Eleven eleven eleven.

Autumn has gifts besides the traditional foliage displays and apples right off the tree. Behold, an attempt to capture one:

Setting Sun Lights Tops of Trees, as Dark Clouds Bulk in the North, by yours truly. Pretty weak, I’d say, although it was a nice moment.

So, a little inside baseball for some of you, but I have to get this off my chest. Is anyone else disgusted that, with all the problems journalism has at the moment, someone at the Poynter Institute thought the way Jim Romenesko crafts his blog entries was cause for a public shaming? It’s a little hard to follow (and probably impossible for non-journalists), to grasp exactly what the problem is, exactly. I’ve had three or four pieces linked/promoted by Romenesko, an inside-media blogger, over the years, and I’ve never, not once, felt that he misappropriated my work, or quoted even a single phrase of it improperly. I’ve been reading him since the beginning, pre-Poynter, and can’t recall anyone, ever, thinking he did aggregation any way other than the right way. He was one of the very first to do so, in fact, and blazed a trail, showing journalists how this crazy internet thing could work for us, rather than against us.

Romenesko, who had been ramping down his Poynter output for some time, leading to a semi-retirement/switch to part-time status in a few weeks, reacted the way anyone would: He quit, leaving his boss, Julie Moos, to reap the whirlwind of damnation from the trade, who have quite correctly called her (and whoever put her up to this, if there is one) a spectacular forest-misser due to tree examination. I’m trying not to jump to conclusions here, but I get the feeling I’ve known people like her throughout my career, officious little twerps who bustle around kissing ass up the chain and assigning demerits down. I could be wrong. Someone closer to the newspaper bidness these days tell me if I am.

Anyway, this piece from The Awl, about the blog’s evolution (and devolution) is worth your time.

So is the Kitten Covers, perhaps the first LOLcat brand extension I’ve seen in a while that I found genuinely amusing.

And since we’ve already gone to the bloggage, let’s go all the way!

The Harrisburg Patriot-News gives up a special report on the Penn State scandal that doesn’t really uncover a lot of new information, but lays it out in relatively succinct linear fashion, underlining how many chances there were to stop Jerry Sandusky, and how all of them were missed. They emphasize how the central shocking event of the grand jury report — the grad student’s eyewitness account of the anal rape of a 10-year-old — was passed up the chain of command and became less serious with every stop on the telephone tree:

According to the grand jury, then, here is how McQueary’s eyewitness account became watered down at each stage:

McQueary: anal rape.
Paterno: something of a sexual nature.
Schultz: inappropriately grabbing of the young boy’s genitals.
Curley: inappropriate conduct or horsing around.
Spanier: conduct that made someone uncomfortable.
Raykovitz: a ban on bringing kids to the locker room.

I’m sure, given two more stops, it would have been that Jerry Sandusky tousled a young boy’s hair, and some weenie thinks it’s a huge scandal or somethin’.

I think we’ve well-covered the outrage angle of this case, but a lot of people are linking to this piece by John Scalzi, so I will too, mainly because it reminds me I should read more sci-fi, perhaps my second-least-favorite niche of genre fiction (although fantasy, sci-fi and romance are all pretty close).

And with that, I have to run. Must clean the entire house and Cliff Notes (that’s a verb phrase, I just decided) tonight’s book-club assignment. Who can summarize “Rising from the Rails” in a few paragraphs? I’d be most obliged.

Oh, and happy eleven-eleven-eleven!

Posted at 9:17 am in Media, Same ol' same ol' |

68 responses to “Eleven eleven eleven.”

  1. adrianne said on November 11, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I could not believe the hissy fit on the Poynter site over Jim’s blog. Talk about clueless. And it’s reported breathlessly like Julie has uncovered a huge ethical breach. Jeez.

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  2. caliban said on November 11, 2011 at 9:31 am

    “Cliff Notes the book club assignment” reminds me of Hard Nose the Highway

    Rising From the Rails author interview.

    Ron Paul is certifiably insane.

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  3. Kim said on November 11, 2011 at 9:46 am

    Instead of opening that breathless column with “After 12 years of blogging at Poynter,” Julie might do well to own this alleged wrongdoing with “After 10 years of being the online editor at Poynter in one way or another, someone pointed out to me Romenesko’s style doesn’t exactly adhere to the style I, the editor, am supposed to enforce.”

    I have no idea who she is or what she’s about, but gotta agree with your gut, Nance.

