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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 02/17/2012

Media news derivatives: Feb. 17

In case you missed it — Anthony Shadid, an irreplaceable storyteller.

Also: How did the New York Times miss out on all the interviews with Apple executives in advance of the unveiling of its ”Mountain Lion” OS? The Wall Street Journal got an exclusive with Apple CEO Tim Cook. Some bloggers got sit-downs with pretty-high-up execs as well. If the Times got such access, it’s doing a good job of hiding it. Apple didn’t respond to requests for comment about how it handles such situations. A New York Times source insists that the treatment of the Times owes to its tough reporting on Apple’s manufacturing conditions in China. Whatever the case, let’s just say doing tough accountability journalism on Apple while at the same time getting preferential treatment for the company’s product launches is a tough trick to pull off.

Also also: We now have a report on all the questions that have been asked in the numerous, but not numerous enough, Republican presidential debates. What does the research show? That there’s too much talk of electability.

Elsewhere:

*Gawker adopts a charitable tone in this piece about an error that went down at Politico. The item points out that when Politico reporter Donovan Slack wrote this....

WH flies labor flag in Milwaukee
It’s very clear what side President Obama is on here in Wisconsin.
Behind the stage where he will speak today are two flags: an American one, as usual, and right alongside it — and a flag for the local union, Wisconsin 1848.

...well, the trenchant scene reporting didn’t bear out. That union flag was actually the state flag of Wisconsin. Gawker’s Hamilton Nolan summed up: “We all make mistakes.” And Politico issued this correction: “An earlier 44 blog post about Obama’s visit to Wisconsin incorrectly identified the Wisconsin state flag.” Perhaps a more full-throated correction would have read, “An earlier 44 blog post incorrectly idenitified the Wisconsin state flag as a union flag and connected its presence to the president’s politics.” But, hey.

*Capital tells us how the Associated Press nailed the scoop of Whitney Houston’s death:

“Our music editor, Nekesa Mumbi Moody, was contacted by Whitney Houston’s rep about the death after many years of building a relationship with Ms. Houston and her team,” said Lou Ferrara, the A.P.’s managing editor for sports, entertainment and multimedia, through a spokesperson. “There was a desire to have it accurately distributed by the AP, which was one of two outlets that Ms. Houston did interviews with when she promoted her last album.”

*Great writing here, about eating in a war zone, of all things:

There was so much I did not understand that first winter about how important it is to carry reminders of home when you go to hostile places. The hardest part was never the bombs, it was the lack of the familiar, a sense of the predictable, of even the most mundane pleasure. War zones are stripped down. Usually there are no choices — about what to eat, or much else. The food is mostly cold and functional. The kind you can shove into a pocket or throw under a car seat: protein bars, raisins, a box of potato chips. These are calories, not cuisine.

*On Fox and Friends, what’s the difference between GM and GE?

*Murdoch & Co. to launch new Sunday tabloid. Didn’t we see that coming?

*Why do media critics so often look like me — i.e., white and male? Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times has a look at the question, which was first raised by Shani Hilton:

Poynter, which owns the newspaper where I work, the Tampa Bay Times, hired [Andrew] Beaujon as it was losing one of the biggest names in media reporting, Jim Romenesko, in what turned out to be a very controversial departure. I didn’t apply for the position myself, but I know people who did, and they were some quality individuals.
But as a black man who has covered TV and media in some form or another for the past 15 years, I wasn’t surprised to hear that many of the applicants for the job were middle-aged white guys. When I was a pop music critic in the ‘90s and purely a TV critic years ago, the ethnic balance was pretty much the same -- a sea of middle-aged white guys with a smattering of women and the occasional non-white person.

By  |  11:30 AM ET, 02/17/2012

Tags:  anthony shadid, new york times, washington post, wall street journal, apple, china, gawker, politico, ap, whitney houston

 
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