Frats vs. Geeks
Star Tribune article acknowlegdes the departure of colleague Steve Perry, editor of City Pages, who was often critical of Minneapolis' so-called minor-major. City pages devotes a cover story and supplement to the Strib's hasty and reportedly cheap sale.
From the trenches:
Steve Perry gets into a electro-mediated row with Monica Moses over a not-for-publication letter to the editor, which, to everyone's surprise *irony*, wound up on the local blogosphere.
The Star Tribune's farewell to Perry reads more like a "don't let the door hit you..." missive than a news report. Perry is described as an "idiosynchratic" editor who was resistant to corporate interference and "never pulled punches." Another account might describe this person as idealistic and possessed of journalistic integrity and Strib personnel as toadying sycophants. Both views are biased, but only one of them didn't appear in the most widely circulated daily in the region. The title of the article implies unforseeable suddenness in Perry's departure, that he was unceremoniously dumped in favor of a rising star from Cleveland. Only later is it revealed that Perry's departure has appeared imminent for just over a year. The reporting also contains a hint of self-reference buried in a literary flourish. "The whirlwind turn of events has left the staff of the award-winning weekly shellshocked. Yet change is the new norm in the Twin Cities, which recently has seen media properties and staff flipped and discarded like a Texas Hold 'Em marathon." One of the decks being shuffled is located at 425 Portland Ave. Quotes from the ostensibly "shellshocked" City Pages staff lacked the histrionics hinted at by the adjective. Perry himself is not interviewed in the piece, but is quoted via an excerpt from his final staff memo. Apparently there was some surprise that he didn't do what everyone thought he was gonna do... flip out man. But the fact that it was mentioned at all may be another example of the creeping editorialism that pervades this article. Perry's non-reaction led to an accusation, from an MPR analyst, that he received a generous severance package. This claim, although properly sourced, seems to have an editorial bent, and may be an attempt to smudge Perry's credibility. It is important to note that, under Perry, City Pages articles and blog postings have been just as critical of the Strib's management, if not moreso. In this context, this article could be interpreted simply as return fire. But if so, whom does it benefit when the quarterback of the hard news team chases the scruffy, unkempt drum major into the locker room with 3 seconds remaining a six point deficit, just to give him a swirly? It may not be long before some at the Strib are writing themselves out of the local media narrative.