    May Jim go on to blaze new trails without those Poynter people, whom I am finding increasingly irrelevant but adept at missing the forest.

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 11, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Kim pegs it. I can see what the concern is, and if you’re Poynter, you’re allowed to ask for a higher standard, but the real issue, which is both obvious and somewhat between the lines at the same time, is that Moos has disliked the fact that Romenesko can publish to the site without being edited. Again, that seems awfully anal-retentive to me for this format & subject, but if that’s what they want to do, fine. But who decided not to do it that way?

    However you slice it, the not-at-all veiled swipes at Jim are utterly out of line, and he’s remarkably (if wisely) gracious in making a complete exit. The problem is a management one: who should have caught this sooner? Sounds like it’s the one righteously writing the dismissive sign-off for him. And if he should not have been able to post without being edited and that’s going to be a universal rule now, who was saying no earlier?

    But as many have pointed out, the Poynter site is already descending into trendy meaninglessness & practical uselessness. Which raises an awkward issue in the new social media driven journalistic world we’re living out way into — a personality is more compelling and marketable than a process. The Poynter team is honoring process and calling it ethics by way of compliance; maybe what we all need to do is honor voice & style a bit more, and affirm ethics as the healthy boundaries that keep personality from overwhelming the message itself.

    Romenesko was important because he created and held up a mirror for all of us writing in news & feature & opinion to check ourselves in, not because he was saying (hail Albom!) look at me. But while he held up the mirror, he gave a bit of feedback from a wise, sardonic, but friendly & collegial position. Julie Moos’ feedback right now could not interest me in the least. If I need a Puritan to critique my wardrobe and lifestyle, I can go lots of places for that, and I avoid them as it is. As I will Poynter.

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  5. Jim Moehrke said on November 11, 2011 at 10:48 am

    Well, if nothing else, this helps prune my over-large bookmark list; one less site to look at daily.
    Too bad, as Romenesko was often truly fascinating.

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  6. Bob (not Greene) said on November 11, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Hey, Mitch has finally weighed in on the fall of ol’ JoePa, bravely trying to play both sides of the story against one another.


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  7. Peter said on November 11, 2011 at 11:30 am

    You know, Bob (not Greene), the cherry on top of this toxic sundae would be a column by Bob (Greene).

    You can bet the house he that if he wrote a column, it would go from Joe to Woody Hayes by the middle of the column.

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  8. alex said on November 11, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Going to miss Romenesko.

    Julie Moos herself acknowledges that not one person has ever complained of misattribution in all of twelve years. So what the fuck is the big deal?

    I don’t blame him for quitting. I hope she gets blamed for him quitting and gets sent packing. “Officious twerp” is putting it mildly.

    On edit: Here’s a WaPo story that sheds greater light on Moos’ motivations. Still, I think she could have handled it better.

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  9. Laura Lippman said on November 11, 2011 at 11:42 am

    Glad you linked to the Scalzi, although you were the first I read who addressed exactly what happened here. I also like Buzz Bissinger’s decision, over at the Daily Beast, to use the most coarse words possible to describe what happened.

    In a parallel universe in which I lurk on the Internet, Jennifer Weiner this week took offense at the fact that a blogger decided to solicit theories on why Weiner and Jodi Picoult hadn’t complained about the media attention being given to Jeffrey Eugenides. After all, they had a lot to say about the Franzen-frenzy last fall. The blog, posted on a new site that wants to be taken seriously as a forum for publishing news, threw the question to its commenters and framed it in the silliest, most vapid language possible, all about feuds and girl fights and, IIRC, Weiner and Picoult wanting to see their “pretty little faces” on Time magazine. Weiner complained on Twitter that if someone wants to know what she thinks THEY SHOULD TRY TO ASK HER FIRST. And some of the bloggers just don’t seem to get it, that while it might be fun to make up theories about why people do what they do, or don’t do what they don’t do, step one is: Go to the source and ask.

    I pair these two things because I am baffled why Romensko, already headed toward retirement from Poynter, was treated this way. (I have a theory, but I’m too lazy to run it by Julie Moos, so I’m not going to air it here.) Yet in another corner of the Internet, we have people who want to be taken seriously and claim not to understand why they just can’t guess at what goes on in people’s heads.

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  10. adrianne said on November 11, 2011 at 11:45 am

    And now for something completely different:

    Nance’s old friend (and designer of her website) J.C. Burns is featured in an extensive interview on Charles Apple’s copy editing blog about why so many stupid errors end up on TV.

