Notes, quotes and things
that I think I know
A few housekeeping notes:
· The phone number under the contact button has changed. If Ernie Schreiber gets in a lather and wants to call me he should dial (215) 350-5849. Anyone else is welcome to as well.
· I am losing articles off the bottom of my front page because it is too long. I am distraught. It’s my own fault – but last time it happened I received a warning. This time articles are just gone. So I am going to take the time to move the information to “inside” pages. It is boring, clerical, repetitive work that I constantly put off - but now it absolutely has to be done. So this will be short today – but do check back tomorrow when I plan on kicking some serious butt.
Regarding this week’s articles about reporters posting on Talkback a reader sent me this item (thank you):
L.A. Times pulls columnist's blog over Web fake
By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Los Angeles Times has suspended the blog of a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist who posed as an Internet reader to defend his own column and attack his conservative foes.
The Times apparently learned of Michael Hiltzik's multiple identities from another blogger, Patrick Frey, who was slammed by the columnist under a pseudonym. Frey, author of a blog called Patterico's Pontifications (www.patterico.com), traced the writer back to Hiltzik's computer.
It marked the latest salvo in the David vs. Goliath battle between bloggers and the "mainstream media" they accuse of arrogance and bias under the guise of objectivity.
"Hiltzik admitted Thursday that he posted items on the paper's Web site, and on other Web sites, under names other than his own," the Times said in a statement.
"That is a violation of The Times ethics guidelines, which requires editors and reporters to identify themselves in dealing with the public."
Times spokeswoman Amy Moynihan said the paper was still investigating the matter and could take further action.
"We're just trying to find out what happened and make sure we're looking at all sides," Moynihan said. "When that's completed we'll make any further decisions if we feel they are warranted."
Hiltzik, a business page columnist who has sparred with Frey and other conservative bloggers, told Reuters he could not comment. A Times spokesman was not immediately available.
In an earlier posting on his Golden State blog, Hiltzik dismissed the complaints by Frey, a Los Angeles prosecutor, as "amusing" and overblown.
"(Frey) seems to think that pseudonymous posting is deceptive, though he can't articulate why that should be, given the abundance of pseudonyms and anonymity on his own blog starting with the name on the banner," Hiltzik wrote.
Frey exposed Hiltzik's multiple identities by finding matches between the Internet addresses used by the columnist and at least two "readers" called "Mikekoshi" and "Nofanofcablecos." He discovered that Hiltzik was also identified as "Mikekoshi" on an Internet mailing list for fans of sumo wrestling.
In 1999, Hiltzik won a Pulitzer Prize with Chuck Philips for a series exposing corruption in the music industry.
Former CBS news anchor Dan Rather resigned last year following a blogger-initiated furor over a story strongly suggesting that President George W. Bush received favorable treatment in the National Guard during the Vietnam War.
The report was based on documents that the network later acknowledged could not be authenticated. The papers had first been challenged by conservative bloggers who long claimed that Rather had a liberal bias.
Regarding my assertion that Janet Kelley was posting on Talkback a reader sent me this email:
“If you check all of lancgirl’s posts, she frequently refers people to the WGAL website or WGAL newscasts. Could it be the WGAL reporter instead? Just wondering. The posts point that way instead.”
It’s a very legitimate question and I will address it tomorrow when I will also address this astonishing post by an editor or other senior person working for the Lancaster Newspapers and posting on the Talkback Board:
"Actually, I am quite shocked at the amount of non-conservative voices on this board. They are definetely out of proportion to our population. Either people are really behind the times and don't have computers or they just don't read the local newspaper."
Scrat/Daddyg – learn how to spell definitely. Your cover is blown, sir.
Some reporter notes:
- Cindy Stauffer of the New Era wrote an excellent story about Iraq vets and post traumatic stress syndrome. It is here.
- Larry Alexander of the Intell wrote an excellent column in Wednesday’s paper – “Government in twilight zone” which was not posted online. “Now we have state Rep. Gibson Armstrong who, rather than be bothered by such things as the quality of education, poor libraries and lousy roads, evidently lays awake at night thinking about political bias on college campuses. By political bias, of course, he means liberal ideas. If conservative views were being pushed, Armstrong would sleep like a baby.”
- Jeff Hawkes, on the other hand, wrote two columns in the Intell this week that left me shaking my head wondering how they made it into the paper and why anyone would waste their time reading them. Wake him up, Alexander!
- Folks, I am all for young writers getting a shot – but this is down right scary. Is this the state of our youth? If anyone understands one word in this “article” - Free Space A column by the staff of Freestyle (click here) please, please let me know. PLEASE! “Speak softly and carry an adamantium rod?” WTF?
Please check back tomorrow when I intend to kick some serious Scrat butt.