December 23, 2004
I Hate the RFT
Attack of the Blog
A Post reporter is suspended for extracurricular Internet activities
BY BEN WESTHOFF
Following publication of an Unreal item in last week's Riverfront Times, newsroom management at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch seized the computer hard drive of staff writer Daniel P. Finney and suspended him from reporting duties.
I just sent them this letter:
I suppose that congratulations would be in order to Unreal for the debut of your “cutting edge” blog reporting, but getting someone suspended (and presumably, fired) crosses a line that really offends me. It also saddens me that the creative community here is constantly lashing out and damaging each other’s careers and reputations.
It’s not bad enough that nurses and teachers are on strike, that conservative ding-a-lings are running the state and country, but now the local bastion of arts and culture is hawkishly monitoring the creative expression of bloggers and will run “shocking exposes” doused with condescending, snarky vitriol.
In regards to the article, I do have a few questions why Mr. Westhoff and/or Mr. Gay went down that “young people” road and focused on Mr. Finney’s collectibles.
What’s up with the “young people” at the Post who spoke under the shroud of anonymity? Since when are Eve Harrington interns that swap blow jobs for New Times promo items considered reliable? And is 29 ancient nowadays – and is Geritol a must for anyone over 25?
Furthermore, is it really so strange, kooky and worth-mentioning that someone who writes about pop culture actually enjoys it? I know that’s a strange concept for most RFT writers (actually enjoying the subject one writes about) – but it honestly does happen. Try reading Playback or Sauce sometime.
I don’t know Mr. Finney, but as someone whose blog was mentioned in your publication last year (without warning), I do question to what depths the RFT will sink to brand itself as the supposed voice of alternative culture?
Your latest efforts to be relevant will do more to kill creative expression in this town than your ill-conceived, trite and hate-filled reviews and columns already have.
You’ve taken smarmy to a whole new level and as writers, artists and creative citizens, you should all be ashamed of yourselves.
The Original RFT Article
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