    My favorite: A TV title about “Kunt the bunny.” Um, his name is Knut.


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  11. Laura Lippman said on November 11, 2011 at 11:45 am

    Also, the “thank you for your support” tweet is a new trend I really despise, a way of suggesting that someone has received vast amounts of private affirmation for a controversial decision, without having to quantify it or prove it. I’m surprised Ashton Kutcher didn’t try it.

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  12. Lex said on November 11, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    The Poynter folks have always known they live in a glass house; I think this time it caused them to err on the side of overreaction.

    Wish to God that had happened at Penn State.

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  13. Kim said on November 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    The WaPo post confirms for me Moos’ laziness. What a fine example she sets.

    Thanks, BobNG, for pointing me to this ridiculous Mitch prose: “Dignity, in Happy Valley, is a past tense word right now.”

    If I had more time in my days I would start a blog called Mitchionary and fill it to the gills with his stupid turns of phrase. There’d be audio, which you could not turn off or down, of English teachers weeping.

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  14. Lex said on November 11, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    Also, that photo is excellent. Stop the poor-mouthin’. 🙂

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  15. nancy said on November 11, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    J.C. Burns, represent! Excellent explanation by our very own webmaster. Thanks for flagging, Adrianne.

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  16. beb said on November 11, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    The only thing more incomprehensible than Nancy’s post today about Roman-somebody is Laura Lippman’s comments about Weiner, who apparently isn’t the disgraced representative from New York state. Since I’m totally under water about the background of these comments today I think I’d best climb up on the roof and drive nails into some shingles.

    OK,a little of what Ican understand about Poytner suggests that for years and years it was a no cost, little income operation for the parent company but in recent times has started to generate some real money and now management wants to change things around to generate even more money. This reminds me of the great, early days of FM radio when DJ could play about anything, do about anything and nobody cared. Because FM radio back them was a placeholder for the money-making AM stations. But once FM music started bringing in real money it got taken over by the same people who had made AM radio so terrible.

    And just television news used to be all news until rating grew to where one could make real money selling ads during the news program. And now we have essentially news-free news programs.

    But really I’ve got to get the roof re-roofed before winter….

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  17. coozledad said on November 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    Ah, that eternal Dr. Seuss classic, “Kunt the bear”.

    I’m Knut, the dead Polar bear.
    Oh wonderful me!
    I fucked up your super
    Post-burial. Me!
    Your dead cat won’t mouse
    And your dead dog won’t hunt
    But forever I’ll make your kids weep for Kunt.

    Too soon?

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  18. nancy said on November 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Well, *I’m* laughing.

    Caliban, thanks for that link. I feel like I read the book. I hope I don’t pull a George Costanza, but I can always blame the wine.

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  19. Jason T. said on November 11, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I now toil for free, running my little community news website, while working my day job in PR to pay the bills. And I can say that I have almost no regrets about leaving “professional” journalism behind.

    The Poynter Institute and this particular incident are emblematic of many, many things wrong with American corporate journalism.

    Today’s newsroom is a place of incessant self-involved navel-gazing and focusing on minutiae. In the meantime, big, giant issues go uncovered in the communities where the newsrooms are located. There is an emphasis on maintaining “balance,” even when it’s at odds with the facts.

    Reporters are told to become social and political eunuchs (I know plenty of editors who are proud that they don’t even vote in elections!) while their publishers make big cash contributions to pet politicians and causes.

    F–k that noise. I am sorry to see so many good journalists losing their jobs, and I am not convinced that bloggers and social media can take up the slack, but news organizations are committing suicide.

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  20. Jeff Borden said on November 11, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Julie Moos would have fit right in with most of the editors at the Charlotte Observer during my 4-plus years there. I never saw a group so obsessed with process over product or one so insular and unwilling to admit even the smallest error.

    When one of the editors there re-edited a story of mine and added not one but two errors, I confronted her at her desk, admittedly in anger but I felt it was justified. After all, with my byline on the piece, I was going to get the blame for her mistakes. So, what happened? Within a couple of hours, I was in the office of the features editor, surrounded by other editors, where I was filleted for my “unprofessionalism” in publicly confronting the person who ruined my story.

    If you guess nothing was said or done to the offending editor, you would be correct. Two errors of fact were ignored. My admittedly dumb breach of office protocol was not. Yes, Jule Moos would have fit right in.

