TOO SOON? “Found this while cleaning out some files today. Heh” — Ben Freed, who was fired as Editor-in-Chief of DCist this week for defying a boss’s orders about spiking a freelance story he wrote for BuzzFeed. Earlier in the day Wednesday Freed wrote, “I appreciate all the kind tweets, DMs, and emails. I thought @ErikWemple’s piece about what happened was totally fair.” Of course he thought it was “fair.” WaPo‘s Wemple defended the reporter who defied a directive from a boss by discussing standards set by the Washington City Paper, which is all well and good but for the fact that Freed was not fired for freelancing; he also no longer works for WCP. Wemple left a gaping hole in his story on Freed, jumping right from the publisher, Jake Dobkin, asked for the BuzzFeed story to be spiked to… “It ran.” Good going! But why should details matter to Wemple, who picks and chooses whom he defends based on an elusive criteria that’s hard to comprehend. He recently gave quite the easy time to a “publisher” who invented a story because she wished it was true. What’s not to like? Wemple later posted a letter from Freed which solved the mystery he could have clarified in his original post seeing as the letter from Freed circulated well before Wemple’s breaking story published. Freed wrote, “While the feedback on the piece has been largely positive, Jake had asked me to tell BuzzFeed to spike the article, but they and I went ahead with the decision to run it. I knew Jake would not be pleased, but I did not think this would be his recourse.” They and I? Hmmm so nice of Wemple to defend Freed on purposefully defying his boss based on standards at a publication where both he and Freed previously worked.
“The co-worker who doesn’t want me following his twitter, follows ME on twitter! And we kind of are friends. That is why it’s weird.” — ABC7’s Stephen Tschida.
Reporters fall prey to goat pitch
“Congressional cemetery goat bounce piece: Reporters more susceptible to press releases in August.” — CNN’s Zach Wolf. Speaking of goat stories…“ITK: Goats graze the Congressional Cemetery…which leads me to this uber important q: Do goats “bahh?” Just sheep?” — The Hill‘s Judy Kurtz, who links to this story. The Hill’s Associate Editor Niall Stanage replied, saying, “I believe they bleat, officially. And thank you for provoking me to Google ‘noise Goats make.'” And Yahoo! News‘s Chris Moody: “I got hit with poison ivy while chasing goats around the Congressional Cemetery. WORTH IT.”
“Many have asked about Twitter’s verification process. Not too difficult, though urine test was embarrassing.” — “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak.
Words to Live By
“Give us your tired, your weary, your Zuckers.” — Mother Jones reporter Tim Murphy.
Reporter shares slice of life
“My 7 y/o in preparation for married life always tells me: ‘Daddy I really don’t like being asked how my day was.'”
Journo admits confusing actresses
“I mistook Glenn Close for Meryl Streep at Dem Nat’l convention in LA once. I was mortified, she laughed. Can relate.” — Albuquerque Journal Washington Bureau Chief Michael Coleman, who links to this post in which a fan confuses Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg. “Humble and hilarious, we just gained more respect for Marky Mark,” writes HuffPost in a post that’s neither humble nor hilarious.
Politico Playbook Publish Time: 9:01 a.m.
Another view of This Town
“Working my way thru #ThisTown, but it’s a grind. Are the only people in ‘this town’ Democrats & @JohnMcCain (which, you know, close enough)?” — NJC’s Hannah Jackman.