Does it Matter That the Tribune Co. Is Run By Frat Dicks?

New York Times media-beat writer David Carr has a front-page takedown today of the old-boy managers that Sam Zell brought in to run the media giant Tribune Co., where they apparently carried on like Sterling Cooper executives without the charm, Mid-Century Modern, and managerial ju-jitsu. Here's a representative sample:

One of their first priorities was rewriting the employee handbook.

"Working at Tribune means accepting that you might hear a word that you, personally, might not use," the new handbook warned. "You might experience an attitude you don't share. You might hear a joke that you don't consider funny. That is because a loose, fun, nonlinear atmosphere is important to the creative process." It then added, "This should be understood, should not be a surprise and not considered harassment."

The new permissive ethos was quickly on display. When Kim Johnson, who had worked with [Randy] Michaels as an executive at Clear Channel, was hired as senior vice president of local sales on June 16, 2008, the news release said she was "a former waitress at Knockers — the Place for Hot Racks and Cold Brews," a jocular reference to a fictitious restaurant chain.

A woman who used to work at the Tribune Company in a senior position, but did not want to be identified because she now worked at another media company in Chicago, said that Mr. Michaels and Marc Chase, who was brought in to run Tribune Interactive, had a loud conversation on an open balcony above a work area about the sexual suitability of various employees. [...]

The Chicago Tribune's circulation continues to slide, with weekday circulation down 9.8 percent in the first half of 2010. The Los Angeles Times is in worse shape, having lost 14.7 percent of its weekday circulation in the period. (Over all, the industry lost 8.7 percent weekly circulation in the period.) [...]

Despite the company's problems, the managers have been rewarded handsomely.

There are more lurid tales on all of the above topics throughout. The Tribune's typically ham-handed response is here.

My biases here are all-encompassing–I used to work at the L.A. Times (though not technically under Zell), I root actively for managerial behavior that makes the newsroom there uncomfortable, and have a distressing tendency to give the benefit of the doubt to crazy rich people who take a flyer on the newspaper biz. And I'm friendly with Senor Carr.

That said, although some of the antics described might even raise an eyebrow hair at the not-ready-for-sensitive-ears Reason office, and although maybe 99% of journalists who have worked under Zell are today saying "SEE??," there are IMO three hugely undercovered media stories as regards the Zell-era Times. They are:

1) Despite the persistent fever dreams of Nikki Finke and the newsroom, who yearned for a benevolent local billionaire hero to deliver them from evil, Sam Zell was literally the only person willing to make a bet on a beleaguered newspaper company. People love to mock how little skin he had in the game–infamously, just $315 million of an $8.2 billion purchase–but that in itself is a telling indicator of just how unattractive these properties are. Zell's failure (and the immediate cultural hostility with which he was greeted) limits the ownership options for companies that don't have very many left.

2) There isn't a single management team that Spring Street hasn't despised since the (over-)sainted Otis Chandler exited the scene three decades ago. If I had a dollar for every word written in the Columbia Journalism Review about the malodorous new publisher of the L.A. Times, well, I probably wouldn't be writing blog posts on Wednesday nights!

3) And the most undercovered L.A. Times media story of all? The paper, as Brian Doherty, Katherine Mangu-Ward, and even a reluctant Tim Cavanaugh have all recently noted here, has been bringing it of late, plunging into real and impactful tough-nosed coverage of local power structures, while taking the whole "website that publishes a newspaper" thing seriously enough that both traffic and quality have grown through the roof.

Did that happen in spite of Zell? Because of him, at least in part? Now that would be a media story that would interest me beyond the rubbernecking pleasure of hearing about frat-boy antics by managers who never bothered learning the native dialect. Entrenched newsroom cultures are, because of the Success Curse and other problems, almost impossible things to displace or significantly change. If the L.A. Times has changed a key part of its culture–and I do mean if; I have no inside info, and I no longer read it every day–then that has more long-term significance to the news industry than some buffoon making titty jokes and signing lavish executive bonuses at yet another sinking media ship.

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  • hmm||

    I've wondered how Zell's Tribune and Local TV managed to get FCC waivers to merge two separately owned TV stations under one roof. Not that I approve of the regulation, but I think Tribune and Local TV are the only companies to have accomplished this feat.

  • hmm||

    I know Local TV is full of former Tribune senior officers.

