 10 years as an investigative reporter for New York's NBC affiliate.

1994-1995: Law enforcement official, as deputy police commissioner for the NYPD.

1995-2002: Journalist, as a correspondent for ABC's 20/20.

2003-2005: Law enforcement official, as chief of the Los Angeles Police Department's Counterterrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau.

2005-2011: Law enforcement official, as the FBI's assistant director for the Office of Public Affairs.

2011-2013: Journalist, as a senior correspondent for CBS News, including reporting for 60 Minutes.

2014-present: Law enforcement official, as NYPD's deputy commissioner of intelligence.

That so many respectable employers have hired Miller indicates his competence. Perhaps he will make New Yorkers even safer during his tenure at One Police Plaza. By taking that pursuit, though, he's done a disservice to journalism.

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Woman Reports Being Raped in Central Park, and the New York Post Is Skeptical -- As Usual

Categories: Media Criticism

wonderyort via Flickr
In the early hours of Sunday morning, a 28-year-old woman checked herself into Mount Sinai Hospital and called 911 to report that she had just been raped in Central Park. Completing those two tasks alone requires an uncommon amount of bravery: According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, more than half of all rape victims never report the crime.

Now the woman must endure another awful experience, as members of the public, the media, and law enforcement are, with the scantest amount of detail available, either blaming her for being raped or skeptical that a rape took place.

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No Matter What We Do, the Election Has to Leak Into Hurricane Sandy

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Serious conviction: Most of New York's media folk are stuck indoors, looking for something to write about to fill blogs with content. Guilty as charged myself. However, while social media collapses with updates of Sandy's destruction, there have been flares of America's severe electoral illness. Symptoms include: taking any event and asking "What does this mean for the election?"

Given, the election is a week away (yeah . . . we know) so it's only natural that we think of the near future. But there's something to be said about the election leaking into a national crisis or the act of politicizing the wrath of Mother Nature -- we reported on a similar all-political-everything matter involving Romney and hurricanes a few months back, when he told a woman to "Call 2-1-1" if the going gets rough. There's also something to be said when we're talking more about the implications for the election than its possible correlation to, uhm, global warming.

Here's a couple of 'Sandy's impact' narratives that I've come across on the Interwebs: 1) Romney pledged to cut FEMA (and then re-pledged), which will come back to bite him in the ass now; 2) studies of incumbent presidents losing elections when it's shitty out; 3) studies of voter backlash on presidents during weather-related crises; 4) voters will think Obama is more "presidential" signing emergency declarations for Pennsylvania and New Jersey; and 5) a combination of previous points with additional "What about the children?"-like questions.

Also, here's the sad truth for bloggers: The storm will not affect the election. 

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The BuzzFeed Lawsuit, or, What the Hell Are We Gonna Do With Pictures in the Digital Age?

In the Age of Too Much Information, an infinite stream of photos floods the blogs, the news sites, the Facebooks, the meme world, Google Image Search, and whatever other nook of the Interwebs. Sometimes they are credited, and sometimes they are not; the whole mantra "give credit where credit is due" is a nonissue in online communities, where the universality of everything online trumps the degree of transparency. 

We saw this issue arise in the Shepard Fairey case -- the Associated Press sued the street artist for millions for taking the famous shot of Obama and turning it into the even-more-famous "Hope" poster. In the end, Fairey received 300 hours of community service for his "wrongdoing."

And we're seeing it once again in a lawsuit filed against BuzzFeed. Florida-based photo agency Marvix is suing the media organization for taking nine celebrity photos of Katy Perry and others. In the case, Marvix v. BuzzFeed, the agency accuses the Web giant for not attributing where the photos came from. The Floridians want $1.3 million paid back in damages because, in copyright law, a stolen picture is worth $150,000. Multiply that number by the nine in question, and, voila, you have yourself a hefty sum.

But case aside, the question here is not the integrity of BuzzFeed or this "copyright trolling" photo agency. No, the matter is something much more larger and prevalent in the rapidly connecting way we receive our news: What the hell are we gonna do with photos in the modern age?