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  21. jcburns said on November 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Gonna miss Romenesko. Hope he rematerializes in a refreshingly Poynter-free form. And that J.C.Burns guy Mr. Apple interviewed sure seems full of himself.

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  22. John G. Wallace said on November 11, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    I really need to review attribution in a blog format. I’m confused as to why this became an issue – I always found Romenesko’s work to be pretty clear even if quotes weren’t used to frame content from other sources.
    The J.C. Burns article was great. I love it when small market newscasts have images that have absolutly nothing to do with the story, but I can see how that can happen. It’s the broadcast equivilent to the famous cutline, “some fucker, some other fucker.” I usually have a code name or abbrev I use in story notes, i.e. horseface (either looked like the guy on the wire or Sarah Jessica Parker), and some less polite names. Good thing no one can read my horrible scrawl.

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  23. Sherri said on November 11, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    As someone who doesn’t really follow the inside baseball of journalism, the only reason I was familiar with Poynter was because of Romenesko. Guess they can fade back into obscurity for me…

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  24. caliban said on November 11, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    So Mitch Albom thinks nouns have tenses. Explains much.

    Coozledad, that doggerel is funny as hell.

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  25. Sherri said on November 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    People have mentioned the Rene Portland/no lesbians allowed scandal at Penn State in discussing the current Penn State scandal. Here’s a very good Mechelle Voepel article about that situation and how it was handled by Penn State: http://espn.go.com/womens-college-basketball/story/_/id/7219014/penn-state-nittany-lions-again-deficient-leadership

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  26. Chris in Iowa said on November 11, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I’m not sure about Romenesko’s plans, but he is posting stuff on Facebook, where you can “subscribe” to follow him. I did and what I’ve seen so far is similar to what his blog used to be like. His blog on the Poynter site is unreadable. I stopped following it quite awhile ago.

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  27. Suzanne said on November 11, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    So Penn State’s McQuery won’t be on the sidelines tomorrow because of threats. I say, make him go and if he is attacked, well heck, there will be plenty of people watching with cell phones who could call their dad.

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  28. moe99 said on November 11, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Suzanne, that is such good snark!!

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  29. caliban said on November 11, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Fucking up the Lions wasn’t enough for Matt Millen; he also helped enable Jerry Sandusky.

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  30. coozledad said on November 11, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Way OT, but apparently this Axe Body Spray ad has the fundies pissed off.
    I wonder if the creative directors got this idea from witnessing their client’s product paralyze buzzards mid flight:
    H/T Dependable Renegade

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  31. Deborah said on November 11, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    I’m typing this on my iPhone in the Atlanta airport on my way to Charlotte NC for my husbands nephew’s wedding. It should be warmer there than Chicago. But it hasn’t been too bad in Chicago yet.

    Loved Suzanne’s comment about McQuery and calling Dads.

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  32. caliban said on November 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas. Text of the story described in the Scalzi/PennState piece. Five-minute read. Bunch of annoying typos, but worth a look.

    Atlanta and Charlotte. My two least favorite airports. It’s only 51 in Charlotte, Deborah.

    OOPS. I almost felt embarrassed for Perry. Nah. Not nearly as bad as Cainster making fun of Anita Hill.

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  33. Kirk said on November 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I guess I don’t understand why Romenesko wouldn’t use quotation marks, because he should have. Nevertheless, the Poynter person obviously botched her handling of the issue.

    Unfortunately, most of the threats against McQueary probably are not because he allowed a child rape to continue but because he mentioned it at all, thus leading to the downfall of the beloved JoePa. In the minds of these twisted morons, everything would be better if Jerry Sandusky were still raping kids.

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  34. Bitter Scribe said on November 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    My all-time favorite TV news f*ckup:

    Albert “Cubby” Broccoli, producer of the first James Bond films, died in 1996. A Chicago TV station ran his obit accompanied by a picture of–I swear I saw this with my own eyes–a stalk of broccoli.

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  35. Brandon said on November 12, 2011 at 3:27 am

    Nancy, maybe this is off topic, but have you ever heard of this song? The video was just featured on the new episode of “Beavis and Butt-Head.”


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  36. brian stouder said on November 12, 2011 at 9:47 am

    Bitter Scribe, my two all-time favorite oddball moments on local tv news both occurred during live broadcasts.

