In the latest episode of My First Big Break, New York Times columnist David Carr remembers his first big scoop, an investigation of police brutality in Minneapolis.
As a physician, he said, you’re privy to patients’ secrets — to their truths — and understand that few people live up to their own stated ideals. He has treated a philandering pastor, a drug-abusing financier. “I see life as it really is,” he told me, “not how we wish it were.”
He shared a story about one of the loudest abortion foes he ever encountered, a woman who stood year in and year out on a ladder, so that her head would be above other protesters’ as she shouted “murderer” at him and other doctors and “whore” at every woman who walked into the clinic.
One day she was missing. “I thought, ‘I hope she’s O.K.,’ ” he recalled. He walked into an examining room to find her there. She needed an abortion and had come to him because, she explained, he was a familiar face. After the procedure, she assured him she wasn’t like all those other women: loose, unprincipled.
She told him: “I don’t have the money for a baby right now. And my relationship isn’t where it should be.”
“Nothing like life,” he responded, “to teach you a little more.”
A week later, she was back on her ladder.
CJR offers up an enlightening and depressing infographic that puts the golden parachutes of departing CEOs Janet Robinson of The New York Times Company and Craig Dubow of Gannett into perspective.
Columbia Journalism Review’s tireless Ryan Chittum writes:
“Shahien Nasiripour scored a foreclosure-fraud scandal scoop for The Huffington Post on Monday, reporting that audits of the mortgage industry conducted by HUD’s inspector general found five giant banks—Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial—defrauded taxpayers and violated the False Claims Act. HUD sent the findings to the Justice Department, which will now have to decide what to do next.
On Tuesday, Felix Salmon criticized The New York Times and Wall Street Journal for giving big play to the New York attorney general’s renewed interest in mortgage securitization while ignoring the HuffPo scoop. I thought maybe it slipped by the print deadlines. But three days later, those papers have yet to run anything about the news.
Joe Pompeo of Yahoo’s Cutline blog reports:
“More than eight months after media reporters first stumbled upon a URL that the New York Times had quietly registered with Tumblr, the paper of record has finally launched its inaugural editorial product on the influential blogging platform.
The four New York Times journalists who were captured by Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces while covering the Libyan conflict talk about their ordeal.
From a gripping account by Anthony Shadid, Lynsey Addario, Stephen Farrell and Tyler Hicks
“Keep driving!” Tyler shouted at Mohammed, the driver. “Don’t stop! Don’t stop!”
Mohammed had no choice, and a soldier flung open his door. “Journalists!” he yelled at the other soldiers, their faces contorted in fear and rage. It was too late.
Tyler was in the front, and a soldier pulled him out of the car. Steve was hauled out by his camera bags. Anthony crawled out the same door, and Lynsey followed.
Even before the soldiers had time to speak, rebels attacked the checkpoint with what sounded like rifles and medium machine guns. Bullets flew around us, and the soft dirt popped. Tyler broke free and started running. Anthony fell on a sand berm, then got to his feet and followed Tyler, who, for a moment, considered making a run for it.
Lynsey instinctively clenched her cameras as a soldier pulled at them. She let them go and ran behind us. Soldiers tried to get Steve on the ground next to the car, and he pointed at the gunfire. They made him drop his camera, then he ran, too.