For those (few?) aficionados of long-form (of course!) alternative weekly pissing contests, this j'accuse by L.A. lefty Marc Cooper aimed at the newish owners of the LA Weekly is something to behold. I know and have worked with many of the players involved, including Cooper, so I'll stay out of the fray, but I was struck by this bit of throat-clearing at the top:
I was so turned off by what I saw happening that I visited my Weekly office exactly three times in the last two years, mostly to pick up accumulated checks in my mailbox. During election week in November, I was given a layoff notice with a generous settlement.
They had lost interest in me and I was too expensive. With very few exceptions, I had long lost interest in them, too. It was a miracle, in fact, that I had lasted the two years since New Times took over the Weekly.
Maybe I've just got too much management on the brain, but I always find it striking when journalists who confess to mailing it in then turn around and bitch about cost-cutting from the evil owners. There's no fat left to cut! I am very expensive and under-motivated!
Most newsroom bosses, in fact, more or less agree; here's new editor Monty Cook of the admittedly beleaguered Baltimore Sun saying something that would turn my ears purple if I was signing his paychecks:
"I told our staff a few days ago that they will never hear me utter the phrase 'We must do more with less.'"