Columbia Girds For Crackling April Fools Day

In your untrustworthy Wednesday media column: College journalists prepare for a wild April Fools, Alexander Lebedev's not in it for the money, Wonkette loses a writer, and layoffs hit USNWR.

  • Haha, check out what the wacky kids at the Columbia Spectator have planned for their April Fools Day issue this year: "[We are totally not going to publish an April Fools issue because it] sets up a whole slew of ethical issues — trying to toe the line between what's funny and what's an inappropriate comment about a person or subject we purport to cover objectively is asking a lot," says the paper's editor. Haha, watch out!
  • Alexander Lebedev, the Russian billionaire who just bought the money-losing UK paper The Independent, comes right out and says that he doesn't really care if the paper makes any money at all, he's just trying to support quality journalism. Can we believe this man? We hope that we can! Though he also says "I've been watching what's happening in the U.S... People there understand that it's their duty [to support the press]," so we're not sure how connected to reality he is.
  • WONKETTE NEWS: Sara Smith, one of the Wonkette triumvirate, is leaving the site. She is getting into "big-money TECHNICAL/MARKETING writing because blogs pay lousy moneys. But, she will return soon to do a weekly column, possibly on hilarious Texas politics, because she lives in Austin," according to Wonkette boss Ken Layne, who may or may not be trustworthy. In any case, she is really funny.
  • Keith Kelly says US News & World Report (which can't be that big any more, can it?) just fired a dozen business side staffers, including the entire marketing department in NYC. Good luck to them all. That magazine may not be long for this world.