Friday, July 27, 2007

Thurman, Prosser and busted links

We don't need more proof that the Enquirer has stopped being a real newspaper, but they keep giving us proof. The Newseum has stopped including the Enquirer among its daily compilation of front pages from around the world. The Newseum lists 12 Ohio newspapers, but not the Enquirer. On the Enquirer's archive page, it provides links to PDFs of the front page, but every link I tested was broken.

I say that because I wanted to talk about the Enquirer's decision to put the Odell Thurman story across the top of the front page. I wanted to link to the front page but I can't because the Enquirer has screwed that up, too. I can't understand the twisted logic that let the Thurman story lead the newspaper. Thurman isn't a key player, not like Carson Palmer or Rudi Johnson. Was this really such a surprise?

What was a surprise, a shock, was the death of Skip Prosser. He was a genuine good guy, and I think lots of UC fans liked him, against their better instincts. But Prosser got outplayed by a drug addict. The Enquirer, taking a page from Bill Cunningham, seems to especially like stories about black miscreants, because there are two such stories above the fold on the front page today. Here is the other.

I wouldn't have picked the story on Prosser's death to lead the paper. The media generally and the Enquirer specifcally likes to lionize sports figures because that's easier than finding real heroes in society. But given the choice between stories of Prosser's death and Thurman's extended suspension, I would have chosen Prosser.

There was much other news to choose from for the front page. Both Lexington and Louisville devoted most of their front pages today to the news on the Comair crash. There was the stock market's slide due to growing unease about mortgage investments, and there was more news about Alberto Gonzales and drunk astronauts.

All you have to do is watch the Enquirer's new daily newscast to see that it isn't trying to be the New York Times or even USA Today. With its mix of news about crime, fires and car crashes, and the nutrient-free ramblings of the airheads at Cin Weekly, the Enquirer seems to be trying to out-Fox Ch. 19.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting thing, that Newseum snub, and telling. A longtime USA Today national reporter told me last year that the Enquirer was among the worst Metro dailies nationwide he scans regularly for news.

Hey, I was just catching up on posts while I've been vacationing. Thought I'd add a few more names to the list you all had going a few days ago of Enquirer news staff who have departed since Callinan arrived.

I have been keeping a list and it's up to 64 now. Wonder how that turnover rate stacks up against ideal corporate staff turnover targets... could be a good story for CityBeat or even E&P.

Mona Fuqua
C.E. Hanifan
Elizabeth Kane
Gil Kaufman
Laura Pulfer
Mike Pulfer
Matt Stutts
Monica Williams

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Add Pam Fisher to that list as well.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Enquirer has hit a new low with Malia Rulon's column today. "Malia Rulon covers Washington news for the Enquirer," says the tagline. But her column reads more like a gossip magazine. Here's what Malia considers newsworthy:

-Sherrod Brown makes some "most beautiful" list

-Tony Snow makes some "hottest" list

-Jim Bunning's website updated

-What Steve Chabot likes to eat

-Cincinnati Reds play in DC

And that's it. Not a meaningful item in the whole column. Pathetic.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So I checked out the daily newscast to see what it was about. It comes up short. Maybe it is just me but it seems that that Enquirer has lost touch with the one thing thing - consistency - that newspapers use to strive for. With the anything and everything approach of shoving stuff to the web the outcome is a bunch of maybes. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow, later on or, maybe not.

Same thing on the broken links. Maybe, or maybe not as to whether the links will work. Maybe providing the front page as a PDF is important, maybe not. Maybe the front page isn't important at all. Or maybe it is, sometimes.

That is just two examples. There are more.

The Enquirer hasn't every been a consistently great information provider or hasn't been in so long that no one can remember when it was consistently good. In paper form they use to be able to constantly deliver it, more of less. It use to be that sometimes the articles were good and most of the time the paper had what that was expected.

