Media blow up their own Trump Tower
- Bring on your wrecking ball
Having built up Donald Trump, the press is quickly proving a multi-platform demolition company. It's a pivot worthy of a Hall of Fame second baseman turning a double play. Now the "insult-comedian character assassin" (New York Post) is close to being toast. "Is this the End of Donald Trump?" (National Journal) "The Beginning of the End of Donald Trump?" asked CNBC. "The Beginning of the End of Donald Trump?" asked The Washington Post. Wait, same question! Well, if they'd chosen to be more declarative: "Iowa is the Beginning of the End for Donald Trump." (The Week)
As for the polling, the same media that rely on an increasingly methodologically fragile species as if crack cocaine now felt high-mindedly dyspeptic. "Why Iowa Polls Were Wrong." (USA TODAY) "Why were the Iowa Polls So Wrong?" (The Washington Post) "How did polls right before Iowa caucus get the Republican vote so wrong?" (New York Daily News) This was somewhat fatiguing. Still, one of the more sophisticated analyses came from Nate Cohn. (The New York Times) But is this the beginning of the end of such facile reliance on polls? Just turn on your nearest television and watch as cable news descends upon New Hampshire. (CNN)
- Want to buy Yahoo?
Its fourth-quarter earnings call was not a triumph. It is "moving full speed ahead — in every direction." (The New York Times) As tech savant Kara Swisher put it, "The real news was that Yahoo put itself up for sale. Except, at the same time, it did not put itself up for sale, trying to have it both ways. That’s because CEO Marissa Mayer clearly wants more time to turn around her so-far failed turnaround. Meanwhile, Yahoo’s board indicated that it was open to exploring 'strategic alternatives.'" (Re/code) So it's on the block.
- Intercept intercepts a cheater
The Intercept, a national security site associated with Edward Snowden ally Glenn Greenwald, disclosed that it's canned a reporter after uncovering a "pattern of deception" that included fabricating quotes from people with whom he never talked. (Poynter) Juan Thompson also conceived a somewhat elaborate ruse to mislead colleagues, including phony email addresses. The publication had fessed up to problems in five articles prior to a formal note to readers from the editor. Those included a total retraction of a piece concerning white supremacist Dylann Roof. (Gawker) So the reporter was caught but, as is often the case in such matters, closer inspection will likely find that this wasn't a one-time series of deceptions.
- Reporter, photog remain in hospital
San Diego TV reporter Marie Coronel and photographer Mike Gold remain hospitalized after being hit by a falling tree while doing a early morning story. Gold had surgery for a compound leg fracture and Coronel is in intensive care with publicly unspecified injuries and is set for Thursday surgery. (KGTV)
- Stayin' alive
The Tampa Bay Times, which Poynter owns, will print the rival Tampa Tribune. It's the sort of mutually beneficial cost-cutting move that's in play elsewhere, including Chicago, Boston and Dallas, as papers struggle with crumbling revenues. (Poynter)
- Lost and found
My spouse suggests I suffer from ACRS (Anachronistic Cultural Reference Syndrome). Well, here we go again: Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Ronnie Wood and Ringo Starr were among those at the last concert of The Band at San Francisco's Winterland in 1976. It was the concert shot by Martin Scorsese for his fabulous documentary, "The Last Waltz." The San Francisco Chronicle thought it had lost all its photos of the show. The paper's library director, Bill Van Niekerken, and culture critic Peter Hartlaub were looking through shots of a 1980 Bread and Roses show featuring Joni Mitchell playing guitar with B.B. King and guess what they found after 40 years? (The San Francisco Chronicle)
- Harper's Magazine editor gone after third issue
Harper’s publisher and CEO Rick MacArthur has bid farewell to Christopher Cox after less than three months atop the 165-year-old publication. "I can confirm that I have been terminated from Harper’s Magazine because of editorial differences with the publisher,” Cox emailed Gawker. “I’m not prepared to say more than that at this time.” (Gawker) Well, before he left he did edit a good contrarian Richard Manning piece on why the Iowa caucuses are truly important and how, "Far from being an outlier, Iowa plays a central role in American culture." (Harper's)
- A first for women (sort of)
ESPN The Magazine named Alison Overholt, the editor of espnW, "the first woman to be the editor of a major sports magazine in the US." (New York Post) I guess that depends on what you consider to be major. Anybody remember womenSports, which was nominally overseen by tennis great Billie Jean King when founded in 1974? It was really run by Rosalie Wright. Before it folded, onetime Harvard doctoral candidate Le Anne Shreiber was the editor and then moved on to be the first female editor of a major daily's sports section, at The New York Times. Perhaps fittingly, she would later serve as ESPN ombudsman.
- Ratings wars
Like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and even Donald Trump, all the cable news networks can claim some victory. So Fox and ESPN were the "top cable networks for January." (Adweek) Fox proved the top cable news operation for the 14th year running. (Adweek) But CNN was up a "whopping" 40 percent in prime-time in January due to several specials, including a town hall on guns, a Democratic forum and the State of the Union address. (Adweek) And MSNBC, which remains third in the cable wars, saw the most total growth of all the cable news operations, with Rachel Maddow very strong and "Morning Joe" topping CNN's "New Day." (Adweek)
- Good deed in short order
$20,000 has already been raised to assist the family of Michael Feeney, 32, the former New York Daily News reporter who died Sunday of a staph infection in his kidneys. He was about to start a new entertainment reporting job at CNN. (Daily News)
- Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin
John Ferrugia will be news anchor and managing editor for Rocky Mountain PBS. He is an investigative reporter at KMGH. (Denver Post) | David B. Caruso
is now New York news editor at The Associated Press. Previously, he was an investigative reporter there. (The Associated Press) | Marcia Myers is now editor of CQ Magazine. Previously, she was senior investigations editor for Scripps News. Alex Roarty is now senior political reporter for CQ. Previously, he was chief political correspondent for National Journal's Hotline. (Email) | Marc Lacey is now a deputy on The New York Times National desk. Previously, he was associate managing editor for weekends there. Thomas Fuller will be San Francisco bureau chief at The New York Times. Previously, he was Southeast Asia correspondent for The New York Times. (Email) | Job of the day: The San Francisco Chronicle is looking for an assistant business editor. Get your resumes in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves: email@example.com.