  • EJM||

    I think that they're actually LMAs--which might still be allowed. In fact, in Denver, I think they could make it into an actual duopoly, especially if they spun off KFCT (the Ft. Collins satellite station of KDVR). (St. Louis, I think, has too few stations to allow for any duopolies under the current rules.) That said, if anything, Sinclair is still the poster child for questionable station duopolies.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    One of their first priorities was rewriting the employee handbook.

    Some of my best outside-the-box thinking took place while chasing my secretary around the desk.

  • hmm||

    Not when you caught her?

  • Brett L||

    Hopefully that was inside the box thinking.

  • ||

    U huh huh huh. Dude, that is brilliant. INSIDE her box, right? Like fucking her? You rock the innuendo, man.

  • Fin Fang Foom||

    Did you just use "impactful?" That's not okay, Matt.

  • Matt Welch||

    Agreed.

  • Bill Clinton||

    Some of my best in-depth thinking took place after chasing my intern around the desk.

  • hmm||

    Not while she was under the desk?

  • Bill Clinton||

    I couldn't fit my fat ass under that desk, so I had to smoke her out with a cigar.

  • shrike||

    Fuck Sam Zell - he deserves to lose money on the LA Times but I symp with his disdain for HR and handbooks.

    We used to call HR "watermelon carriers" because the only time they were visible was at company picnics.

    And did I mention on this post my fealty to Fat Rush Limbaugh (King of the Rednecks) praise be unto him....

  • cynical||

    If you're going to mock religion idioms, at least learn what the idiom is.

  • ||

    We used to call HR "watermelon carriers" because the only time they were visible was at company picnics we are racists.

  • Jeff P||

    Worked at a Trib affiliate for 9 years. My favorite stories about after I left were
    http://ctwatchdog.com/2010/09/.....-complaint
    and
    http://thelaurelct.com/2009/04.....-graziano/

    I can say that neither of these would have been tolerated before Zell.

  • ||

    Who would have thought that Fox61 employees would get up to so many shenanigans. I might have actually watched their newscast had I known, just for the lulz.

  • hmm||

    My wife hated working for Tribune.

  • Jeff P||

    I should also point out that the older members of McCormick family, majority shareholders for years, voted down the company's expansion into the new fangled internet for over a decade because it would never be a legitimate source of news.

  • ||

    "The paper [...] has been bringing it of late, plunging into real and impactful tough-nosed coverage of local power structures, while taking the whole "website that publishes a newspaper" thing seriously enough that both traffic and quality have grown through the roof."

    I think it's true, generally, that people who are accustomed to being judged quantitatively tend to scoff at qualitative criteria--like whether someone belittled a woman in the office.

    Usually, we can make the arguments that industries that have to compete for workers will fare poorly if they can't compete--if great female writers aren't hanging around because of the way they're treated, for instance...

    But that obviously won't be the case in the newspaper business so long as the industry is shrinking. ...and a new crop of would be journalists graduates every year.

    When newspapers were strong, it was mostly due to market barriers like distribution efficiencies; they were like monopolies in places like Los Angeles. The lack of competition makes managers lazy, but it tends to make workers lazy too...

    I used to work in an office where the accounting clerk and the receptionist seemed to think operations should be changed so as to make their work as easy as possible--it seemed to me that they were there to make everybody else's job easier, and I guess that's the way I see stuff like this too.

    Everybody makes decisions about where they work and why, and if the guy that owns the business won't change the people who are managing it, and the employees can't stand their style--for good or bad reasons?

    Then they should go get a job somewhere else. There are lots of things you can do for money, and some of them don't have anything to with journalism. Anybody who thinks they're entitled to a job as a journalist, who thinks they have a right to a boss that doesn't act like a jackass too? Thinks they're entitled to more than they are.

    P.S. The best thing about working for yourself is that you get to pick the people you work with--that's by far the best thing about working for yourself.

  • ||

    Media contemplating media: the omphaloskepsis of our time.

    Someone should get supa-meta and analyze Matt's analyzation of Mr. Carr's analyzation of...shit, I got lost there for a second.

    At least shrike is back. Can you give me a "CHRISTFAG" for old times sake, shrike?

    For a magazine called "Reason"...

  • ||

    Christfag Bushpig?

  • ||

    Ahh, simpler times.

  • ¢||

    "Nonlinear" = flaccid. So it's all cool.

    B) Like apparently everyone here, I used to work at a famous news thingy everybody knows, and the atmosphere there was as collegiate as the one in this shocking exposé of shockingness. But it was the uptight-white-girl Puritan Studies RAPE RAPE RAPE speech-code part of "collegiate," like the voice of the Times story, not the potentially bearable part, with beer and farts and smiling.

