Seymour Hersh: The press was misled about bin Laden raid

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Article alleges 'blatant' liesA new report from heavyweight investigative reporter Seymour Hersh published in the London Review of Books outlines a dramatic revision to the prevailing narrative of the killing of former al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden. The report, which runs more than 10,000 words, alleges that the press was misled on several key details of the mission, including how bin Laden was tracked, how many times he was shot and whether he was buried at sea. (London Review of Books) | Some journalists have raised concerns about the veracity of the article. "But it’s hard to know how trustworthy Hersh’s piece is, since it mostly relies on the information of a single anonymous source—and because it doesn’t appear in Hersh’s usual venue for blockbuster investigative pieces, the New Yorker." (Slate) | "Given that the US side of the story is based primarily on a single anonymous source, it should obviously be viewed with skepticism." (Business Insider) | "Beware of the Sy Hersh stories that @NewYorker passes on." (@jacobwe) | The White House has not commented on the article. (The Hill)
  2. What drove apart ESPN and Bill Simmons?ESPN decided to drop franchise columnist Bill Simmons, co-founder of Grantland and "30 for 30," after a tense period that was inflamed by the network's decision to dock Simmons pay, James Andrew Miller reports. "Two weeks’ worth of salary wasn’t there: 'Merry Christmas, Mr. Simmons—here’s your lump of coal.' Simmons had had enough. The chances of him staying at ESPN from that point onward became less and less probable." (Vanity Fair) | Experts weighed in on the possibility that Grantland may not survive without Simmons. "Grantland, lightly ESPN-branded, is a distant priority to them, and probably a vanity thing to keep Bill Simmons affordable and on payroll." (Digiday) | Related: "Bill Simmons and ESPN will both be fine, and so will sports fans." (Poynter)
  3. Brian Williams' fate still uncertainAs NBC and other major television networks begin showcasing their fall schedules to advertisers today, a big question still looms: What will become of Brian Williams, the suspended "NBC Nightly News" anchor who was revealed to be making inaccurate statements about his reportage? Lloyd Grove reports that the network is reserving judgement until a fact-checking investigation into the anchor's claims is completed. "Several NBC veterans said Lack is keeping an open mind, wishing his old friend well, but determined to base his decision on the internal review and his own evaluation of Williams’s missteps..." (The Daily Beast) | In April, Paul Farhi reported the network was unlikely to go into the advertising showcase without determining Williams' fate. (The Washington Post)
  4. Speaking of upfronts...Today begins a week of advertising salesmanship known as the upfronts, "flashy presentations and star-studded parties" designed to entice advertisers, Emily Steel and Sydney Ember report. But this year, the sales pitches are undercut by anxiety from television networks. "That is because broadcast and cable companies are asking marketers to open their wallets at a time of great anxiety in the industry, when TV ratings have collapsed and networks are fending off fierce competition from digital outlets." (The New York Times) | "Cable news is in trouble. The Pew Research Center reports that the median daily audience for Fox, CNN, and MSNBC is down about 11 percent since 2008." (Vox) | Earlier: "The increasingly cloudy picture suggests that cable news has seen its best days." (The Washington Post)
  5. Celebrating Mother's DayOn Sunday and last week Poynter celebrated mothers who raise journalists and journalists who are mothers. Poynter's Kristen Hare offers this look at women who balanced their career with their children. (Poynter) | She also paid homage to some of her personal heroes. (Poynter) | Roy Peter Clark told a story about his late mother, who encouraged a boy with a speech impediment to perform publicly — he later became a news anchor. (Poynter)
  6. New York Times salon exposé gets resultsNew York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ordered "emergency measures" to stop the exploitation of nail salon workers within days of a bombshell investigation from The New York Times exposing harsh and dangerous working conditions in the businesses. "Effective immediately, he said in a statement, a new, multiagency task force will conduct salon-by-salon investigations, institute new rules that salons must follow to protect manicurists from the potentially dangerous chemicals found in nail products, and begin a six-language education campaign to inform them of their rights." (The New York Times) | Last week, Columbia Journalism Review examined how the story came together. (CJR) | Here's part one of the investigation. (The New York Times)
  7. 'Clinton Cash' author defends his reportingPeter Schweizer, the right-leaning author of "Clinton Cash," appeared on Sunday's edition CNN's "Reliable Sources" to reaffirm the allegations the book contains. The tome raises questions about foreign donations made to The Clinton Foundation. "This is not about ideology. This is about a family, the Clintons, who have become enormously wealthy in the post-presidential years, and I would argue and I think the evidence is clear a lot of it has to do with the fact that former President Bill Clinton's wife had very real power and could do favors for people that needed it done at the State Department." (CNN) | His book was the focus of an intense opposition effort orchestrated by the Clinton campaign. (Politico)
  8. Measuring journalism's impactJodi Kantor, a reporter from The New York Times, recounts how her story spurred the creation of Mamava, a business devoted to giving women a private place to pump their breast milk. (The New York Times)
  9. Front page of the day, selected by Kristen HareThe (San Luis Obispo, California) Tribune features a dominant photograph of a whale and her calf taken by a drone.
    Whale(Courtesy the Newseum)
  10. Job moves:Bradley Davis is now business editor of the Omaha World-Herald. Previously, he was an editor for markets and finance at The Wall Street Journal. (Talking Biz News) | Paul McLeod will be political editor of BuzzFeed Canada. He is Ottawa bureau chief for the Halifax Chronicle Herald. (‏@CraigSilverman) | Amanda Myers is joining The Associated Press' bureau in Los Angeles, California. Previously, she covered law enforcement for the AP. (The Associated Press) | Rob Elmore is now news director for KABC in Los Angeles, California. Previously, he was news director for WTVD in Durham, North Carolina. (Rick Gevers) | Job of the day: amNewYork is looking for a reporter. Get your resumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves:

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.


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