    One time, many years ago, during the late local news, the weatherman (for channel 33) John Moss was standing in front of his map (I think this was before green screens and all the rest) talking about this or that high-pressure system coming out of the west…..and his chin dropped and he quit talking. Then he said “That is the biggest roach I have ever seen” – and the camera dropped down and there the little feller was, skittering across the floor. (and then you could hear the crew begin laughing)

    And another time, a local news anchor (for channel 15), Kent Kurtz, was delivering the 6 o’clock news, when he suddenly stopped and said “I am going to be sick” – whereupon he bolted from his chair, and we were left to see his empty chair spin to a stop. (I believe Bob Speaks gamely jumped in, and continued the newscast)

    Aside from that, I really liked Nancy’s nuanced photograph. The dramatic contrasts – lit/darkened, leafy/baron trees, as well as the ominous clouds amidst the sunshine – make the photo arresting.

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  37. nancy said on November 12, 2011 at 10:12 am

    “It’s So Cold in the D” is a local classic. Glad to see Beavis and Butthead catching on.

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  38. caliban said on November 12, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Jonathan Franzen casts Henry James novel aside in anger. Yes he said that to an interviewer. I suppose it’s possible he was channeling Edith Wharton, but I’d have preferred Fielding. I farted upon it in disdain. But for you fans, he’s making the Corrections TV show.

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  39. caliban said on November 12, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    This story cracks me up.

    Interesting take on the Romenesko flap.

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  40. Catherine said on November 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    Here’s a little nugget from yesterday’s WSJ: Nike’s onsite *childcare center* is named in honor of Joe Paterno. Nike has no plans to change the name.

    I hope he is charged as an accessory after the fact. Maybe that will wake up their PR team (if no one else).

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  41. brian stouder said on November 12, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    So I tuned into ESPN and their coverage of the Penn State – Nebraska game, and their coverage struck me as fundamentally obscene.

    In the ten minutes of half-time coverage I saw, they carefully used the word “alleged” (as in “a moment of silence for the Alleged Victims was observed”), and they included shots of people at Paterno’s home earlier this morning, silently praying on one knee in Paterno’s front yard(!), as if it was a pilgrimage to Mecca.*

    Speaking of which, I saw that Detroit made Rachel Maddow’s show last night, as folks crowded into the Auburn Hills Lions (as opposed to Nittany Lions’) stadium, to pray against sleeping Muslims….or something. One of Rick Perry’s huckster-preacher associates lead the thing; apparently 11/11/11 had some significance for them, in their unique view of how the world works.

    *Alleged? The ‘allegations’ were serious enough to cause the summary termination of Joseph Paterno after 45 years of service, and the president of the university, and several other people….but not serious enough to call the damned game off?, or for ESPN to pull the plug on them? I have heard apologists say “But the players didn’t do anything wrong!”, which is true enough (as far as we know at this point); but the “alleged” victims didn’t do anything wrong, either, right? And that doesn’t mitigate what happened to them.

    At the risk of sounding like the cranky old man I am, I find the punctual kick-off of that game in ‘Happy Valley’ unforgiveably obscene. “..And the band played on”, indeed

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  42. MichaelG said on November 12, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    I’m with Brian. I watched the start of the production on ESPN. The thing was a quasi religious paean to the creaky ghost of St. Joe of Happy Valley. Where did that name come from? Prayer vigils in front of his house. Penn State players marching onto the field in a military formation. Holding hands. Big prayer scene involving both teams. Reverential commentary by the TV boobs. Poor St. Joe, victimized by the illegal alien, comminiss, tree hugging, do gooder, librul Democrat fags. It was disgusting and I had to turn it off after a few minutes. Sorry, Alex and others, no offense intended, I’m just trying to present the attitude.

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  43. Kirk said on November 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Brandon, good to know I wasn’t the only one up watching Beavis & Butthead at 3 in the morning.

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  44. caliban said on November 12, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I saw the almost identicle combination of ominous clouds and beautifully lit foliage one time, I was walking to campus from my apartment in Worcester with my best best friend. Looked just like that. Ominous sky and beautiful foliage. I’d say its a superb photo. And you are starting to sound like the kid in art class that was a better artist that insisted it wasn.t all that great. It’s an excellent photograph, Nancy. It’s gorgeous. You all know what I’m talking about about the art class star that acted like, it’s not that good, fishing for compliments. The shot is excellent and we all know it.

