September 15, 2015

Good morning.

  1. Online abuse of Alison Parker’s boyfriend“In the minds—and YouTube videos—of some conspiracy theorists, Chris [Hurst] is not a news anchor at WDBJ in Virginia. Chris, the videos say, is a ‘crisis actor’ invented less than a month ago by the United States government as part of a false flag operation that will eventually allow the New World Order to take away every American citizen’s guns and force them into a life of subjugation and tyranny.” (The Daily Beast). Ah, the milk of human kindness even as an emotional Hurst returned to his anchor chair Monday night. (CNN Money)
  2. Steve Brill’s 58,000-word ‘DocuSerial’He revolutionized legal journalism by creating The American Lawyer magazine and Court TV. He’s written great books on the Teamsters Union, the charter school movement and healthcare. In recent years he’s produced mega cover stories for Time magazine on the irrationality of our healthcare pricing and the feverish repairs made on the Obamacare website. Now Brill teams with The Huffington Post to unveil this morning a 58,000-word, 15-part series, “America’s Most Admired Law Breaker.” The unsparing investigation details how giant Johnson & Johnson violated FDA restrictions in marketing and sale of a wildly successful anti-psychotic drug, Risperdal. It includes all the documents he found during five months. Having offered my two cents on an early draft, I can attest it’s a knockout. (Poynter)
  3. Cuts coming to L.A. TimesAmid growing local chagrin over the booting of its publisher, the West Coast icon is about to disclose a buyout plan that aims to find about $10 million in newsroom trims. Be prepared for layoffs if it falls short of its goal of what could amount to about 80 people. The moves were set in motion before a departure that reflected strategic and stylistic differences. The 500-person newsroom has been as large as about 1,000 in the past decade. The new boss, a company loyalist who’s run The Baltimore Sun, steps into a very tricky situation, including on the public relations side as protests may grow over the publisher’s exit. (Poynter)
  4. Bernie Sanders more amazing than Trump?Sanders partisans will argue that he’s being shafted by the media, with even The New York Times public editor casting doubt about her own paper’s coverage. (The New York Times) So a new pro-Bernie conventional wisdom may be percolating. Donald Trump’s head-turning rise is “obscuring a story that might ultimately prove more meaningful: Bernie Sanders’s increasingly serious challenge to Hillary Clinton.” (Vox)
  5. Wall Street Journal renovationsThe editors says it will be “comprehensively overhauling our Money and Investing section – for digital and print – with faster and more lively real-time commentary on global markets and deeper analysis of the powerful trends moving the world of business and finance.” Its New York section will get an intended creative kick in the butt. (POLITICO)
  6. When does Ben Carson do HIS Trump imitation?First, there was Jeb Bush’s uninspired mimicky on Stephen Colbert’s new show. Now Chris Christie (remember him, the guy from Jersey?) tries his on Megyn Kelly’s show. Bush gets a C-minus. I’ll give Christie a B-minus. (Mediaite) But Kelly offered insight into the media mind as she counseled the governor, “You’d have to be more exciting so we cover you more” and how Fox ratings were lousy when some other candidates, like Scott Walker, appear and speak on serious issues. It’s all about being “exciting.”
  7. ‘Dancing Baby’ cases to go to trialAh, yes, I now have the vision of Prince surfacing during a U.S. Supreme Court argument as Justice Antonin Scalia makes acerbic comments about the legal concept of fair use. In 2007 a mom stuck a video of her toddler dancing on YouTube and had Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” playing in the background. His publisher was pissed, the mom then filed a lawsuit and the case has lingered and become “symbolic of the clashes over copyright online.” Advocacy groups backing the mom claimed a victory as an appeals court called for a trial and also said “copyright holders must consider fair use before asking services like YouTube to remove videos that include material they control.” (The New York Times)
  8. Chicago columnist draws flak on sexual assaultMary Mitchell of the Chicago Sun-Times can be journalistically uneven, and now she wonders if the sexual assault of a sex worker at gunpoint should be prosecuted as rape. “That anyone, let alone an editorial board member at a major newspaper, would take offense when police, for once, take violence against one of the most marginalized and stigmatized populations in the world seriously, is appalling. And yet, depressingly, Mitchell is not alone in this sentiment.” (The Huffington Post)
  9. Moynihan revisitedOn its 50th anniversary, Ta-Nehisi Coates revisits Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s controversial and insightful report, “The Negro Family.” As an adviser to President Nixon, the future New York senator backed a guaranteed minimum wage for families as a partial means to deal with the “tangle of pathology” he divined in poor black homes. Coates is unsparing and unequivocal: “The experience of mass incarceration, the warehousing and deprivation of whole swaths of our country, the transformation of that deprivation into wealth transmitted through government jobs and private investment, the pursuit of the War on Drugs on nakedly racist grounds, have only intensified the ancient American dilemma’s white-hot core—the problem of ‘past unequal treatment,’ the difficulty of ‘damages,’ the question of reparations.” (The Atlantic)
  10. U.S reporters protest dubious Internet moves by the FrenchThe Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and others are protesting to an independent French data protection agency “urging it to rescind its order that Google search delistings required under the European Union’s ‘right to be forgotten’ rule include domains not just in France or Europe, but around the world.” This sounds like an intriguing matter since the order mandates “delisting across all Google extensions worldwide, which would include the U.S. company’s .com site and all individual national domains outside of Europe as well.” On the surface, perhaps deeper, this seems quite far-reaching. (Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press)
  11. Political ‘horse race’ coverage has ended!Well, now the correct analogy is to boxing. “If the commercials promoting CNN’s Republican primary debate Wednesday make it look like a highly anticipated pay-per-view boxing event, it means they’re working. “‘That was the idea,’ CNN President Jeff Zucker said last week. ‘This is Round 2 of a heavyweight bout.'” (Los Angeles Times) Boring! C’mon, all you bright and well-compensated media executives. We need more inventive sports analogies for politics. Feel free to email them to Any way we can get in lacrosse, rowing, downhill skiing, soccer, field hockey or curling?
  12. Job moves, edited by Benjamin MullinBrett Zongker is joining the media relations team at George Washington University. He is a reporter for The Associated Press. (Email) | Rachael Bale is joining National Geographic’s Special Investigations Unit. Previously, she was a reporter and researcher for the Center for Investigative Reporting/Reveal. (Email) | Mike Dreaden is now vice president for television news and marketing at Cox Media Group. Previously, he was news director for WSB in Atlanta, Georgia. (Rick Gevers) | Job of the day: The Miami New Times is looking for a arts and culture editor. Get your resumes in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves:

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New York City native, graduate of Collegiate School, Amherst College and Roosevelt University. Married to Cornelia Grumman, dad of Blair and Eliot. National columnist, U.S.…
James Warren

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