Thursday, October 11, 2007

Mitchel Stevens’ Guide to Employment and Robotics

Editor's Note: The following column is part of an anonymous weekly humor column chronicling the struggle of a new, young journalist out in the working world. You may find the author's previous posts in the archives. --The Ed.

The column’s a bit late these week, kids, due to the nasty weather and all. I know, you may be thinking, “how is that possible with sun and summer-like temperatures?” Especially when the stormy weather comes after my column usually runs.

And the answer for that is located somewhere underneath Fox’s corporate headquarters and Jann Wenner’s safe where the secret to rock and roll success is kept.

(Special note: don’t bother looking for it. It’s just a napkin Jann made at the age of 22. It’s just a venn diagram, a smiley face and the number for a pizza place on Lexington Ave.)

But anyway, it is cold and I have taken to staying inside my lavish cubby hole located somewhere between the BQE and a bottle. Of course, one of my daily rituals is refreshing my Bloglines quicker than you can say, “we regret to inform you…”

The other? Reading Gothamist. Particularly the interviews, since they can range from wonderfully short and (unintentionally) hilarious to the most recent one with Red Eye host Greg Gutfeld.

It is a semi-secret that most Gothamist contributors make a majority of their money at day jobs and write/blog second, which is great. (It’s also not a secret that Gothamist is stingier than Radar Magazine when it comes to reimbursement/payment. Not to mention a tad bit of payola. See below.)

But back to the interview at hand by Ben Kharakh. Now, Gutfeld’s hilarious. It’s worth it sometimes for me to be at the bar, try desperately to pick up a girl who has cable, go to her apartment and then cite performance anxiety*—all so I can then watch Red Eye at 3 a.m.

It’s just too bad that Kharakh either couldn’t get Gutfeld on the phone, couldn’t take the B/D/F/V to Sixth Avenue or schedule a good time to do anything but an e-mail interview. How can one tell it’s an e-mail interview?

An excerpt:

[Gutfeld:] It took three months to work out the kinks, but our show is now the most refreshing, smart and fun hour on television, and that includes Reading Rainbow. More juice? It's grape.

[Kharakh:] Having done this for over half a year, what are some tricks that you've picked up to make it through the day and in what way have you improved

First, there was no punctuation and that’s fine. Normally when one transcribes an interview, you forget things like that. Lord knows this one time I even forgot to do the Q&A. But completely ignoring such a flippant opening, or editing it out? Huh.

Gutfelt goes on, treating the “exchange” as if they were in his lavish, Swinging Sixties bachelor pad and not pounding this out on his office computer. There’s nothing wrong with the e-mail interview, but Gothamist has a long history with running it as if it was conducted in person and as if keeping the reader blind to the truth is ethically all right.

Not to mention they disable all comments for interviews.

But hey, how can I be upset at Gothamist? You can’t hate them. They’re adorable little puppy bloggers with cat fetishes and who dedicate their free time to a network of city-based blogs.

I mean, I’d just like to know if an interview was in-person or via email or phone or iPhone or iChat. That’s all, guys.

Anyway, sorry for pretending to be The Editorialiste today, guys. It is cold and I am mildly cranky.

Before I go, I also must say: Gawker’s Freelancer Action Unit. Wowie Zowie. Finally, I can get paid! No longer do I have to live in fear of unresponsive editors and payments departments! Gawker is back on my side!

Of course, Gawker is tied to Radar Magazine, who may or may not be still publishing, New York Magazine, slightly to Time Out New York, OK Magazine…um…you know, in hind sight, maybe it’s better NOT to talk to Gawker. Then again, each editor does make $323 billion dollars per year because bloggers are rich.

Speaking of, it’s time to go fight a cat for some breakfast.


*Note: Mitchel Stevens does not really suffer performance anxiety. He is a he-man woman hater with a cock that just won’t stop a sensitive writer and nice guy.


Keith Whitener said...

The whole interview has Gutfeld pretending that he's trying to seduce the interviewer. Wouldn't editing all that out kind of ruin the fun of it?

MS said...

Of course, but the fact that the interviewer prob. didn't even see the seduction until his email questions were sent back seems lame. If it was a live interview, he could at least play along. And I know, Gothamist does do live interviews--the Legs McNeil one being a classic.

Keith Whitener said...

Do you think editing the question in such a way so as to reflect that a seduction is going on would have been better?

MS said...

Considering who the interview subject is and his playful answers, yes. It seems like Gutfeld answered the way he did as a kiss-off to the format sent to him.