In case you missed it---The rush to get it wrong: How Brian Ross of ABC News was upholding a strong recent tradition when he ill-advisedly speculated about the identity of the alleged Aurora shooter.
*Richard Williamson, an advocate for the campaign of Mitt Romney, accused the White House of involvement in recent national security “leaks” to the New York Times. Via Foreign Policy:
“I believe every reporter in this town knows that at least one of the sources is in the White House,” Williamson said. “I think the Obama administration has figured out how to do [intelligence sharing]: Have the national security advisor talk to David Sanger and then all intelligence is shared.”
* In the magazine industry, ad-page counts for September issues are a big deal. That’s an enormous month for this sector and WWD breaks down some of the data for 2012:
All magazine publishers released their September ad counts this week. In terms of the fashion titles, Vogue, which Cona described as the company’s “workhorse,” had its best September since 2008, totaling 658 ad pages, an increase of 13 percent from September 2011. Allure also had its best September in four years — 131 pages, up 14 percent from last year.
Other titles were flat or saw declines: Vanity Fair had 2.5 percent less pages (222), and W dropped to 246, or 4 percent. Glamour, which underwent a redesign in March, lost 35 pages to 205, a 16 percent decrease. Lucky, with a relatively new publisher in Marcy Bloom, had a “challenging” September, in the words of a spokeswoman. The magazine’s pages fell to 136, a 26 percent decline. McEwen’s Self had 90 pages in all, or 6 percent off from last year, though it officially overtook its chief competitor, Shape, which had 77 pages, a 22 percent drop from last September, according to Media Industry Newsletter.
What’s up with Shape?
*The Awl turns in a great look at Maureen Dowd’s early career at the New York Times, including her work on a long-ago Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Recalls Dowd: “I was so excited I went to every balloon party the night before and the parade. And I had to interview, like, forty kids until I got the one cynical little New York girl who was, like, Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street. But I did the work because I knew what I wanted.” From Dowd’s write-up:
Of course, there were some precocious veterans on hand. When Superman wobbled maneuvering a corner on Central Park West, 7-year-old Jennifer Terban looked up in disdain.
“He should take flying lessons again,” she said. “I hate it when they tilt. Superman got hit in the face last year and Bullwinkle got caught in a tree.”
Jennifer gave only glancing notice to the grand finale of Santa Claus and his elves to the tune of “Jingle Bells.” “He’s not really Santa,”’ she said. “He’s just a fat man with a beard.’”
*Lawrence O’Donnell blasts Bill O’Reilly for riding both sides of the fence on gun control.
*Lots of speculation about the future of Newsweek Daily Beast following the news that the Harman family won’t be subsidizing the media property anymore, leaving that to Barry Diller’s IAC. What’s next? WWD:
Barry Diller, chairman of IAC, didn’t help its public profile Wednesday when during an earnings call he suggested the brand might eventually exist online only, fueling already rampant speculation about the NewsBeast’s future.
“The transition to online from hard print will take place,” Diller said. “We are examining all our options.”
To some, that signaled a sale was suddenly a possibility for the Web site and magazine. IAC launched the Daily Beast in 2008 under Tina Brown, and two years later merged it with Newsweek. Diller said that by this coming September or October IAC would have a firm plan in place for the joint venture.
*Talk about irony. Here comes former News Corp. executive Rebekah Brooks with a complaint, via the Guardian. I’ve conveniently highlighted the highly ironic passage:
The former chief executive of News International said the Leveson inquiry testimony of Metropolitan police deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers in February involved unsubstantiated allegations and led to “highly damaging press reporting” in relation to Scotland Yard’s ongoing investigations into phone hacking, corruption of public officials and computer hacking.
*There’s a report (pdf) out on the New York police department’s handling of Occupy Wall Street. It comes from NYU School of Law and Fordham Law School and includes a section on the department’s approach to the media. A few graphs:
In New York City, the most egregious single example of police violation of the rights of the media to cover protests freely occurred during the November 15 Zuccotti Park eviction. In what was described as a “media blackout,” police refused to allow many journalists to remain in or near Zuccotti Park during the eviction, regardless of their accreditation.92
One local cable news reporter, for example, stated that: “Our crews had a very difficult time moving around between 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. Press passes seemed not to impress the cops on scene.” A writer, after asserting that she was press, stated that she heard a police officer say, “not tonight.”
At least one reporter had a press pass confiscated. Some journalists who were already in the vicinity of the park at the time of the police operation reported that they were threatened with arrest or arrested, or in other ways had their freedom to cover the protests curtailed. One journalist present reported that he identified himself as media but was nonetheless forcibly removed from the park by police, and told that reporters were limited to a designated “press pen.”
Some journalists described physical abuse. A New York Times journalist and a reporter for a local cable news channel stated that they witnessed police abuse a New York Post freelance reporter. The cable news reporter said the New York Post reporter was “thrown into a choke hold,” and she described the 20 minutes of confrontation with the police as “some of the scariest [minutes] of my life.” (footnotes deleted)