Thursday, January 04, 2007

I'm With Stupid

As I logged on to post this, I noticed that my last post didn't publish. I have no idea why that would happen, but, regardless, I published it, so that post is below this one. And now onto this post:

Let me tell you something that annoys me: people who call journalists that they don't know stupid (or some version of such). I'm not talking about those who write editorials--by all means, call them whatever you want--I'm talking about news and feature writers.

Last week I got an email from someone pointing out that on Talkin' Broadway some posters were picking on Gordon Cox. I know Gordon Cox and he's not stupid. I was tempted to register for an account just to defend him, but I didn't want to extend the chain. Then, this afternoon, I was forced into going to an industry lunch (and by "forced," i mean it actually involved someone showing up at my apartment) and some people there were calling another theater reporter I know (and like) stupid.

Here is the thing--some reporters are definitely stupid, but it would be hard for readers to make that determination unless the writer in question prints wildly incorrect things or continually omits obviously necessary information. The reason for this is, you never know what an editor has done to a piece. Over the years, I've handed in pieces and looked at the final product and thought "huh?" when reading some parts. (Over the years I've also made significant mistakes, so I'm not totally blameless, but that is thankfully irrelevant to this discussion.) That is just the nature of being an underling. And, because of that, it's very hard to determine the intellect of a writer. Now I understand the impulse to call a writer you don't know stupid, I've had it myself, but it's really usually uncalled for unless the conditions mentioned above are met.

That's it. That's all I have to say about it--if you want to call reporters stupid, don't do it in front of me. Of course, as this isn't edited by anyone, you can feel free to call me stupid. Though use a different word, please; I'm over that one.

1 comment:

Moxie said...

Gordon Cox is a delightful, smart, sensitive, and keen writer and person. Embarassingly enough, I do have an ATC account, and I'm sorry I missed the chance to defend him. There are people on that site who never miss a chance to pick on anybody with an actual career in the arts. Terrible.