Thursday, December 18, 2008

Empty cubicles at McClatchy's DC bureau

This photo was posted Wednesday on the New York Times web site. Caption: "The Washington bureau of the McClatchy Company has a number of empty desks." Photo: Daniel Rosenbaum, The New York Times.

UPDATE: it gets funny -- John Walcott sends memo to his staff blasting NYT for getting the facts wrong. Hat tip: Walter Abbott and Bill. John Walcott is the wrong guy to complain about a newspaper getting facts wrong, given his sorry history of distortion and misleading readers.


Archer05 said...

“Elvis has left the building”

McClatchy Watch said...

"Empty Room" by Prince

Empty room, empty room
How am I gonna fill U?
How am I gonna fill this empty room?

Lonely hearts, worlds apart
Why must they be broken?
How am I gonna ever fill this empty room?

And what is wrong when love is strong?
Why can't it last 4ever?
How could U go and leave me all alone?

Tears fall on barren walls
But what's the use in cryin'?
I gotta find a way 2 fill this empty room

Anonymous said...

The main point of the article, however, is how few reporters remain in Washington to keep an eye on the Obama administration and their local delegations.

I assume McClatchy Watch and Archer05 will be expending their shoe leather and cultivating sources to fill in the gap.

Anonymous said...

And, indeed, Archer05 has the opportunity to hone his skills. He believes, as he says in a post below, that one can cover Iraq without actually being there. So I made him this challenge:

Write and post a 500-word news story on Iraq. The story can be on any topic you like, thrust in any direction, and test any hypothesis. But it has to bring out new facts or describe a spot news event. Attribute your facts in the article and -- this is important -- use three named sources.

I would broaden that to include Washington.

New facts. Named sources. 500 words. 48 hours.

Let's see what you've got, Jimmy Olson.

Archer05 said...

McClatchy Brass:
“If I’m lying, I’m dying”
Newspapers with a Living Will?
DNR order, Who can argue with that?

For the boys in the backroom, DNR means: Do Not Resuscitate.

Anonymous said...

Yes, do not resuscitate and let the Democrats run wild.

C'mon, Archer05, stop goofing around: You're on deadline.

Anonymous said...

Ha! The gay caballero thinks McClatchy should be around to keep an eye on the Obama administration! The same McClatchy outfit that served as his ministry of propaganda, posted his press releases verbatim and declared them fact, ignored anything negative and continues to do the same.

Then he wants you to believe that McClatchy has been in Iraq with the boots on the ground ferreting out real stories. Well let me tell you something you piece of crap. I never, even once ever saw a McClatchy reporter there, and the reporters that did make it, hid out in the International Zone (Green Zone) and passed out cell phones to stringers (al qaeda operatives) then reported their stories, published their photos, and just slapped their name on it.

You scum are pathetic. Five hundred words indeed. I can give you 5000 on exactly why you and yours should be driven out of business, shot in the head and buried in a shallow grave where ever you fall. Traitor Bastards.

Archer05 said...

Anon.7:39 AM- Right On!
I answered the challenge on another thread, but it should be repeated here for continuity, if McC. W. sees fit?
The challenge: (Broken down into itty bitty pieces for the boys in the backroom)

-Use three named sources-

‘According to Anonymous‘-‘unnamed’ - ‘Some say‘ and the famous Dan Rather source, ‘Unimpeachable’ Is four extra credit?

This is too easy-

Next, I am going to interview 100 troops for firsthand war quotes. It may take hours to find the six that say what I want to hear. I will ignore the other 94 opinions. Do I have the template correct so far?

PS: I may make-up the interviews if they infringe on my coffee break.

McClatchy Watch said...

I can't help but notice the arrogance of the McClatchy employee (5:56 and 6:07)as he blames the customer for the crappy product.

Dave D. said...

