‘Post’ editors under more fire for front page photo; video of McAfee on the lam

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The Lineup collects the media stories, big and small, that are on our radar each day.

Yesterday, we published comments from four tabloid photographers defending R. Umar Abbasi, the freelancer who snapped the infamous image of a 58-year-old Queens man about to be killed by an incoming Q train.

Now, after coming under fire on Twitter and in the press after his photo ran on the front page of yesterday's New York Post, Abbasi is elaborating on his side of the story.

He tells The New York Times: “Every time I close my eyes, I see the image of death. I don’t care about a photograph.”

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More from the paper's report today:

“I saw the lights in the distance,” signaling a subway’s approach, he said, so he started firing off flashes on the camera — 49 times in all, he said — as a means of warning the driver.

“I was not aiming to take a photograph of the man on the track,” he said, later adding that his arm was fully outstretched, the camera far from his face.

“If I had reached him in time, I would have pulled him up,” he said. At one point, the man said to have shoved Mr. Han came toward Mr. Abbasi, he said, so he backed up against a wall, still flashing his camera. He estimated the victim was on the tracks for 10 or 15 seconds before he was struck.

“The driver said he slowed down because he saw my flashes,” he said.

Abassi appeared on the "Today" show this morning as well. And he wrote a more detailed narrative of the moments leading up to the fatal impact in today's Post.

The tabloid itself, on the other hand, has evaded further reproach for its decision to put Abassi's photo on the cover yesterday. They published an article devoted to the controversy, but it didn't include any statement from the paper's editors defending or explaining the decision.

"The treatment of the photo," writes David Carr, "was driven by a moral and commercial calculus that was sickening to behold."

On Capital...

Tabloid photographers defend colleague who snapped 'Post' subway horror shot

In other news...

Rupert Murdoch's mother has died at age 103. [Sky News]

The New York Times is in fact seeking to trim 60 employees from its payroll. [New York Post]

Karl Rove and Dick Morris have been benched at Fox News. [New York/Daily Intel]

Thomson Reuters turmoil: "Four years after it was completed, the tie-up with Reuters has disappointed investors, and Mr. Thomson, chairman of the combined company, is playing a more assertive role." [The Wall Street Journal]

BuzzFeed plans to get into the business of viral business news eventually. [Ad Age]

A profile of the new "It" lit-mag, The American Reader. [The New York Observer]

New Wired editor Scott Dadich is already hitting the party circuit to promote the magazine. [The New York Observer]

Remember Details editor Dan Peres? [W.W.D.]

Quotes of the day...

Murdoch and Sulzberger, for all their mutual antipathy, are now basically on the same side. Two old-school press barons trying to maintain labor-intensive news factories in an increasingly hostile environment, they share common interests, and, more pointedly, a set of common enemies: online media companies, led by Google; skeptical Wall Street analysts; and fickle readers, especially younger ones, to whom buying a newspaper every day is a quaint notion.

John Cassidy

Roger Ailes, the president of Fox News, makes his own rules. Last night, The Washington Post's Bob Woodward reported that in spring 2011, Ailes tried to enlist then-Gen. David Petraeus to run for president. Yet since news broke, Ailes has received no substantial criticism and the reputation of Fox News remains intact. ... If there is a line of demarcation between the conservative Fox News and the liberal MSNBC, this is it: MSNBC may be hyper-partisan, but -- at least for now -- it is not a political operation.

Dylan Byers

On Twitter...

On TV...

Here's a teaser clip of the John McAfee Vice documentary everyone is waiting for:

From our inbox...

The Committee to Protect Journalists' annual report on the jailing of journalists worldwide is due out next week. The statistics look grim:

The threat of imprisonment has become a reality for a record number of journalists in 2012, the Committee to Protect Journalist found in its annual prison census. The report, to be released on December 11, records and analyzes the imprisonment of journalists globally, underlining the ongoing crackdown against critical reporting.

A breakdown of the charges, regions, mediums and the number of freelance journalists imprisoned will be available. CPJ’s census, first published in 1990, is a snapshot of those incarcerated at midnight on December 1, 2012. It does not include the many journalists imprisoned and released throughout the year.

The latest from Glenn Beck's media empire:

Go Go Luckey Entertainment and Wild West Productions are teaming up with TheBlaze to bring you an exciting new competition reality television series. PURSUIT OF THE TRUTH will bring together twenty selected filmmakers from across the country to prove to a panel of expert judges that their project is worthy of the grand prize – financing and worldwide distribution for their feature documentary film idea.

Applications are currently being accepted from filmmakers of all walks of life to be contestants on the new television series (http://www.pursuitofthetruth.com/). DEADLINE FOR APPLICATION SUBMISSION ENDS JANUARY 31, 2013. A team of experienced producers and executives will be hand selecting twenty of the most compelling contestants to compete on the show. If selected, contestants will be asked to perform a series of tasks during the ten-­--­-week production period for our panel of expert judges. Contestants will be asked to not only prove the validity of their idea for a documentary and but also their filmmaking abilities. They will either survive or be eliminated based on that criteria. For example, contestants might be asked to produce a sizzle reel, procure and execute a key interview, or pitch scenes to our panel of judges.

Joel Cheatwood, President and Chief Content Officer for TheBlaze said: "We are excited to continue to expand our programming with producers like Vince Vaughn, Peter Billingsley and Gary Auerbach. The documentary film, particularly those that seek the truth with no agenda, is an important art form that is struggling to survive in this media environment. We will be looking for stories that simply need to be told."

Semi-media-related:

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Rahul N. Merchant and Chief Digital Officer Rachel Haot today launched the Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge, a competition to rally urban designers, planners, technologists and policy experts to create physical and virtual prototypes that imagine the future of New York City’s public pay telephones. The goal of Reinvent Payphones is to foster innovative, data and design-driven ideas that will help modernize payphone infrastructure across the five boroughs and optimize use of public space once the City’s current payphone contracts expire in 2014. The Mayor announced the challenge through a video message this evening at the New York Tech Meetup.

“From Wi-Fi in public spaces to the High Line, our Administration has continuously reinvented City infrastructure by matching innovative concepts with extraordinary designs,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Now we’re doing the same for the thousands of public pay telephones across the five boroughs, and we’re challenging our dynamic and ever-growing tech community to ‘Re-Own the Phone’ and provide their ideas on what the future of payphones could entail.”

“To thrive in technology, we need to see things as they are and then imagine them as they might best be,” said Commissioner Merchant. “Payphones have been an iconic part of the city’s streetscape for decades, and can be vital lifelines for communication in times of emergency. But to thrive, the payphone of the future needs to offer valuable services at all times, and with various pilot programs already underway, we’re evaluating how some of those amenities are publicly received. Now, with the Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge, we’re asking our tech community for new takes on older technology, and inviting designs about how they might enhance the vitality of our public spaces.”

“New York City is the most innovative city on earth – and constantly reinventing itself,” said Rachel Haot, Chief Digital Officer. “With the Reinvent Payphones Design Challenge, we’re enlisting the thriving technology and academic communities to help shape the future of communications in New York City. This challenge is the first of its kind in the world, and provides a unique opportunity to set the bar for forward-thinking communications infrastructure. Together, we can build a brighter future for our city, and I encourage students, technologists and designers to help Reinvent Payphones in New York.”