WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
 

Remembering Cairo in 1979

0 Comments · Monday, November 18, 2013
Today, from every news medium I read or hear, Cairo and much of Egypt outside the capital are suffering a nasty hangover from a soured “Arab Spring.”   
by Danny Cross 11.15.2013
Posted In: Government, Media, Media Criticism, Streetcar at 01:34 PM | Permalink | Comments (4)
 
 
enquirer

How The Enquirer Got Today’s Anti-Streetcar Story

Someone divided $1.5 million by 30

Most Cincinnatians don’t view The Cincinnati Enquirer as a beacon of journalistic innovation, but today’s homepage headline pointing out that streetcar construction is costing the city an average of $50,000 a day was a reminder of how interested our Sole Surviving Daily is in drumming up negativity about the project. Hundreds of streetcar supporters packed the Mercantile Library last night outlining the several different ways they plan to campaign to save the project — including various forms of litigation The Enquirer typically enjoys playing up as potentially costly to taxpayers — a story similar in concept to the anti-streetcar protests The Enquirer gave attention to leading up to the election.   The Enquirer’s cursory wrap-up of the event was removed from the cincinnati.com homepage this morning, and it's currently not even listed on the site's News page even though it was published more recently than several stories that are. Left behind on the homepage is a real joke of analysis: the fact that the $1.5 million monthly construction cost divided by 30 days in a month amounts to $50,000 per day, assuming workers put in the same amount of time every day in a month and the city gets billed that way, which it doesn’t. The $1.5 million figure has been known for weeks, but $50,000 per day sounds dramatic enough that concerned taxpayers everywhere can repeat it to other ill-informed people at the water cooler. If these math whizzes wanted to really piss people off they would have broken it all the way down to $34.70 per minute, 24 hours a day. Man, fuck that streetcar!At least the story’s third paragraph offered a piece of recent news: Halting construction will still cost the city $500,000 per month because it will be on the hook for workers who can’t be transferred and costs of rental equipment that will just sit there. (For Enquirer-esque context: It will still cost $16,667 per day or $11.57 a minute to temporarily halt the project.) Also, the note in the headline (“Streetcar, which Cranley plans to cancel, still costing $50K a day”) reminding everyone that Cranley plans to cancel the project that is currently costing money seems unnecessary considering THE ONLY THING ANYONE HAS HEARD ABOUT SINCE THE ELECTION IS THAT CRANLEY PLANS TO STOP THE STREETCAR. It does nicely nudge readers toward the interactive forum they can click on and publicly lament how people who don’t pay taxes have too much control over our city. (Additional professional advice: Consider changing the subhed from, “It'll be costly to stop, and costly to go on, but work continues until Cranley and new council officially stop it” to something that doesn’t sound like you have no idea what the fuck is going on.) For context, the following are the streetcar stories currently presented on the website homepages of local media that have more talent/integrity than The Enquirer: WVXU: Streetcar supporters will remain active to keep project going WCPO: Federal official: Cincinnati will forfeit $40M in grants if streetcar project is canceled WLWT: Standing-room-only crowd attends Cincinnati streetcar meeting Cincinnati Business Courier: Feds: If you kill the streetcar, we want our money back CityBeat: Streetcar supporters pack Mercantile Library, Fountain SquareCityBeat: Streetcar cancellation would cost Cincinnati federal fundsCONSERVATIVE MEDIA BONUS: 700WLW even has a relevant piece of streetcar news, although you have to scroll past a video of Russian kids wrestling a bear and an article suggesting that Obamacare is the president’s Katrina (whatever that means): Feds: Use money for streetcar or pay it back.
 
