Saturday, January 19, 2008

"What was he thinking?"

Michael Arkush, of Yahoo! Sports, interviewing recently-fired Golfweek (former) editor Dave Seanor:

How do you respond to people who say, 'What was he thinking?'

Seanor: It's an easy question for someone to ask who has never sat in an editor's chair or worked in journalism. We were thinking, as unbelievable as that might seem to people. Perhaps we overthought it in a way. We weren't trying to be sensational. It's interesting that a lot of the objection, 'Oh, they're just trying to sell magazines.' We're 99 percent subscriptions. We're not even on the newsstand.

Journalist Seanor's lack of connection to reality can be seen in the following from the Star-Telegram [DOUG FERGUSON (AP)] :

The editor of Golfweek magazine said he was overwhelmed by negative reaction to the photo of a noose on the cover of this week's issue, illustrating a story about the suspension of a Golf Channel anchor [Tilghman] for using the word "lynch" in an on-air discussion about how to beat Tiger Woods.

"We knew that image would grab attention, but I didn't anticipate the enormity of it," Dave Seanor, vice president and editor of the weekly magazine, said from the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, Fla.

"There's been a huge, negative reaction," he said. "I've gotten so many e-mails. It's a little overwhelming."

The Ft. Worth Star-Telegram has a picture of the cover, and noted: Seanor said editors at the magazine debated several choices for a cover, and he took responsibility for the noose. The title of the cover is "Caught in a Noose," with a sub-title, "Tilghman slips up, and Golf Channel can't wriggle free."

The Kansas City Star summed up the matter:

Of course the magazine would cover this story, even if Woods, through his agent, called it a “nonissue.” And the decision to put a noose on the cover was bold and provocative and certain to attract attention — and probably boost sales.

And dumb. A terrible idea.

The cover didn’t attract attention to the issue, only to itself.

Everyone involved in this decision should have known better.

And, YES, there is a connection to the Poshard "inadvertent" plagiarism matter, with Doug Ferguson quoting Tim Finchem:

"Over the years, many PGA Tour players and staff have had the chance to get to know Kelly [Tilghman]," he said. "Knowing her, her comment seems to us to be very uncharacteristic and we believe it was completely inadvertent. We have no reason to believe that she was intentionally malicious in her remark."

One could ask SIU President Poshard what he was thinking at the time of his 1984 Ph.D. thesis, or in 2007 when he came up with the theme of inadvertent plagiarism, but it is evident that plagiarism simply is not a firestorm issue to most people.

IPBiz has noted the naivete of certain journalists covering intellectual property/patent issues concerning California's CIRM:

The naive leading the blind at California's CIRM?


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