    There was constant heavy turnover among the penised. Hostile, y'know?

  • ||

    inside the m dashes. nice...

  • ||

    Jezebel was all OMG TEH MISOGYNY and it was good.

  • ||

    Those bitches.

  • Grizzle||

    One of their first priorities was rewriting the employee handbook.

    They could have opted not to have an employee handbook at all. For any other business that is loosing money, that option would have been obvious.

  • Tim Cavanaugh||

    I have worked with all the villains in this story, and here's what I posted on the "Face Book" -- a "social network" mentioned in a Hollywood movie -- this morning:

    1) I never saw the vicious behavior attributed here to Zell, Michaels and Abrams; 2) Randy Michaels never bit me on the neck except when I asked for it; 3) some of the bawdy behavior described as shocking here is within bounds in a company of competitive grownups; 4) the new employee manual was a vast improvement on the old one, which was longer then the Upanishads and more infantilizing than Mother Goose; 5) whatever's up in Chicago, "frat house" is the last phrase I'd use to describe the L.A. Times, unless you consider the Kremlin in the late eighties to be a frat house; 6) Zell is getting double-dinged -- either he was trying to tear Blago down or he was in cahoots with Blago; 7) they must be doing something right, because the L.A. Times is doing better reporting now than it was when I got fired.

    On that last point, I don't know how much of the improvement in the LAT's reporting can be attributed to Zell & Co., but Russ Smith is not exactly a genius, so pressure for reform must be coming from somewhere.

    You know what nobody ever mentions when discussing the paradigm-subverting transformation from print to digital? What a large percentage of revenue print ads still bring in. I haven't looked at the LAT's finances in a while, but I'd be surprised if the flat-to-slightly-rising trendline in online revenues has come much closer to replacing the rapidly-dropping trendline for print revenues. You can't lose print circulation this quickly without some deflation of ad revenue. And one day in the not-distant future, print ads will be over, forever. Then the organization will be on the other side of the realignment. But the organization will be a fraction of what it is now.

  • ||

    the L.A. Times is doing better reporting now than it was when I got fired.

    I will just leave this here.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    You are a cruel man.

  • Russ 2000||

    All I can tell you is the Chicago Tribune is falling behind the SunTimes in reporting. I didn't think it would ever be possible, but it's true.

    I was painting the house and used an old newspaper to put the pain can on. A Trib section 1 from 2003. It had SIX stories on the front page, 3 abopve the fold and 3 below. The cuurent Trib had 2 stories, 1 above and one below the fold. And a gigantic picture traversing the fold of some fat-ass Bears lineman. It's bad when the front page of the Trib looks like the back page of the SunTimes.

  • ||

    Regarding Pt. 3, behavior that is against the law, such as discrimination based on sex or race or disability, is against the law, and no company of "competitive grownups" should get away with it.

  • ||

    Hey, Tim, I finger-banged your daughter when she bent over to file my "brief." Nice and tight.

  • ||

    Do you think she's ready to graduate to full-on cock?

  • ||

    It's "Stanton," not "Smith," and whatever you think about him, he's tenacious and smart and has worked his butt off to keep the lights on at the Times and keep people in their jobs. And he's been THE most influential person in the organization in its online ascendancy. (I love the way people who didn't work at the Times very long come away as authorities on all things regarding the company.) It is still a rock solid news organization, despite all the negative observations from those on the sidelines.

  • ||

    Matt- Given the South Gate shenanigans several years ago, isn't LATs coverage of local govt corruption belated at best? I still don't think they've ever landed a good punch on the Vernon buffoons. And how is it they missed the story of the multiple (multiple!) serial killers in South-Central for more than two decades?

    A good week, or a good series of headlines, doesn't diminish the fact that reading that paper nowadays is like fondling a hospice patient.

  • Matt Welch||

    Hector Becerra did great -- I mean, really great -- South Gate *and* Vernon coverage back when I was there; the main difference (I think) is that he was kind of a lone wolf then, without institution-wide support, whereas now they seem to have real thirst for the stuff.

  • Steven Smith||

    Of all the problems the LA Times has had in the past, the ability to come up with occasional crackerjack story on local politics or culture wasn't one of them, as this list of Pulitzers would indicate. In the pre-Zell era, the series on the King-Drew Hospital was certainly better than any of the recent stuff they've been doing on the tiddlywink "cities" of Bell or Vernon. And of course, the reputation of the paper was forever enhanced by its groundbreaking work on the John Birch Society back in the early-60's, a series which cost the paper many prior allies, but also allowed the Times to become a legitimate newspaper.

