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“Bosses, be patient with your employees tomorrow morning,” said John Smoltz, a Hall of Fame pitcher who was a superb Fox Sports analyst for the World Series last night. “Ten heart-rending innings,” as play-by-play man Joe Buck put it.
He might have added an urging that teachers be tolerant with their students. The Chicago Cubs’ historic victory meant a very late night for fans — young and old, including one 12-year-old and a 7-year-old at my house — and for the working press, with the rain-delayed, extra-inning finale ending shortly before 1 a.m.
The ledes on stories were probably crafted well before, but they weren’t crafted well. But, hey, what the heck? Let the hackneyed prose pour forth!
“The curse is broken!” was the CNN bulletin.
“The billy goat is dead” was found at NBC News.
“The 108-year wait is over,” chimed in The New York Times.
“It happened: Cubs win their first World Series in 108 years,” declared the Chicago Tribune headline.
“Final: Cubs 8, Indians 7; Cubs win first World Series since 1908,” offered The Chicago Sun-Times.
“Oh, my! May we never again speak of black cats unless it’s Halloween,” writes Sun-Times stalwart columnist Rick Telander.
And for Cleveland.com, there was a poignant mix of the rueful and the upbeat, as its championship dry spell continued after what was a wonderful season.
“Hell didn’t freeze over for Cleveland, but we still witnessed an Indian Summer.”
By the morning, it was “curse reversed” on “Fox & Friends,” the opening tale on CNN’s “New Day” and MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” When Willie Geist said “He didn’t have his best stuff,” he wasn’t talking about Donald Trump, for a change. It was Cuban-bred relief pitcher Aroldis Chapman.
For a while, no Clinton, Trump, polling or pundits on the campaign. Of late, only an East Coast hurricane has similarly deflected the Pavlovian campaign rehashing.
And Thomas Boswell, the estimable longtime Washington Post baseball scribe, alludes to what appeared to be huge Cubs tactical and performance miscues as he writes, “Because this game went beyond the baseball surreal, because it provided forgetfulness and forgiveness for several Cubs who might have been enormous goats, including reliever Aroldis Chapman and Manager Joe Maddon, it seemed to encapsulate the team’s long history of staring into the abyss. Only this time, at long last — it only took a century or so — the abyss blinked.”
If these journalists had crystal balls
As Election Day approaches, what don’t journalists and political scientists who’ve been covering the race intently not know? I asked a few.
Says CNN’s Jake Tapper: “Turnout in Laconia, N.H. Bellwether town in state Trump has to win, one that theoretically he could turn back to red.”
Mike Flannery, political reporter for Fox 32 Chicago: “Will the vote counting trigger a Constitutional crisis? Is an eight-person Supreme Court prepared?”
Roland Martin, host-managing editor of NewsOneNow, TV One, and senior analyst of the Tom Joyner radio show: “Will a silent horde of largely White, angry and fed-up Trump supporters make a stampede to the polls to throw off all projections and send him to the White House? I’ve always maintained this is the great unknown of 2016.”
Gawker settles with Hulk Hogan for $32 million
Well, it’s better than having the original $140 million jury verdict upheld on appeal. It’s no surprise, though the wreckage done to Gawker Media remains.
“The reversal of the verdict on appeal was far from likely,” says Bruce Sanford, a top Washington media lawyer not involved in the case. “Gawker’s strongest argument was that Hulk had in fact consented to the public disclosure of the sex tape by his actions but evidence supporting that defense was not the centerpiece of the trial.” (Poynter)
Hogan? Says Natalie Spears, a Chicago attorney and First Amendment specialist, “The bottom line is he’s converting his win to cash and must think that’s as much as he could reasonably collect….Or he’s afraid of reversal.”
Such problems! “Facebook profit soars, but growth concerns emerge: Shares slide after hours over caution about advertising growth.” (The Wall Street Journal)
“Facebook’s top-line growth rate is double any other U.S. company with revenue of $20 billion or more, excluding those growing through acquisitions, according to data from Standard & Poor’s Capital IQ.”
“Yet Facebook said that it can’t maintain its current pace. Starting in the middle of next year, Facebook will stop showing users more ads in their news feed, the tactic it has been using to juice revenue growth for the past two years, the company said Wednesday.”
On Bobby Knight
The fabled college basketball coach has been in the spotlight as a Trump supporter. Meanwhile, despite what is by and large the adoration showered on him in Indiana, he retains a deep animus toward Indiana University after it canned him in 2000 for “uncivil, deviant and unacceptable behavior.”
The end result is that he keeps giving the university “the finger” and that Hoosier devotion may well be declining as a result, writes Gregg Doyel of The Indianapolis Star.
