Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hey, Lego of my penis! Tale of tall tail reporting gaffe on the wires

LONDON - It was a typical silly season yarn. Reuters last week published a story on the repeated theft of the 30cm long Lego penis from the model giraffe found at the entrance to the Legoland Discovery Centre in Berlin.

The penis, which was made of 15,000 Lego bricks, had apparently been stolen four times and replaced at a cost of £2,600 on each occassion.
So problematic had the thefts become, the Centre was reported to be constructing a barrier to protect the animal’s plastic phallus from souvenir seekers.
Great story. If only it were true.

Reuters yesterday corrected the story (hattip: Correct the Error) saying each theft had related to something far less titilating. Rather than the giraffe’s pride and joy, punters had been making off with the giraffe’s tail.
Maybe something had been lost in translation.

The full correction:

09:23 25Aug09 RTRS-CORRECTED-German Lego giraffe tail repeatedly stolen
(Correcting to ‘tail’ from ‘penis’)

BERLIN, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Visitors to a tourist attraction in Berlin have been making off with an unusual memento — the 30 cm long tail of a Lego giraffe.
The Lego tail belongs to a six metre tall model that has stood outside the entrance to the Legoland Discovery Centre on Potsdamer Platz since 2007.
“It’s a popular souvenir,” a spokeswoman for the centre said on Tuesday. “It’s been stolen four times now …”
The tail is made out of 15,000 Lego bricks. It takes model workers about one week to restore it at a cost of 3,000 euros ($4,300), the spokeswoman said.

Hat tip to Patrick Moser for this revelation. I'm surprised the reuters report did not confuse the tail with the brain.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Journalists' recent work examined before embeds | Stars and Stripes

Vetting the clips of foreign correspondents before okaying an embed assignment has become standard practice. Unsurprisingly, positive spin for the military is the mission.

According to a piece in Stars and Stripes, not a hypercritical medium, American public affairs officials in Afghanistan admit that reporters are scrutinized before getting a goahead.รข€Journalists' recent work examined before embeds | Stars and Stripes

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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fishy tale about Israeli mermaid swamps cybersurfers on the net!

Have you seen something curious in the water? Huffington Post apparently took the bait and linked to a cute ABC news online filler piece about how Israeli officials are offering a million bucks...or four million shekels...for a verifiable snap of an Israeli mermaid. This certainly is not the typical siren that concerns Israelis in places like Sderot --- and this sea creature supposedly was spotted off the coast of Haifa. This certainly is not the typical siren that concerns Israelis in places like Sderot --- and this sea creature supposedly was spotted off the coast of Haifa. Multiple sightings, according to Murdoch's SKY News.
"Many people are telling us they are sure they've seen a mermaid and they are all independent of each other. People say it is half girl, half fish, jumping like a dolphin"
Hmmm. Good score for the tourist board. Some snide commentators suggest that photoshoppers will be working overtime and that a Jewish siren would be known as Ethel Merman! Even though mummified mermaid remains have proven to be a hoax, it's remotely possible that a Mediterranean version of a Stellar Sea Cow or dugong,
has surfaced. But the whole thing is, er, fishy -- so it must be August Silly Season!

(crossposted from Israelity Bites. Hat-tip, or tail flip, to Izzy Bee)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Idiot wind- Jersey cops arrest Bob Dylan as vagrant

Look familar, officer?

This Associated Press lede and its inescapable kicker are priceless.

Rock legend Bob Dylan was treated like a complete unknown by police in a New Jersey shore community when a resident called to report someone wandering around the neighborhood.....
How does it feel?

Plus consider the timing, 4 decades after woodstock! No surprise that the young cops didn't recognise his famous name, face or voice. But aren't Dylan lyrics taught as poetry in high school classes these days?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Murdoch to charge for online news

The writing is on the (pay) wall. Rupert Murdoch, innovator, news hound and mega-businessman, is contemplating charging for online news. There's no such thing as a free launch.Ken Doctor of Content Bridges notes that a "pay wall stretching from the Manhattan's New York Post to London's Times to Sydney's Australian to Suva's Fiji Times and back to Bill O'Reilly Central" is unlikely--like a unilateral disarmamnet. One to watch. That means you, Arianna and Tina.
And Flash: The Financial Times is about to charge per article, using iTunes as a business model. That extraordinary salmon-coloured paper!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Whiny WashPost Reporter Makes His Point: Respect the Genuine Article

Aggregator websites that cherry-pick the best quotes from newspaper articles and then sell ads on the back of this minimal effort have enraged a reporter, Ian Shapira. But this only happened after his initial rush of ego fuelled by an extra 9000 clicks online through a Gawker link. His post about having his story on business angst counselling ripped off by the Gawker snarkmeisters garnered 254 comments on the WashPo website. Is it linking or larceny? asks Time mag. Rachel Sklar, a media analyst, acknowledges that it was a ripoff."Generational Consultant Holds America's Fakest Job" is an attention-grabbing headline, so hats off to Gawker.