Take a Lesson, Maria

From the Kids Today:

In the paper’s attempts to both track down Alter and gather comments from high-ranking university officials, Patrick O’Connor, the chairman of the board, cursed at, berated and insulted a student reporter.

“You call the Chairman of the Board asking for a f—ing phone number?” O’Connor said in a phone interview on Nov. 15, after a reporter asked if there was any way to be put in contact with Alter directly.

“Like I’m your secretary?” O’Connor said. “Would you like a sandwich, too?”

O’Connor, who received an honorary degree from the university in 2013, then told the reporter to “reexamine his goals as a newspaper man,” and asked him to think hard about whether reporting on Alter’s litigation “is helping the Temple community.”

I’ll be less polite than the student editors, who were just trying to find somebody who was accused of financial negligence who happened to sit on the school’s board of trustees: Eat an entire dick.

First of all, what exactly is so out of bounds about asking for a phone number? All you have to say is no and hang up, and there’s no story. But no, you have to pull out your resumé and slap it on the table all “DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?” and now it’s a three-week clusterfuck and you started it. Dumbass. No wonder the university doesn’t want trustees’ phone numbers to be public information, if this is how they act when someone has the temerity to give them a ring.

Second, though, look how easily and beautifully the paper calls this guy on his bullshit behavior. When I read day after day after day about the horrible danger Washington reporters are in of losing “access” if they point out that liars lie to them, or if they refuse to grant anonymity to somebody whose most controversial opinion is that President Obama is a handsome fellow, I think of stuff like this.

After this reporter gets his sandwich — hand-delivered, I hope, by whatever poor bastard is in charge of PR over there — maybe he can be promoted to the White House press corps and start showing them how it’s done.


One thought on “Take a Lesson, Maria

  1. Well, back in the Golden Age Of Journalism, I don’t recall Ben Bradlee going to press with Attorney General Mitchell’s “Graham’s putting her tit in a wringer” statement to one of his reporters. Then again, he and the Post got the coldest, largest buffet dishes of revenge by being proven fucking right on the Watergate/CREEP story, so there’s that.
    Merry Christmas, A.! I love your writing, and this here blog you’ve put together.

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