    I’m feeling fine about UGA kicking Aubuhn’s butt. Aubuhn is not real school. Georgia most certainly is. When I went to Georgia, there was a kid called Tony Flanagan. He could have been anything he wanted to be. He was a very smart guy that was a ridiculously great athlete. Is this the school’s fault hwe chose to slack and act like an ahole? I worked for the athletic association as a tutor. I was proud of my kids They worked harder and cared more than any of my undergrad friends for years. I had swimmers, who didn’t need any help, and softball players (my favorite. some dumbass mofo English TA. Who is the despicable asshole in this situation? There was a hateful moronic TA that pulled the same shit with my own kid. These people are idiots that believe they actually know something when they are illiterate aholes,

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  45. caliban said on November 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    I saw the almost identicle combination of ominous clouds and beautifully lit foliage one time, I was walking to campus from my apartment in Worcester with my best best friend. Looked just like that. Ominous sky and beautiful foliage. I’d say its a superb photo. And you are starting to sound like the kid in art class that was a better artist that insisted it wasn.t all that great. It’s an excellent photograph, Nancy. It’s gorgeous. You all know what I’m talking about about the art class star that acted like, it’s not that good, fishing for compliments. The shot is excellent and we all know it.

    I’m feeling fine about UGA kicking Aubuhn’s butt. Aubuhn is not real school. Georgia most certainly is. When I went to Georgia, there was a kid called Tony Flanagan. He could have been anything he wanted to be. He was a very smart guy that was a ridiculously great athlete. Is this the school’s fault hwe chose to slack and act like an ahole? I worked for the athletic association as a tutor. I was proud of my kids They worked harder and cared more than any of my undergrad friends for years. I had swimmers, who didn’t need any help, and softball players (my favorite. some dumbass mofo English TA. Who is the despicable asshole in this situation? There was a hateful moronic TA that pulled the same shit with my own kid. These people are idiots that believe they actually know something when they are illiterate aholes, ai can guarantee that kids that get scholarships care about it a lot.

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  46. coozledad said on November 12, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Burwash should enter the language pretty quickly as a multi-purpose verb, and a noun describing the results of Burwashing.

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  47. Deborah said on November 12, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    The wedding is over, the bride was dressed like one of Hugh Hefner’s girlfriends in that show, the girls next door. Seriously. It was fun though.

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  48. caliban said on November 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Does anybody but a bigot think clergy abuse was exclusive to Catholic priests? I could explain about them Babdiss youth pastors at summer caamp. And I am not kidding. I am sure that came right from the TV assholes.

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  49. Dexter said on November 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    brianstouder: I studiously avoided that game…I wanted no part of it…however, I saw Chris Spielman say at haltime that the Penn State players came to show respect for their university by playing hard, which they “did in the first half.” Even that irritated me, but what was Spielman supposed to say? What were these players supposed to do? Lay down and not take the field?
    Maybe the games went on but I just boycotted all games today and I took a long drive to Coldwater, Michigan and Angola , Indiana, just to drive around the lakes area and stare out over the water. I felt no desire to listen to any more Joe Pa stories…I can’t stand it already.
    Then I got back home well after dark and the Wolverines game was entering the fourth quarter…and I was back on the ball.
    I watched it. By then, the Penn State stuff had been all-talked out for that game. And the Wolverines won. Some of you old timers will remember how Bo Schembechler hated Illinois…I remember it well, how Bo and Illinois coach Mike White were bitter enemies and the Illinois fans hated the Wolverines even worse than the Buckeye fans still do, and that’s saying something. That era is 20 years gone, but I still remember it and I always love it when the Wolves go to Urbana-Champaign (they keep changing the order of the two towns..who knows anymore?) and they beat the Illini. They did just that today, and for a minute I forgot about old Joe Pa and all that horrible stuff. It’ll still be there tomorrow.
    My side-search for one last peck of Michigan Jonathon apples was fruitless. It’s over.

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  50. caliban said on November 12, 2011 at 10:27 pm


    There are people that think Neal is God. I think Neal is pretty much dick without the brilliant guitarist that was always his best friend. This is surely Neal’s best effort. For What It’s Worth is not Steve’s. The partnership between these two is about as good as music has ever been. is Steve and Neil. I played all sorts of little league football, mainly because my brother was ridiculously good and I was pretty good. There were predators, all the way to Harvard honcho recruiters. We actually understood what sort of pervs we were dealing with, particularly the Harvard ahole. His name was Don Hocevar, and he victimized my friend, Larry Desmond. Good a friend as I ever had. This guy Hocevar was a creep. He is probably dead and not pulling this shit these days. But he creeped me out.

