British commentator Libby Purves has become the latest veteran journalist to declare that Internet freeloaders are ruining the newspaper business and they need to start paying for the media they consume, or else trained professionals like her will take their inverted pyramid and go home. In response to the switch of London's Evening Standard to free circulation, Purves writes: Call me a reactionary, call me a Murdoch lackey, but the fact is that, after a vague flirtation with the concept that "information ... read more

The web site for ESPN spiked a blog post today by acclaimed baseball writer Rob Neyer in which he appeared to call for Orange County Register sports columnist Mark Whicker to be fired for his widely criticized column making light of Jaycee Dugard's 17 years of captivity at the hands of a sexual predator. The blog post was submitted at 08:57:40 PST and had been deleted from ESPN's web site by the afternoon, but it was cached by several search engines and could be recreated, aside from some text at the end. Neyer ... read more

On Tuesday, Orange County Register sportswriter Mark Whicker used Jaycee Dugard's 17 years of captivity at the hands of a sexual predator as a premise for a light-hearted sports column. The result may be the most astonishingly tasteless thing I've ever read in a newspaper. Here's how Whicker starts: It doesn't sound as if Jaycee Dugard got to see a sports page. Box scores were not available to her from June 10, 1991 until Aug. 31 of this year. She never saw a highlight. Never got to the ballpark for Beach Towel ... read more

Phillip Garrido, the 58-year-old sex offender in California accused of kidnapping Jaycee Dugard as an 11-year-old in 1991 and being the father of her two children over the years she was held in captivity, called Sacramento TV reporter Walt Gray yesterday. During the call, Garrido urged Gray to pick up a document from the FBI that will explain his actions. "Wait until you hear the story of what took place at this house," he said. "If you take this a step at a time you're going to fall over backwards and in the end, ... read more

You may have heard last week that Lt. William Calley, for the first time ever, publicly apologized for his role in the 1968 My Lai massacre, in which 350 to 500 Vietnamese -- mostly unarmed women and children -- were killed by U.S. troops under his command. Calley was sentenced to life in prison for 22 murders, but his sentence was commuted by President Nixon to three years of house arrest. During an Aug. 19 speech at the Columbus, Ga., Kiwanis Club, Calley said, "There is not a day that goes by that I do not feel ... read more

As the media grappled with Sarah Palin's explanation that she quit the Alaska governor's office because she's not a quitter, CNN host Anderson Cooper had a hilarious exchange with Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton. Stapleton tried to use Palin's analogy that in basketball, a good point guard passes the ball and runs off the court in the middle of the game, never to return. The analogy was completely lost on Cooper, for reasons he makes apparent: Anderson Cooper: You say this is leadership, but how is leading not ... read more

I've completed the second phase of the Watching the Watchers relaunch, which I began in late May. The site has become a digest of interesting news and commentary from sites that permit redistribution. As you can see, the traffic graph's become a lot more fun to look at lately. The site now includes stories that were published under a Creative Commons license that permits reuse. If you're unfamiliar with Creative Commons, it's a popular way to allow your copyrighted work -- whether it's text, photos, audio or video ... read more