Drudgement Day

Newsweek publicist Wende Gozan calls this a "complete coincidence." She said the Newsweek promotions were standard house ads that run in some regional editions to fill space left by half-page ads. She added that the columnists were not paid for their words being reused. She said there was no reason why the ads had run twice above a Datek ad, adding that the Voice had found the only two such ad juxtapositions.

Open Posts

Suddenly there are a lot of holes in Rupert Murdoch's New York Post. Last week, the tabloid's number-two editor, David Yelland, was yanked from his post to take the top job at Murdoch's London Sun, which has recently lost hundreds of thousands of readers. Yelland's abrupt transatlantic transplant comes quickly after the self-removal of women's section editor Cathy Bishop--who got nabbed printing an embarrassing job-hunting letter in the Post newsroom--and the departure of Sunday features editor Steve Garbarino to work at Detour.

But Posties say there's no particular sense of crisis. Yelland's deputy editor slot is "one of those jobs that we don't really need," says a veteran Post reporter. "The last time someone left [that position], it took two months to replace him."

Times's Flat-Tax Flack

Not so long ago, it was part of Gretchen Morgenson's job to bullshit The New York Times. As of last month, she's a Times columnist. The paper's choice of Morgenson to replace the formidable business columnist Floyd Norris--who's joined the paper's editorial board--is odd. Morgenson is best known as the former Forbes journalist who became the lead flack for Steve Forbes's '96 presidential campaign.

Among political reporters, Morgenson--and the Forbes campaign in general--was not exactly renowned for telling the whole truth. On at least one occasion, the Times practically accused her of fibbing about the Forbes campaign's ad spending. In a February 24, 1996, story, after Morgenson denied that the Forbes campaign was cutting back ad dollars, a Times reporter noted: "A spot check of the FCC documents does not mesh with . . . Ms. Morgenson's assertions."

The revolving door between press and politics is not always a problem--but with Forbes almost certain to run again in 2000, can Morgenson really be taken seriously on the presidential race and the federal budget and tax issues it raises?

Times business editor Glenn Kramon did not return a call seeking comment.

Research: Leila Abboud, Jason Vest

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