  • Matt Welch||

    I agree King/Drew was good (not great), and certainly of the category I've always wanted them to do more of (hard-hitting & relevant local), even though it was written in their irritating Pulitzer-baity style (like the Wal-Mart series, and other stuff I've blanked out). My impression is that they are more interested than they used to be in *coverage*, rather than *series*.

  • ||

    I have no idea ho Zell is nor do i know what the Tribune is...

    That said I find all of this very exciting.

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    Are your nipples hard too?

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    Are your nipples hard too?

  • ||

    Just for the record, Donald Trump is sort of the made for TV vision of what a real estate guy is supposed to be like, but I never knew anybody in commercial real estate who didn't think Donald Trump was a joke.

    Sam Zell is who commercial real estate people aspire to be like--he's the real deal. The fact that everybody knows who Donald Trump is and few people could tell you that Sam Zell is the guy that started Equity Office Properties...?

    It's like if everybody thought Tiny Tim was a genius of a composer and no one had ever heard of Wagner.

    Sam Zell is Elvis.

  • ||

    Dear Matt,
    It only matters to NONDicks who may
    not want to show their tits to Zell (not to be,like, politically incorrect but have you SEEN his pic?) & to those who may not want to have, you know, SEX in order to keep "journalism" jobs (this is not a euphemism). And also to women. And people like that.

  • ||

    This is what happens when you drink and comment.

  • ||

    "Working at Tribune means accepting that you might hear a word that you, personally, might not use," the new handbook warned. "You might experience an attitude you don't share. You might hear a joke that you don't consider funny. That is because a loose, fun, nonlinear atmosphere is important to the creative process." It then added, "This should be understood, should not be a surprise and not considered harassment."

    This needs to be adopted as an amendment to the Constitution. We can make it prettier, use words like 'free speech or something....

  • ||

    One of their first priorities was rewriting the employee handbook.

    I was charged with re-writing the employee handbook once.

    On April 1, I distributed the new handbook, reproduced here in its entirety:

    (1) Do what you're told.

    (2) Don't be an idiot.

    (3) Unless [the CEO] says otherwise.

    Not sure how I kept that job.

  • ||

    LOL. Hahahahahahaha! You are so clever, man. And so smug. Smugly clever. That's out there, man. Revolutionary. How did you ever keep that job? Because you were such a badass.

  • ||

    "that has more long-term significance to the news industry than some buffoon making titty jokes and signing lavish executive bonuses at yet another sinking media ship."

    So you're suggesting that women should just shut up and take it in the name of progress? No thanks. If that is progress, it deserves to go down in flames - just the same as the people who defend such Neanderthalism.

  • Jordan||

    So you're suggesting that women should just shut up and take it in the name of progress?

    Or they could do the rational thing and find another job...

  • ||

    Why can't adults talk about breasts at work?

    Also Neanderthals were not human...Chimps Gorillas and Orangutans do not have breasts. What makes you think Neanderthals had breasts...let alone jokes about them?

  • Matt Welch||

    No, I'm not. And I don't make titty jokes at work, except about my own.

  • ||

    "So you're suggesting that women should just shut up and take it in the name of progress? No thanks. If that is progress, it deserves to go down in flames - just the same as the people who defend such Neanderthalism."

    How much progress are women making if they have to sue for respectability?

    How can you expect to be taken seriously if you turn somebody making a joke about you into a lawsuit?

    Seriously, sometimes people are going to make fun of you--you're supposed to make a profit anyway. I know, it's hard to imagine how anybody could possibly perform while people are making fun of them...

    Actually, that's not hard to imagine at all--that's call the real freakin' world. So some of the people who work with you--who may be competing with you--don't like you? So what?

    Woman up! ...if you can't handle it, go do something else. Or be a homemaker! Nothing wrong with that.

    Don't expect the rest of the world to rearrange itself so you never get your feelings hurt. That's unreasonable.

    That's retarded.

  • ||

    That's right, man! When I told your mom to put my dick in her mouth after our last board meeting, she opened right up. She took it like a man, or at least like your life partner does. She wasn't whining about a lawsuit. She is a powerhouse.

  • ||

    And I did ask your mom once when she was crying after getting it up the ass why she didn't just go home and be a homemaker. She was like, "I don't want to go home and take care of that spoiled little motherfucker! You have no idea what a piece of crap that kid is. Takes after his dad (Randy Michaels)."

