On this day, when The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News are bundled up and awaiting their return to private control, thoughts turn to a politically active businessman whose family wound up leading The Courier-Journal and The Louisville Times for nearly 70 years -- with great distinction.
On the morning those papers were sold to Gannett in 1986, I remember reading Judge Robert Worth Bingham's words, which were set in brass by the elevators at Sixth & Broadway in Louisville:
"I have always regarded the newspapers owned by me as a public trust and have endeavored so to conduct them as to render the greatest public service."
Been trying since a week ago Saturday to find a way/reason to write about Jason Leopold's solo walk on a limb - the one where he reported in Truthout.org that Karl Rove had been secretly indicted. Looked into the story and its author and decided to pass for the moment.
But now comes this, the lede of the day as we say in the biz. From Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post:
Robert Luskin, Karl Rove's lawyer, says he spent most of the day on May 12 taking his cat to the veterinarian and having a technician fix his computer at home.
John S. Carroll, the former Los Angeles Times editor, had to give a little speech before a Q & A session at Harvard's Walter Lippmann House yesterday, so he talked about the glory days at Philadelphia Inquirer. The story -- how anonymous sources helped a team of young reporters show how police intimidated witnesses in criminal cases -- I'd heard before, a great one that began with the firebombing of a Hispanic family's rowhouse, and the arrest of the wrong man.
What was news to me was Carroll, who was once the Inky's metropolitan editor, saying that the main reason the paper got so good in the 1970s was that corruption was so deep and widespread that officials didn't even to bother to hide their scams.
When Carroll arrived in 1972, the Inquirer's lead investigative reporter - Harry Karafin - was in jail for extortion. People used to pay Harry not to write things, Carroll explained. And reporters needing a little help with in-state tuition for their children were hooked up with Sen. Henry J. "Buddy" Cianfrani, who pulled the necessary strings for scholarships -- even at Penn, which gets some state money. This, of course, before Buddy did a little state time himself for corruption.
With Tuesday being the day that bids are due for Philadelphia Newspapers Inc., not much time left to play Philebrity's Who Will Buy The Inky office pool?
They're calling it the first annual Who Will Buy The Inky pool?
Sure, this is so much fun we should make it a regular event.
Al Jazeera and Fox News - most-trusted information sources. End of the world at 11. How'd the BBC get in there?
The Bush Administration re-writes some of the press rules. A video of the latest directives from Stephen Colbert at the White House Correspondents Dinner on Saturday: "The president makes decisions - he's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions. And you people of the press type those decisions down. ... Just put them through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again."
Transcript of the Colbert "conference" here, courtsey of Democratic Underground.
Lots of outrage, understandably, in some journalistic and progressive circles over the T-shirt (left) made by the Those Shirts firm, which advertises on some heavy hitting conservative Web sites, among them The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler, Instapundit, Michelle Malkin, Captain's Quarters, Hugh Hewitt, Power Line.
Attytood tees off on Michelle Malkin, in particular. Why is she selling these T-shirts he asks. "Really, folks -- we're not all that bad. As Jon Lovitz said, "Get to know us!"
Atrios wrote: "I hope all the newspapers who publish syndicated columnist Michelle Malkin appreciate this."
Pulitzer Day is traditionally draped in blues and greens for those news shops that fall into the have-nots category. We mope, then marvel at the strong work performed in often-impossible circumstances - a war, a hurricane, a short-dump of disinformation.
Online these days, the awards seem to be seen through blue and red filters.
First, from Power Line, the conservative group blog, which headlines its piece "The Pulitzer Prize for Treason." That goes in Power Line's view to James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of the New York Times for "their treasonous contribution to the undermining of the highly classified National Security Agency surveillance program of al Qaeda-related terrorists." Blogger Scott Johnson has argued that the reporters violated the Espionage Act and aided the enemy during wartime.