Press Clips: Certain Media Reporters Think Howard Kurtz is Full of Shit


Day 9, Evening Edition. D.C. Drama up in this: Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz has (super) ‘Reliable Sources’ while The Washington Times was purchased by the Moonies for the high price of $1, and also, my Journolist-Leaker Theories are back, kinda. Elsewhere, the New York Times still has some serious “fuck”-ing issues, a Wall Street Journal reporter’s teary goodbye, and Michael Eisner’s making moves.

Howard Kurtz’s Reliable Sources: Me, Myself, and I? Both Washington Post media columnist Howard Kurtz and Post ombudsman Andrew Alexander have both rendered their predictably incorrect takes on today’s Washington Post-Twitter Fabrication Fiasco, though Alexander gets closer to the mark — “Fabrication is a major journalistic transgression. He’s lucky he wasn’t fired.” — than Kurtz does, far more than I would have expected him to. Alexander misses the greater point of the Washington Post‘s insane double-standards and ridiculous, backwards culture problems. For example: On the matter of the Twitter Fabrication Fiasco, Howard Kurtz, media columnist, took a very different route from Alexander, in the very, very last paragraph of his report on the matter:

Some in the Post newsroom found the suspension to be harsh, but Wise did not challenge it, saying, “I’m paying the price I should for careless, dumb behavior.”

“Some,” like who? Oh, that’s right:

Himself. Meanwhile, Andrew Alexander, November 2008: “Still falling short on anonymous sources.” Andrew Alexander, June 2010: “For The Post, anonymous sources remain a problem.” Again: Culture Issues.

Journolist-ening: Oh, while we’re on matters of the Post, if you think I’ve given up on finding out who leaked Journolist and smeared Dave Weigel, you’re wrong. It’s a White Whale of mine, and I’m closing in. I’ve learned more about the person who leaked it — Hint: Washington D.C. Media Set, New York is exponentially smaller than you might think. — and today, a few more hints (Twitter, anyone?) may or may not have leaked out of the woodwork. If you know something, say something. I’m still listening, and I still want this.

VQ..losed For Business: In the wake of a bullied colleague’s suicide, the offices of the award-winning Virgina Quarterly Review — which everyone thinks is incredible yet nobody you or I know actually reads — have shut down. Whatever happened there, it’s obviously tragic and terrible. Without projecting on the circumstances too much: A heady, lit-crowd-loved publication, accusations of bullying, pressure at work, and a suicide. Everyone should probably read Tom Bissell’s original Observer story on it if you missed it the first time.

Susanne Craig’s Sad Goodbye Actually isn’t that sad, though it might be to her soon-to-be-former Wall Street Journalers, as the NYT-bound star finance reporter demonstrates what a class act she is in her goodbye note to co-workers. Talking Biz News has it.

Michael Eisner To Do Something With Tribune Co. The Wrap reports that he’s definitely taking a gig there, ink’s almost dry, all that. But, remind me: What’s the former Disney chairman answer for “buying into” the Tribune Company’s debt? A pay wall. Natrually. “The salvation of the newspaper is some kind of pay arrangement (online), which will evolve into something significant.” Like a butterfly from a cocoon, the paywall will emerge as…another way to alienate advertisers?

The Washington Times Sold for $1: No, really. That’s it. Not even a joke. Given the fact that this is the kind of company who fires a reporter on the day their daughter is visiting the office, and makes her pack her boxes while she’s on crutches that same day, because said reporter noted that there are snakes — literally, snakes — in their dilapidated conference room…I’d say $1 is over-paying. But that’s also because it’s The (New) Washington Times, where they’re slowly killing off any significant reporting talent like an evil, metastasizing cancer. And yes, the “Moonies” are the ones buying it.

Trying to Help the New York Times With Fuck-ing: Our own music editor Rob Harvilla poked fun at the Times today when he noted that they managed to write an entire column about the Cee-Lo song “Fuck You” without actually saying the word “fuck.” As Harvilla noted, however, The New Yorker is slightly less prudish.

Oh, and don’t forget to pick up The Village Voice tomorrow, on newsstands. There might be something on there that, if you’re reading this, you may very well enjoy. G’night!