Thursday, November 29, 2007

New ink-stained icon

This is my new hero.

There are so few in reporting these days. From this interview, Matt Taibbi has the perfect mix of irreverence for journalism.

Money quote:

"If you have no real knowledge or skill set and you’re lazy and full of shit but you want to make a decent wage, then journalism’s not a bad career option. The great thing about it is that you don’t need to know anything."

At the same time he has the utmost respect for how it’s done, if it’s done right.

Money quote:

"“Seymour Hersh is the guy I really, really admire….He’s old school. He’s the kind of guy who sits and pores over the newsletters of all these minor government agencies to see who retired that week so he can approach that person to see if he’s got any stories to tell on his way out of service. There are a few guys like that who are still out there, but they’re all holdovers from a lost age. I’d like to say that I’m the continuation of that crop of journalists, but I’m totally not."

My buddy Ed, who sent this pointer, summed it up: “This guy Taibbi is the closest thing to Hunter Thompson Rolling Stone has had since well, Hunter Thompson."


Monday, November 26, 2007

How low can we go?

The publishing game has quickly become, as Fake Steve Jobs put it, a race to the bottom.

Here's, a recent help-wanted ad on for a business “publication.”

The job description:

"The editor is responsible for all local editorial and photographic content that appears in each issue of the magazine. In 11 of the magazines this is a twice-a-month requirement and in three it is a weekly requirement. The generation of this editorial and photographic material includes the development and maintenance of industry contacts to develop story leads; the actual writing and correction of the story as well as assistance in directing the editorial composition and graphic look of each issue. The editor must regularly attend industry functions, hold positions within industry associations and councils, and attend trade shows. The editor must also visit equipment dealers and distributors and visit contractors in their offices and on job sites. This position requires 50% travel and frequent visits to construction job sites. The editor is also responsible for managing contributing editors who write for their magazines.


1. Research, provide graphics, write and/or edit all materials that appear in all issues of their magazine, i.e. feature stories, industry news, people in the news, and other items of local interest.
2. Photograph and/or select covers for each issue.
3. Plan and develop a local editorial calendar that complements the national calendar.
4. Plan and manage editorial materials to ensure complete geographic and industry coverage.
5. Manage contributing editors who write for the magazine.
6. Manage freelance photographers who do photography for the magazine.
7. Manage time so as to meet editorial and production deadlines.
8. Generate and communicate local editorial priority list to traffic manager.
9. Review layouts and copy before going to press.
10. Develop strong local industry contacts with contractors, dealers, distributors, associations and governmental agencies.
11. Coordinate with local associate publisher and sales representatives to ensure full industry coverage.
12. Attend and cover all important local shows, meetings, conventions and dealer functions.
13. Develop and maintain relationships with freelance writers to cover special events and geographic regions when necessary.
14. Travel when and where necessary to cover the geographic areas covered by the magazine.
15. Visit Construction Job Sites.
16. Handle editorial calls, questions and discussions.
17. Handle all reader calls.
18. Contribute suggestions for national editorial content.
19. Participate in special national projects.
20. Research and write local special sections."

I'm not kidding. Check it out here.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Get your pedometer(s) here, but control yourself!

At the Brighton New Balance Factory store checkout there’s a rack full of pedometers, including one Via model that gauges your calorie-burning efforts as well as distance covered. A sign warned would-be buyers that management could limit quantities sold to three per customer.

This begs the question: exactly how often are they overrun (no pun intended) by marauding marathoners/walkers/hikers who want to horde calorie-burn-measuring pedometers.

Speaking of Brighton, the new WGBH building is ginormous. And its signage looks uncannily like someting out of Vegas. Huh.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Stay-away Rod gets assist from the Oracle of Omaha

Here's the most interesting headline from the weekend: 'Alex Rodriguez Gets A Surprise Assist From Fan in Omaha'.

And the deck: 'As Yankee Slugger Whiffed n Contract, He Turned To Buffett and Goldman'.

(The Wall Street Journal story is here.)

If A-Rod, who seems more like Eddie Haskell by the minute, turned to Warren Buffett and Goldman Sachs to help with his Yankee contract troubles, it won't be long before he hits up Dr. Phil for marriage counseling and Bill Gates for tech support.

Enough news about the purple-lipped freak. At least thanks to these high-powered assists, he'll be plying his trade in pinstripes and not in the Boston white-and-red.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wacky world

This is just plain weird.