The Washington Post

Media news derivatives: Jan. 27

In case you missed it---Mark Plotkin out at WTOP. That’s the news that broke around noon yesterday, and it came as a shock to this regional media chamber. “Whoa,” commented one tweep. “WOW,” commented another. What could have prompted this “parting of ways,” as both parties put it? Well, it appears to have been Plotkin’s temper; he reportedly flew off the handle a few times at WTOP, and that contributed to this move. Plotkin himself told the Erik Wemple Blog that there’ll be other pursuits for him. Correct: It’ll take more than the absence of the WTOP megaphone to silence Mark Plotkin.

Also: Wolf Blitzer finally scores a victory for a moderator vis-a-vis moderator nemesis extraordinaire Newt Gingrich. How’d he pull off such a stunt? Well, he had to have several factors working in his favor.


*Business Insider chides Twitter for caving to international censorship laws. The policy:

Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world.

A post on the matter from Boing Boing.

*NewsBusters’ Noel Sheppard is all over this: Jeopardy contestants — those superannuated whiz kids! — were presented with a photo of a “cable TV newswoman” who Alex Trebek said received a “doctorate in politics from Oxford.” So who dat? Come one, contestants, she’s right in front of you? Don’t you recognize her, at least, from all those “Lean Forward” commercials. No, they didn’t. They didn’t know who Rachel Maddow was. I would have killed that one.

*Mathew Ingram berates those who would try to “re-create” the info-scarcity of yore:

What are the paywalls at newspapers such as the New York Times and the Times of London (not to mention dozens of smaller papers) if not an attempt to hang on to the supply-demand equation as long as possible? When news and entertainment content arrived primarily in print — or through a small number of broadcast channels — media companies didn’t have to worry about supply and demand. The demand was taken for granted, and control over the supply was virtually guaranteed.

That’s over now, or in the process of becoming so.

*More nonsense on Twitter about someone famous perhaps dying.

*John King interviews Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer about the highly covered moment at the airport with President Obama. That appeared to be a tense moment, one in which the president expressed anger with his portrayal in Brewer’s book, “Scorpions for Breakfast.” King does a nice job in this segment of exposing a disconnect in how Brewer characterized a meeting with the president. Right after that meeting, Brewer said it was “successful.” In her book, she more or less portrayed it as a disaster in which Obama condescended to her. “I was supposed to listen without talking.” Brewer tries to sew up the inconsistencies in this interview, to unconvincing effect.

One point of order: At the start of the interview, King pointed out that a lot of folks have criticized Brewer for not showing the president of the United States a little more respect. Brewer then replies this way: “First, let me say that I respect the office of the president.”

Any way we can do away with the “I respect the office of the president” line? It’s such a staple of partisan hackery, code for “I don’t respect the president himself.” It’s partisan attack wrapped in phony constitutional high-mindedness, regardless of who’s in the Oval Office.

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


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