Friday, November 17, 2006

Another Bug Up Wendy's Butt

The American Journalism Review, it seems, is part of the international cabal to abuse Wendy McCaw. Go read the whole fascinating story at the AJR website.

But, of course, I can't resist a few highlights and comments:

More than half of the 50-member News-Press newsroom has resigned or been dismissed since then. Those remaining, including replacements, have affiliated with the Teamsters union, working in a climate of fear and paranoia ripped from the pages of Kafka's The Trial, "like you've passed into another dimension," says one.

Running with the Kafka theme, it's sort of like the News-Press awoke one morning from uneasy dreams to find itself tranformed in its bed into a gigantic insect. And remember poor Gregor Samsa's fate.

Then there's Agnes Huff, Piled-Higher-and-Deeper, fending off the AJR's requests for an interview from McCaw, or anyone, from the paper:

In response to my initial efforts to speak with News-Press executives, Huff told me in an e-mail, "News-Press management and staff are unable to grant any interview requests at this time." I continued leaving messages for managers, prompting Huff to e-mail me again: "I advised you that no one from the News-Press will be available to provide you with any interviews. It would really be appreciated it [sic] if you could..not continue to call and e-mail News-Press employees when you have been clearly advised of the paper's position."

Now, it might seem mean that AJR reporter Susan Paterno doesn't just fix Huff's grammar and leave out the sic, but the sic is telling. It seems most likely that Huff tried to edit from the first person of "I would really appreciate it" to the passive, non-responsive "It would really be appreciated" but ended up somewhere in-between.

And isn't that a metaphor for this whole News-Press mess. Wendy/Arthur/Travis accuse everyone else of doing what they themselves do--pretend they're passive while secretly being the voice that must dominate both their news and editorial coverage. Pity Huff couldn't cover up well enough for them.

1 Comments:

Blogger theaverageman said...

wow, that was a great article.

and you make a very astute observation that I easily would have missed.

thanks!

10:21 PM  

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