The Washington Post

Media news derivatives: April 19

In case you missed it---If one of your newspaper’s columnists said something so screwy that he drew the attention of the Secret Service, think you might have something to say about it? Well, the Washington Times remains mum on the threats/fantasies of regular columnist Ted Nugent.

Also: The Los Angeles Times published some scandalous photos of Army soldiers hamming it up with the severed limbs of fallen Afghan suicide bombers. The Pentagon had asked the paper not to release the photos, which show clear misconduct. Los Angeles Times made the right call, sans doute.


*On that very item about the Los Angeles Times: Jack Shafer of Reuters turns in a fab take on the topic of war and human trophies. One graph:

The outrage the military is expressing over these ghoulish images ignores the fact that the taking of battlefield trophies, photographic or otherwise, is as old as war itself, as are military commanders’ bans on the collection of such ghoulish souvenirs, as Simon Harrison explains in his 2006 paper, “Skull Trophies of the Pacific War: Transgressive Objects of Remembrance” (abstract). Harrison differentiates between “near enemies” and “distant enemies,” with near enemies remaining safe from mutilation and scalp-taking but far enemies being fair game. During World War Two, he observes, the Japanese were the far enemy, and their body parts, including ears, teeth and especially skulls, were routinely gathered as keepsakes. Germans and Italians, the near enemy, remained largely safe from mutilation and desecration.

*Mother Jones takes up the question of whether public broadcasting stations could possibly, maybe take a step toward accepting campaign ads.

*Will Oremus wonders on Slate why the Huffington Post is eligible for Pulitzer Prizes and other Web sites — like Slate! — are assumed not to be eligible.

* is reporting that Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity are working toward new contracts with Fox News. We’re talking multiyear, multimillion here.

*Did the Oklahoman try to ignore a big Reuters scoop in its backyard?

*Dick Clark died yesterday; someone thought Dick Cheney died yesterday.

*Forbes guy boasts about Forbes: “I’m often asked why the conversation on is so ‘civil.’ Our comment system, which rewards thoughtfulness not volume, is the answer.”

*Lawrence O’Donnell goes after the Mitt Romney-Ted Nugent connection, again:

*Sean Hannity, does his due diligence, attempting to get a dog-related comment out of Mitt Romney. Doesn’t work out.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


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