Bob Andelman

Writer, author of 12 books including three business bestsellers - Built From Scratch (w/founders of The Home Depot), Mean Business (w/Albert J. Dunlap) and The Profit Zone (w/Adrian Slywotzky). Latest book is The Profiler written with criminal profiler Pat Brown. Coming in March 2012: Mind Over Business with Ken Baum. Other books include a biography of American master comic book artist & writer Will Eisner: A Spirited Life. Resume at; Represented by Michael Bourret, Dystel & Goderich Literary Management, mbourret (at)


Bob Schieffer sees ‘Face the Nation’ expand 20 years after he started asking for another 30 minutes

Bob Schieffer is so happy about his Sunday morning news panel show, “Face The Nation,” being expanded from 30 to 60 minutes in the spring that he’d probably like to spike his keyboard and do an end zone dance in the show’s production studio.

Was this a long time in the works?

“That would literally be the understatement of the year!” Schieffer told me, laughing.

“I have literally been trying for 20 years. When Tim Russert first went to NBC and took over ‘Meet The Press,’ and asked them to give him an hour — the proposal he made was ‘Give me an hour for three months. If it works, fine; if not, I’ll give you the half-hour back.’ He got his bosses to OK that and within weeks of going to an hour, they went to number one. Along about that same time, I went to my bosses. I said, ‘They’re going to an hour; I think it’s really going to hurt.’ The bosses at the same time said, ‘No, it won’t make any difference. No, we’re not interested in doing that.’ So off and on for the last 20 years, every two or three years I’ll go in and say ‘How about going to an hour? I think we can really make it work.’ “

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Rocca interviewed Michelle Williams recently about "Becoming Marilyn Monroe."

Mo Rocca’s CBS journey from fake news to real Spanx

Humorist Mo Rocca may be the first reporter to have officially graduated from fake news correspondent at Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” to real news Correspondent at CBS News and “Sunday Morning.”

“I get paid now and I may get insurance,” Rocca told me in a phone interview on Monday. “It’s more official sounding. I think ‘Correspondent’ is capitalized and ‘contributor ‘ is not. It’s really good health insurance… I’m going to take that sick leave right away.”

When Rocca joined “Sunday Morning” in 2006, his role was to offer opinions and essays to the Charles Osgood-hosted show. “I started doing almost exclusively commentaries and then I started running out of opinions,” he said. “Then I started doing stories and I loved that. I took to it right away.” Read more


Second visual plagiarism case may lead to ethics guidelines for editorial cartoonists

Does one confirmed case of visual plagiarism (Urban Tulsa Weekly’s David Simpson stealing from the late Jeff MacNelly) and one new alleged case (Columbus Dispatch’s Jeff Stahler panels looking and reading remarkably similar to David Sipress’s work in The New Yorker) mean it’s time for the nation’s editorial cartoonists to establish a professional canon of ethics specific to their line of work?

That’s the issue John Cole, president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC), and his board of directors is wrestling with this week following disclosure that Stahler may have lifted text and some visuals for his newspaper work. (Stahler’s work was indefinitely suspended from the Dispatch on Tuesday.)

“We called up a copy of our bylaws earlier today,” Cole said on Tuesday. “The board is deciding how we’re going to proceed with this.”

Obviously, no one approves of plagiarism; especially (not) the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. The question is, what is the role of the association in a situation like this? Is it the place of the Editorial Cartoonists to police or call out obvious examples or examples that its members perceive? The standard for plagiarism seems to be different for different people. Some people, it’s a direct copying of a cartoon. Other people, it’s using a similar gag or similar idea for a cartoon. There is a question of what exactly the role of the association would be.

The challenge for the AAEC in its response is not to overreact without knowing whether it is dealing with a brushfire or a wildfire.

“There is no conventional, set standard,” according to Cole. “When people say ‘plagiarism,’ plagiarism in the classic sense is one person directly knocking off another person’s work and passing it off as their own. Then there are degrees of that. We’re discussing putting together some sort of background. There is a long history; there are examples. We’re working with some of our members who are versed in the history of cartooning. At what point does tradition and influence bleed over into theft?” (Listen to entire interview with Cole.)

Editorial cartoonist Chip Bok, whose work is distributed by Creators Syndicate, worries that his friend Stahler may be feeling pressure to produce too much content, between his editorial cartooning for the Columbus Dispatch and his daily comic panel, “Moderately Confused,” distributed by Universal UClick for UFS.

