Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The End Of The Whine

Was there ever a bigger joke than Daniel Okrent, the constantly-whining "readers representative" who accomplished nothing during his 18 month vacation from reality?

I exaggerate. He accomplished what he set out to do: obtain another little-work, no-responsibility and no accountability academic gig for himself.

NEW YORK Nearing the end of his 18-month stint as The New York Times' first public editor, Daniel Okrent compared the assignment to a root canal -- but says he's glad he took it.

Just hours after hearing that he had successfully landed a fellowship for next spring at the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University, Okrent told E&P that the Times job offered him unparalleled access to readers and editors but also some of the most difficult working conditions imaginable.

Yes, the pampered fat ass can't imagine the working conditions of farm workers, miners, humanitarian aid workers, medical caregivers, soldiers or firefighters, to name just a few.

At one point, Okrent said he changed his reading habits to stop looking at e-mails or blogs before going to bed because he would be unable to sleep. "I sleep better now," he added.

Among the biggest surprises for Okrent were issues surrounding presidential campaign coverage, he said. "It focused attention on the Times' role, and there was a constant assault from people who were inflamed by the coverage," he explained. "What was surprising was the viciousness of the attacks on the paper. The defensiveness of the paper was understandable."

Why should Jokrent have to concern his beautiful mind with readers' opinions of the Times' coverage of an important news story? It's so unpleasant.

Okrent felt the most threatened after his controversial Oct. 10, 2004, column, which he ended by mentioning a person who had e-mailed Times reporter Adam Nagourney. Okrent drew criticism after naming the man [sic -- and identifying where the man lived] and calling him a coward. "He wrote letters demanding I resign and apologize," Okrent recalls. "In the blog world, I got the s--t kicked out of me."

Sorry, Danny. If you had the shit kicked out of you, there would be nothing of you left.

One blogger threatened to post Okrent's home address, home phone number, and the location of his daughter's college campus on his blog in response to the column. "That was very unpleasant," he said.

But not as unpleasant as Okrent actually publishing the name and location of a reader, without permission, which led to exactly the type of harassment the coward Okrent thinks he alone should be exempt from.

Good riddance. Let's hope the next ass-kisser Keller hires at least has the grace not to whine about the smell.

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