In your terrific Tuesday media column: Simon & Schuster stands up for its in-house plagiarist, Jon Capehart pranked on the Twitter, the force behind David Westin's departure, and bad times in newspaper-land.
- Simon & Schuster, the publisher of Gerald Posner's plagiarized book Miami Babylon, has responded to Frank Owen's lawsuit against Posner: "To suggest that this usage amounts to copyright infringement is entirely without merit. As the complaint makes clear the unattributed use of phrases at issue was limited and in the reporting of factual events." Uhh, they were reading a different complaint, perhaps? Because the one we read had page after page of plagiarism examples in a decidedly not "limited" nature.
- Oh hell, WaPo columnist Jonathan Capehart fell for the ol' "It's a fake joke Twitter by a fake politician but the journalist thought it was real and then wrote about how outrageous it was and only made himself (the journalist) look foolish" bit. We still believe that Jonathan Capehart is a kindhearted soul, despite his various "gaffes."
- David Westin is leaving ABC News. What's next for the network's news division? Well, probably nothing good. Westin's recent unhappy legacy includes layoffs and a failure to increase revenue as much as the suits upstairs wanted. It's doubtful that ABC will bring in anyone more friendly to the common journalist to take his place. Peter Lauria and Lloyd Grove say Disney CEO Bob Iger is the driving force behind Westin's departure—and, furthermore, that ABC better show improvement fast or risk getting spun off. We wish them the best!
- The publisher of the NJ Star-Ledger, one of America's most imperiled newspapers, told staffers today that the paper will lose $10 million this year, and that buyouts are coming. Related: newspaper print advertising just had its worst second quarter since 1983.