Media Mondays: A defense of Gene Weingarten and all cantankerous old fuds

(I Can Has Cheezburger)

Correction:

Media Mondays misspelled Dan Zak's last name. Given our obsession with him, we find the mistake unacceptable.

Harvey Levin is still going on about launching TMZ D.C. The gossip-website founder was in town last week for a talk at the National Press Club — Media Mondays was not that there, having not heard about it and not been invited — during which he said TMZ will come to D.C. Nikki Schwab was the first report the news via Twitter, beating Betsy Rothstein by mere seconds. (But Rothstein's tweet, at least, included a direct quote.) Then came stories in the Post, Examiner, and The Hill. Our own Andrew Beaujon says this will never happen, citing this 2007 Post article as proof that Levin is all talk, no walk. But! Levin says, in this TMZ Live video, "I’m going to be going back there in a couple of weeks, and we’re going to be hiring a couple of people, you know, to get this thing ramped up.” So if you see him around town soon, there might be something to this after all. (The only other comment of note from that video: "I did an interview with Fishbowl. And one of the questions — they had a bunch of questions — they said, 'If you’re lucky enough to get a Sunday talk show, who are the four people you’d have on your panel?' My answer was, 'I have absolutely no interest in having a Sunday talk show.'”)

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Harry Jaffe is giving marriage advice now, and so is his wife, Louise — the idea being, it seems, that they'll disagree. Skeptical? We were, too. But the first edition of "Ask Harry & Louise" is one of the best advice-column posts Media Mondays has ever read, meaning that it was better than the one other advice-column post Media Mondays has ever read. Nonetheless! It involves a jealous married man whose wife is spending a lot of time with another guy; she wants to invite him over for dinner. Louise advises, "A woman wants to spend time with folks who listen to her, hear her, and respond to her. So stop being her conversation stopper." Harry, meanwhile, says that dinner with the interloper is asking a lot, but that it might be worth it to assess any chemistry between the two. "Then," Jaffe adds, "you can punch him out, if necessary."

All things considered, this is not a scandal, but leave it to the Daily Caller to make it sound like one: Michele Norris, co-host of All Things Considered, "is stepping away from that post until after the 2012 presidential campaign because he husband has taken a senior position with President Obama's re-election effort," NPR blog The Two-Way reported. (See, Betsy, a news organization can break news about itself!) Politico's Keach Hagey played it straight, WaPo's Erik Wemple described it as a "tough call," and the Daily Caller's Matthew Boyle ... well, take a wild guess. In his lede, he puts the word "temporarily" in quotes, as if to cast doubt, and later writes, "Apparently Norris will be continuing to produce some news content for the taxpayer-subsidized radio network — just not 2012 political coverage." There's no "apparently" about it! That is exactly the case. In the following graf, Boyle refers to NPR again as "the taxpayer-subsidized network." There must be a quota over there at the Caller.

Speaking of Matthew Boyle, he also wrote a story with what seems, at first glance, a harmless lede, "Vice President Joe Biden’s office has asked the U.S. Senate Press Gallery to investigate conservative journalist Jason Mattera’s tactics during a recent interview, a process that could result in his press credentials being revoked, The Daily Caller has learned." It is not until the 11th paragraph that it becomes clear that the Caller has learned it from ... another news outlet: "According to The Hill newspaper, Biden aides are asking whether any Senate rules were broken during the exchange." Media Mondays is considering ending all of its stories with, "Media Monday has learned," as a way of making the news sound more important and exclusive.

Occupy Wall Street? "Why Not Occupy Newsrooms?" asks David Carr, who points his finger at McLean-based Gannett, which owns USA Today: "Forget about occupying Wall Street; maybe it’s time to start occupying Main Street, a place Gannett has bled dry by offering less and less news while dumping and furloughing journalists in seemingly every quarter." Alyssa Rosenberg, meanwhile, asks, "Should We Be Occupying Hollywood?" Let's just occupy everything, starting with our own homes.

James O'Keefe outs HuffPost's Sam Stein as ... an occasional drinker. The conservative gotcha journalist, of Project Falsus Veritas, got absolutely nothing in the first of his "To Catch a Journalist" series. A Veritas correspondent (or whatever they're called) used a hidden camera to interview Associate Professor Dale Maharidge, under whom Stein studied at Columbia Journalism School. Here's the damning quote, courtesy of Erik Wemple:

Sam’s amazing. He’s not a go-out-to-the-hinterlands kind of guy. . . . I stay in touch with Sam. He goes out drinking at night with people. . . . You get some booze in people and suddenly the stories flow.