Chip Bok editorial cartoon
Chip Bok wrote of this recent cartoon he drew, “It was based on a Don Wright Vietnam cartoon. You could be kind and call it an homage or cruel and call it plagiarism. I like it because it shows a guy who, in the name of the U.S. government, fucked up the very people’s lives he claimed to help. Same as the US military in the Vietnam cartoon.”

“Jeff doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to me who would deliberately plagiarize a cartoon,” Bok told me. “He has a heavy workload because he has a comic strip as well as an editorial cartoon. It may be that the pressure to meet a deadline caused him to consciously or probably subconsciously lift a gag from another cartoon. That’s his responsibility; carrying that much work, it’s up to him.

“I’ve been in that situation when you’re up against a deadline and you just draw something,” Bok continued. “I have drawn cartoons that were derivative of cartoons I’ve seen before and had no idea. Besides, it’s a crappy cartoon and you wish you hadn’t done it. We’re cartoonists and therefore we’re procrastinators and we’re always up against deadlines. Deadline pressure is a two-edged sword. It can get the juices going but it can also lead to things like this.” (Watch the Bok interview.) editor Alan Gardner broke news of the possible Stahler infraction on Tuesday. He told me that the evidence came from the same source who, a month earlier, demonstrated that Tulsa Urban Weekly cartoonist David Simpson had used a lightbox to copy Jeff MacNelly cartoons and call them his own. Gardner calls his source a “middle man” and not necessarily the original diviner of the improprieties.

“I was blind copied on an email that had a link to [Stahler's] cartoon about the resume and a link to the [David] Sipress cartoon,” Gardner said. “I forwarded that on to Stahler. I thought it was way too similar to be just a coincidence. I said, ‘What’s up with this? Do you have a response to this?’ … There is a back-channel within the community. The AAEC has a list group for their members. That email that I was blind copied on was heading into that group for discussion.” (Listen to entire interview with Gardner.)

The AAEC does not currently have either ethical guidelines or training programs for its members, but Cole says both are now under consideration.

I’ve been drawing cartoons for almost 20 years now and I’ve been hearing about David Simpson for ages. His story goes way back. Jeff is a different matter. He’s an established syndicated cartoonist and obviously some people have found some similarities between his cartoons and other cartoons in the past. I wouldn’t make a comparison between the two. I think some people, over time, have seen similarities between Jeff’s cartoons and other cartoons going back a matter of years. With David Simpson’s case, you had lightboxing. He would take a Jeff MacNelly cartoon, literally slap it on a lightbox and trace it. That is, of course, the gold standard of plagiarism, when you basically appropriate someone else’s image and claim it as your own.

I asked Gardner if he was concerned, after Simpson and perhaps Stahler, that visual plagiarism is widespread or if it’s just a fluke having two cases revealed so close together.

“It comes up, but rarely more than once a year,” he said. “It’s really tough to know. If you just took Stahler’s New Yorker cartoons, the ‘Nationalized Bank’ is an easy gag. It would be very unlikely that two cartoonists couldn’t come up with the same gag. I was just passed an email with a couple cartoons about the postal service being slow. Two cartoons, a mailman riding on a snail. They both ran in the past couple days by two notable syndicated cartoonists. These things happen. How do you know that it’s a genuine case of plagiarism or not? It’s really hard to know for sure who’s blatantly doing it and who just has the same creative idea…”

As for Cole and the AAEC, he doesn’t think editorial cartoonists start off bad. Sometimes they’re just drawn that way.

“Every cartoonist starts off basically learning [the business] for themselves,” he said. “When you’re 20 years old, learning how the business works, that’s how you start out. Hopefully, out of that, people develop their own styles. What are the nuances between that and David Simpson? That’s what we’re trying to look at right now.”

The basic cartoonist’s philosophy, Cole said, should be, ” ‘Originality good, plagiarism bad.’ It’s really that simple.”

Update: AAEC’s Cole emailed four days after this story was published: “I want to let you know that — hold the phone — the AAEC does indeed have a code of ethics regarding plagiarism written into its Bylaws. The article, which provides for the suspension or expulsion of a member for appropriating the work of others, was added in September 2009. I, as well as a few others on our board, had forgotten about it. When we spoke, I was working from an older copy of our Bylaws.”