 

Worst Week Ever!: Sept. 4-9

0 Comments · Wednesday, September 11, 2013
THURSDAY SEPT. 5: For being a really old daily newspaper, The Cincinnati Enquirer is not known for being great at many things (although its recent plan to do a better job covering Northern Kentucky by having zero reporters stationed there is a pretty good idea and should pay off in the long run).   
by Danny Cross 08.29.2013
Posted In: baseball at 09:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
bp

Brandon Phillips Acts Like a Real Dick to Reporter

Earns SportsCenter coverage for repeatedly calling Enquirer reporter "fat motherfucker"

Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is typically all smiles when the cameras are on him, but before last night’s game against the Cardinals — and just outside the frame of a video recorded by a St. Louis-area radio station — Phillips let the expletives fly during a tirade against Enquirer reporter C. Trent Rosecrans, who dared to accurately report Phillips’ shitty on-base percentage in response to Phillips asking to bat higher in the lineup. The incident earned a minute-long segment on SportsCenter and responses from multiple national baseball writers.Phillips was moved to the second spot in the batting order for that night's game — he has batted fourth most of the year and ranks third in the National League in RBI. In a tweet, Rosecrans pointed out that Phillips' .310 on-base percentage is lower than the .320 of the guy he replaced in the two-spot in the team's lineup.Phillips reportedly went off on Rosecrans in the clubhouse and then continued the tirade during the media session with Baker. Phillips, who is off camera in the video, interrupts the interview with Baker, calling out “fat motherfucker on the end” and saying to Baker: “Tell him you’ll have me bat eighth if you’re worried about my on-base percentage. Fat motherfucker, make him happy.”Phillips says to Rosecrans, “I’m tired of you talking that negative bullshit about my team, dog. I found out your Twitter name motherfucker, that’s a wrap.”Rosecrans responds, “Wow, took you how many years?”Dusty Baker laughed and then said, “I ain’t in this; it’s between you and him.”Rosecrans says, “It’s between him and him.”The Enquirer posted a blog in response to the incident before the game was over. Enquirer sports editor Angel Rodriguez wrote, “While we are disappointed in Phillips' reaction, we understand it is a pennant race and emotions are high during a crucial series with a heated rival. This isn't the first time a player has lost his temper in response to a reporter's questions and it won't be the last. It is part of covering the team day-in day-out.”In response to an outpouring of support on Facebook, Rosecrans wrote that this kind of thing isn’t really new to the world of sports coverage but thanked people for the support.Rosecrans was the Reds beat writer for the Cincinnati Post and has reported for local radio stations and websites, in addition to spending most of 2012 writing a weekly sports column for CityBeat. He is a 10-year member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.The full video can be seen below: 
 
 

Worst Week Ever!: June 26-July 2

0 Comments · Wednesday, July 3, 2013
SATURDAY JUNE 29: We at WWE! are suckers for a great gimmick — when Papa John’s offers unlimited toppings on medium pizzas we pick up the phone and dial 347-1111 with a quickness.   

'Enquirer' Takes Questionable Approach to Covering Meyers Ordination

Daily refuses to cover "illegal" ordination, but Gannett weekly covers it

2 Comments · Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Thirty-nine years ago, Enquirer editors agreed to cover a global story that still reverberates through some of Christianity’s oldest denominations: the acrimonious debate over whether women may be priests.    

Much Ado About Court Packing

0 Comments · Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Language abuse — as opposed to abusive language — is as old as language itself. After 50-plus years of reporting and editing, I should be used to it, but I’m increasingly irritated by its deliberate, partisan misuse.   
by Ben L. Kaufman 06.12.2013
Posted In: Media, Media Criticism, Ethics, News at 11:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
enquirer