...Too many empty cubicles ? Naw, too many FULL ONES ! The world will be a better place when folks ask " who was that " when somebody asks them if they recall McClatchy. There will always be folks reporting on the miracle mulatto's mendacious ways. But it won't be a McClatchy reporter. Even if the Washington Bureau was fully staffed, it would NEVER be a mcClatchy reporter.
..And this " you're gonna miss us when we're gone ' crap. Go..get..leave..scram. Take your wearisome pack of liars and depart. We'll miss you as we'd miss a migraine.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you missed this, for instance, from 2006:

CAMP HABBANIYAH, IRAQ - It was 9 a.m., and the start of another day of Lt. Col. Todd Desgrosseilliers' hands-on approach to counterinsurgency.
Most go well, at least by the perilous standards for Marines operating in Anbar province, the heart of Iraq's Sunni Muslim insurgency. Wednesday, however, would not.

By the end of the day, one Marine would lie wounded and bloody, shot through the face by a sniper's bullet.


On the way to the third stop, a burly Marine traveling with the jump team but wasn't a member of it reminded a reporter to keep moving when outside the Humvee. The patrol was in an area where a sniper had been active, he said.

Two minutes later, when the patrol stopped so Desgrosseilliers could check in with a team of Marines with tanks, the Marine stepped from his Humvee and walked toward the tanks. The snap of a shot rang out from about 150 yards away in the direction of a mosque, houses and shops.

The bullet hit just under the left side of the Marine's jaw and passed through his mouth, knocking out teeth and exiting through his right cheek. He fell to the pavement and a pool of blood began spreading around his head.


And perhaps you missed this, from 2005:

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO, AFGHANISTAN — Two U.S. troops were killed and eight wounded in a rocket attack Wednesday on a small outpost that has been one of the most dangerous places in the country for coalition forces.

At least one rocket exploded near a twin-rotor Chinook transport helicopter that had just arrived at Shkin in Paktika province, near the Pakistan border, according to a news release from Combined Forces Command in Kabul.

The helicopter was being unloaded when the attack came. It was damaged and had to be pushed aside for the medevac choppers. Coalition aircraft responded to the attack, but couldn't locate the insurgents, according to the news release.

The casualties were evacuated to three bases, including Camp Salerno, home of the Fort Bragg-based 1st Brigade combat team.

The attack happened late in the morning and by midday, four stretcher crews were organizing under a tree on the edge of the concrete landing pad adjacent to a combat surgical hospital. Some of the wounded had been diverted for treatment elsewhere, but two helicopters were en route.

Sgt. 1st Class James Gillem, an evacuation platoon sergeant who's on his third combat tour, kept the crews focused while they waited, talking them through each step of lifting the wounded men off the helicopters and carrying them.

A radio call came. The first Black Hawk medevac was minutes away.

"OK, line 'em up," he said. "First team, right here. Second team, right beside them. Teams three and four, here and here."

The helicopter settled quickly, and as everyone else turned their backs to the stinging blast of dust and rocks from the rotor wash, Gillem led the first team out. It slipped a man off the flat floor of the Black Hawk and walked toward the field hospital with such a smooth gait that the stretcher might have been on a conveyor belt.

The wounded man had blood on his head, an IV bag on his chest and an oxygen tank by his legs. He was unconscious.


Or this, from 2003:

FALLUJAH, Iraq -- One Fort Bragg paratrooper was killed and three were wounded Sunday when their Humvee was destroyed by a jury-rigged bomb in a highway median.

Military officials withheld the dead man's name until his family could be told.

Staff Sgt. Kyle Foster, 34, was commanding the vehicle from the right front seat. The Humvee was on the western edge of Fallujah, turning around in a gap in the four-lane highway's guardrails, when the bomb exploded about 8 a.m. It blew off the right rear quarter of the Humvee and tossed it into the air at a 45-degree angle.

"All I can tell you was that it was real loud and it hurt like hell ," Foster said later.


On Sunday, 2nd Lt. Eric Brown, 24, was 100 yards from Foster in another Humvee. He said Foster's vehicle disappeared in a cloud of dust and smoke 20 feet high, then slammed back to earth.