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  51. caliban said on November 12, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    Dexter, all them games were moronic in the first place. It wa Okay for Nick Fairley last year to cheat like a bastard. and try to injure Aaron Murray on purpose. Deal is now, them dawgs will play real real football. You are supposed to play with some finnesse, and we shall see. The whole bidness will end up hilarious. Them dawgs on both sides of the ball vs. Oke state, I’d take that matchup.

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  52. caliban said on November 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    Boise. Fuck You assholes. You have been cheating for forever. Kiss my ass you fucking cheaters/ There is no other way of looking at it. It’s your coache’s way of doing things, and you cheated your ass off. It was the whole point. Fairly obvious. What the hell? That is not how people actually play football. You just fucking feel free to cheat.

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  53. caliban said on November 13, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Spinmeister Bill still loofahing the facts.

    War on Christmas?

    Yep, an extra 15 cents on that $45 for that Frazier Fir is going to put a big damper on the Christmas season. This lunacy is jacked to insane levels when they start into Obama is Muslim territory.

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  54. caliban said on November 13, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Any of y’all that didn’t start watching Hell on Wheels last Sunday, I would recommend it strongly based on Ep1, which you can watch here:


    Watch the first five minutes and you’ll be hooked, I think. Amazing TV.

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  55. coozledad said on November 13, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Pierce is brilliant today.
    Even Bachmann fell short of our boy, Goodhair, though. Somehow, as though most of them already hadn’t revealed themselves to be abject moral algae on the subject, it came up again. Again, Ron Paul voiced an objection, which gave Perry an opportunity to leap in with both feet. Alas for him, neither of them was in his mouth this time. He was clear, precise, and totally batshit:
    “Waterboarding is not torture… and I’ll be for it until the day I die.”
    This is precisely, and in every respect, the position taken by several Japanese military officers in 1945. They felt exactly the same way, which is why we fucking executed them.

    Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/republican-debate-south-carolina-6558266#ixzz1dbDpWLJh

    If there’s one thing these 36 or so debates should teach people, it’s that regardless of the haplessness of democrats and their retreat to some sort of numinous middle ground, they are at least not Republicans, who are not merely ersatz cartoon bastards, but true in-the-flesh sociopaths.

    Here’s a picture of some American naval personnel with captured German sailors from a sunken U-Boat. These prisoners, up to that moment, would have been sinking both military and civilian shipping, crossing the gray area between military action and terrorism on a daily basis. Note they are not being waterboarded for information, or permitted to freeze on the deck.They were instead given shitty coffee, a filterless Lucky Strike, and a hot meal. Robert Graves said in his WWI memoir that this was a foolproof way to get a hefty percentage of prisoners to volunteer information. I believe him.
    We won both those wars. Then for some fucking reason we started acting like the Germans. Especially in our Republican wars of choice.

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  56. caliban said on November 13, 2011 at 11:06 am

    The corollary Cooze, is that all the dumbasses talking about the President at 44% approval are forgetting Congress, which the GOPers run, is way down in the low teens. Sounds to me like the Pres gets reelected and those hillbilly aholes in the house get term-limited by force. More than anything, what the country needs is for a GOPer to admit that the Senate rules are FUBAR and the way McConnell does business does not remotely resemble representative government. Oh, and the so-called liberal MSM should lay off the W served even if it was guarding the OClub, and Kerry was a mile or two off on where on the Mekong his SwiftBoat actually was, equivalancy bullshit “objectivity” standard. W lied his ass off and woofed coccaine. Kerry saved his crewmen from dying in combat. That shit could not have happened without the aid and abetting of the liberal MSM. Papers didn’t report facts, they reported idiotic, fabricated allegations from fucking Milhaus idolators.

    edit: And if God is just, and has a sense of humor, Perry will drown while being waterboarded, while watching a videotape of Dickless Cheney meet the same fate.

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  57. beb said on November 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    The sagaof Kwane Kilpatrick just keep on rolling. He was ordered to make one million dollars in restitution payments to the city (a fraction of the millions he cost the City by improperly firing a couple of police offices), was sent to prison for a short period for not making those payments, released and returned to Texas where he has moved into an expensive (rented) house and claims he can”t make more than $160 a month in restitution payments. And now has moved into a larger, more expensive house. Also, he wrote a biography which the Courts has decreed all royalties must go towards restitution. Now they’re wondering where the royal money are since none have been sent to the escrow account. Personally I imagine that zero books have sold.