  • ||

    As an escapee of Clear Channel Prison Island, I get nauseous whenever Randy Michaels is brought up. So should anyone else who actually enjoyed listening to a local radio station (Bring up NPR and get kicked in the shin)

  • Elaine Hopkins||

    Isnt it fascinating that most of the comments above defending Zell et al are men -- likely sucking up for their next job, no matter how degrading.

  • ||

    I've been fucking Ken Shultz's mother, who works accounts receivable in our building, in the unisex john for about a month now. Her tits are pretty nice! She must not have breastfed Ken.

  • ||

    You couldn't get within three floors of Ken Shultz's mom without a business plan one of her underlings had already been through and a referral from someone she knows...

    My mom's WAY out of your league.

    She'd step on you like a bug, and you'd apologize all over yourself for being in her way.

  • ||

    She's a top-notch lay, dude. I'm telling you. You did *not* suckle those honkers. (But I did.)

  • ||

    She yells "Kendall!!!!" when she comes, though, which is really confusing.

  • ||

    What? Did you get laid off or something?

    Complain about harassment and get yourself fired?

    Thought you were gonna be Bob Woodward and bring down the establishment only to end up working at Starbucks?

    Two out of three?

  • ||

    I didn't want to be the one to break this to you, Ken, but your daddy is actually Randy Michaels. How do you think your mom got to where she is?

  • ||

    And, Matt, I've seen Emmanuelle in 3-D.

  • ||

    And she says you look like a pretentious little faggot in your "editor-in-chief" bio photo.

  • ||

    "Then they should go get a job somewhere else. There are lots of things you can do for money, and some of them don't have anything to with journalism. Anybody who thinks they're entitled to a job as a journalist, who thinks they have a right to a boss that doesn't act like a jackass too? Thinks they're entitled to more than they are."

    By the way, I've taken some crummy jobs to make ends meet from time to time myself. I didn't want anything I said to be taken the wrong way...

    There's nothing wrong with working for Starbucks or whatever it is you're doing.

    And just because you failed at one thing doesn't mean you can't be successful at something else.

  • ||

    When he was done with your mommy, Michaels sent a memo to the other execs with the subject "The Office Pinata: Everyone Gets a Whack," inviting all the guys to have at her. Which we did. Her weight problem has one plus: she achieves incredible suction.

  • ||

    And by the way, journalists make like $9 an hour. Is that minimum wage? Anyway, that's why I would never want to be one. Employees at Starbucks probably make more than Matt Welch, whose writing carries the tone of an omniscient god. Matt, look up "hubris" in the dictionary. The one you keep in your nightstand under your anal plug.

  • ||

    So, I take it that means you're still unemployed?

    I used to say the only job to be ashamed of was a job poorly done, but if you're professionally unemployed?

    Getting paid to be unemployed really is something to be ashamed of. I found work--in Mexico--where millions of Mexicans leave 'cause they can't find good work. Surely there's something productive you can do?

    I hear pizza delivery guys can do okay, do you have a clean driving record?

  • ||

    You seem to be harping on one theme, the assertion that I might be unemployed (which I'm not), and I on another, your mom taking in every hole (which she does, drunk and sober). We seem to be at an impasse.

  • ||

    See, you imitate your idol Sam Zell in all the wrong ways.

    You talk a little like him, but you're never gonna be like Sam Zell with that attitude.

    You don't just give up! Sam Zell wouldn't do that!

    You gotta learn how to try harder, or you'll be stuck in the same place for the rest of your life. ...oh, and don't blame other people for your problems. Other people aren't your problem.

    See, Sam Zell does that sometimes, but he seems to mostly focus that on the people who are working for him. If Tim or Matt or me were working for you, then we might be the cause of your problems--like Sam Zell sometimes has people working for him who are sometimes the cause of his problems.

    But that's not the case here. None of us would ever work for you.

  • ||

    Huh? WTF are you talking about?

  • ||

    "Huh? WTF are you talking about?

    Well if you aren't unemployed. And you don't have a thing about Sam Zell...

    Then why do you lash out at strangers? ...and their children.

    Somethin' must have knocked a screw loose--so what was it?

  • ||

    Mr. Ken Shultz, aw, are you getting your feelings hurt? Why don't you go be a homemaker and get off the fucking Internet, ya pussy? Atmosphere too hostile for ya? It's all in good fun. Free speech. Ouch! Sorry, your mom just bit me. I'm gonna have to backhand that bitch.