Foster jumped out and began pulling injured soldiers from the burning truck, and noticed bullets kicking up dirt near him, apparently fired by the guerrillas who had planted the bomb.

He was going back for the dead man when ammunition in the truck began exploding and he had to back away. He pulled the dead soldier out later.

"He was well-liked in the company and in the platoon," Foster said. "He always smiled, always carried on.

"I hate to put it this way, but there are soldiers that you can kill and it wouldn't affect the company. This time they picked the best one to kill to break morale."


The scene of the bombing was tense. As U.S. Army firefighters hosed down the smoking slab of wreckage, a crowd collected in a neighborhood of alleys and brick-colored houses about 200 yards away. More than 100 paratroopers took cover behind guardrails and Humvees and trained their weapons on the Iraqis. Two heavily armed Apache helicopters circled overhead for more than two hours.

At one point, more than a dozen people fled from a large house among the closest to the explosion, and troops were ordered to train shoulder-launched missiles at the house.

The soldiers fed one another rapid-fire information as they tried to track what the civilians were doing.

"OK, OK, you've got a group of kids moving north to south in the second alley," said Pfc. Kerry McAllister, 19, of Huntsville, Ala. "What are they doing? What are they doing?"


Go on, kids. Do that from home.

Archer05: If breaking news on Iraq or the perfidies of the Obama adminstration is too difficult, you could do a local planning commission meeting.

McClatchy Watch said...

Anonymous 8:28 -- what is the name of the reporter?

McClatchy Watch said...

Anonymous 8:28 is bragging about McClatchy reporter Jay Price.

Does the name "Jay Price" ring a bell?

The reporter who wrote these articles is Jay Price, possibly the worst reporter to ever set foot in Iraq.

Jay Price won the 2007 quote of the year award from the Media Research Center for his famous McClatchy article, "As violence falls in Iraq, cemetery workers feel the pinch."

This is the kind of twisted reporting from Iraq McClatchy has been giving subscribers for years.

Anonymous said...

"Miracle mullatto"

"Gay caballero"

"Shot in the head"

"Shallow graves"

Enough said.

Anonymous said...

I'll let the troops say it:

News & Observer, The (Raleigh, NC)

June 14, 2005

Reporting Afghanistan

I am currently deployed to Afghanistan. I would just like to say thanks to The N&O's Jay Price and Chuck Liddy for coming over and spending some time with us. The stories were very well received by our families. It's very important to us that people know what we are doing over here.
We are proud of what we do and don't need any thank yous. Our thanks come from the fact that the people of Afghanistan can live the life they want and the American people can live their lives free, and enjoy life.
We have been forgotten over here at times, and we are still taking casualties. Thanks for keeping our efforts alive in the press! This is my second tour here and it has a special place with me. Once again we will be going home without some of our fallen comrades. We will never forget their sacrifice!
Sgt. 1st Class Devin Gallagher
82nd Airborne Division

Anonymous said...

I kind of thought, "Traitor Bastards" summed it up rather nicely.

Anonymous said...

McClatchy brass takes issue with Grey (Gray?) Lady's story.

McClatchy Washington bureau chief's memo to staff regarding New York Times' story on DC bureaus

Walter Abbott

Anonymous said...

Concerning reporting from Iraq...Even NPR radio is covering first hand...listening last week...while interviewing Iraqi civilian their vehicle was blown up by a sticky bomb activated by a disposable cell phone. Now that's reporting! You can't hear explosions with a newspaper...HOWEVER a talented writer can craft his words to evoke a similar emotion as to almost being there...Too bad McClatchy thought these writers were over paid and got rid of them...I hear India calling ;(

Anonymous said...

McClatchy Interactive is supposed to have an editorial employee dedicated to the DC Bureau. she's the only one who didn't get dropped in the layoffs a few weeks ago. Anyone know if any work of substance is being produced? I'm guessing no

Dave D. said...

