Funeral Today for Journalist Bob McCord

The funeral for journalist Robert McCord is set for today. Arkansas Business has details here, which includes an account of McCord’s work to establish the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act, which, despite the state Legislature’s best efforts, remains among the strongest in the country.

Above is how I first met McCord, on Little Rock CBS affiliate KTHV-TV, Channel 11, where, for a time, he wrote and delivered commentaries. I’d meet in person years later, after graduating high school, going to college and attending SPJ events. He was always an exceptionally nice and thoughtful person, and to say he’ll be missed is understatement.

The Onion Does It Again

The Onion, yesterday. A fake column by New York Post Editor Col Allan:

And yet, there are still people—literally millions of them—who actually have to ask why we didn’t simply slow down and wait until the whole story came in so that we could run an accurate, fact-checked article that didn’t exaggerate the number of dead by 9 or 10 people. To that, I say: How could you even think about accurately reporting a tragedy at a time like this? When those pipe bombs or whatever they were—I believe they were pipe bombs—went off, we weren’t wasting time making routine inquiries with law enforcement officials, or relying on the reporting of those actually on the ground, or maintaining even a tenuous grasp on the journalistic conventions of truth and integrity. We were doing what needed to be done: dashing off haphazard, poorly sourced yellow journalism that included an entirely speculative report on a Saudi national who we strongly suggested was behind the attack without a modicum of supportive evidence.

And yes, Col Allan really is the editor of the Post.


The Vanishing Bomb Suspect: How the New York Post Scooped Reality [Gawker]

Erik Wemple on the Post, “12 dead” and more [Washington Post]

Talking with John Boozman, Mark Pryor on Health Care Reform, the Economy & More

Arkansas Business with John Boozman

Me, sitting down with U.S. Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark.

Over at the day job, we’re rolling out a series of interviews with Arkansas’ U.S. Senators, John Boozman and Mark Pryor, on issues ranging including health care reform, the economy and pure politics.

The latest clips in the series — ones dealing with health care — rolled out today, in conjunction with Arkansas Business’ Health Care Reform Symposium. You can watch them here, here and here.

We’re continuing to roll out the rest of the interviews in the coming days.

Arkansas Week: The RNC, Mitt Romney And, Yes, Clint Eastwood

Watch Arkansas Week August 31, 2012 on PBS. See more from Arkansas Week.

Last Friday’s edition of AETN’s “Arkansas Week” is available to stream now, if you’d like to relive Nathan Vandiver, Hoyt Purvis, Steve Barnes and me puzzling over Clint Eastwood’s RNC floor show.

Also: Rick Crawford stays home, UAMS and St. Vincent consider a partnership and early talks of a $40 million per year tax cut for manufacturers.

Here’s Me, Guest-Hosting ‘Arkansas Week’

On Arkansas Week

Ok. So this is weird.

I can’t thank Steve Barnes and the “Arkansas Week” crew enough for asking me to guest-host this week’s show, which you can catch at 8 p.m. tonight on your local AETN station. (If you just can’t wait, you can watch it now right here.)

On this week’s episode, we talk about the remaining ballot proposals Arkansans could face in November, the all-important Farm Bill working its way through Congress, Mike Ross’ health care repeal vote, and the latest developments in our 1st and 4th district congressional races. Rick Fahr, Ernie Dumas and Hoyt Purvis weigh in.

That half-hour really flies by! And don’t worry; Steve’s back next week.

Video: Three Things to Watch About Murphy Oil Corp.

Above, my Monday hit on Today’s THV at 6, talking about Luke Jones’ Arkansas Business cover story this week on Murphy Oil Corp. of El Dorado.

The oil company, whose CEO David Wood resigned last month, is in the middle of trying to sell it’s last remaining refinery and focusing more heavily on its retail business — namely, the Murphy USA gas stations you see at Wal-Mart Supercenters. Before his abrupt departure last month, Wood hinted that Murphy might spin off that operation to make it more attractive to shareholders. We’re not sure what the status of that plan is now that Wood is gone, but as Jones points out in his story, Murphy continues to make investments in that retail operation.

Arkansas Week: The Lottery, the Economy, Obama and the State Supreme Court

Arkansas Week on AETN


I’m back on AETN’s “Arkansas Week” at 8 p.m. tonight. But you can watch the full episode right now right here.

On the agenda: that surprising state Supreme Court ruling on high school teachers and sex with students, more intrigue at the Arkansas Scholarship Lottery, the futility of establishing an Obama campaign headquarters in Arkansas, and host Steve Barnes’ touching tribute to AETN advocate Jane Krutz, who died this week.