The Greg Kelly aftermath at the ‘New York Post’; plus, ‘F.T.’ quashes sale rumor; Fox Business scraps its primetime lineup; Murdoch out of heir; and, yes, another Zanesville Zoo massacre piece

Andrea Peyser. ()
Tweet Share on Facebook Share on Tumblr Print

Fox 5 anchor Greg Kelly, who returned to the air today following a two-week hiatus, is no longer under investigation for rape.

The New York Post, meanwhile, has come under fire for its aggressive coverage of Kelly's accuser.

During the probe of the top cop's son, both the Post and Daily News reflected the skepticism of their anonymous law enforcement sources; while there was little question the accuser was telling the truth about the details of the evening, text messages and emails provided to investigators and a security video at the downtown law office where their encounter took place made investigators start to believe that the woman's claims did not amount to a criminal charge.

But the rival tabloids' coverage diverged after the D.A. announced on Tuesday that it would not charge Kelly. The Daily News adhered to its standard practice of not identifying the accuser in cases of sexual assault until they identified themselves in the press; the Post took the news that Kelly was cleared by investigators as license to go ahead and name the accuser.

MORE ON CAPITAL

ADVERTISEMENT

That, in fact, is not precisely why the furor rose up, though; the eccentric photo of her on its front page yesterday and the headline "SHADY LADY," the use of the term "'rape' beauty" to describe her, and columnist Andrea Peyser's labeling of the accuser as the woman who "cried wolf" (she argued that the woman should be prosecuted), was the thing that really had social networks trembling with rage.

"Every once in awhile, a newspaper front page comes along that makes you want to punch the nearest inanimate object until you break the small bones in your hand," wrote Jezebel's Erin Gloria Ryan in response to the Post treatment. "Well, get out the gauze and your insurance card, ladies."

The anger was also evident on a new Facebook page called "Shame on the New York Post," which declares: "This is victim blaming and we stand opposed." (There were about 320 "likes" as of this morning.)

Gawker's Hamilton Nolan offers an alternate take: "The Post clearly took Kelly's side from the jump. Anyone with a passing familiarity with How These Things Work knows that the paper could have just as easily cast Kelly as a shady villain throughout the entire process, had they wished to. They're certainly not above that sort of thing. They just chose to do the opposite."

In fact, Peyser herself did it last spring, in a column titled "It's open season for predators in uniform," where she lambasted a jury for acquitting two New York City police officers charged with raping a drunk woman they had helped out of a cab and into her apartment.

(The Post and Kelly's employer, Nolan notes, are both owned by News Corp., though he also floats misogyny and Ray Kelly favor-mongering as two possible explanations for the paper's tone; few believe News Corp. brass descends to this level of editorial muddling either on local television morning shows or in its money-losing New York tabloid, which is barely noticed by them.)

Today's Post went to press hours before Kelly publicly acknowledged the scandal at the top of "Good Day's" 7 a.m. hour this morning. (Macaulay Culkin and Yankees general manager Brian Cashman occupy all the real estate on today's front.) But the "Post staff report" about Kelly's return was leading the homepage just minutes after he said, "It was a tough couple of weeks, obviously, for a lot of people, and I'm very very grateful for all the support I had here at Fox 5, the support from my family, friends, those I care about, and the viewers of course."

In other news...

A New York Times photographer has won World Press Photo of the Year. [Lens]

Michael Wolff on "The end of James Murdoch." [GQ]

The Financial Times has denied a report by Michael Wolff that the paper is considering a sale to Reuters. [journalism.co.uk]

Meanwhile, the F.T. now has a daily global audience of 2.2 million: "Increasingly, FT readers are comfortably moving between platforms to access our content," global research director Anita Hague said in a statement. [via press release]

Did Daily News editor Colin Myler authorize a private investigator to trail lawyers representing phone-hacking victims when he was at News of the World? [Daily Intel]

In other U.K. newspaper news, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has taken a voluntary pay cut and pension contribution reduction to help save costs. [The Guardian]

A new twist in the tale of GQ and Esquire's dueling pieces about the Zanesville zoo massacre: There's now a third Zanesville feature in circulation, this one in Cincinatti magazine's March issue. [Cincinatti]

Giants wide receive Victor Cruz is reportedly closing in on a book deal. [New York Post]

Fox Business Network abruptly scrapped its entire primetime lineup. [Huffington Post]

CNBC has hired a VH-1 executive to develop new reality shows. [Media Decoder]

"Where does Arianna fit into AOL's new Patch plans?" [paidContent]

Also: Patch vs. Jim Romenesko! [Romenesko]

Another day, another new hire at BuzzFeed. [Dylan Byers]

Vice magazine does Fashion Week for dogs in a nod to its just-release fashion issue. [WWD]

Thought Catalog gets the Forbes treatment. [New York Observer]