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The Wall Street Journal Ran 20 Op-Eds Without Disclosing the Authors' Ties to Romney

BREAKING: A lot of the people who write op-ed pieces for The Wall Street Journal are in the tank for Mitt Romney.

That information might not come as a shock to anyone possessed of basic media literacy. But a report released today documents 20 different instances in which the Journal ran columns by nine different authors without disclosing that each of them has formal ties to the Romney campaign.

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CNN and Time Magazine Suspend Fareed Zakaria for Plagiarism

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In journalism school, plagiarism is equivalent to life without parole: it is the bane of any writer's existence and an automatic halt on one's professional reputation. We are told over and over and over again to source everything, make sure all of your facts line up and that we'll be outcasted from the journalistic community if we dare even think of the word 'plagiarism.' For more information, check out "Shattered Glass," the tale of the Rise and Fall of The New Republic's Stephen Glass, who fabricated entire articles for a quick shot at fame.

So here's a little story that has unfolded over the past few days. You might know Fareed Zakaria - the Indian-American journalist had a column in Newsweek for over a decade and soon became editor-at-large for Time. Soon enough, he was on the tellie with a CNN show called Fareed Zakaria GPS, a weekly summary of international and domestic news from the writer himself.

In this month's issue of Time Magazine, Zakaria wrote a column about gun laws in the face of the shootings in Aurora and Oak Creek. began to note way-too-coincidental similarities between his article and a work in the New Yorker's April issue by the journalist Jill Lapore. The group passed on the observation to NewsBusters, a media watchdog group. As the pressure mounted on Zakaria, he was forced to make a statement. 

And he did: he might've plagiarized a bit.

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Questions Raised About NYPD's Claims Linking Occupy Wall Street To Murder

Unnamed sources sparked a media furor -- now being questioned -- linking DNA from an Occupy-Wall-Street-affiliated protest to an eight-year-old murder.
The story was so peculiar that you knew there had to be at least one more shoe poised to drop.

Last night, the local NBC affiliate ran a story based on an unnamed source leaking the following information: There had been a break in the eight-years-cold investigation of the murder of Sarah Fox in Inwood. DNA evidence recovered from her CD player, found near her corpse, matched DNA taken from a chain used to hold open a subway door in the fare strike conducted by wildcat transit union members and Occupy Wall Street affiliated activists.

The appeared to be based on a single unnamed source, seemingly speaking from within the NYPD investigation, though the NBC story didn't so much as identify the basis of the source's expertise.

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Does Reuters Think 'Vagina' Is a Dirty Word?

And now for a bit of Friday afternoon weirdness before we sign off for the day...

Tyler Coates just brought a Reuters item to our attention which details an allegedly abusive exorcism.

Before the body of the story,
readers are cautioned: "Note: graphic language in 7th paragraph."

Now, we counted to what sure seems like the seventh paragraph, and it looks like the explicit language might concern the word "vagina."

What the fuck, right?

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Happy May Day: NY Post Columnist Nicole Gelinas Argues Against Living Wage Bill (Of Course)

No shocker here, but a New York Post op-ed contributor is peddling the same misleading bullshit about minimum wage increases that opponents always peddle.

Enter Nicole Gelinas.

Raising minimum wage -- as per the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act -- is "left-wing social engineering." (Classic Post prose, really.)

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NY Post's Abby Schachter: 'The Left' Is Unpatriotic for Complaining About Racism

This happened.
Did you know that complaining about racism makes you unpatriotic and means that you have a (bad) attitude toward America?

Well, it doesn't, but that's what the New York Post's Abby Schachter suggests.

"Bill Maher pretty much summed up the left's attitude toward the United States when he declared that Barack Obama came up from poverty to become 'the first black president of the racist states of America,' she writes.

For Schachter, of course, this is evidence that, "according to liberals like Maher, nothing has changed in all that time. This country is racist, many liberals believe, so it ever was and so it shall ever be. The election of a black president has done nothing to change our nation's true nature, says the left, because at its heart this is a racist country."

Somehow, Maher's one comment corroborates something about all liberals and suggests that white people get the short end of the stick. Oh, and apparently, the Trayvon Martin case is an example of "the liberal racist narrative."

She really said all this!

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