Holiday week greetings and happy Media Monday at Icky!
I recently received a comment from no less than the editor of The Brooklyn Paper, a Mr. Gersh Kuntzman. The comment was public, as was my intended response. As that response turned into more of a story, I thought I would bring it here, to "The Front Page," (as Ben Hecht or Charles MacArthur might say).
First things first - Mr. K of the Brooklyn Papers asks, "What's the beef? I never really get anything specific, just vague, inchoate anger towards us. Why?" Here then is a list, from previous posts, of things I do not like about the Brooklyn Paper (plus a few freebies).
- I do not like your paper's pseudo-suburban, faux-hip(py) agenda.
- I do not like pieces written in third person featuring cutesy-pie names.
- I do not like your self-appointed title and puff-line, "Brooklyn's Real Paper."
- I do not like stories that I have seen elsewhere turning up in your paper.
- I do not like that nary a BP staffer even lives in Brooklyn.
- I do not like your writers and editors inserting sleights on other papers into stories.
- I do not like your ignorance of some neighborhoods while you chase the hot ones.
That should clear things up. I realize that this could turn into a pot-kettle-black issue. However, here's the difference: The Brooklyn Paper is purportedly a newspaper. I am purportedly a blog, one puny little person's opinions.
You have an agenda, Brooklyn Paper. And that agenda is no less specific than the agenda of this blog. It's just different. Only you have advertisers and a particular population to please (a pseudo-suburban one, by the look of a recent award). Perhaps that is the appeal of place-blogs (good ones) - the blogs have no constituency to kowtow to ... they call it like they see it, period.
Seem as if it comes down to this, Brooklyn Paper: I don't like you. And that is okey-doke in these United States of America. (I don't like creamed corn or Charo either.) You're perfectly welcome to complain about this blog on your platform just as I complain about you here, and just as del Monte is welcome to dispute my opinion of their corn. Smartmom isn't for everyone. Not everyone likes your paper. I think it sucks. Other people think it sucks. Some people think Andrew Lloyd Webber sucks. Some people think this blog sucks. Big deal.
Although, I have to say - I am surprised that such an important media outlet would bother with puny little us and our puny little blogs. Then again, your paper gets an awful lot of play on the Brooklyn blogs (both friend and foe), and we get a lot of traffic.
As I have absolutely no doubt you've told Smartmom, "Any publicity is good publicity." How about a little blog plugging in the Brooklyn Paper? We've certainly done our duty on this end. Maybe a critical piece on the more incendiary Brooklyn blogs?
No? I thought not.
(newspapers photo coutesy of bondidwhat's photostream at flickr.com)
MR. KUNTZMAN RESPONDS ...
Mr. K sends a response, stating, "If you're going to abuse, at least get your facts straight." He goes on to mention that "EVERY reporter at The Brooklyn Paper lives in Brooklyn." However, I did not say "reporter." I said "staffer." Perhaps a particular staffer I am aware of has moved from Staten Island to Brooklyn, another has fled Jersey, and freelancers don't count. Mr. K also charges that we "willfully misunderstood what winning a "Newspaper of the Year" award from the Suburban Newspaper Association means." (Don't really care about that - it's just easy to make fun of.) And of course, he urges Icky readers "to judge for themselves what you get from a 'real' newspaper by visiting ..." Sorry, Mr. K. I've brought enough attention to your paper for the day. But good to see you on the Blog Beat at 9:30 on a Sunday evening.
AS ALWAYS, EXCELLENT RESPONSES FROM READERS ...
"Funny post. Great reaction. Yep, the BP's getting kinda annoying. Especially when it's wet on my stoop. Then it becomes property of the Dept. of Sanitation. The old Post writer's got that Murdoch envy again, as the PS Courier and related papers are owned by News Corp. itself. And yeah, columns written in the third person unless they're talking about infants suck."
"I like the Brooklyn Paper. Where else are you going to get such local newspaper coverage? I agree that BP doesn't cover certain neighborhoods well at all, especially if there aren't a lot of upwardly mobile folk. I didn't like how BP tried to pander to Wal-Mart a couple years ago, trying to get some more of that full page ad moola (I worked for many years in the newspaper industry and it was awfully obvious what Gersh was doing). But with those exceptions, I think they are a very valuable asset to Brooklyn."
"It's Greenpoint, bitch! You're being too hard on Gersh. I know for a fact he had a reporter in the Garden Spot. He (or she) quit after waiting 8 months to get paid. $30 a story."
"The Brooklyn Paper is a weekly. Did you ever notice that a serious news story will appear in the (daily) Brooklyn Eagle (www.brooklyneagle.com) and then a few days later a bastardized version of it comes out in the Brooklyn paper, only with a sensational headline?"
"Time Magazine is a weekly. Did you ever notice that a serious news story will appear in the (daily) New York Times (www.nytimes.com) and then a few days later a bastardized version of it comes out in Time Magazine, only with a sensational headline?" "The New York Post is a daily. Did you ever notice that a serious news story will appear online (news.yahoo.com) and then the next day a bastardized version of it comes out in the Post, only with a sensational headline?' And by the way... 'How about a little blog plugging in the Brooklyn Paper?' Perhaps you should scroll to the bottom of this week's Hot Link email newsletter."
BLOGOTORIAL NOTE - Excellent comments from all (we seriously did post all comments received). On the topic of scrolling to the "the bottom of this week's Hot Link email newsletter," our readers might recall ... I no longer receive it. =)