Over time, we get to know our commenters fairly well. There are some we know and love! Some we know and find mildly amusing. Some we don't know and are afraid of. Then there are the ones—or, the one—who seem to arrive only to defend the New York Times. Let's meet our commenter Urnidiot! Is s/he—we're kinda going with he!—a Times employee? Married to a Times employee? Let's go to the evidence!
We started noticing that this commenter, more than anyone else, seems to post a response to any and all posts about the Times. And it's always something defending the paper. Hey, this is a fine thing—we like it when commenters can bring some expertise, some new information, a little intrigue. And you know, there's lots of stuff we like about the Times too. Or else we'd talk about it as little as we talk about the New York Sun!
But we've also noticed that, while this commenter often comes across as sarcastic and "biting," he also seems genuinely hurt over any criticism of the paper.
Here's what Urnidiot had to say on July 16, in response to a post about a Times article about middle-aged men who play Guitar Hero:
Could someone let the technicians know that the GawkerBot AutoPilot 3000 that's apparently been producing the posts on this site for the last several months is stuck in that mode where it only generates perfunctory, knee-jerk items about the New York Times? Thanks!!Duly noted!
In response to our post about where Times employees sit in the new building, Urnidiot had this to say:
Did you know there are also special chambers on each floor of the Times building where men and women are segregated by gender, and then made to enter individual containment units before they excrete solid and liquid wastes from their bodies? What a crazy, crazy company.Now that's just dumb.
Urnidiot seems particularly piqued whenever we mention reporters or editors on the Culture desk. Take this response to a post about TV reporter Bill Carter getting beat on the Sopranos finale story by Star-Ledger TV critic Alan Sepinwall, who got an interview with David Chase (Carter wrote that Chase wasn't doing interviews):
Um, maybe it's because the publicists at HBO are a bunch of #@!%ing liars? But yeah, Bill Carter did interview every single member of the Sopranos cast this weekend, so I guess his HBO contacts must be really weak. Or something like that?By the way, we do allow cussing here!
Or his response to our post, "Who's Winning the Battle of Hollywood":
This post reads like a first-grader trying to explain where babies come from. You've obviously gleaned some superficial details about the process, but you still have no idea what you're talking about.Some of that is interesting, but lots of it is just noise. And some of it is wrong. That's fine, we're wrong too sometimes.
Your criticism of Edward Wyatt has no basis; he managed to break some big stories despite the fact that networks wouldn't make key people available to him.
You are dead wrong that Bill Carter "has trouble" with HBO stories — did you even bother to do a cursory Nexis search on him?
You are dead wrong again that Sharon Waxman lacks sources and has been "basically blacklisted" by the industry.
It's very strange you make no mention of Michael Cieply or Jacques Steinberg, who break stories regularly on both coasts — or would this refute your shaky thesis?
It's stranger still that you seem to think the LA Times has any esteem or prestige whatsoever in the entertainment industry anymore.
It's strangest of all that you are still pimping your theory that Nikki Finke is the only person in the world who knew on Friday that Kevin Reilly was about to be fired.
Seriously, where do you get your information from?
Finally, we have this comment, from yesterday, in response to our post wondering if Brian Stelter was going to raise the ire of the notoriously prickly Bill Carter:
Indeed, I wonder what Jacques Steinberg, Virginia Heffernan, Alexandra Stanley, Edward Wyatt, Brooks Barnes, David Halbfinger, or any of the dozens of other people who write about television for the Times think about the fact that there's one more article about television in the paper today.Except that as another commenter also noted, it's Alessandra Stanley. And also? We think we know how a good chunk of those people feel. And we wondered if it's similar to how Bill Carter feels. Hence, why we wrote the post. How crazy!
Anyway, maybe that typo was some meta-commentary about the fact that Alessandra makes so many mistakes?
We'd execute this guy, but somehow it seems more fun, and more sporting, to keep him around.