Day: September 6, 2009

NYTimes as Borg? Assimilating my SNL story; resistance futile?

As a former newspaper reporter, I have had more than a passing curiosity with how those in the mainstream media have chased my scoops this past week on the hirings and firings at Saturday Night Live. Most new media organizations and online components of print newspapers and magazines have been kind enough to credit me. But not all of them. A couple of journalists felt compelled to pretend they got the news out of thin air. With a little help from some friends of mine in the media, we tweaked them and got them to at least give me a link. And then there's The New York Times. "All the news that's fit to print." Right? I don't want to place all of the blame on the reporter here, but, um…here's how they followed my lead this weekend. (Note: I do this not only because I feel slighted personally and professionally, but also because this is just weird, in the kind of way that made me think about Star Trek's race of Borg. And I'm not even a Trek fan. Is resistance futile?) FRIDAY: At 11:22 a.m., the Times reports on SNL's new hires, citing a press release by the UCB that "revealed" it, and oh, by the way, in parentheses, acknowledging that this also had been reported by me. Three days earlier. At 11:59 a.m., I report that...

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Dave McDonough wins 2009 Boston Comedy Festival contest

Boston's annual comedy festival competition, much like its comedy scene, is an odd mix of college-aged joketellers, strong writers, aspiring upstarts and wily veterans who for some reason have flown under the national radar. In 2008, Dwight Slade (a teen comedy peer of the late Bill Hicks) entered and won the contest. This year, 30-year-old Marshfield native Dave McDonough took the trophy (is there a trophy? methinks not, but there is $5,000) with a set of dark but strong, clever jokes. His win made many local comedians happy, not just for him, but what it meant for the scene to have one of its own beat out 95 other contestants for the top prize. Which, to me, made this a clear echo of Dan Boulger's victory here in 2006. In fact, the top three places in this year's Boston Comedy Festival contest went to locals. Kelly MacFarland took home the $2,500 runner-up prize, while Lamont Price finished third, receiving $1,000. Ryan Hamilton led the remaining finalists — Paul Myrehaug, Danny Bevins, Auggie Smith and Mehran — who split the remaining prize money. McDonough told me afterward that he doesn't get onstage as often as he could or should, as the Braintree resident still works as a roofer. When he does perform, he tends to work rooms in the South Shore, and he did win a South Shore comedy contest...

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