Frank Sennett pretty much nails it in a letter he sent to Romenesko. The highlights:
Just for the sake of argument, let's assume that Lenehan's portrayal of Cherkis as a hot head who alienates people is accurate, and that Wemple and Cherkis' portrayal of Waas as a difficult guy is also accurate. (Again, just for the sake of argument; I don't know either of them.) In that case, you've got two guys with some personal issues basically circling each other for months and months to get to a story that concludes "Waas has produced good and valuable journalism" before wallowing in a lot of personal stuff.They have banner days? Also:
If this episode isn't a shining moment for Waas, it's certainly not a banner day for City Paper, either.
But as a largely disinterested observer, I gotta say this was a bizarre deployment of City Paper's editorial resources.Ha! Pre-cisely.
Ygglz offers his own assessment:
The resulting article is just shamefully bad. I don't like to use the word "fisking" but suffice it to say that the conclusion deserves extensive excerpting plus interstitial commentary...And lo, tis provided. Shorter version, Wemple's "make it up as you go along" journalistic standards are, well, unique, to say the least.
FishbowlDC quotes yours truly, like there was any doubt about that! They go on to offer some additional, important analysis:
Oddly enough, there's been very little chatter about this piece in the blogosphere, which can perhaps be partially explained by Waas' relative popularity among bloggers or the City Paper's potentially false assumption that such a topic (and front cover billing) would generate much discussion.Very true. Interestingly, one thing we plumb forgot to reckon with was the simple fact that nobody reads the articles in the City Paper. Except for maybe us. And clearly, from the feedback we've received from peers, we're making a big mistake. Here's something you can do for fun, anytime you're out in the city: preface a remark by saying "I was reading an article in the City Paper..." and the response you'll likely receive immediately is going to be "Huh? You read the articles?" Historically speaking, I got that response about 70% of the time.
Consider this: when the City Paper ran this article, it contained a lot of humiliating quotes from a kid named Daniel Lubrano, and described him doing some debased shit. Lubrano was only too happy to give his name to the City Paper, but when we, and others, blogged about it, Lubrano came to us, hat in hand, asking to have his name removed. At first, we were like, "Jesus kid! You gave your name to the City Paper!" But of course, we realize now: as long as his name remained in only the City Paper, he was never in any danger of being read about.
So, remember, you can spill your dark secrets to Eric Wemple. His paper is like a PostSecret for douchebags.
Essential to understanding publisher Michael Lenehan is the need to know this: the man is a whinging, crybaby twat, as evidenced in his article, "A Year Without Journalism," from the Chicago Reader. In it he basically bwames bwogs and Cwaigswist for ruining everything and making him feel all sad inside, like every day is the end of Bambi. He proposes that every journalist take their ball and go home, leaving little doubt that if he led the way, journalism would improve 1000%. I dealt with this on Wonkette, and there's even better commentary here.
A side note: You know what I like about Michael Lenehan? I like how goddamned FORWARD THINKING he is in that article. Because nothing says, "I am going to trenchantly decry the state of modern media" than putting out an article that you can only read online if you download it in PDF format. Nice work, Mike! No, no, dude, you aren't some two-bit asshole at all! You're so cutting edge that I need a tetanus shot.
Essential to understanding the full extent of reporter/suburbanite poseur Jason Cherkis' screaming cockishness is an article from Circumlocutor that I linked to yesterday, offering character insight from people just like you and me, who had to live in close proximity to his tiresome douche. Oddly, the article vanished from Circumlocutor yesterday. Highly curious. I managed to recover it, and you can still see it in its entirety through the magic of Google Caching (but you'll have to scroll down).
Appropriately, you can do a find for "You are a parasite," and there's dickwad, screamin' right back at you! Enjoy.