Media Mondays: Associated Press' Christopher Walken story proves why their Twitter policy is foolish

(Wikimedia Commons)

Correction:

Natalie Wood drowned in 1981, not 1961.

World War III breaks out over Post story about Ann Taylor. Style reporter Monica Hesse did what everyone assumed had already been done, but apparently had not, by writing the story, "For the professional Washington woman, Ann Taylor is her muse." After all, as the Post reminds us on a weekly basis, this city is famous for being fashionably unconscious, with Ann Taylor being the most reliable punchline (or, for men, Brooks Brothers). Whether the story needed to be written at all, though, was a source of great disagreement among a group of male journalists who usually agree on things. Mike DeBonis defended his coworker, while DCist Aaron Morrissey, who snarked about it in a post, and several current and former WCP-ers thought the story was an unconscionable waste of precious tree pulp. The story created a rift at TBD, too. I was surprised to learn the story had never been written, and for that reason alone felt it was worth assigning and writing. The execution is a slightly different matter. Like so many Style stories before it, Hesse's otherwise solid piece is sunk by a single, but unfortunately unforgettable, metaphor: "Is Ann Taylor Garanimals for grown-ups?" No! It is not! I had to Google "Garanimals," but now I know that it's children's clothing with animal prints on it. Are kids throughout Washington wearing Garanimals to school because that's what constitues appropriate attire? And are they mocked by the hipper minority, which prefers the latest children's wear from Rag & Bone? Just quit trying to be so cute and clever, Style.

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Occupy DC suddenly cares about the Post's Twitter policy. Occupy DC, which has received plenty of sympathetic coverage from the Post, took issue with "The Occupy movement: More trouble than change?," portions of which, the movement says, are "simply hateful" and "the height of simplistic, uncritical reporting." But Occupy DC also singled out Post reporter Tim Craig, who did not write the above story but tweeted his opinion of protesters who scrawled messages in chalk on the base of the General McPherson statue — an act that Craig called "messy, disrespectful" and "Disgusting". He also tweeted that "#OccupyDC is in a tailspin." Occupy DC wrote, "The Post’s guidelines on Twitter and other social media use expressly state: 'Post journalists must refrain from writing, tweeting or posting anything… that could be perceived as reflecting political, racial, sexist, religious or other bias or favoritism'.... We are now questioning Tim Craig’s and the Post’s ability to do their jobs objectively." This is too funny: A movement that wants radical reform in America is defending the antiquated notion of journalistic objectivity.

In an interview with City Paper, Craig defended his tweets, but said he'd take up the matter with his editors. The paper later posted a response that read in part:

We checked with Post Local editor Vernon Loeb, who told us: 'We talked to Tim about being more careful in the future about making value judgments in his tweets and asked him to be descriptive, but not opinionated.'

Craig, who has covered various aspects of the Occupy movement, has not been taken off of the story, Loeb said, adding, 'He’s a good reporter and we didn’t feel he crossed an irrevocable line with the words that he chose.'

Given how Occupy DC has benefited from reporters' use of Twitter in covering the protesters, it's strange that the movement would single out a reporter who had the gall to criticize what many people would consider a poor decision at best, and defacement at worst. Occupy DC ought to save its bile for the people and institutions who deserve it most. Trust me, Tim Craig is not the 1%.

HOOK, LINE AND STINKER

"Like most Eastwood fans, I relish in how their unrushed narratives often merge with fast pacing – and an extreme cool factor. From westerns to action films and dramas, it’s hard not to leave an Eastwood flick and not be high from his urbane and sophisticated sense of cool.

"Then how cool was it to learn that that my favorite actor-director had signed up my other favorite cool actor Leonardo DiCaprio – the Jimmy Dean of our time- and would be shooting his new biopic J. Edgar in my hometown." — John Arundel, "Access Pollywood: J. Edgar in DC," Washington Life

How cool is Eastwood? So cool that Arundel, the magazine's associate publisher, needed to use the word four times in three sentences. Let's also sound the redundant alarm for "urbane and sophisticated."

THE CLIPBOARD

California Supreme Court to decide whether Stephen Glass should be accepted into the State Bar [Law.com]

"CBS Radio to start all-news station in D.C. area" [WaPo]

"On getting life advice, and being Occupy DC's conduit, at the Washington Times party" [TBD]

"Connection Newspapers CEO in the Clink!" [Fishbowl]

"Why Is the Washington Post at the Top of My Facebook Feed Yet Again?" [All Things D]

"The Daily Caller and Politico: It’s War." [Fishbowl]

"GIRLFIGHT! The Washington Post Creates A Non-Trend" [WCP]

"The Washington Post Sure Loves To Tweet" [DCist]

On Michael Kaiser's HuffPost column about nonprofessional critics: TBD, WCP

"Allies Accuse James O'Keefe of 'Hit Job' in Undercover NPR Sting" [Kurtz]

"DC Media and Ford’s Theatre’s Schizoid Personality" [Fishbowl]

"Why I quit the mainstream media" [Salon]

"The Daily Caller's growing pains" [Politico]

"Washington City Paper selling cranky fan clothing" [Sports Bog]

Scenes from jack Abramoff's book party at Tucker Carlson's house: WaPo, Fishbowl

DAN ZAK WATCH

I don't think it's possible for me to love someone more than I love Diane Keaton.
Nov 17 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

HE IS GOPH

A kitten dies every time a red line train conductor pronounces the 's' in 'Grosvenor.'
Nov 17 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

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