Bloomberg TV Is Latest Target of Matthew Winkler's Rage

Ranting, bow-tied Bloomberg News standards enforcer Matthew Winkler: would you be surprised to learn he is remarkably humorless? It is true. And lately, "puerile, obscure and uninformative" Bloomberg TV has been a target of his wrath.

Every week, Winkler sends out an internal email in which he lectures the staff over various matters of style. A tipster tells us that Winkler has mostly left Bloomberg TV alone for the past couple of years, but no more; consider the following recent excerpts from his strident emails. How dare you call someone "Kan the Man?"

June 11

2. FACTS NOT LABELS

Readers, listeners and viewers rely on Bloomberg News to
give them facts, not glib labels, cliches or gossip.

A Bloomberg Television graphic labeled "Kan The Man" in
reference to Naoto Kan's bid to become Japan's prime minister
was puerile, obscure and uninformative.

May 28

1. ALIGNMENT & CONSISTENCY

Coordination, communication and consistency among our media
platforms are essential.

When Bloomberg Television produced "Million-Dollar Home
Market Rebounds in U.S. Northeast," there wasn't a corresponding
Bloomberg News story. That's because the real estate team wasn't
informed.

The BTV report said, "These bidding wars are between some
buyers who are upsizing to million-dollar homes, others that are
downsizing from mansions in the $8 million to $10 million
range." There was no attribution, data or evidence to support
this assertion.

The single source for the BTV production was a real estate
broker, who said there is a bidding "frenzy" between his
clients. The comment was self-serving, making its authority
questionable. The BTV production conflicted with a March 1
Bloomberg News story, "Greenwich ‘Move-Up' Homes Idle as NYC
Buyers Stay Put."

Bloomberg.com, without consulting real estate team editors,
rewrote Bloomberg News headline "Toll Brothers Chief Robert Toll
Replaced by Yearley" as "Homebuilder Toll Brothers Ousts CEO
After 10 Quarterly Losses." The company understandably and
correctly complained that "Ousts" is inaccurate.

Bloomberg News stories about Kenneth Feinberg, the U.S.
Treasury Department's special master on executive compensation,
linked to an incomplete and old biography because no one
involved in the reporting or editing ensured that his profile
was complete.

A TV graphic, "Senate Dems Take a Mulligan," was
inappropriate because Dems is slang and the sports metaphor is
obscure.

May 14

4. CONSISTENT ATTRIBUTION

Bloomberg News is credible to the extent it's precise and
transparent. The attribution "has learned" is imprecise and
opaque.

What we said on television:

Dubai World will not pay interest on its outstanding loans
starting next month. Bloomberg HAS LEARNED the state-owned
holding company is waiting for lenders to agree to the $14
million restructuring proposal.

What we wrote in the story:

Dubai World won't pay interest on outstanding loans
starting this month as the state-owned holding company waits for lenders to agree to the $14.2 billion debt restructuring
proposal, two bankers familiar with the plan said.

What we said on television:

Bloomberg News HAS LEARNED that U.S. antitrust enforcers
might investigate Apple regarding Adobe's complaints.

What we wrote in the story:

Adobe has complained about Apple to U.S. antitrust
authorities and they may investigate the company's actions,
people familiar with the matter said this month.