Kaus

As someone whose ass has been pulled out of the fire by more than one copy editor, I have to say, Mickey’s really outdone himself in terms of assholitude this time:

I admit, I have a natural enmity with copy editors. My position: A good copy editor will make your copy better–but only on rare occasions will it be enough better to justify the delay and hassle, let alone the copy editor’s salary. And good copy editors are hard to find–the best quickly move on to other jobs these days. Those that stay, especially in big organizations like the LAT, are too often repositories of self-justifying pedantry! Usually they just make copy duller. … Does Carroll really think the Times would be discernibly worse if Ron Brownstein were allowed to type his articles right from his Blackberry onto the front page? Even if you could take the copy editors’ salaries and hire more Brownsteins? …You could make them all use spellcheck!

Mickey, you jackass. Spellcheck won’t save you when you call it the pubic library. Spellcheck won’t tell you you’ve calculated the hypothetical property tax rate for a home in your newspaper’s coverage area wrong, and fix it, thus sparing you 15,000 angry phone calls from people whose taxes you just tripled. Spellcheck won’t notice that you substituted Selma for Montgomery in a story about a venerable civil rights leader because you wrote the story so fast and on so much caffeine that your fingers didn’t know what your brain was telling them.

Copy editors, however, will. Unless you go around insulting them, in which case they’ll just let your naming of the lacrosse coach when you meant the soccer coach slip, because they know it’s your name on the story. The only person it’s unluckier to insult than the copy editors is the newsroom receptionist. You’d be better off pissing in your editor’s shoes than saying word one to the folks on the rim about your opinion of their jobs.

Oh, and Mickshit? The way to save newspapers is not to cut newsroom jobs, and tools like you are the best friends of corrupt publishers and greedy corporate boards, none of whom are willing to forgo their own bloated bonuses to lower those costs they wail and gnash their teeth over. Thanks for once again diverting attention from the real problem by starting a little snit-fit over who in the newsroom is worth more than who. The laziest, most bipolar hack downstairs is worth ten of the thieving upstairs executives who only hope the help keep fighting amongst themselves so they won’t see they’re being robbed blind.

Schmuck.

A.