The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Five Years Ago Today …

Posted on | January 17, 2013 | 13 Comments

. . . I tendered my resignation at The Washington Times:

You may recall that I attempted to quit The Washington Times in August 2007, and was persuaded not to do so by Wes Pruden and Fran Coombs. Well, Wes and Fran are leaving now, so I suppose now is as good a time as any for me to go.
My last work day in the office will be Wednesday, Jan. 23, though cleaning out my desk may take a few days longer. . . .

As I said at the time, it was as if God said, “Go.” If nothing else, this spared me the bizarre dramas that have ensued at The Washington Times, which is now on its fourth editor in five years, after wave after wave of layoffs and sundry other embarrassments at what I’ve begun calling the People’s Democratic Republic of 3600 New York Avenue.

A totalitarian ethos of paranoia has evidently taken hold in management, prompting one staffer to remark to Fishbowl DC’s Betsy Rothstein:

“Don’t you just love a media company that has an absolutely strict policy against ever talking to the press ever?”

It’s weird. Other news organizations that didn’t even exist five years ago have started from scratch and eclipsed the Times in importance, despite the triumphant air with which the paper announced the hiring of John Solomon as editor in January 2008, heralding what management proclaimed would be a new era of glorious success.

The newspaper was in utter disarray by the time Solomon left in 2009, and now — further demonstrating the brilliance of management — Solomon is back with the title of “Chief Digital Officer.”

Chief Digital Officer.

Let’s think about this. While getting paid as CDO by the Times, Solomon has been promoting his own project, The Washington Guardian — which you never heard of until you read this, right?

As of 8 p.m., the Twitter feed for the Guardian had 512 followers.

The Twitter feed for Twitchy Team has 70,391 followers. FishbowlDC has 22,860 Twitter followers. I’ve got 17.602.

Maybe you see what I’m getting at here.

It’s not really pleasant to watch a news organization being “managed” into oblivion, but it is what it is. And God said, “Go.”



13 Responses to “Five Years Ago Today …”

  1. Mike G.
    January 17th, 2013 @ 9:30 pm

    There’s something to be said for having the prescience to leave at the right time. Just like my wife having the prescience to see that housing was going to go bust and making sure we paid everything off before work dropped off.

  2. Jackie Wellfonder
    January 17th, 2013 @ 9:49 pm

    Great choice! Blessings to you Stacy!

  3. Steve in TN ™
    January 17th, 2013 @ 10:07 pm

    I’ve been employed with the gritty end of the newspaper industry for almost ten years. What you’re seeing at TWT is but a small version of what has been happening to the industry as a whole since at least 2006. It is bleeding subscribers and employees at an alarming rate, and with the possible exception of the WSJ, the digital wing has been an unmitigated disaster.

    Print news is dead. All that remains is the burial. Good to see you were able to escape the casket when you did.

  4. DonaldDouglas
    January 17th, 2013 @ 10:38 pm

    CDO = Careening Down to Oblivion

  5. Zilla of the Resistance
    January 17th, 2013 @ 11:21 pm

    I’ve got almost triple the amount of followers as “The Washington Guardian”. It’s rare that I can brag about having more followers than anyone, so allow me a moment to bask in the glory and do not disillusion me if their followers skyrocket as a result of Stacy’s post.

    Now everyone go follow @ZillaStevenson on Twitter so that Stacy can say that even an obscure blogger will have lots more followers than some MSM entity, please.

  6. Bob Belvedere
    January 17th, 2013 @ 11:51 pm

    I follow Zilla…why don’t you???????

  7. Bob Belvedere
    January 17th, 2013 @ 11:54 pm

    Ahh….that was actually me. I snuck into your house [actually, I was drunk and thought it was my house] and when I heard you guys praying, I thought quick and pretended I was the Almighty….and what I actually said was, ‘I gotta GO!’ and I hauled arse out of there. But, that’s bourbon under the bridge, so: You’re Welcome.

  8. John Scotus
    January 18th, 2013 @ 3:11 am

    “Don’t you just love a media company that has an absolutely strict policy against ever talking to the press ever?”–As an employee of just such a company, I must take issue with this blog post. Media companies have every right to insist on having no media presence, and publishers every right to insist that their company never appear in print. What I object to is having to wear a disguise and take a circuitous route on the way to work so that no one else will know where the office is, or that I work there.

  9. K-Bob
    January 18th, 2013 @ 5:52 am

    Well, if Solomon is “officiating his digit,” I hope he remembers to wash his hands, after.

  10. Quartermaster
    January 18th, 2013 @ 11:49 am

    ‘Cause I don’t do Twitter and don’t follow anyone. I have more important things to do, like Read The “Camp of The Saints.”

  11. Bob Belvedere
    January 18th, 2013 @ 8:00 pm

    Here’s the html code to use in future:

    [b][a href=””]The Camp Of Saints[a][/b]”

    Just convert the brackets to , respectively. and copy and paste.

  12. Bob Belvedere
    January 18th, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

    These days, use Purell.

  13. K-Bob
    January 19th, 2013 @ 9:06 am

    Heh. There’s a bottle of hand sanitizer you can buy on Amazon that is branded as “Maybe You Touched Your Genitals” which you can give as a gift to your friends.