Monday, August 05, 2013

USAT | The 2013 Understatement Award goes to...

"News outlets generally do a terrible job when they have to cover themselves."

-- Rem Rieder, USA Today's media editor, in a column Saturday during a week when Gannett eliminated nearly 250 newspaper jobs. I've yet to see a USAT story about that. Did Rieder assign one?

And speaking of media columnists, is Michael Wolff taking the day off? I don't see his usual Monday column in today's paper.

Or was someone offended by his meditation on masturbation a week ago in his other media column, in The GuardianWriting about New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner, here are some bullet points (emphasis added):
  • Every modern person has a porn fascination if not compulsion.
  • In effect, [Weiner] had sexual fantasies and masturbated, like, presumably, most of his colleagues.
  • Obviously, you look differently at someone who's been caught wanking. Losers do it. Well, everybody does it. But you're not a loser until people know you do it.


  1. USAT Editor in Chief David Callaway announced Rieder's new job in late June in a press release that said:

    "The increasing role of media in all our lives means that every company is now a media company, and everyone a media personality," said Callaway. "Rem's role will include working with media columnists such as Michael Wolff, and USA TODAY reporters across the country as they cover the empires and innovators behind this evolution. He will continue writing his column as well."

  2. Wolff wrote: "Every modern person has a porn fascination if not compulsion."

    Aren't Gannett Chairman Marjorie Magner and CEO Gracia Martore modern people? How about USAT Publisher Larry Kramer and editor Callaway?

    1. This is sad, Jim, even for you.

      Do you know that any of these people were involved in an action, if there even was one?

      This smacks of another of your weak attempts to spread a rumor.

    2. Do you mean involved in deciding who got laid off? Of course not. This is about coverage of a media story.

    3. Involved in Wolff not being published today, you putz.

      Don't post some stupid crap and then say: "Of course not." Try to keep up. Were you dropped on your head several times a kid?

  3. I see more corproate attacks and slapdowns are being shot at Jim. Gannett just hates it when they are called on the carpet, don't they?

    Of course the modern people of Gannett like porn. One need only look at the fondling of blue balls memo for proof of their penchant for hint hint wink wink.

    Just more proof that Callaway is enjoying the ride -- he just doesn't know where it's going to.

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  5. Unfortunately, newspapers have gone beyond terrible coverage of themselves to flat-out deceit, as evidenced by but one recent, disingenuous tweet by Cincinnati’s editor:

    Carolyn Washburn @CarolynWashburn
    Not true. Same # reporters. Not closing office. RT @SuziSteffen: Abandoning NKY? Wow RT @Andy_Brownfield: @Cincienquirer shuttering 2...

    For an industry that was built on bringing truths to light, people like Washburn apparently care little for it as reporters and editors were fired, shrinking Washburn’s editorial staff. Offices for Cincy’s weekly newspapers in NKY and Cincinnati’s Westside are “closing,” forcing those who weren’t fired to Northeastern Cincinnati’ farther most corner. And, news about Buchanan’s plan to slash 26 weekly newspapers to nine….it’s non-existent.

    Do what they must, but readers and advertisers increasingly see through the Enquirer’s B.S Exactly why they rely even less on it and that's too bad as it's increasingly self-inflicted.

  6. Turns out Wolff did have a media column yesterday -- his other one, in The Guardian. And it's not bad.

    And two weeks earlier, he also took on another timely topic in that British daily -- the prospects for The Washington Post, which was sold yesterday to Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos.

    As a long-ago editor used to tell us with a Post-It note when we got thumped by the competition: "Why we not have?"


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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