Save Lileks (Bumped)

Filed under:Priorities,Sad — posted by Anwyn on May 10, 2007 @ 9:15 pm

How to run a newspaper: Make Dave Barry cover school board meetings.


Then I guess we’ll just have Lileks cover whatever local beat happens to be vacant.

What is the Star Tribune thinking about? Having James Lileks cover news is like having James Taylor play rhythm guitar–it’s a necessary job and I’ve no doubt he’s up to it, but it seems an incredibly short-sighted waste of talent.

Which is pretty much what I told the “Strib’s” Reader Representative, Kate Parry, along with a reminder that if bringing in web traffic is one of the papers goal’s, they couldn’t do worse than to shut down Lileks. If anything he should be writing more in the Trib’s online edition.

If you like Lileks, maybe you’d like to tell the paper something similar. Contact Reader’s Rep Kate Parry here.

Update: Analogies abound. Dave Barry:

This is like the Miami Heat deciding to relieve Dwyane Wade of his basketball-playing obligations so he can keep stats.

Hugh Hewitt, quoted by Michael S. Malone at ABC:

Hewitt, I think accurately, compared it to the New Yorker asking E.B. White to switch to restaurant reviews, the L.A. Times transferring Jim Murray to the county government beat, or — in an analogy especially appreciated by this longtime Northern Californian — to the San Francisco Chronicle asking the late Herb Caen to give up his column and cover the police blotter.

The latter via Ace, who is on fire here discussing a possibility that had uneasily occurred to me, that the paper was punishing Lileks for being a nationally read conservative, but which I decided not to pursue, charitably choosing the lesser of two evils, that the new owners of the Star Tribune just have no idea what the $#@% they’re doing. But Ace’s take makes sense in light of the disgusted, high-and-mighty noises the paper’s editorial staff made over having to run conservative columnists.

Evidently the paper’s left-wing bias is so strong that people routinely call them the Red Star or the Star & Crescent. Just goes to show you a small slice of their irrelevance that even having read Lileks for over a year, I had no idea. Biased hacks.

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace