In your fiery Wednesday media column: Jay Fielden's Connecticut house is destroyed, Robert Thompson's rent-a-quote business is flourishing, a tale of thoughtful and well-paid journalism gone to hell, and USA Today's amazing foto feat!

  • Jay Fielden was once editor of Men's Vogue. Then Men's Vogue folded, two years ago. And then earlier this week, Fielden's house burned down. That's harsh. He'll have only the recent profile of his home in Elle Decor to remember it by.
  • Syracuse professor Robert Thompson has long been known as one of America's most popular rent-a-quotes. He's ostensibly an expert on pop culture, and he's very available and media-friendly, and consequently he is quoted in an astounding number of news stories. The current count, via Nytpicker: Thompson's appeared in 150 NYT stories, and been interviewed by 78 separate reporters. He is way more famous than the president of Nigeria, whoever that might be.
  • In his final "Off the Record" media piece for the New York Observer, John Koblin chronicles the brief and rise and fall of The Review, an Abu Dhabi-based English language broadsheet. What started as a well-funded, well-paying home for long journalism turned quickly into a tabloid with mediocre pay and short articles. Basically there is no hope, for journalists. Good luck out there, John Koblin.
  • USA Today managed to locate, and run on its front page, an AP photo of Westboro Baptist Church protesters that did not contain the word "Fags." An amazing feat of photojournalism.