  • ||

    I guess it's OK (and even funny) when someone else's mom, wife, and daughter are being fucked with in a sadistic way, but not yours! Well, fuck you, ya misogynistic douchebag. Hey, i know that's not you with the race car, but I did find you.

  • ||

    You and Tim and Matt are douchebags. That's why you would never be working for me. I don't hire douchebags.

    But I will bang your mom while she squeals like a pig.

  • ||

    I also don't hire people who spend more than $100 on a haircut, which I think Matty boy does. Yes, I discriminate. I would never hire a douchebag in a cardigan and pretentious eyeglasses that he probably spent hundreds of hours shopping for. And who has that haircut. The whole look: douchebag. Resume goes in the reject pile.

  • ||

    "You're on welfare!"

    "Your mom's pussy stinks!"

    "You're unemployed!"

    "Your mom is slurping my cock right now."

    "Get a job!"

    "I videotaped your mom getting raped by a donkey at a ropes course while a troop of boy scouts cheered."

    "Deadbeat!"

  • ||

    Hey, your mom sent me your latest accomplishment. She's really proud of you.

    http://www.3d-racing.com/profile/kshultz.html

  • ||

    You know? As much as I'd love to have a race car?

    That's not me.

  • ||

    Most Kendall Shultz's out there are blonde coed chicks, btw. Look it up. Kendall is a girl name, dude.

  • ||

    No wonder you hate women. I bet you got the shit beat out of you growing up.

  • ||

    It probably doesn't need to be said (not that that's ever stopped me before), but I'd bet money that the people at the LA Times complaining about this kind of thing are the same people who complain about corporate culture being conformist and bland.

  • ||

    "Matt Welch looks like he goes into a salon with a name like 'Bangz' or 'Pink' and asks for the 'Faggot Cut.'"

    "You work at Starbucks!"

    "Your mom's va jay jay is so big that frackin her is like throwing an Oscar Meyer weiner down the Lincoln Tunnel."

    (I have to give Ted Danson credit for that last one.)

  • ||

    "You need to go to Mexico to pick fruit!"

    "Your mom is on all fours sniffing my balls right now."

  • ||

    Matt Welch to his stylist: Can I have the faggot cut, please? And just a few highlights. Make them subtle, please.

    Matt Welch to his optometrist: Do you have something more pissy? I'm thinking Mad Men crossed with Atticus Finch crossed with a faggot. Yes, those. I want to look as brilliant and pretentious as I am. Something that says, I AM A WRITER and sniveling, pretentious little fuck who's never worked an honest day in his life. That's IT!

  • ||

    Like I said, replyer-to-my-comment-who-doesn't-even-give-a-cyberidentity (is that you Matt Welsh?) much less respond to any of my admittedly ironically informal content: It only matters to NON-Dicks (& to people who don't want to be sexually harassed).
    Just out of curiosity, if they'd been throwing the n-word around rather than intimidating women re sexual "favors" would it still be just good clean politically-incorrect fun?
    This was not a comedy-writing endeavour, or even a creative-writing one; the looseness of the atmosphere was unwarranted, completely unnecessary for the task at hand,& potentially threatening.

  • ||

    This one's GOLD! Shallow-thinking with a big-mouth. Yeah,that's what disguises itself as Reason, or "common sense," or "just kiddin around, man" all too often.
    "Free Speech is in THE CONSTITUTION!" says distinguished Constitutional scholar "Azathoth," which is of course why each & every one of us can go forth this very morning & call our co-workers the N-word, tell our secretaries we'd like to rape them, say the news-industry is run buy, um, gentiles, to poaraphrase Sanchez, & tell our bosses to Fuck off with complete impunity. It's in the Constitution!

    Maybe for a comedy routine or a stream-of-consciousness rant... The problem is,not only are neither of these entities called for in a newsroom, but most people are incapable of distinguishing irony from stupidity. And I'm talking about the pitchers here, not the catchers. Neil Hamburgers you are not.
    As for the world "rearranging itself," (a few posts down), it was clearly Zell who tried to rearrange things according to his own pathetic proclivities, & then pass it off as "creativity."
    As if, &/or if only.

  • ||

    That was reply to Azathoth, but Whatever.

  • ||

    Reason.com is run by frat dicks! (Though I think they are too nerdy to have been in actual frats in college.) Of course they are apologists for this kind of behavior.

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