Monday, January 22, 2007

Shooting a Heffalump

From the "I've got your back...with a knife" department, we have the latest editorial from the News-Press's Travis Armstrong, which includes the following:

Over these last five wonderful years, there have been a lot of changes, as befitting a living institution. The last six months have seen improvements. Every time a malcontent leaves, I feel the News-Press building on De la Guerra Plaza makes a big sigh of relief.

Beyond the weirdness of personifying the building (ah, the joys of inanimate objects--they think whatever they say we think, for surely they don't think simply nothing), and the weakness of the verb "makes" (c'mon, Travis, write a little), the News-Press has seen over 30 "malcontents" leave in the past six months. The building isn't sighing, it's hyperventilating at this point.

But wait, there's more:

All in all, we have a better workplace today. But as with any company, there always are a handful of Eeyores. I can understand why some of them are clinging to the hopes of a newsroom union because, after working at three metro newspapers, I see some of these folks have nowhere else to go. In my personal experience as a former Newspaper Guild member, unions at newspapers too often are meant to protect the least talented and least productive.

I'll skip the easy remark that of course he knows all about the least talented and productive at union papers, given he worked at one. What's most striking is that Armstrong just said there are still people at the paper who are no good. I find it hard to believe Yolanda Apodaca hasn't sprung into action and canned these poor workers--I mean, has the N-P hesitated to fire others? Then again, 33 Eeyores voted for the union (who knows, maybe there was a Piglet in there, too), so that's a whole lot of firing to do, even for the Mean Mistress of the Pink Slip Apodaca.

That aside, former employees are threatened with legal action when they discuss their time inside the News-Press. But it's ok for Armstrong to suggest--in print--that some of his current fellow co-workers aren't up to snuff? Oh, well, he does say in Sunday's editorial, "My job gives me a great seat to view hypocrisy on display."

I guess there's a big mirror in his office.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe lawyers from the estate of A.A. Milne and the Walt Disney Co. can open a "dialogue" with Travis and Mrs. McCaw and enjoy some delightful chit chat about mules and asses!

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Henry said...

"unions at newspapers too often are meant to protect the least talented and least productive"

I wonder if he feels the same about teachers' unions...

11:30 AM  

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