The Times on a Real Estate Deal Gone (Deservedly) Bad

The New York Times on page one today looks at the fate of the buyout of Manhattan's Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. It's about as close as a story will get to saying: It's going bust in five months or less. And it couldn't happen to a nicer couple of companies. Stuy Town and Peter Cooper are a...

More About Munadi

Over at The New Yorker’s site, George Packer has published some powerful thoughts about the death of Sultan Munadi. An excerpt: In Iraq and Afghanistan and a growing number of other places, the foreign correspondent would be a target with or without the fixer, but the fixer is a target because he or she is with the foreign...

Graydon Carter Also Exempt From McKinsey Evaluation?

20-GraydonCarter-022508It might just be wishful thinking on his part — up until now, the only person exempt from the McKinsey inquisition has reportedly been The New Yorker’s David Remnick — but here’s what Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter had to say to the New York Observer at a book party last night about. A good attitude can get you far in life, you know.

We asked Mr. Carter if he’d already had his meeting.

“What meeting?” he said.

The one with the McKinsey people!

“No, no,” Mr. Carter said, emphatically. “They’re not gonna meet with me.”

They’re not?

“No.”

Then how are they going to decide what to do with your magazine?

“How are they what? I have no idea,” Mr. Carter said cheerfully. “We haven’t found out yet. I’m sure they’ll have some brilliant ideas.”

Perez Hilton: Facts or Phalluses?

I do not hate Perez Hilton. But I hate what Perez Hilton has done to journalism. He routinely reports rumors as if they are real stories without bothering to fact-check them. Consequently, because of his tremendous reach, inaccurate gossip becomes gospel.

Since Perez doesn’t expend time or effort verifying stories, he is able to quickly break “news” while real reporters are slowly toiling away calling sources, getting the facts, and seeking official statements. And thanks to Perez’s rapid reporting style, the blogger has been able snare a series of scoops, including the death of Fidel Castro.

As you may recall, two years ago Perez posted several stories announcing that the Cuban leader had passed away. He even took on the venerable Wall Street Journal, claiming he was right and the newspaper was wrong. Ironically, it will be Perez who will be able to gloat one day that he was “the first to break” the news of Fidel Castro’s death – albeit a few years prematurely.

But when Perez isn’t getting stories wrong, he’s offering his insightful commentary, which he does by defacing photos of celebrities with drawings of cocaine specks under their noses and genitals on their faces.

As a veteran celebrity journalist, I prefer facts over phalluses. That’s why I created GossipCop.com, which daily patrols hundreds of blogs, newspapers, magazines, and TV shows in an effort to separate all the fact from fiction in entertainment journalism.

This morning alone GossipCop.com noted how Perez filed two false reports within minutes. The first inaccurate story had the singer John Mayer secretly dating “The Hills” star Kristin Cavallari for the past two years. It must have been such a secret because neither Mayer nor Cavallari even knew about. The second story had Brad Pitt buying his kids an $82,000 gerbil run that reportedly features mazes, tunnels, and seesaws, among other amenities. GossipCop.com smelled a rat – sorry for mixing rodents – when we first read that bogus story a few days ago in the U.K.’s Sun.

Essentially, this morning Perez Hilton not only posted two (so far) fabricated rumors, but for a guy who doesn’t waste his precious time fact checking, he was also late – and not “late,” as in the “the late Fidel Castro.”

Granted, a lot of people dismiss celebrity reporting as that murky area of journalism where there’s latitude for innuendo and additional space for hyperbole. But whether it’s celebrity reporting or political reporting, it’s still reporting, and stories need to be reported out through fact checking.

It’s time for Perez Hilton to be held accountable, because ultimately – whether it’s sports, politics or entertainment – the public wants and deserves accuracy over outrageousness.

Note – this post was first featured in Huffington Post.

John Stossel/Mother Ship

And, now, all is just a little more right with the world: John Stossel, longtime 20/20 correspondent and the media's most well-known libertarian...is leaving ABC. For--yes--Fox News. TVNewser has the details.

Dylan Ratigan Provides Rare Fact Check Of Wilson (VIDEO)

Over at Media Matters, Eric Boehlert calls out the media for covering Rep. Joe Wilson's interjectory fireworks during President Obama's address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday night without delving into whether Wilson was correct in his assertion -- that Obama was lying when he said that illegal immigrants would not qualify for credits for the proposed health care exchanges:

What's been completely glossed over by the press is the fact that the "You Lie!" was itself built upon a lie. That the rude outburst was yet more GOP misinformation. Instead, too many in the press treat the exchange as a he said/he said. i.e. Obama claimed illegal immigrants won't be covered, and Wilson called him a liar. What are the facts? Which man was telling the truth? The press won't say.

In an update, Boehlert credits Michael Scherer at Time Magazine for digging into Wilson's claim. But he should also dole out a kudo to MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan, who invited Politifact's Bill Adair on the show to provide fact-checking of the speech. Ratigan got right to it, leading off the segment by asking Adair to rate the accuracy of Wilson's outburst, citing it as "the obvious [item] to fact check." Adair, noting that it was the first time he'd ever "fact-checked a heckler," said that he rated Wilson's assertion "false."

ADAIR: Obama is right. When you look at the bill, it does go to some lengths to make sure that illegal immigrants do not get the credits for the health care exchange that would allow them to get free care. They'd have to pay for it, like everybody else. False for Wilson.

WATCH:

Politifact goes into greater detail in its assessment here.

[Would you like to follow me on Twitter? Because why not? Also, please send tips to tv@huffingtonpost.com -- learn more about our media monitoring project here.]