Gerald Posner at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas November 7, 2013

Gerald Posner at the Mob Museum in Las Vegas November 7, 2013
Gabe Ginsberg

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The official blog for journalist and attorney Gerald Posner

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

"The Francis Effect" - A popular Pope equals big biz for some publishers and broadcasters

From the Wall Street Journal:  VATICAN CITY—Francis mania is lifting up the religious media.
As Pope Francis marks the anniversary of his election on Thursday, his popularity is generating a boom for a media niche that rarely gathers much notice.
"We are just working night and day to satisfy demand," said Msgr. Dario ViganĂ², head of the Vatican's broadcaster, Vatican Television Center, or CTV, which shadows the pope and supplies papal newscasts and images for both Catholic and lay broadcasters.
Revenue at CTV leapt 40% in 2013, as broadcasters as far afield as Tanzania now want the recordings of the pope's weekly audiences. The windfall has allowed CTV to splash out on more modern cameras and a new €1.8 million ($2.45 million) control room.
Read the rest here

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

National Enquirer says 'SORRY' for 100% fake story about 'gay lover' of Philip Seymour Hoffman

No wonder the general public has such low regard for the fourth estate. It's in large part because they confuse what rags like the National Enquirer do with real journalism. 

For those of you who might have missed this, the National Enquirer published a front page story three days after actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died of a drug overdose. Its banner headline screamed that Hoffman's secret gay lover was a NY playwright, David Bar Katz, and that the two of them had freebased cocaine the night before the actor's death.

Turns out the story was 100% fake. The eldest of Katz's three sons had alerted his father to the article. Katz was quoted widely in the story although he never had even spoken to anyone from the paper. Once it was published, of course, it went viral.

The National Enquirer settled as soon as Katz hired a lawyer. Katz did not want any money, but instead had the tabloid agree to putting $45,000 annually toward a prize for an unproduced play. And the rag had to run this full-page ad in today's NYT. It got off light in my view.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Gerald Posner: 6% of all Bitcoin in circulation missing after unreported theft - gives a new meaning to unstable

A leaked document obtained by a blogger shows that about 6% of all the Bitcoin in circulation (nearly $400 million) has gone missing from an exchange that allowed users to buy and sell.

Every time I begin thinking that this wildly fluctuating currency might morph from outlaw to mainstream, a story like this screams 'not yet.'

Read here