BuzzFeed Fires Staffer for 40 Instances of Plagiarism (FishbowlNY)
It looks like the magic number was 40. BuzzFeed has decided to fire its viral politics editor, Benny Johnson, after finding that many instances of plagiarism in his work. FishbowlDC A note to editorial staff sent Friday evening from BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith announced that the website has parted ways with Johnson after identifying “40 instances of sentences or phrases copied, word for word, from other sites, many of them inappropriate sources in the first place.” Capital New York Earlier last week, a pair of Twitter users called into question several of Johnson’s posts that had taken phrases and sentences from sources including About.com and National Review. Smith said Friday that editors were reviewing Johnson’s work. Poynter / MediaWire In his note to readers, Smith wrote that the plagiarism constituted “an act of disrespect to readers” and that Johnson’s editors were “deeply embarrassed and sorry” for misleading BuzzFeed’s audience. HuffPost Smith said BuzzFeed would correct every post where plagiarism was found and add editor’s notes to them. Johnson was previously with Glenn Beck’s The Blaze and has also written for Breitbart News.
Sarah Palin Launches Her Own TV Channel Online (Variety)
Sarah Palin — former governor of Alaska, erstwhile candidate for VP of the U.S. and polarizing public figure — has unveiled a new subscription-based Internet TV network that promises direct access to her and her supporters. Mediaite “Tired of media filters? Well, so am I,” she wrote. “So, let’s go rogue together and launch our own member-supported channel! This will be our channel, for you and for me, and we’ll all get to call it like it is.” Palin’s eponymous channel was created with the help of TAPP, the online-video venture formed by former NBCUniversal chairman Jeff Gaspin and former CNN U.S. president Jon Klein. HuffPost The site will feature political commentary, interviews, user-contributed content and updates from the Palin household. The channel’s home page features a national debt ticker and a countdown clock to President Barack Obama’s last day in office. USA Today / On Politics In a video on sarahpalinchannel.com, Palin calls the new subscription-based network a “community” where she and viewers can share ideas. “I want to talk directly to you on our channel on my terms and no need to please the powers that be,” she says, promising to go beyond soundbites and to “cut through the media’s politically correct filter.” The Sarah Palin channel will cost $9.95 a month or $99.95 for a one-year subscription.
Fox’s Jarrett Pleads Guilty to Disorderly Conduct (The Associated Press)
A Fox News weekend anchor pleaded guilty Friday to disorderly conduct following a May arrest at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in which a police video showed he struggled with officers. TVNewser In response to the airport incident, where a reportedly intoxicated Gregg Jarrett refused to follow police orders, Fox News said, at the time: “He is dealing with serious personal issues at this time. A date at which Gregg might return to air has yet to be determined.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media Jarrett’s plea will be thrown out after a year if he doesn’t commit the same or similar offenses and if he abides by certain conditions, an airport spokesperson said. Mediaite At the time of the incident, authorities said Jarrett refused to follow orders and was arrested. He was released on a $300 bond. A video surfaced shortly thereafter showing an apparently intoxicated Jarrett fighting with the police.
Media React to NYT Op-Ed Urging Legalization of Marijuana (FishbowlNY)
In the Sunday print edition of The New York Times, the editorial board officially came out in favor of the nationwide legalization of marijuana. HuffPost Debuting what is to be a six-part series, the Times editorial board called for an end to the “prohibition” of marijuana, saying the current ban “[inflicts] great harm on society just to prohibit a substance far less dangerous than alcohol.” The interactive series is to run from July 26 to Aug. 5, beginning with Saturday’s editorial, “High Time: An Editorial Series on Marijuana Legalization.” Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The Times is the biggest U.S. newspaper to endorse the legalization of marijuana. In recent years magazines like National Review and a few state newspapers like the Las Vegas Review Journal and the Star-Ledger Editorial Board have endorsed legalization.
Iran Confirms Arrest of Post Correspondent (The Washington Post)
Iran confirmed Friday that the Washington Post’s correspondent in Tehran has been arrested on unspecified charges. Poynter / MediaWire U.S. officials told the Post that Jason Rezaian, 38, was detained with his wife Yeganeh Salehi and two other U.S. citizens last week. Rezaian, who has been credentialed to cover Iran for the Post since 2012, has been working in Iraq as a journalist since 2008, according to the Post. HuffPost Gholam-Hossein Esmaili, the head of the Tehran Province Justice Department, did not say why Rezaian was arrested, only telling reporters on Friday that the “Post journalist has been detained for some questions and after technical investigations, the judiciary will provide details on the issue.”
