Tribune Co. Clown-in-Chief Lee Abrams has been suspended after sending a poorly-timed memo linking to a video about "Sluts." By our reckoning, that was only the tenth-dumbest thing he's done since his reign of goofball memo terror began. ATTACK!
10. Mere days after his company is exposed in the national media as a sexism-plagued hellhole of incompetence, Lee sends a companywide memo calling an Onion video that jokes about sluts "pretty inspirational or at least interesting."
7. Lee warns of the dangers of a government bailout of the newspaper industry: "What would happen is newspapers would then focus on this ultra-elite point-five-percent and create these papers that are just unreachable to a mass audience...I think for government to come in and force this intellectual thing would be terrible." Tribune is relieved that didn't happen.
6. Lee explains why he takes the time to "write a blog" about newspapers: "We hope to uncover myths, fallacies, assumptions and other sacred components that need to be brought to the table for uncomprimed discussion."
5. The traditional "Chinese wall" between advertising and editorial? Lee Abrams doesn't even know what that is: "The Baltimore Sun did some very nice special sections . . . BUT-they were plastered with the line "SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION"OUCH! Why not just say "Don't read this because it's a bunch of ads and no credible content"I understand the importance of seperating these from the traditional news, that's fine, but how about another name??SPECIAL FEATUREA PUBLICATION OF (PUT PAPER HERE)etc. . . ."
4. Lee tries out the Q&A format: "Q: Editorial-wise, is some of what has been done traditionally now irrelevant?
A: NOT IRRELIVENT BUT SUPERSCEDED BY OTHER MEDIA WHO DO WHAT NEWSPAPERS ONCE 'OWNED' BETTER."
3. Memo to staff: "You are either WITH the revolution or AGAINST it. You will either be embraced by the company and win or the company will beat you. No middle ground. If you are IN-cool-Bear down for battle. If you are OUT—-Cool-Good luck with your future." Hope you were out!
2. Lee's dress code suggestion: "*CASUAL STYLE: What with the suits and ties? I'm not suggesting sloppy...but business casual...maybe even eccentric as the Crime expert could be in a Columbo styled rumpled sweater." Turns out staffers loved that! He adds later in the same memo: "Are the above points valid? I don't know, but that's not the point."