Thursday, July 21, 2005

Priceless

The The Legal Snooze immigration issue hit the streets today. I am livid.

Last month we ran an interview with conservative radio talk show host Pat Gray. When Boss first forwarded me the write-up to edit, I told him I didn't think we should even print it. Gray's views were racist, inflammatory and nonsensical. Of course Boss insisted that we run the piece. So I offered to write a response article so that at least there would be some balance. Boss said ok, so I wrote it up -- and then at the last moment he emailed me to say he'd pulled the piece but we could print it in the next month's issue.

So for this month's issue I re-wrote my response article so that it would make sense being printed a month late. As the art director and I went back and forth with corrections to layout drafts, my article was there, at the front of the book, looking good.

Two days before press time, I got what should have been the final version of the issue. Without any notice, my byline was suddenly missing from my article. In its place was, "A concerned ciizen [sic]" -- Boss was trying to pass off my article as a letter from an anonymous reader! This was wrong on so many levels. First of all, I wrote the article and I wanted my name on it. Secondly, it would be deceptive to our "readers" (if there are any) to pass off an editorial piece written by a staff member as anything else. Thirdly, it didn't even make sense that someone who had a strong enough opinion to write a whole article would want to be anonymous. And finally, my agreement with Boss was that I would get "full credit" for all my work since he was not paying me.

I called Boss and demanded an explanation. He told me that he had kissed Pat Gray's ass in order to get the original interview and it would be an insult to Gray to run a staff article that opposed him. I argued that Boss should have thought of that before trying so hard to get an interview with a figure that was sure to say something inflammatory that would require a response. And my piece did have a disclaimer saying that it did not necessarily represent the opinions of The Legal Snooze. Furthermore, Pat Gray is the kind of pundit that would probably relish the controversy. (I withheld my most compelling argument, which was that no one reads the magazine anyway, so Gray would likely never even see my article.)

We went back and forth arguing for some time. Then the day before going to press we came to a compromise -- we agreed to print a pseudonym of my choice on the piece, that way I would feel like I got credit, but Pat Gray wouldn't know it was me. (This was not at all a satisfactory solution, but the alternative was for Boss to pull the article altogether -- and I hated the idea of the Gray interview hanging out there without any response.) I viewed a final PDF of the issue before it went to press and made sure my pseudo-byline was set.

And now I get the printed version and my entire article is gone. It's replaced by a full-page advertisement for the Boss Law Firm. No intelligent opinion, no healthy debate. Just solicitation in 40-point font for victims of "18-wheeler accidents."

Oh yeah, and remember that inane article about the new courthouse (the one that I didn't want to print because it was written in 2002)? Boss added it to the cover. The headline reads, "The New Courthouse: a Legal Snooze Exclusive!" (It appears just under the "PRICELESS.")

This man is so spiteful that he put something stupid on the cover of his own magazine just to piss me off. Or maybe he's just that dumb.

2 Comments:

Blogger JLR said...

Man. I don't even know where to start. That's just--I don't know what to say. Except maybe this--RUN AWAY.

July 22, 2005 4:16 PM  
Blogger The Ticked Off Ohioan said...

I second jlr - get the hell out in a hurry.

July 29, 2005 4:02 PM  

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