Al Jazeera’s Peter Greste to Appeal Over Egypt Conviction (BBC News)
Jailed Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste is to appeal against his conviction and seven-year jail term on terrorism-related charges in Egypt, his brother Mike has said in a statement. TVNewser Greste and two other Al Jazeera journalists, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, were sentenced last month to seven years in jail. The Guardian The decision has been widely condemned by the international community as an aggressive attack on press freedom in Egypt. The statement said the family would “exhaust all legal channels prior to taking other action” to help secure Greste’s release.
U.S. Judge Says She Is Troubled by Apple $450 Million eBooks Deal (Reuters)
A U.S. judge on Thursday expressed concern over a proposed $450 million settlement of claims Apple conspired with five publishers to fix eBook prices, saying its provisions could drastically reduce money paid to consumers depending on appeals. GalleyCat Apple was found guilty of eBook price fixing in July 2013. The company agreed to the settlement to avoid a trial after losing a number of appeals.
Stephen A. Smith, Fresh Off Polarizing Rant on Domestic Violence, Headed to Chris (Mad Dog) Russo’s SiriusXM’s Channel (New York Daily News)
Last May, Chris (Mad Dog) Russo said he was unable to find a black host “who is worthy of doing a national (sports) talk (radio) show.” It appears his, and the people running SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio channel, search is over. Stephen A. Smith will soon leave ESPN-98.7 FM and take his verbal stylings to SXM’s MDR, where he will host his own show, according to satellite radio sources. Smith currently co-hosts a 1 p.m.-3 p.m. program with Ryan Ruocco on 98.7. FishbowlNY The new Smith show will likely air in direct competition with his former ESPN Radio mates.
Mario Batali’s NYT Column Ends (FishbowlNY)
Mario Batali’s “What I’m Drinking” column that ran in The New York Times Magazine for the past three years is done. New York Post Jake Silverstein, the new editor of the magazine, said it was Batali’s decision to bring it to a halt. “I absolutely did not can him,” said Silverstein. “He felt the column had run its course. He’d written everything he could about drinking, and it seemed a very natural end to it.”
More Layoffs Hit Self Magazine (WWD / Memo Pad)
Self magazine went through another round of layoffs Thursday. FishbowlNY Eight have been cut from the magazine, including six from the fashion department and one each from the photo and art departments. When publisher Mary Murcko and editor Joyce Chang took over the title in April, they didn’t wait long — only three weeks — before dropping Self’s executive director, creative director, Web director, entertainment editor, fashion editor, associate publisher for sales and associate publisher for marketing. Then, just a few weeks later, Murcko and Chang conducted a round of hirings.
Journalist Detained Working for CNN in Ukraine Is Freed (CNN)
A Ukrainian journalist detained Tuesday by pro-Russian rebels while working as a freelance producer for CNN has been freed. Anton Skiba called CNN on Saturday to confirm his release. CNN also received visual confirmation that Skiba is free from sources on the ground in Donetsk. On Tuesday evening, armed fighters led by a senior official from the self-declared Donetsk People’s Republic were waiting outside the Donbass Palace Hotel, in the rebel-controlled city of Donetsk, as CNN television crew returned from a day’s work at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
Fox’s Bid for Time Warner Includes Voice on The Board (WSJ)
21st Century Fox is prepared to offer shareholders of Time Warner Inc. board representation as part of its bid to acquire the media company, according to a person familiar with the matter. Fox, which made a roughly $80 billion cash-and-stock offer that Time Warner rejected earlier this month, believes that giving Time Warner shareholders a voice on the board of the combined company would make the deal more appealing, the person said. It isn’t clear how many seats Fox would offer.
George Zimmerman Appeals Dismissal of Lawsuit Against NBC (Mediaite)
Last month a Florida judge dismissed George Zimmerman‘s libel suit against NBC Universal, over that unfairly edited audio of Zimmerman’s 911 call. But Zimmerman has now officially appealed that dismissal, indicating he is not done fighting NBC yet. The judge ruled last month that Zimmerman could not prove actual malice against NBC.
NYT Reshuffles Metro Deck (Capital New York)
New York Times metro editor Wendell Jamieson announced several reporter beat shifts in a memo. Elizabeth Harris, who has been covering retail for the BizDay section, is returning to Metro to cover the pre-K and K-12 schools beat. She will be joined on the education team by Kate Taylor, who is swapping out of the City Hall bureau.
LAT’s Joe Flint to Return to WSJ (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Media reporter Joe Flint is returning to The Wall Street Journal after a five-year run with the Los Angeles Times, he announced Friday. Flint spent seven years covering the media beat for Journal between 1999 and 2006; he joined the Times as an entertainment industry reporter in 2009.