A journalist drinking with a source? Quick, somebody call Poynter! Instead, O'Keefe called Stein, who offered the only appropriate response: laughter. Watch it for yourself:

"So Stein denies saying something there is no proof of him saying. What a catch!" Jack Shafer writes in a piece well worth reading in full. "Even if Stein had told his former teacher that he gets sources soused to pump information out of them, what sort of gotcha would that be?" At least Stein is having some fun with it:

free drinks to anyone who rt's my story huff.to/w1ZJoM #anewtactic
Oct 24 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

Related: O'Keefe's second failed attempt to catch a journalist, "proving the worthlessness of deception," Erik Wemple writes.

Jack Shafer's best lines from his Poynter chat:

"...I'd rather judge a journalist by his work than who his friends are. If you're like me, you enjoy punishing your friends."

"Editors are deeply invested in the idea that their reporters should walk through life like un-biased zombies."

"Obviously, NPR occupies a paranoid's position when it comes to criticism. It knows that if it angers enough politicians it will lose its various sources of government funding. When NPR sees a mouse, it drops the atomic bomb."

"...you don't have to hang out in a newsroom very long to discover that everybody from the copy desk to the executive editor office has strong political opinions about everything and are willing to express them. The one lone exception to that rule was former Washington Post Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. who used a neuralizer from the movie Men in Black to void his brain of all opinions."

Some local Patch sites are more awesome than others. We scored all 52 of them in the D.C. area — it was 51, until we realized we left out Centreville — which earned us a Romenesko post, and an earful from Patch spokeswoman Janine Iamunno, who, like many people, took the article perhaps a little seriously. She was so irate that, if Media Mondays remembers correctly, she forgot to go off the record. But this roundup is feeling merciful today. Instead, let's allow the Post's J. Freedom du Lac express the general sentiment:

In which a Patch exec bizarrely cramps up in defensive crouch while responding to @TBD's "Patch Awesomeness Index." http://t.co/8RnxXFBO
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

THE CLIPBOARD

"WaPo’s Resident Badass: Jennifer Rubin" [Fishbowl]

"Jason Mattera: D.C.’s bad boy reporter" [Politico]

"Did WaPo Get Spurned by WH Press Office?" [Fishbowl]

"WAMU Celebrates 50th Anniversary (PHOTOS)" [HuffPost]

Katie Couric's Katie has been sold WJLA. "But WJLA has already given Anderson Cooper’s new syndicated talk show its Oprah timeslot — 4 p.m. weekdays. Uh oh." [WaPo]

"Secret Photo Shoot At Jefferson Hotel" [Fishbowl]

"Petty Punishment for the Washington Post" [Dossier]

"Another public radio job lost to OWS" [Politico]

"Craig Crawford is Obsessed With This Tie" [Fishbowl]

"The Washington Post Goes After Rubio Again" [Standard]

"The story behind the Marco Rubio story" [WaPo]

"Tweets and Tits for Cantor Aide" [FIshbowl]

Goldy Kamali, founder and president, FedScoop, and radio host Tommy McFly made WBJ's "40 under 40".

"New target for 'Occupy Wall Street' critics: Media" [Politico]

"Abramoff Book Party at Carlson’s House" [Fishbowl]

"Washington Post Occupy Oakland Picture Draws Scrutiny (PHOTO)" [HuffPost]

HOOK, LINE, AND STINKER

"It is called the Taranto Principle, and it is now being employed by the Kultursmogists to blanket the country in a preposterosity: namely that the Tea Partyers and the Occupy Wall Street crowd have much in common."

This is a lede, believe it or not, and comes courtesy of R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., the founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator. Media Mondays respects its readers enough that it sees no need to point out why this sentence is awful. Instead, here is another sentence just one graf later: "According to the Taranto Principle, first identified by the distinguished Wall Street Journal writer James Taranto..." Media Monday has identified a principle, too: It's called the Media Mondays Principle, and it has something to do with TBD posting a media column every Monday morning. Fascinating.

MASTHEAD MAYHEM

Post executive Boisfeuillet “Bo” Jones, the paper's former publisher, will be the president and CEO of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions. David Garber is retiring his neighborhood blog And Now, Anacostia. Gawker writer Richard Lawson is jumping to the Atlantic Wire. Media writer Dylan Byers left Adweek for Politico. Jim Brady is now editor-in-chief of Digital First Media. And Anna John, a blogger for WAMU's DCentric, went out with a bang:

Two major things to tell you: I left WAMU 88.5 FM/@DCntrc, so feel free to unfollow both + stop loyalty-caring. It's time for something new.
Oct 20 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

(FishbowlDC has the rest of the Revolving Door.)

TWITTER IS FOREVER

FishbowlDC kisses Drudge's ass 'cause it's the only way they get traffic to their anemic little site. Ha ha ha http://t.co/00QFGuNa
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

DAN ZAK WATCH 

Nothing is as tedious & draining as a 5-hour interview involving double translation (Kurdish to Arabic to English). I thirst for nuance.
Oct 27 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

HE IS GOPH

great, i'm being followed by another account that doesn't know how to use twitter and will probably shout at clouds. wonderful.
Oct 28 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

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