Correction: This story originally included the wrong name for the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. Read more


Photographers sue LA County Sheriff’s Dept. for harassment

Los Angeles Times
Are news and other professional photographers in Los Angeles being singled out for harassment by the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department? That’s the allegation of a lawsuit announced Thursday, Oct. 27 by the ACLU of Southern California. The LA Times reports:

The federal lawsuit alleges the Sheriff’s Department and deputies “have repeatedly” subjected photographers “to detention, search and interrogation simply because they took pictures” from public streets of places such as Metro turnstiles, oil refineries or near a Long Beach courthouse.

The suit was filed on behalf of three photographers, Shawn Nee, Greggory Moore and Shane Quentin, as well as the National Photographers’ Rights Organization. Nee is described in the filing as an “aspiring” photojournalist; Moore shoots for the Long Beach Post; and Quentin is a freelancer. Nee was detained in October 2009 and searched while shooting pictures of the subway; the deputy also “threatened to forward Nee’s name to counterterrorism so it could be added to an FBI ‘hit list’.” The incident was captured on video but the deputy was not disciplined for his rough handling of the photographer. Read more


Could Tulsa cartoonist be a two-time plagiarist?
The cartoonosphere is buzzing with talk of a new editorial cartoon published on Monday, Oct. 24, by Urban Tulsa Weekly’s David Simpson. editor Alan Gardner says it looks a lot like an old editorial cartoon by the late Jeff MacNelly. Gardner not only posted Simpson’s cartoon alongside MacNelly’s, he also overlaid them, with MacNelly’s in red, Simpson’s in blue. “It wasn’t a photocopy; it was actually a redraw. You could tell, from looking at them side-by-side, that he was definitely copying. It is more of a question, to what degree? When you overlay them, the composition is basically the same. Things are a little bit off. But he redrew it almost down the blades of grass, the trash on the ground. Small deviations,” Gardner told me. “It was the most blatant plagiarism example I’ve ever seen.”

That appraisal is echoed by Tom Spurgeon, editor of “This appears to be outright wholesale appropriation, with enough effort involved for it to be deliberate, for the (admittedly minor) gain that comes from passing off someone else’s work as your own.”

Another interesting reaction came from Philip Rosemond, curator archivist of the Jeff MacNelly Estate Archives in Flint Hill, VA, one of dozens posting on

Hi. I’m the Curator Archivist of the Jeff MacNelly Estate Archives. So, y’all know, I’m quite sure this guy won’t get away with this for long. Stumbling across this article just got me very busy…. Stay tooned, folks!

Making this case of alleged plagiarism more intriguing is that Gardner reports it’s not Simpson’s first experience under the microscope.

This is not the first time Simpson has been accused of plagiarism. He was let go from The Tulsa World in 2005 after it was pointed out that he had blatantly redrew a 1981 editorial cartoon by Bob Englehart of the The Hartford Courant.

Urban Tulsa Weekly has not yet commented publicly on the controversy. Simpson, incidentally, was editorial cartoonist for the Tulsa Tribune from 1971-92 and Tulsa World from 1992-2005. He was a 2005 inductee in the Oklahoma Cartoonists Fame. Related: “‘Tulsa World’ fires cartoonist for plagiarism” (E&P)

Bob Andelman interviews editor Alan Gardner:

Correction: The original version of this post misstated the name of Urban Tulsa Weekly. Read more


Les Hinton says previous phone-hacking testimony was as truthful as his incomplete knowledge allowed

Former Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton appeared Monday before a U.K. parliamentary committee to explain his previous testimony that so-called phone-hacking was not a widespread problem at News of the World. Here’s how Jeff Bercovici summarized Hinton’s account:

Hinton … stuck to the position that his earlier statements were all as truthful as his incomplete grasp of the facts allowed him to be at the time. “It became clear over the last couple years that there was much more to this affair than was apparent when I left,” he said. “Events have evolved quite significantly in the time since I departed.”

