Editors Just Can't Believe Jose Vargas Would Lie to Them

In your humid Thursday media column: ridiculous WaPo Twitter uproar of the day, everybody's needlessly peeved at Jose Antonio Vargas, Gothamist is sponsoring long-form journalism, an editor flees New York mag, and the Village Voice could have itself a strike.

  • Should newspaper editors be mad that Jose Antonio Vargas lied to them about the fact that he was an illegal immigrant (which he's now admitting, after a long career in journalism, in a splashy NYT Magazine story)? No. They should not. Because otherwise they would not have hired him, see? Standard journo-critic objection, from Jack Shafer: "I'm more disturbed with Vargas for lying to the Washington Post Co. (which-disclosure alert!-employs me) than I am about him breaking immigration law." Come on now, people. Bullshit. We expect illegal immigrants to get jobs, then turn themselves in to their editors, who are duty-bound to report them to management, who will fire them? No. Come on. You don't lie to editors about stories. Your personal life is another matter. Let's live in the real world, where we all would lie if we were in Vargas' place. If some white American kid dreamed of moving to London, and he went on a tourist visa, and somehow got some forged papers and landed a job at a newspaper, and many years later admitted he wasn't legal, would anyone really give a shit? Well, they shouldn't, in either case.
  • Check out this outrageous and scandalous tweet issued from one of the Washington Post's Twitter accounts: "We love the RTs, but you know, you could read a lot of these stories by simply feeding 75 cents into a corner newspaper box." Can you imagine how much scandal and outrage this caused, in DC? Lots. Lots of scandal, as well as outrage.
  • Gothamist, not traditionally noted for being a friend to paid long-form journalism, is offering $5K to a journalist to write a long story about... anything! Just pitch them! We unironically salute such experiments in the future of paid journalism stuff.
  • New York magazine culture editor Mary Kaye Schilling is moving to GQ, in order to escape the "grueling" pace of work at New York. Just one more reason why Adam Moss is history's greatest monster.
  • Last night, the union at the Village Voice unanimously authorized a strike, if a satisfactory agreement isn't reached by June 30, when their contract expires. Voice film critic J Hoberman tells us employees are fighting to maintain their health care coverage, and notes, "I don't think management appreciates the gravity of the situation. There has never been a strike here but there's always a first time."
[Photo via Campus Progress/Flickr ]