Sunday, February 17, 2008

Great Moments In Editorial Decision Making

I was tooling around last night, running errands, and had the radio on. One of those top-of-the-hour national newscasts came on -- the kind that's pumped to every 'burg, village and hamlet 'round the country. One of the 'top' stories was a 20-second mention of Paul LoDuca, his statement, and his non-answers to questions. Clearly, given the noise of the hearings from last week, general angst and such, it's a "big" story. And for our crapbag team, where LoDuca was the team's "big" free agent signing, it's a relatively huge deal. (Relatively, of course!)

The Post covers the facts of the story quite well. But where's the column? Isn't this one of the biggest stories associated with this crappy team? We've got one guy ranting about Henry Waxman (still), the weekly fishing column, and a story about long-dead Pete Maravich.

I suppose I shouldn't complain. I could always read a Long Island paper for a column on my team. Or [gasp!], the Times!

It's stuff like this that they should think of when they have to answer the emails from moonbat Nats fans about whey they're covering Baltimore or why the paper wants the team to fail. Those idiots obviously take it too far, but when you see something like this -- a national radio broadcast giving more play to a story than the 'hometown' paper -- it certainly allows delusions to creep into a paranoid mind.

Hey, I'm not an expert. I haven't edited anything since my high school yearbook, and my last collaborative writing project consisted of me writing 15 pages and telling the working group that this is what we're going with... so I can't certainly speak from experience! But it seems like they're missing the story... again.


  • Chris- Moonbat? That cracked me up. I hadn't heard that one before. The Times is truly starting to cover the team better than the Post, and could eventually develop a cult following.

    The Newsday article on Lo Duca was right on the mark, by the way.

    By Blogger Positively Half St., at 2/17/2008 11:13 AM  

  • Washington Post: "World's Greatest Unedited Newspaper."

    Chris, what makes you think the Post has editors?

    The New York Times has always done a better job covering theatre, music, etc., here, so why not sports, too?

    The Post's problems could be solved by editing, but as I said above, there ain't any. Never has been.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/17/2008 1:20 PM  

  • Chris, you've obviously confused the Post with someobody who actually gives a crap. The Newspaper Industry, circa 2008, is totally on the run, about to join the horse-and-buggy industry in the Smithsonian. Covering those ever-popular Orioles, who hardly raise heartbeats in Charm City, has everything to do with circulation and nothing to do with news judgment. I've often thought the Post should just use national wire copy from AP in sports, and the section would be 10 times as good as it is now. They're covering everything on the cheap, and it shows. Boz is probably hitch-hiking to Florida as we speak.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/17/2008 9:28 PM  

  • The Post really doesn't seem to care. Nationals Journal is great, but that's for insiders and obsessives, not the fan base Lernerstan must build.

    If Boswell really cares about the success of baseball in D.C. you'd think he'd be pushing to get a columnist covering the Nationals on a regular basis -- since he isn't doing the job.

    Instead we have Sheinin who is supposed to be covering the sport in general and Svrluga who is leaving us for some football team.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/17/2008 11:40 PM  

  • "The Times is truly starting to cover the team better than the Post, and could eventually develop a cult following."

    The Times doesn't need to develop a cult following. It's run by one cult (the Moonies) primarily to serve as the Washington house organ for another cult (the friends of W). I don't care how good its Nationals coverage gets, or what new lows the Post's Nationals coverage sinks to, I will never buy a copy of that paper unless my picture is inside it (which has actually happened a couple of times).

    Regarding the so-called editing that supposedly takes place at the Post, there have been a couple of interesting articles over the last few days that shed some light on why things are the way they are. First, the cover story from last week's City Paper sheds great light on the adversarial relationship between the print and online editions of the Post. Although Sports is not really highlighted in this article, you can read between the lines and get an idea of why the Nationals get such lousy play in the print edition but somewhat better, verging on adequate, coverage online. Although they share many of the same writers, Post print and have different editorial staffs calling the shots. Sheinin, Svrluga and Boswell work for the print edition, but whoever edits sports on has gotten all three of them (to a limited extent, anyway, except for Svrluga who has gone way beyond the call of duty) to produce additional content for the web above and beyond what goes in the print edition. But notice how little of this Nationals-related web content ever makes it back into print, in comparison with Redskins/Steinberg/etc web content. That's the doing of the print Sports editor, Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, who favors the Redskins and Orioles over the Nationals. (Notice how web-exclusive O's stuff is gone at the Post, yet the O's still are covered as a home team by the Post in the print edition? That's Garcia-Ruiz calling that shot.)

    The second article of interest was yesterday's Post ombudsman column, which contained the stunning revelation (to me, anyway) that in addition to his Sports editor duties, Garcia-Ruiz is the Post editor in charge of the entire Sunday paper. This is why the hiring of Jim Zorn as Redskins coach was spread across the top of A1 in Sunday morning's paper a week ago, bumping coverage of the previous day's primary results below the fold. Garcia-Ruiz's call - he thought the Redskins were a bigger story than Obama's wins. I could see the Times with its right wing bias doing this to bury an unpleasant story, but it makes no sense for the Post to be doing taht kind of thing. Garcia-Ruiz has also no doubt been behind the page A1 play every single Redskins game got last season on the day after the game. You could almost make a case that Garcia-Ruiz is a Trojan horse planted at the Post by Dan Snyder to help the Redskins take over that newspaper. How long till it becomes XXXWashington Post? No doubt, based on Snyder's radio experience, the circulation will need to go down to the point that no one is reading it any more. What's the over/under on that circulation number, do you think?

    By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 2/18/2008 9:51 AM  

  • when it comes to the sports section, i really don't concern myself with a paper's editorial policy. the times has better sports columnists than the post and will likely have better nats coverage to boot. and it puts the post's pathetic local coverage to shame.

    it's also free thanks to the intergoogle, so no panties have to get bunched up about "supporting" the times with your 0.25.

    after all, it's not like they did something truly editorially reprehensible like, you know, putting the football team's new head coach ATF on page A1 above primary coverage. the times is such a whipping boy in this town, they even get blamed for the POST'S editorial gaffes!

    By Blogger DCPowerGator, at 2/18/2008 12:38 PM  

  • Bill, who blamed the Times for the Post playing Zorn over Obama? Not me. I just basically said that the Post did it, when even the Times did not - even though the Times would have had a good reaon to, given their editorial philosophy.

    As for reading the Times online for free, yeah I could do that. But I tend to read the sports section every morning in a particular "reading room" that is much more conducive to a print newspaper than an online one. You do the math on that, lest I start getting into TMI Land here.

    By Blogger An Briosca Mor, at 2/18/2008 2:55 PM  

  • ABM, LOL, that is the one thing that will keep print publications in business!

    btw, I should have said something like the Times is so beleaguered that it even catches some shrapnel when the POST screws up! i do catch your point, you were saying something along the lines of "even the times didn't screw that up when they would have had (ostensibly) more reason to do so"

    anyway, hail loverro! maybe you can save the times for your goofing off during work reading which is, admittedly, not as important as the reading you referenced earlier!

    By Blogger DCPowerGator, at 2/18/2008 4:45 PM  

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