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  • White House criticizes Washington Post’s use of anonymous sources

    In a briefing Monday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest criticized a Washington Post story for relying on anonymous sources. According to a transcript of the briefing, McClatchy reporter Anita Kumar pushed back at Earnest, noting that the Post didn’t have anyone at the briefing to defend the story.

    “I noticed that, too,” Earnest said.

    Earnest later allowed that there were people on the record in the story, which says White House aides knew a year ago that a crisis was developing on the U.S.-Mexico border, but they instead “focused much of their attention on political battles, such as Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and the push to win congressional support for a broad immigration overhaul, that would have been made more difficult with the addition of a high-profile border crisis.”

    “[Y]ou criticize anonymous sources, but we have anonymous sources from you all every day,” Kumar said.

    “I’m not suggesting that they shouldn’t run their story,” Earnest said of the Post. “It’s not my place to suggest that the people who represent that empty seat right there can make their own decisions about what stories to run. They’re entirely entitled to doing that.” He continued:

    What I think is important is that greater weight should be granted to those who are willing to put a face and a name with specific claims.

    Read more
  • First Look Media will fund appeal of Glenn Greenwald’s partner

    First Look Media

    First Look Media announced Monday that the company is establishing a fund dedicated to the legal defense of the press and its allies across the globe — starting with a case related to one of the company’s most prominent journalists.

    The program, which was announced on First Look Media’s website, will contribute funds to the legal defense of journalists “and others engaged in contests where freedom of the press is at stake,” according to the announcement.

    The company’s first grant will fund an appeal filed by David Miranda against the British government, according to the announcement. Miranda filed suit against the government after being detained at London’s Heathrow Airport, claiming that his belongings were unlawfully confiscated and that the government’s actions were a violation of European law. The case was initially dismissed, but the government has allowed an appeal, according to the announcement.

    Miranda is the partner of Glenn Greenwald, a founding editor of First Look Media’s The Intercept, an online news organization that has devoted much of its coverage to examining how various governments worldwide are using data surveillance. Miranda was transporting files and storage devices for Greenwald at the time of his detention, according to the announcement.… Read more

  • ‘Weird Al’ trains his sights on business jargon

    The Wall Street Journal

    First he took on people who misuse language in “Word Crimes.” Now, “Weird Al” Yankovic wants to draw attention to how businesspeople abuse the English language.

    “Mission Statement” is the final video in Yankovic’s “#8videos8days” project, and he chose The Wall Street Journal for its premiere.

    “I wanted to do a song about all the ridiculous double-speak and meaningless buzzwords that I’ve been hearing in office environments my entire life,” Yankovic told Eric R. Danton.

    The song, set to Crosby, Stills & Nash’s Suite: “Judy Blue Eyes,” pays particular homage to the word “synergy.” That’s appropriate, because Poynter’s attempt to leverage its brand with regard to this video was thwarted by an apparent “Weird Al”/WSJ synergy: The video proved impossible to embed. Our thought leadership in the Yankovic-space remains undaunted, and if we’re able adapt our model and pivot to a full embed we’ll shoot you an email.

    Related: Despite my prediction that “Copy editors will love Weird Al’s new song,” many, in fact, do not. … Read more

E.R. Vadeboncoeur

WSYR Radio and TV

Syracuse Journal

Mention the name E.R. Vadeboncoeur and it's his radio news broadcasts and Election Night commentaries that come to mind for many longtime Central New Yorkers. Long forgotten is that "Curly," as he was known to his friends, started out to be a newspaperman.


He got his first job on a newspaper after leaving Central High School and worked his way up to city editor at the old Syracuse Journal. When the paper merged with the Herald a few years later, he was offered a spot on the new Herald-Journal. Instead, he decided -- on the advice of his wife Orletta -- to switch to broadcasting by accepting another job offer at WSYR Radio.

The change made sense because Curly had been doing a Sunday night broadcast on WFBL called "City Editor" during his later years at the Journal. Soon after joining WSYR, he began doing noon-hour news and commentary every day. In the late 1940s, he successfully crusaded against a proposal for a city sales tax. (Years later, however, the tax became reality).

In an effort to help his listeners better understand what was happening overseas during World War II, Curly traveled to the Pacific for a month. He is believed to be the only war correspondent accredited personally by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Several times, he risked his life by flying in bombers on missions out of New Guinea to get a better feel of war.

In the early 1950s, several years after he became general manager of WSYR radio and television, Vadeboncoeur gave up his broadcasts to become more involved in S.l. Newhouse's plans to expand Newhouse Broadcasting, which owned WSYR. The expansion included purchase of stations in Harrisburg, PA; St. Louis, MO; Birmingham, AL; and Portland, OR. Curly traveled weekly to Harrisburg and once a month to the others. He also was involved in the development of Newhouse cable properties.

Meanwhile, he continued to appear on television every Election Night, analyzing returns for viewers after being introduced as the "dean of Syracuse newsmen."

As a boy, Curly Vadeboncoeur earned money to support his widowed mother by bicycling prints of films from theater to theater. His interest in theater led him to join Murray Bernthal to create the Famous Artists Series in 1946. The two men also launched a concert series. The following year, they inaugurated the star-driven Famous Artists Country Playhouse in Fayetteville, later expanding to East Rochester and Watkins Glen.

Vadeboncoeur served as president of the Upstate Chapter of American Cancer Society, was awarded the Simon LeMoyne Medal by LeMoyne College, and chaired numerous Red Cross benefits.

Even after Newhouse sold off the television stations and then the radio stations, E.R. continued to preside over the Newhouse cable enterprises almost until his death in 1986.
--Joseph A. Porcello
Last Updated ( Monday, 17 November 2008 01:26 )
"Freedom of the press is not an end in itself but a means to the end of [achieving] a free society."
Felix Frankfurter, Associate Justice, US Supreme Court

Wall of Distinction

Karel "Bud" Vanderveer


Herald American

Shortly after graduating from Syracuse's Central High School in 1939, Bud Vanderveer joined the Herald-Journal. However, it wasn't until he returned from service with the U.S. Army in World War II that he began covering sports full-time - the career that made him one of the most respected and best-known sports writers in New York State.
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