“Indiana wants to love Bob Knight. This state is just waiting for an excuse to forgive and forget and embrace the forever coach of IU basketball.”
“But he’s not giving it. Perhaps he won’t ever give it. Possibly he’s not wired to do so, because an extension of even the smallest of olive branches requires humility and humanity that Knight hasn’t been willing to show. He is a private man, and he is a stubborn man, and he is an angry man.” (Indianapolis Star)
“Fox News Channel host Sean Hannity has apologized for a discussion on his radio show that suggested First Lady Michelle Obama had ‘scrubbed’ her Twitter account of any mention of Hillary Clinton.” (Adweek)
Katy Tur on being abused by Trump & Co.
Katy Tur, NBC News’ Trump correspondent, was excellent on Brian Williams’ new late-evening MSNBC show on how Trump rather outrageously called her out at a rally yesterday. (The Hollywood Reporter) She talked about how he lies outright to audiences about the media not photographing his large crowds, even joking in private about his disingenuous ways.
The origin of Tronc
Bloomberg BusinessWeek offers a surprisingly upbeat profile of Michael Ferro, the boss of what was known as Tribune Publishing, just as his stock plunges after the failure of cutting a deal with Gannett. (BusinessWeek) And what about the origin of his much-ridiculed new company name, Tronc?
“Undeterred, Ferro kept coming up with ideas about how to pay for digital journalism. In early 2014, according to Josh Metnick, former chief technology officer at Wrapports, Ferro got excited about a new product, which he wanted to name Tronc — borrowing a word that dates back to the early 20th century, when hotel and restaurant workers would collect service fees in a ‘Tronc,’ a fund that would later be communally distributed.”
“The idea, Metnick says, was to create a kind of digital ‘Tronc box,’ whereby newspapers would be able to collect micropayments from the readers they were serving far and wide across the web. At around the same time, in February 2014, the Sun-Times became the first major newspaper in the country to accept bitcoin in exchange for access to its paywalled stories. The cryptocurrency experiment was short-lived, and the cyber Tronc box never got off the ground. Even so, Ferro held on to the Tronc name, which he would later repurpose to much commotion.”
Crunching the government’s media data
The Bureau of Economic Analysis has some seemingly upbeat thoughts on the state of American media. In particular, it reports that amid gloom and doom, “…The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that consumer spending on ‘newspapers and periodicals’ has doubled since 2010.”
The Financial Times digs much deeper, finds some of the statistics moth-eaten and dumps its own initial optimism. “We’d started this post intending to write something optimistic about the great willingness of Americans to pay for useful information. Unfortunately our research — possibly useful information created for a paying audience — suggests otherwise.” (Financial Times)
The morning babble
Lots of polls this morning, talk of the race tightening and changes in travel plans of the candidates. CNN showed a “poll of polls” that indicates a tie in Florida, for example. Ron Brownstein argued that if Trump isn’t leading in polls taken amid the FBI director James Comey email hoopla last weekend, it’s hard to believe he’ll win that state (such as Wisconsin, North Carolina, among others).
“Could Colorado swing to Trump last minute?” asked MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “What’s going on in Colorado,” co-host Joe Scarborough asked Huffington Post writer Sam Stein. Ah, it’s somewhat hazy but the sense was that it goes Clinton. Could Arizona go Clinton, too? Scarborough offered the notion that the Trump camp has “played possum” with several states and could pull real surprises. If only one could assume much premeditated strategy with his campaign!
At “Fox & Friends,” it was, per usual, “Hillary in hot water” and lots of talk of “Dirty Laundry.” Oh, wait the latter was reference to Carrie Underwood singing a new one at the Country Music Awards. You can be excused for thinking otherwise if you’re a Fox regular.
A Greek-American reporter’s lament
Chicago Sun-Times investigative reporter Dan Mihalopoulos writes about his chagrin that a bipartisan Greek organization endorsed Trump. In fact, said board member Mary Kyriazopoulos, he’s supported by 97 percent of the group’s members.
“Kyriazopoulos was born in Greece and came to this country via Canada 42 years ago. But she didn’t care much for my suggestion that immigrants could be offended by a candidate who has called for building a Mexican border wall and halting Muslims from coming here.”
“’You see what’s happening in the Middle East? You see that they’re massacring Christians?’ Kyriazopoulos said to me in Greek. ‘If even 1 out of 100 [refugees] are ISIS, you know how much harm they can do to us?'”
Mihalopoulos concludes, “It’s almost as if some of my fellow Greek Americans and others forget that they too came from countries that were torn by war, including conflicts in which Washington’s role was controversial at best.” (Sun-Times)
Well, today, at least they’ll scrap the xenophobia for Cubs-mania.