Hinton said that an old email that alleged the practice was more widespread wasn’t “evidence of anything” and said he saw no reason why James Murdoch should be pressured to resign. Murdoch will be questioned again on Nov. 10. Related: Les Hinton pleads ignorance seven times over to phone hacking inquiry (Guardian) | News Corp. cutting up to 200 jobs at Times of London, Sunday Times ( || Earlier: Jack Shafer says it’s time for WSJ editorial board to revisit that editorial defending Hinton ( Read more


Huffington Post’s Sam Stein first target of O’Keefe’s ‘To Catch a Journalist’

Does Huffington Post political reporter Sam Stein “booze up” his sources to get better information from them? That’s what James O’Keefe alleges in a new video, reports Mediaite’s Colby Hall. In the video, O’Keefe’s Project Veritas goes undercover to record Stein’s former Columbia University journalism professor as saying that Stein takes his sources out and plies them with alcohol to loosen their tongues. Tommy Christopher responds, “Saying that Sam goes out drinking with sources in DC is like saying he goes out breathing with them. People let their guard down in social situations. Stop the presses!” Stein denied the allegation in a phone interview with O’Keefe, and Hall recommends some skepticism considering O’Keefe’s selective editing with his ACORN and NPR stings. Read more


New Andy Warhol exhibits suggest ‘news was always at the center of Warhol’s life and art’

The New York Times

Can Andy Warhol, posthumously, do for newspapers what he once did for the simple soup can? That is, can he elevate something easily taken for granted and transform it into pop art? Holland Cotter thinks so. In an in-depth appraisal of two new “unalike but complementary” installments of the late artist’s paintings — “Warhol: Headlines” at the National Gallery of Art and “Andy Warhol: Shadows” at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. — The New York Times art critic writes, “Serious or frivolous, the news was always at the center of Warhol’s life and art.”

The “Headlines” exhibit includes Warholian takes on early 1960s front pages from the New York Post, Daily News and defunct New York Mirror. Cotter notes that Warhol’s “news-based art is conspicuously tied [to] this theme: By the time most headlines are written, catastrophes are over. Today’s headline will be buried under tomorrow’s.” (Cotter’s story includes a slide show of Warhol art.) || Related: Warhol’s ‘Headlines’ exhibit paints the pop culture artist as media critic Read more

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News Corp. cutting up to 200 jobs at Times of London, Sunday Times

The Wall Street Journal
News International papers The Times of London and Sunday Times will eliminate between 150 and 200 workers. The layoffs and buyouts will focus on part-time staff, Paul Sonne reports, in hopes of cutting costs 15% and 12% at the papers, respectively. News International, the News Corp.’s U.K. operating company, eliminated some jobs when it closed News of the World in July, after a phone-hacking scandal revealed widespread unethical practices. || Related: News Corp. will pay $3.2 million to the family of Milly Dowler, the slain schoolgirl whose phone was allegedly hacked | Happening now: 5 things to watch at today’s News Corp. shareholders meeting (NYT); Follow live coverage of the meeting (HuffPost) Read more


Not that news orgs care, but Libyan leader spelled his name ‘Moammar El-Gadhafi’

The Straight Dope

Every time the name of former Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi hits print, readers are left scratching their heads: Why can’t any two publications agree on how to spell the now deceased dictator’s name? (Poynter, incidentally, follows AP style.) Way back in the 20th century — June 20, 1986, to be exact — alternative newspaper syndicated columnist Cecil Adams was asked the same question. His answer?

“Lord knows I hate to be critical, but the proliferation of spellings for the name of Libya’s head dude has been one of the continuing scandals of American journalism. I mean, come on, we’re trying to plumb this guy’s psychic depths and we can’t even get his name straight? Sometimes I shudder for the future of my country.”

At the time, Adams easily found a dozen spellings: Qaddhafi (New York Review of Books), Qaddafi (New Republic), Gaddafi (Time), Kaddafi (Newsweek), Khadafy (Maclean’s), Qadhafi (U.S. News & World Report), Qadaffi (Business Week), and Gadaffi (World Press Review). “The Library of Congress and the Middle East Studies Association,” he added, “have a fondness for Qadhdhafi.” Explaining the disparity, according to Adams, are several factors:

“(1) There is no generally accepted authority for romanizing Arabic names, and (2) the Mummer’s name contains several sounds that have no exact equivalent in English… For many years, however, the Mummer was too busy promoting global chaos to devote much time to the niceties of orthography. That changed in May, 1986, when he responded to a letter from some second-graders at Maxfield Magnet School in St. Paul, Minnesota. The colonel signed the letter in Arabic script, beneath which was typed “Moammar El-Gadhafi.” This was the first known indication of his own feelings on the subject, and the wire services and many newspapers promptly announced they would switch.”

Despite Gaddafi weighing in on this, many news organizations ultimately did not follow his preference. Obviously. Read more

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