Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Anonymous plagiarizing gnats!" Las Vegas Review-Journal editor takes potshot at Tabloid Baby after we clean his paper's clock in Danny Gans coverage

The editor of The Las Vegas Review-Journal has lashed out at TabloidBaby.com after this site exposed his newspaper's lax and cowardly coverage of the Danny Gans death mystery.

Thomas Mitchell (above left), the mustachioed, hard-blogging boss at the Las Vegas paper that did not win a Pulitzer Prize this year, wrote on his blog forum in response to a query from our own publicist and occasional contributor Sam Peters (above right):

"Mr. Mitchell...
have you seen the Danny Gans coverage

on the site TabloidBaby.com?
They compared their coverage to the RJ.
Think they're going too far? Not far enough?"

Mitchell replied:

"Sam: Anonymous plagiarizing gnats.
Never saw it before. Stole our photos
and text
without the courtesy
of proper linking."

Whoa! Hold on there, pardner! Them's fightin' words!

While we hand it to Tom Mitchell for responding to the question, we've got to take issue with the "plagiarizing gnats" dig, and not only because referring to this site as "gnats" indicates that the flailing Review-Journal is a journalistic giant being nettled by a tiny insect, when in fact it's being beaten to the punch by a topnotch competitor.

But let's get one thing straight, buckaroo: TabloidBaby.com has not "plagiarized" a word. We've got a multifaceted role here of critiquing the news media coverage of the story, satirizing the buffoons and breaking news on our own. In doing so, we've quoted from papers and news sites including the Review-Journal-- but in every case have linked to the original story, cited the source and even included photos of the authors. "Linking" to other sites and stories has been a hallmark of TabloidBaby.com since its inception a decade ago.

Says Sam Peters:

"On the point of plagiarism, Tom Mitchell is full of... beans. Malarkey! He oughta be a real cowboy and apologize for that one!"

As to the photos we allegedly "stole," TabloidBaby.com has indeed attributed many photos, with the exception of standard publicity shots of Gans onstage (and in the case of Las Vegas comp queen-blogger Steve Friess, even removed photos at his request).

Although we do have the right to post any news-related photos (including one showing Steve Friess in bed with the executive producer of KVBC-TV News, colleague of the controversial beauty queen-turned-TV entertainment reporter Alicia Jacobs) under the fair use sections of copyright law, we've also gone out of our way to accommodate anyone who's complained, and we'll begin attributing all photos when possible.

Responds Sam Peters: "Stealing? Every story has links to the sources. The mainstream media steals from TabloidBaby! Tom Mitchell ought to temper his words."

Thomas Mitchell & Sam Peters, without hats

Inaccurate though his words may be, we understand Tom Mitchell's motivation. Newspapers across the country are in dire straits because of "gnats" like us, beating the lazy, entrenched old school journos at what was their own game. Tom Mitchell knows that TabloidBaby.com has been cleaning the Review-Journal's clock on the Danny Gans story.

Heck, yesterday we cited the Review-Journal's Norm Clarke for the Whoopi Goldberg story. This morning, he copied our "Curse of The Encore Theatre" angle (which we first reported the day of Danny Gans' death)-- with nary a whit of attribution.

On May 19, we posted a "Tale of The Tape," comparing the number of Danny Gans stories posted here and published in the Review-Journal in the days since his mysterious death at the age of 52 on May 1st.

Here is an update:

Las Vegas Review Journal:
May 21: Jacobs' visibility triggers questions of perception
May 21: Mike Weatherford column on free memorial invites to fans
May 21: NORM: Fans to pay tribute at Gans memorial
May 22: Memorial service reveals real Danny Gans
May 22: NORM: Family never knew of any health woe
May 23: NORM: Emergency halts Whoopi's show

May 20: Danny Gans memorial plans revealed
May 20: The New York Times runs a condescending feature
on Danny Gans and gets it wrong about "hyperventilating bloggers"
May 20: Twelve weeks? Still no word on the cause
of Danny Gans' death; If the Coroner takes a year,
will the Las Vegas news media simply wait?
May 20: Question for the New York Times: What bloggers
"are swapping dark speculations about depression"
in Danny Gans case?
May 20: Las Vegas writer Steve Friess finds it "strange"
that ordinary folk are being invited to Danny Gans' memorial
May 21: Danny Gans memorial at 3 pm today
May 21: Locals play catch-up: Las Vegas newspaper
slams Alicia Jacobs for her"reverse bias"
in reporting the Danny Gans death case
May 21: Gans memorial will go on with no answers
about what caused his untimely death at 52;
Vegas journos waste column inches questioning public invites
May 21: 3 pm: The curtain falls for Danny Gans
May 21: Tears & smiles at memorial for Danny Gans
May 22: Danny Gans' son says family knew of no health problems
May 22: The program for Danny Gans' memorial
May 22: The show goes on: Whoopi Goldberg moves into
Danny Gans' theatre tonight
May 22: Who will be the new Danny Gans?
May 22: Coroner still has no word on what killed Danny Gans
as the Las Vegas death mystery enters its fourth week
May 23: The curse of the Encore? Whoopi Goldberg walks off
during first show in the theatre since the death of Danny Gans
May 24: "Anonymous plagiarizing gnats!"
Las Vegas Review-Journal editor takes potshot
at Tabloid Baby after we clean his paper's clock
in Danny Gans coverage

Tom Mitchell photos: Las Vegas Review-Journal

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