Today's Enquirer is akin to the hit and miss experience of a garage sale when the expectation is being able to find what you want and where you expect it without wading through a bunch of what isn't wanted and expected - like in a retail store.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Before the story suddenly gets changed online, I copied and pasted it to show the discrepancies. I don't know these people and find this story confusing as many of Enquirer stories are. Is Russell a Platter or a Back? Was it Peggy's children who were subject to this?

Or this this about several Platters and Backs who have the first names of Russell and Tina some of whom who share the same last name with someone named Peggy who lives in Tennessee but happened to be in Cinti both in November and left her grandchildren with Uncle Russ and is now back in the area now to be quoted for this story?

Doesn't anyone else find this confusing? Following is the story as of 8:20 Monday:

Sex charges devastate Deer Park

DEER PARK – Peggy Platter trusted “Uncle Russ” so much that she left “my three grandbabies” with him in November when she attended her father’s funeral.

Platter found out late Friday night that “Uncle Russ” – Russell Back Jr., 52 – was arrested and charged with kidnapping three young children, stripping them and videotaping them as he masturbated in front of them.

“The neighborhood is devastated,” said Platter, 46, on Monday.

Platter lived in Deer Park all of her life until she moved to Tennessee a few years ago.

She also is best friends with Tina Platter, Russell Platter’s estranged wife who sought a divorce in January and moved with their two children four doors down Schenck Avenue to live with her parents.

The block where Back, his estranged wife, their children and his in-laws live is middle America.

Many porches were occupied Monday afternoon with concerned parents who watched neighborhood kids – including at least two of Back’s alleged victims – ride bicycles in the street and through yards.

Back’s house, with a picnic table, sandbox and swing set, used to be the house where all of the neighborhood kids went because Tina Back baby-sat many of them, Platter said.

“Russ always appeared to love kids. For all appearances, he was a great guy. He has never been in trouble,” Platter said.

Back has been active in Boy Scouts and there never was any hint that something was amiss.

“We don’t know what happed. We don’t know if he snapped,” Platter said. “I was absolutely sickened, in total disbelief.”

Police arrived at Russell Back’s home Friday just as Tina Back was returning from work and pulling up to her parents’ home.

She asked what was going on when she saw the police cars at her former home.
“She almost fainted, had to be held up by neighbors,” Platter said.

Police said Back, charged with sexual touching, and three counts each of kidnapping and pandering obscenity involving minors, confessed.

Platter, who returned to Deer Park immediately after Tina Back called her Friday, said Back gave a written confession.

“It’s hard to wrap your mind around (the allegations),” Platter said.
Neighbors didn’t want to talk about the incident.

They are either tired of having reporters on their street, want to protect the neighborhood children or are irate at Russell Back, a machine operator at a Reading pharmaceutical company.

Tina Back didn’t want to talk but she was on her parents’ porch Monday desperately trying to contact her attorney about the status of her divorce.

A judge ordered Russell Back held Monday on $3.65 million bond.

Police documents note “other charges and victims may be pending.”
The current charges against Back carry a maximum prison sentence of 59 years.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Pete Rose Colored Glasses said...

"the Enquirer seems to be trying to out-Fox Ch. 19"


6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anyone happen to see this in Wired?

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Newseum (a Gannett production) isn't snubbing the Enquirer. The Enquirer's automated creation of the PDF file of the front page is broken. The paper's computer folks are so hopelessly incompetent they can't fix it. That's why the link on the web site is broken.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Enquirer is back in Newseum. Tech problem fixed. Since Newsache chose not to follow up on this rant, it appears they enjoy misleading their readers as much as they claim the Enquirer does.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Complaining that he didn't follow up on the fix really doesn't eliminate the point - that it was broke and that by your post, that it obviously took too long to fix.

And, in regard to the blog, as someone with more than casual knowledge and in taking with others who share the same, this blog gets far more to the truth than what the Enquirer would ever dare print about itself.

9:48 AM  

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