Press Editor Out

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Since I mentioned the fracas over the New York Press's witless pope jokes last night, I should add that the editor has been ousted in the wake of the story. More precisely, he was given a two-week suspension and quit.

Editor and Publisher reports that the papal riff was condemned by Mayor Michael Bloomberg: "As disgusting as this is, it's sadly par for the course for this publication." What does Reason have to do to get a powerhouse endorsement like that?

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  1. Bloomberg is just pissed because they had an issue blasting his Olympic dreams.

  2. “What does Reason have to do to get a powerhouse endorsement like that?”

    Publish a piece on “The 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of Ronald Reagan.”

    Oh wait, too late.

  3. Koyen defended NYPress content as “always intelligent.” I don’t think so. It’s zany, inflammatory, fringe-culture-oriented, often entertaining, but only occasionally intelligent.

  4. 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of Deep Throat? Unless the Pope really _was_ Deep Throat. Then I guess they kinda beat you to that.

  5. “If you see through the nasty Pope jokes, for instance, you will see a well-reasoned political argument.”

    Jesus Christ, if you’re gonna make fun of the Pope, have the balls to make fun of the fucking Pope; don’t try to dress it up with this kind of socially responsible baloney. There was no political argument at all in that piece-which was the only good thing about it, because the jokes really sucked ass. I never imagined myself saying this, but Bring Back Russ Smith!

  6. I seem to remember a light-hearted piece on the Challenger disaster coming out shortly before the Columbia disaster. What ever happened to that? It disappeared almost instantly. I’d like to re-read it because, if I remember correctly, it had something to do with the healing process. Any chance we can get a look at that again?
    Anyway, if you do, you might just get such an endorsement.

  7. The Pope is 24 karat comedy gold, but this just sucked.

  8. I find it interesting that people seem to be tripping over themselves to distance themselves from this piece, either by expressing self-righteous moral outrage or by questioning the comedic qualities (“this just sucks”)

    It’s just simple shock-comedy, which feeds on ANY attention one is willing to give it.

  9. This must be the high point of Matt Taibbi’s life to date. The man’s first goal is to piss people off, and now he’s managed to do it on a national scale. The thousands of people telling him he’s an asshole will no doubt assure him that he did a proper job of epatering the bourgeois.

  10. cb, that Challenger piece (which was really a look at the many jokes that came in the wake of the disaster) was by me, and was published a mere four days before the Columbia disaster. So low had NASA’s share of the public attention span fallen that at the time I did that piece, I didn’t even know there was a space shuttle up, and thus was as surprised as anybody when another one blew up. Much as I’d like to get Bloomberg’s highest rating, I disappeared it from the site, but here’s a sample:

    Recollected in tranquility, Space Shuttle Challenger jokes seem like a high water mark for catastrophe humor. Other examples of tragicomedy from that era are easily scanned for subversive attractions: Kennedy assassination jokes had the obvious virtue of desecrating a sacred memory of the Baby Boomers. (The best of these japes does not translate well into print: The teller promises to do his famous impression of John F. Kennedy, then jerks his head rapidly backward and forward while making a gunshot sound.) Jokes about Rock Hudson simultaneously worked out feelings of homophobia and medical paranoia. Teases about the dismal deaths of Natalie Wood or Philadelphia’s own Princess Grace may have played on our general sense that celebrities deserve any bad thing that happens to them.

    Challenger jokes may boast similar subtexts. Looking over the best of them now, we can see a variety of anti-feminism at work; many of the gags at Christa McAuliffe’s expense are merely updated jokes about women drivers. Less well remembered is the outpouring of one-liners referring to “O-Rings”-an obvious sexual euphemism but also a useful catch-all for all manner of failures, technical glitches, and disappointments.

    But catastrophe jokes are usually not notable for being especially funny or insightful. They are remarkable (and I would argue that here Challenger jokes are the models for the entire genre) for the speed with which they were disseminated and for being the most memorable things about the event.

    The speedy dissemination cannot be credited to the technology of the times. At the time, jokes about any public tragedy were said to emanate from “Joke Central.” (Believers in the legend of Reagan as a small-government conservative should be advised that at the height of his presidency such a command-economy metaphor seemed entirely plausible.) Later variations held that Joke Central was either run by or in close contact with Wall Street traders, whose then-futuristic communications networks explained the seemingly immediate appearance of the jokes throughout the Lower 48. Challenger jokes seemed to arrive while the news was still breaking.

    When I say the jokes were the most memorable thing about the tragedy, I intend no disrespect to the crew of the Challenger or their survivors. But it seems so clearly true as to be unavoidable. It’s a fairly good bet you could not name four, or three, or even two of the seven Challenger astronauts. But it’s for damn sure you know what color Christa McAuliffe’s eyes were.

  11. There was no political argument at all in that piece

    Well, buried in the middle was a good jab about “heretofore anonymous bureaucrat will instantly be celebrated as world’s holiest man as he travels to AIDS-stricken Africa to denounce the use of condoms”. That’s sort-of political.

  12. 52 Funniest Things About the Upcoming Death of William Rehnquist.

    Go on. You know you want to. I’ll kick it off:

    52) Four words: Chief Justice Clarence Thomas

  13. 17.In his last days, the Pope was in tremendous pain.

    Funny to the BTK Killer maybe. Anyone else? I’m with the Satanist on this piece of crap.

  14. How about ’50 Ways to Blow Smoke Up Mayor Bloomberg’s Ass’?

  15. The piece unintentionally proves a lesson for anyone attempting to write humor or satire: First make sure you have the talent to pull it off. I was insulted that it didn’t make me laugh at all.

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