Curmudgeon Notes 6.12.2013

Media musings from Cincinnati and beyond

• The Enquirer’s MasonBuzz.com wasn’t honest with readers about the source of its story promoting “National Heimlich Maneuver Day.” It was posted by a reporter but carried the byline of Melinda Zemper. She’s not a reporter and she wasn’t identified as a “contributor.” Zemper is public relations professional whose clients include Heimlich interests. She was helpful when I sought out Phil Heimlich for a story recently. That’s her job. So is providing copy ready for publication. With so few reporters and editors, news media are evermore open to such PR material as “news.” Traditional journalism ethics requires that we be told the writer’s underlying interest in the story if it’s not by a reporter or contributor. MasonBuzz.com failed that test.   • London’s Guardian scored its first of two coups when it reported the Obama administration is collecting our cell phone records in the name of national security. The Washington Post followed with its story about spying through Internet sites such as Google. Both relied on the same source, one of thousands of private contractor employees with top security clearances.  • The Guardian’s second coup was its interview with the American who revealed that NSA cell phone tracking: Edward Snowden, 29. The Guardian called him a “former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.” The paper said it named Snowden and published his online video statement at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, the paper said, Snowden eschewed the protection of anonymity. "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he told the Guardian, although he wants to avoid the media spotlight. "I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing." That won’t be easy, he conceded. "I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me." Still, he told the Guardian, "I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in ... My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."  • Whistleblower Snowden is the civilian version of Army Private Bradley Manning, who gave military and diplomatic cables to Wikileaks. Both were low-level intelligence specialists with high-level security clearance.  Both claim to have acted according to conscience, hoping to save rather than harm our nation. There is a difference, however, that I haven’t seen or heard in facile news media comparisons of Snowden to Manning or Daniel Ellsberg, an academic defense analyst who revealed the Pentagon Papers. Manning’s military and diplomatic cables and Ellsberg’s study of the Vietnam war were in the broadest sense histories. Snowden’s revelations involve current and future data collection and analysis.  • Mother Jones magazine/online also scored two scoops in recent days. It says the Justice Department wants to hide an 86-page opinion by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court that says the government violated the spirit of federal surveillance laws and engaged in unconstitutional spying. Mother Jones’ bureau chief in Washington, David Corn, says the secrecy effort is a response to a Freedom of Information suit by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.  • In its second coup, Mother Jones says the FBI raided the Winchester, Ky., home of corporate cybersecurity consultant Deric Lostutter. As hacker KYAnonymous, he was instrumental in making the Steubenville rape case a national story. Mother Jones says Lostutter “obtained and published tweets and Instagram photos in which other team members had joked about the incident and belittled the victim. He now admits to being the man behind the mask in a video posted by another hacker on the team's fan page, RollRedRoll.com, where he threatened action against the players unless they apologized to the girl ... According to the FBI's search warrant, agents were seeking evidence related to the hacking of RollRedRoll.com ... If convicted of hacking-related crimes, Lostutter could face up to 10 years behind bars — far more than the one- and two-year sentences doled out to the Steubenville rapists.” • Local news media embrace an uncritical “boost, don’t knock” approach to local festivals. Even so, they ignored a great photo op at the opening of Summer Fair. Hundreds of people stood in line in the Coney Island parking lot while two people — at one table — took admission money. Some people waited more than 30 minutes to get in. Parking was free, so no one knows how many potential customers took one look and drove away.   • A recent Enquirer cover story confirms what a lot of people have known for years: Go elsewhere for sophisticated cancer care. What’s news is the admission in a proposed UC major investment to bring advanced cancer care here.  • Another Enquirer cover story made my prehensile toes curl with joy. The Creation Museum is evolving to allow us to return to tree tops ... via zip lines.  • I’m still unhappy about NPR’s decision to kill Talk of the Nation carried here 2-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday. It was the nation’s best long-format public radio interview program, sort of a New Yorker of the air.  Starting July 1, WVXU plans to fill the newly vacant 2-3 p.m. gap with an expanded Cincinnati Edition using current staff as hosts. I hope it retains long-format interviews.  With its limited resources newly devoted to the expanded Monday-Thursday Cincinnati Edition, WVXU is ending Maryanne Zeleznik’s Thursday morning long-format Impact Cincinnati interview show and the staff’s Saturday and Sunday one-hour weekend Cincinnati Edition. There were good regular segments and I hope they’ll be woven into the new format.  