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DOUBLE, DOUBLE, TOIL AND TROUBLE:   FEEL FREE TO TELL US MORE ABOUT LADY MACBETH

Today’s NYT Style section has a strange profile of Ben Sherwood that addresses more of what people think of him than how he’s going to move ABC News into the future.  In the profile, the new president of the news division is said to sit in his office,  “at times absently rubbing his hands together as if washing them with soap and water.”

Cue the thunder and lightning, because buried amongst his chosen defenders, the NYT reporter has stumbled on a Shakespearean clue of the tragedy of blind ambition at ABC News.

Ben Sherwood, more than most, has tried his best to write, control and sell his own life narrative to others.  So far, he’s been very successful, convincing key consumers, most recently Anne Sweeney,  of his greatness and perceived destiny.   That’s all fine with me, except when Ben Sherwood’s narrative — the story of “his path,” — infringes upon the true and provable facts of my own.

To draw once more from the wisdom within the pages of  Shakespeare’s Macbeth invoked by the NYT reporter:  “What need we fear who knows (the truth) when none can call our power to account?”

With that inspiration, I shall begin the challenge of setting my own record straight.
First, here is the  full NYT story: Read the rest of this entry »

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I Think the Sherwood Video is Wickedly Funny, but  “Alan Smithee” Will Have to Get the Credit

note from your friendly blogarist: “Anonymousity” will be a continuing discussion in our  daily Xpress,  the blog with the slug line “we put our name to it.”

The inaugural address parody of Ben Sherwood is now viral, at least throughout the news business.  And it is more than a stunning welcome for the new president of ABC News.

As vividly as I can recall “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” and “Where were you when the space shuttle blew up,”  I suspect I will always be able to answer “Where were you when you first saw the Sherwood video?”

While I think it is wickedly funny, I also think it’s a scathing, and harmful indictment of Anne Sweeney and her decision who will lead ABC News out of the mess in which they are now mired.  And I think that’s too bad.  I, for one, would like to see ABC News, where I spent 17 years of my career, restored to its glory days and financial stability.

ABC NEWS  FORECAST: BLAMESTORM WINDS GATHERING

Years ago, when Betsy West left ABC News to be a vice president at CBS, I sent her a going away card that  read, “We don’t blame you for leaving…” continuing on the inside, “but after you’re gone, we’ll blame you for everything else.”

It’s particularly funny to anyone who knows the standard operating procedures of network news. I should have bought a stack of cards to send “notes to self” over the past five years.

Sadly, over the years, ABC News has been reduced to a toxic soup of pathologic gossip, witch hunts and abuse of power by management.  Someone took the humanity out of human resources and turned it into a weapon of mass destruction. Read the rest of this entry »