A Christmas Travesty

The Palm Beach Post's front page today is dominated by a huge Ipod advertisement.

No, wait ... it's supposed to be an article.

Under the heading, "Christmas Gift Ideas," complete with a bow, was the giant headline "Accessorizing your Ipod." Then a story by reporter Stephen Pounds about all the nifty add-ons accompanied by four photographs of accessories, complete with prices and web addresses where you can purchase them.

It's like a catalogue. My question: Does Apple or the accessory makers really need help with marketing? Don't you think they're probably doing just fine? I probably wouldn't have had a problem with Pounds story had it been somewhere in the Accent or Business sections. Its placement on the front page, however, demeans the entire newspaper and only adds to the already deeply nauseating commercialization of the holidays. And why? The kids loves them some Ipods and newspapers are more and more about pandering to the young'uns, no matter how silly it makes them look.

After the jump: Fiedler Yanked Self From Game

Editor & Publisher's Joe Strupp had a good interview with outgoing Miami Herald editor Tom Fiedler. Here's the crux of the thing:

Fiedler, 60, added that he was not forced out because of a recent dispute with el Nuevo Herald, the Herald's Spanish-language sister paper, or last year's decision to fire popular columnist Jim DeFede. But he admitted "those controversies are wearing on me and the paper."

In describing his departure, which takes effect in March 2007, he said "from the standpoint of the organization it is probably a healthy thing. When the pitcher gets roughed up, it is a good idea to get some relief in the bullpen. I was throwing a lot of innings and was getting roughed up."

Ah, I never tire of good sports analogies. Fiedler, was, indeed getting roughed up, especially with the Marti stories. "To the extent that I approved those stories and vigorously defended those stories, I contributed to the anger and unhappiness people in that newsroom had toward this newsroom," he told Strupp.

I wish he wouldn't sound apologetic about those stories. If history ultimately says he fell on his sword over the Marti affair, then I say it's a good legacy. Fiedler knew they were going to bring heat, but he stuck by reporter Oscar Corral and fought for them in an almost impossible environment. That's just what an editor worth a damn is supposed to do.

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