    As I recall there was an itemized list of Kwame’s expenses explaining why he couldn’t afford to pay more than $160 a month. Among his expenses was $260 a month for cell phones. Since he got into trouble in the first place for using a cell phone I think a kind Court ought to ban him from using a cell phone and direct that $260 a month towards the restitution. Also I think a cap of $1200 or so a month for housing is fair for someone who owes so much money in legal judgements. Anything more seems like contempt of Court since it suggests that he is actively trying to avoid payment by wasting his money elsewhere.

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  58. brian stouder said on November 13, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    Dexter, you certainly had an exceptionally beautiful day to go motoring! Our family has, one-by-one, been overtaken by chest colds, and Saturday was my turn. (I’ve coughed so much that my ribs hurt!)

    I caught part of the South Carolina debate, and my main takeaway was that Michele’s new ‘do was pretty hot.

    Judging by the radio lip-flappers, many on the hard right are succumbing to the fantasy that Newt might be the beneficiary when Cain craters. This only strikes me as interesting to the extent that Perry hasn’t gotten a second look (yet). On paper, Perry should dazzle the know-nothing right, and yet it seems that he isn’t fooling them.

    If Romney looks like the guy who fired you, Perry looks like the guy who stole your wife/girlfriend (or slipped you a mickey at the bar), yes?

    Bachmann looks more like the hot neighbor who is always blabbing about God-knows- what; harmless enough, really.

    edit – And Dexter – Happy Veterans Day! We went to a parade Saturday which featured the South Side marching band, which was very, very cool!

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  59. caliban said on November 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm


    Romney looks like the guy that fired you because he is the guy wh got really rich by inheriting from his dad and then showing investors how to get rich by buying companies and firing all their employees.

    And any wife/girlfriend stolen by Perry was well gotten rid of. Guy is a moron and a bully. Or he’s a bully and a moron.

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  60. caliban said on November 13, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    Job creation, a la Mittens. In the vanguard of class warfare.

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  61. caliban said on November 13, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    Cainster addresses the Sleazy Salamander as Speaker Gingrich, but Ms. Pelosi is Princess Nancy? Nice attitude, asshole.

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  62. caliban said on November 13, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    The account in Rising From the Rails of how the Pullman Porters Union led to MLK is amazing, in my opinion. Even if you don’t have to finesse book club, that interview is well worth listening to.

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  63. caliban said on November 13, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    Does anybody think the 60 Minutes bullshit about Nancy Pelosi was reasonable journalism. How ’bout Bubba Tauzin? This was hitjob bullshit. And the story was about Boehner and Bacchus.

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  64. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on November 13, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Since Nancy by way of His Albomness has provoked commentary on the artisit use of “repetition,” I can’t resist posting this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ys4Nx0rNlAM

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  65. Brandon said on November 13, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    November 12, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    Brandon, good to know I wasn’t the only one up watching Beavis & Butthead at 3 in the morning.

    Where I live, Beavis airs at ten p.m.

    It’s pretty tame compared to what’s on TV now.


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  66. Deborah said on November 13, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    Back home from Charlotte with a 4 hour layover in Atlanta. Ugh, airports are the pits. Greasy smells and loud announcements. Will someone tell me why the gate info is broadcast at earsplitting levels. Are most people hearing impaired or what? Once you’re on the plane it’s no better, the in case of an emergency info is communicated through tinny garbled sound systems that grate, causing me to stick my fingers in my ears and curse.

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  67. jcburns said on November 14, 2011 at 6:11 am

    Really pretty photo Nancy. Captures something abstract about autumnal midwestnessishness.

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  68. brian stouder said on November 14, 2011 at 8:33 am

    Btw, I did follow the Awl link, and found the ‘inside baseball’ article on Romenesko interesting enough; but what really amazed me was another article titled (something like) “The guy who makes money off your nude photos”.

    That article was interesting for several reasons, not least of which was the (low) legal orbit this guy operates within. Apparently, copyright laws allow him to make money on drunken naked photos of you, submitted by whoever snapped them (or otherwise came into possession of them)….and Facebook (and other ‘social media’) are an important part of his “marketing”.

    But the thing that caught my eye was that he says he makes something like $15,000/month on this site, and he has to pay half of it out for the server, plus he has security/legal people retained, to assure that the photos are not actually copyrighted, and that the subjects are not younger than 18…..so I think he makes no money at all.

    But, we digress, eh?

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