December 7, 2016 Last Updated 9:42 am

Press hesitant to weigh in on senior editor who swapped the NYT for The Huffington Post

Morning Brief: Apple loses big at the Supreme Court, but court watchers find that the court has not given much guidance to the lower court concerning defining the legal standard

The Huffington Post is often one of the new media properties looked to by legacy media companies as an example of success with media media. Founded in 2005 by Arianna Huffington was a news aggregation site, it is rarely mentioned these days that the reason for its early success had more to do with its celebrity editorial contributions, and its ability to get others to write for it for free, than for its journalism. But over the years it build a staff and by 2012 it was ranked as the most popular political website by at least one measurement service.

polgreen-ldBut despite its success, and eventual sale to AOL, few media professionals would consider swapping a slot at The New York Times or The Washington Post for a leadership role at the HuffPost, unless they had been one of those who had accepted a buyout.

That changed yesterday when Lydia Polgreen, labeled by many as a rising star at the NYT, was named editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post.

“I feel like we’re living in a moment right now where media has to fundamentally rethink its position vis-a-vis power,” Polgreen was quoted in the HuffPost’s announcement of the hiring.. “I think that the election of Donald Trump and the basic difficulty that the media had in anticipating it tells us something really profound about the echo chamber in which we live, the ways in which journalism has failed to reach beyond its own inner limits.”

“The DNA of The Huffington Post is fundamentally progressive, but I think that has a really capacious meaning and comes to include so many of the things that motivated not just the people who were rah rah Bernie or who voted for Hillary Clinton, but also many, many people in the United States who voted for Trump, who have fundamental concerns about the way the country is moving and the future,” Polgreen said.

But what was unsaid? A lot. Lookimg through the coverage this morning one senses a desire by many media reporters to hold fire, as if they cannot imagine a good reason for such a move. But I certainly can.

For one thing, as has been pointed out by others, the NYT is in transition to a new generation of leadership. But at the NYT that means a new generation of Sulzbergers, not a new generation of journalists. The newspaper business is insular, even when not family owned. Anyone coming from the outside is looked at with suspicion. I know this personally as my newspaper career ended the day I joined McGraw-Hill and launched a magazine.

The NYT (and WaPo) has always been able to attract incredible talent, and I suspect it always will. But what happens to that talent after a period of time remains an issue that holds back the paper.

One should recall that in 2013 the NYT lost Nate Silver who was described by then public editor Margaret Sullivan as going “against the grain.”

“I don’t think Nate Silver ever really fit into the Times culture and I think he was aware of that. He was, in a word, disruptive. Much like the Brad Pitt character in the movie “Moneyball” disrupted the old model of how to scout baseball players, Nate disrupted the traditional model of how to cover politics,” Sullivan wrote in 2013>.

The New York Times, Sydney Ember:

Huffington Post Hires Senior New York Times Editor

Her departure comes as The Times is shifting to its next generation of leadership. In September, it elevated Joseph Kahn to the position of managing editor, positioning him as a leading candidate to succeed Dean Baquet, the executive editor. Ms. Polgreen was widely considered to be on a path to further advancement at The Times as it moved to a future built around digital and international initiatives.

“Lydia Polgreen is a highly creative journalist,” Mr. Baquet said. “She will do great things, and I have to admit to a certain pride that The Huffington Post saw the value of hiring one of The Times’s great young stars.”

Politico, Joe Pompeo:

HuffPost makes a splash with new EIC

This isn’t the first time HuffPost has added a marquee capital-J journalist to its masthead, let alone one from The New York Times. When Huffington brought on top Times talent like Peter Goodman and Tim O’Brien to lead the newsroom six years ago, as well as a small army of other high-profile reporters and editors, the honeymoon period lasted for awhile before most of them headed for the exits amid clashes over the site’s direction. Of course this time around, Polgreen won’t be operating in Huffington’s shadow, so there’s that to consider. In any case, it’s going to be super interesting to see what she does with the place. Others who were rumored to be on the radar of HuffPost management included fellow Times vet Jim Roberts; Yahoo News editor in chief Megan Liberman; and Washington Post digital hotshot turned Mic chief strategy officer Cory Haik.

The New York Times will continue to produce brilliant journalism, as evidenced by this story posted today. Both the text and photography are by Daniel Berehulak, who is an independent Australian photojournalist.

The New York Times, Daniel Berehulak:

‘They Are Slaughtering Us Like Animals’

I witnessed bloody scenes just about everywhere imaginable — on the sidewalk, on train tracks, in front of a girls’ school, outside 7-Eleven stores and a McDonald’s restaurant, across bedroom mattresses and living-room sofas. I watched as a woman in red peeked at one of those grisly sites through fingers held over her eyes, at once trying to protect herself and permit herself one last glance at a man killed in the middle of a busy road…

…I have worked in 60 countries, covered wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and spent much of 2014 living inside West Africa’s Ebola zone, a place gripped by fear and death. What I experienced in the Philippines felt like a new level of ruthlessness: police officers’ summarily shooting anyone suspected of dealing or even using drugs, vigilantes’ taking seriously Mr. Duterte’s call to “slaughter them all.”

