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Laughs, Kisses and Wonderment

We'll close up a week that pretty much began and ended with the oddball Eric Massa, by firing randomly in a few different directions across the media spectrum...

A Kiss is Just a Kiss?

Hardly, especially if you are the Washington Post's ombudsman.

Andrew Alexander has been busy this week dealing with readers about a front-page piece of art in the March 4 edition of the paper that showed two men locking lips. The photo was snapped outside a courthouse, and on the day D.C. started taking license applications for same-sex marriages.

It's a provocative photo, no doubt, and Alexander and the paper initially got a lot of negative feedback from readers -- many of whom threatened to cancel their subscriptions.

Yesterday, however, Alexander saw the need to post another offering titled, "Two men kissing Part 2: The counterattack."

As the title indicates, many readers, allegedly to the tune of 10-to-1, fired back at the naysayers and saluted the Post for its decision to place the photo on the front page. Could be, the paper has even gained subscribers thanks to the picture and its placement.

Alexander typed that "nearly 20 people who e-mailed or offered online comments said they wanted to fill the void left by those who canceled."

Whether you read the paper or not, I think it is fair to say the Post could be classified as a 'serious' member of what is known these days as the "mainstream media."

I am sure there was a lot of discussion about whether to run the photo because the editors knew it would generate controversy, and undoubtedly offend a segment of their readership.

I know that these are some of the toughest calls a newspaper of record has to make.

Do you knowingly offend some, by running an item (in this case a photo) that will get the attention of many?

All this naval-gazing might seem silly to some, because the news landscape has changed so dramatically in the past few years. Darn near anything goes at so many information-providers.

But the Post does have a reputation built over many decades, as well as a diverse audience to look after.
In this case, the art illustrated better than any story possibly could what was happening at an important news event in the city that day, so I'd say they made the right call.

I also understand why some people are upset, and why it has generated so much controversy.

Yes, that would be me trying to have it both ways.

Lights, Camera, Action(?)

This clip was sent along by a colleague and made me laugh out loud. Sorry, lol.

Of course this would also admittedly be a case of an old newspaper guy dining on the silliness of what passes for so much TV news these days.

Enjoy! ...or not:

The life of a TV guy.

The Wonders of the Internet

This comes courtesy of the Newseum and via my dad, who used to be an ardent reader of newspapers, but is now finding his news online. Yes, the online-news revolution is very close to claiming victory.

Anyway, this attachment needs little explaining, but blows me away. How do these kids do these things these days?!

Brilliant:

The world of newspaper front pages.

Finally...

I've heard from quite a few of you regarding yesterday's offering regarding Rep. Patrick Kennedy's (D-R.I.) oddly timed, red-faced rant against what he called the 'despicable' press.

Some of you agree that Kennedy was way over the top, but at least as many are wondering if the congressman didn't have a point.

For now, I'll say I don't think there is any question that he definitely did. I do have a big problem, however, with the way the message was delivered, where it was delivered, and by whom it was delivered.

Given Kennedy's checkered past, I wonder if he is the one to be calling anything or anyone out as being 'despicable' while using the House floor as his pulpit.

But I'll come back to all this in the near future.

Have a good weekend.

(Got a tip, a gripe, or some kudos? Send 'em along.)