To fill 3-4 p.m. Monday-Thursday, WVXU is bringing in The Takeaway. WVXU says it’s is a co-production of WNYC Radio and Public Radio International, in collaboration with New York Times Radio and WGBH Boston. The Takeaway carries the tagline, “Welcome to the American Conversation.” We’ll see. Talk of the Nation set a very high standard. • Sunday’s Enquirer Forum calls on Ohio to expand Medicaid despite a shortage of physicians and others to cope. In part, the paper notes, few med school grads choose primary care. Reasons aren’t that complicated. Relatively low salaries paid to primary care physicians mean docs will spend a good portion of their adult lives repaying loans that often began as undergrads and compounded while adding med school loans. Another reason is that Medicaid pays even less than Medicare for office visits and treatments. That’s helps explain why primary care docs aren’t better paid and some practices limit their Medicaid and Medicare patients.  The Enquirer should dig still deeper into related issues. Why should taxpayers provide health insurance (Medicaid or unpaid emergency care) to badly paid workers whose major employers provide little or no health care insurance? Why do we as a nation offer such niggardly support to med students that they opt for higher paid specialties which ease loan repayments? (This isn’t a personal beef. Our daughter, whose board certifications include family practice, went through medical school on a UC scholarship but many classmates graduated with life-limiting debt.) • NPR had a long story on how jelly fish are multiplying at a rate that creates or exacerbates problems in the oceans. These prehistoric creatures survive, multiply and prosper without a spine or brain. Apt analogies encouraged.  • The cascade of information about NSA snooping has an unintended benefit. Pervasive federal intrusions no longer are “just a journalists’ thing.” Millions of Americans now know their cell phone calls and email/Internet data are being collected and analyzed by NSA computers and agents. This growing consciousness may provoke a groundswell that could provide brains and spine for Congress to correct police state legislation passed after 9/11.  • Eric Holder — still U.S. attorney general when this was written — is almost contrite about Justice Department grabbing reporters’ telephone and email records. He now says he won’t prosecute reporters just doing our jobs. Any journalist who accepts his assurance lacks the minimum skepticism required for our trade. Holder serves at the pleasure of a president whose antipathy to leaks recalls Nixon’s creation of the Plumbers. • NKU dropout Gary Webb shared the Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for San Jose Mercury’s coverage of the Loma Prieta earthquake. Then he took on the CIA in his sometimes-overreaching 1996 Mercury series, Dark Alliance, which said crack cocaine was being sold in Los Angeles’ black ghettos to support CIA-supported contras in Nicaragua. The LA Times and others — including the NYTimes and Washington Post — were embarrassed by Webb and the nowhere San Jose paper. They went all out to discredit Webb and his findings. Webb’s errors and inadequately supported assertions gave critics their opening. Irrespective of the the national papers’ attacks inaccuracies and misdirection, they ruined Webb’s career and he committed suicide. Years later, even former critics acknowledged the generally substantiated core of Webb’s series: CIA ignored Contra cocaine smuggling and its spread of crack in U.S. inner cities. A movie is being made about Webb and the CIA series, Kill the Messenger. • NPR’s Morning Edition described in broad detail an NSA data center going up outside Salt Lake City. Computers are so large and hot that they will need 1.5 million gallons of cooling water daily. I wish NPR told me where that water was coming from and where it would go after being used to cool the computers.   • With friends like this ... Aljazeera.com reports that Syrian rebels executed a 15-year-old Aleppo coffee vendor in front of his family because the killers thought a common Syrian retort was blasphemy. The youth apparently refused someone coffee on credit, saying, “Even if Mohammad comes down, I will not give it as a debt.”  • Obama’s meeting at Sunnylands, the Annenberg estate near Palm Springs, Calif., pricked my nostalgia. In the early 1940s, my father, an Army physician, was stationed in Palm Springs. A visionary local developer offered Dad some land. As our family legend goes, that friend assured my father that “after the war,” Palm Springs would boom. Headed for combat in Europe and uncertain what might follow, Dad said thanks, but no thanks. Oh, well. If Dad had taken his friend’s offer, last week’s Obama-Xi meeting could have been on a Kaufman desert hideaway, “10,000 Lakes.”
 
 

Cincinnati's 1 Percent

7 Comments · Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Rich people get to do whatever the hell they want in this city. Maybe that’s the way it is in every city and anyone surprised by it is a simpleton who clearly grew up on the wrong side of I-75. But the influence that Cincinnati's rich people have over the direction of this city and the distribution of its resources should disturb everyone.   

The Ethics of Intrusion

0 Comments · Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Intruding is something reporters do. Intrusions can be personal, professional, financial or commercial. Or more than one of the above. And, yes, despite inexplicably loud cell phone conversations, awareness of omnipresent smartphone cameras and overly revealing Facebook posts, many Americans still assert their right to privacy.   

0|2
 
Close
Close
Close