He said in October, “You can expect 20,000 or 30,000 more.”

Apple lost their case with Samsung yesterday in the Supreme Court. In the unanimous decision, the court rejected the previous decision that Samsung should pay damages of $399 million for infringement of three design patents.

I am sure it was a coincidence, but at the same time of the ruling, my iPhone died. It just up and died. What I discovered throughout the rest of the day was just how bad Apple’s customer service has deteriorated – and, apparently, its quality control.

SCOTUSblog, Ronald Mann:

Justices tread narrow path in rejecting $400 million award for Samsung’s infringement of Apple’s cellphone design patents

phones-samapp-smThe court said just about as little as possible in its opinion today in Samsung Electronics Co. v. Apple Inc., in which it rejected the $400 million verdict Apple had won based on allegations that Samsung’s cellphones infringed design patents covering the original iPhones. In essence, the court reversed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision to uphold a jury verdict and sent the case back to let the Federal Circuit define the appropriate legal standard…

…The opinion rests directly (and almost exclusively) on the idea that, according to its dictionary definition, an “article of manufacture” is any “thing made by hand or machine.” To the court, it follows directly from that definition that an article of manufacture could be either an entire “product sold to a consumer” or, at least in some cases, “a component of that product.” As Sotomayor explains, “[t]hat a component may be integrated into a large product . . . does not put it outside of the category of articles of manufacture.”

That narrow holding, though, is all the court gives us. The opinion tells us nothing at all about the correct answer to this case, because it offers no guidance on how one might go about distinguishing the “article of manufacture” of relevance from the actual cellphones at issue. It’s not just that the opinion doesn’t specify the relevant article of manufacture (the case? the screen? both?) – the opinion doesn’t even instruct the Federal Circuit definitively to reject the entire cellphone as the article of manufacture.

PCWorld, John Ribeiro:

US Supreme Court leaves gap in Samsung-Apple patent ruling

The Supreme Court’s decision is a victory for the company “and for all those who promote creativity, innovation and fair competition in the marketplace,” Samsung said in a statement Tuesday. A number of tech companies, trade groups and legal experts have supported Samsung on this issue, as they hold that an adverse outcome could have implications on innovation.

“The lower court’s interpretation of design patents, which allowed someone to sue based on an ornamental feature and reap the entire profits of someone else’s product, would have had a chilling effect on investment and the development of products – especially in the tech sector,” said Ed Black, president and CEO of technology industry group Computer & Communications Industry Association, in a statement.

So, TIME Magazine has selected Donald Trump as ‘Person of the Year’ – it’s a logical choice for a magazine that has before named Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin their “Man of the Year” (for 1938 and 1939). In January of 1939, TIME wrote that “Hitler became in 1938 the greatest threatening force that the democratic, freedom-loving world faces today” – in 2016, TIME proved unwilling to be quite as insightful. Instead, the magazine blamed the current, popular president for failing to fulfill all his promises, and Hillary Clinton for… well, losing.

I’m not saying, by the way, that there is a comparison between those other two guys, and the current one (when I hit “post” I forgot to mention that) – just that not every “Person of the Year” is some sort of hero. Trump is the logical choice, and any other would have been looked at with suspicion. Trump is the “Person” simply by winning the nomination, let alone the election.

But there were other choices, such as the far-right (or fake) media, or James Comey. But Trump’s the one the magazine should have chosen, and they did. But I just don’t like the idea that the magazine had to go out of his way to “blame” his win on everyone other than TIME Magazine and the others in the press who believed a private email server was the biggest story during the campaign, or that failed to demand that the campaign be about issues, rather that name calling. Not a single question was asked during the debates about climate change, and few in the media seemed to give a damn.

TIME Magazine, Michael Scherer:

2016 Person of the Year: Donald Trump

time-djt-cover-final-1By seeking to condemn the dark side of politics, Clinton’s campaign may have accidently validated it. By believing in the myth that Obama’s election represented a permanent shift for the nation, they proved it was ephemeral. In the end, Trump reveled in these denunciations, which helped him market to his core supporters his determination to smash the existing elite. After the election, Trump’s campaign CEO Stephen Bannon—the former head of a website known for stirring racial animus and provoking liberal outrage—explained it simply. “Darkness is good,” he told the Hollywood Reporter…

…The truth is no one really knows what is going to happen, up to and including the occupants of Trump Tower. “It’s a very exciting time. It’s really been an amazing time,” Trump says, as the country still tries to come to terms with what he accomplished. “Hopefully we can take some of the drama out.”

…It’s an America with rising stock markets despite the tremors of a trade war. A country where a few jobs saved makes up, in the moment, for the thousands still departing. This is a land where a man will stand up in a plane headed to Allentown, Pa., to demand allegiance to the new leader—”We got some Hillary bitches on here? Come on man, Trump! He’s your President, every goddamn one of you!”—and then get banned by the airline from ever traveling again. It’s where a hijab-wearing college student in New York reports being attacked and jeered at in the next President’s name, where American-born children ask their citizen parents if Trump will deport them, where white supremacists throw out Nazi salutes in Washington meeting halls for their President-elect.

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