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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

PD Reporters: Don't Accuse Us of Having Balls

Posted By on Tue, Sep 25, 2007 at 2:26 PM

Please don’t think the PD is sprouting balls. Please don’t print stuff like that on your blog. The PD is not growing balls at all. Where was Editor Susan Goldberg after the racist cartoon about Cookie Thomas? Where was Reader Rep Ted “I can spin any BS” Diadiun? Where was Editorial Page Director Brent Larkin? Apparently they were all running for cover. Goldberg didn’t bother to return calls to television reporters, according to aired reports. Isn’t it funny we work in a business where we want people to call us back? Maybe the TV folks should have masqueraded as print reporters and snuck into the fishbowl (the large windowed conference room). That’s the only place we see Goldberg after she dashes from her office to the fishbowl. Shit, she has worn a path between her office and the room. Other than that path, there is not much interaction with reporters. As for Teddy, why didn’t he defend the comic or explain the situation in his Sunday column? Maybe he was too busy doing nothing or kissing Susie’s ass to keep his job. No, instead he writes about the Johanna Orozco series. Ol’ Ted didn’t have the nuts to take on a real issue. What does Larkin write about after meeting with Cookie’s family? Nothing that defends Cartoonist Jeff Darcy or the statement he made to the newsroom via e-mail. Brent decided to write about the Akron mayor’s race. Wow, Brent, that was great leadership. Where did the Brent of yesteryear go? Maybe it’s time for Brent to pass the baton and promote Kevin O’Brien, who at least doesn’t shy away from thorny issues. Management must have been afraid of Art McKoy, his cronies and the measly amount of picketers who protested at 1801 Superior. I never knew Black on Black had so much power. Power to the people, Art! Mr. Kotz, please don’t praise the PD for its inequality of life series. I bet you didn’t know about a paragraph that got spiked from the story. A reporter witnessed a cop in action that led to a citizen hugging and openly praising the officer. Did the paragraph disappear? No. Metro Editor Chris Quinn didn’t want anything in print that made the Cleveland police look good. The story was driven hard by him to make it fit his needs. Remember, it was his brainchild to write a giant series about the thug culture in Cleveland. What happened to that? It got killed. Let me tell you a little about Christopher. He is trying hard to keep his job. He does everything he can for Susie except hold the umbrella for her when it rains. But then again I might be missing that. You were right to say the PD stories are editor-driven. Christopher scours other papers and the website’s blog to look for story ideas. All readers have to do is make a bullshit comment under a story, and Christopher will run with it. The moron has such a shallow mind. Let’s talk about job changes. Sunday Editor Chris Jindra once had an office in the “editor suite.” After 30 years at the PD Chris now sits with us regular folks in the newsroom. Her change came about because Susie didn’t like Chrissie’s planning for the Sunday Plain Dealer. I bet Chris wishes she would have taken the buyout last fall. Sorry, Chris, but you could be lounging instead of being embarrassed everyday when you march in. Now Chris reports to the moron who runs the web site. She knows nothing about databases and Web sites, but I am sure PD lawyers didn’t want an age-discrimination lawsuit. Hell, there are plenty more desks for Susie’s next casualties. It’s funny how the San Jose Mercury-News is going through major changes since Susie left. I hope she doesn’t ruin the PD like the Mercury-News. The company just found an accounting error of $4 million, and will have to ax dozens more. Or maybe Susie just saw the writing on the wall. Time will tell. The only thing Susie has taught the newsroom so far is a new term called “Chunky Bits.” The term is the rage of the newsroom. Can your story be told as Chunky Bits? Do you have Chunky Bits, short paragraphs told as little vignettes? Quinn constantly asks. If you have a Chunky Bits story, you might make the front page. It’s Quinn’s favorite word. And if you do a story in the Chunky Bits format, Mr. Rogers will give you a Chunky Bar. Chunky Bits, Chunky Bits and more Chunky Bits. Chunky Bits to all! Hey, I guess you can’t fault Quinn. He’s just trying to hang on for a little longer. It’s only a matter of time before Susie realizes the guy is inept. The PD won’t hire assistant metro editors off the street or recruit them from other newspapers. You see, those people might have ideas and ethics that don’t agree with Christopher. Nothing against the reporters who have been promoted, but Christopher can keep those folks in line. The desk has sunk to its lowest point in ten years. Mr. Kotz, please don’t make assumptions that the PD is growing balls. Sincerely, Two reporters who love working at Ohio’s largest newspaper

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