...Hey that you ? Maybe you missed this: McClatchy stock at $1.49 yesterday. Time to call for Billy Mays and start selling that junk to insomniacs after midnight. Wedge 'em in behind the weight loss pills and the vegimatics.

Bill said...

Topic: Memos Sent to Romenesko
Date/Time: 12/18/2008 1:23:02 PM
Title: McClatchy reacts to NYT piece on DC bureaus
Posted By: Jim Romenesko

McClatchy Washington bureau chief's memo to staff regarding New York Times' story on DC bureaus

From: Walcott, John
Sent: Thursday, December 18, 2008 1:19 AM
To: Wash Buro Everyone; MCT Information Staff
Cc: Weaver, Howard - McClatchy Corporate
Subject: NYT article


You can stop racking your brains about who the 50 departed Washington Bureau staffers were. The New York Times Web story mistakenly added the Knight Ridder and MCT Washington staffs together and came to the erroneous conclusion that the KR bureau was 100 strong before McClatchy acquired the company and is now half its former size. The Times removed the erroneous paragraph after Howard Weaver pointed out the "serious error," saying: "You'll need to get the numbers confirmed by the DC staff, but I wouldn't like McClatchy to be the poster child for reducing Washington staff. We are not."

The Times Web site, at least, no longer has a photo of a vacant desk in our newsroom, either, presumably because we aren't a poster child for shrinking Washington bureaus, after all.

What the Times failed to do, however, is to add McClatchy to the graf in which it pats itself and The Wall Street Journal on the back for maintaining their Washington staffs, although McClatchy has done that, too. So while the story rightly laments the decline of regional reporting in Washington, it fails to note that McClatchy and MCT are maintaining their commitment to covering the people, institutions and issues in Washington and abroad that are important to McClatchy readers from Anchorage to Miami, and to MCT clients.

In fact, while your work has outshined even that of the august gray lady on some major national and international issues--the Bush administration's case for war in Iraq, postwar Iraq, the firings of the U.S. attorneys, the dysfunctional Veteran's Administration, the prisoners in Afghanistan and Guantanamo and, most recently, the Mumbai attackers and the mysterious gravedigging in the Afghan desert, to name but a few--the Times can't match Erica Bolstad's reporting on Larry Craig and Ted Stevens, Barb Barrett's stories about North Carolina veterans, Les Blumenthal's coverage of environmental issues in the Pacific Northwest, Jim Rosen's reporting on the South Carolina delegation or Mike Doyle's understanding of Central Valley agricultural issues, to cite a few of many examples of great regional reporting.

The Times is right that such focused regional coverage, from McClatchy, from Tribune papers, from Cox, from Copley, from Newhouse, from Hearst and from others, is vital, and that its disappearance elsewhere isn't healthy. However, if the Times article means to suggest that the Times Washington Bureau, however robust it may be, or for that matter the AP, or CNN, or Politico, can fill the void, it's mistaken there, too. As George Condon said, no national organization can or would devote the same time and attention to a local congressman that Copley did, nor can one cover troops in Iraq from Columbus, Ga. or Tacoma, Wash. or senatorial scandals or local groups coming to the inauguration as we have and as we will. With photos and graphics and video and slide shows, no less.

It's easy and natural at a time such as this to focus on the endangered species list. Please, though, take a moment at the end of a year that's been as taxing as it's been historic to pat yourselves on the back. If the Times can do that just for not downsizing, all of you surely can for the work that you're doing.


Anonymous said...

Yes, without our intrepid dinner party journalists, who will be around to cover corruption of officials (only if they're Republicans). Who will be there to spin the story and protect any Democrat caught stealing (nothing to see here, just MoveOn), and should they HAVE to cover the story, put the party affiliation somewhere at the bottom of the story if at all. We call it "Name That Party" when it's a media story on a Dem in trouble.

Anonymous said...

As for firsthand news from Iraq, there are plenty of top quality warbloggers who are THERE. They report it as they see it without filling in the Associated With Terrorists Press templates.

Anonymous said...