Thursday, June 07, 2007

A Sad Farewell Moron Mail

I do not exalt in the misfortunes of others. In fact when it comes to the recent bloodletting at the Strib, I actually lament the moving on of those who have provided me, and others, so much material over the years.

Which brings us to a letter in the Strib today; a touching tribute from a reader to remind us what we are losing:

When I first learned about the changing arts coverage in the Star Tribune, I seriously considered ending my decades long subscription to this paper.

But I reminded myself that the well-researched and reasoned editorials remained.

Since Jim Boyd and Steve "Hertz" Berg are heading for the door, you have good reason to be sanguine.

Wait a minute... you're use of the word "remained" leads me to believe that you actually think -

Oh Jeez.

I also considered Linda Mack's incisive reviews of our metro architecture, Stormi Greener's amazing photos, Doug Grow's needed and often gutsy columns and Chuck Haga's smart and earthy reporting of the human stories all around us.

I decided they and the rest of the staff would ensure my loyalty to the paper. Then I read this latest report of employees who will be leaving the Star Tribune. It reads like a list of who's who in the national media. Many of those being asked to take a voluntary buyout are award-winning, well-known professionals.

I don't like where this is going...

So many top journalists -- Steve Berg, Eric Black, Jim Boyd, Kate Stanley, David Peters, Sharon Schmickle, et al. -- are leaving!

Steve "Hertz" Berg and Jim Boyd are...

..."top journalists"??????


Excuse me a moment while I rename this post.

I am beyond being dismayed. This is no longer the paper that made Minneapolis proud. This is no longer my paper.

I, a newspaper junkie, am on the way to being cured of my addiction to the morning paper -- against my will.

Yes Jim "wingnuts falling out of the trees onto their empty heads" Boyd sure made everyone proud.


Well, Linda Bonerson, I have a special treat for you. KAR has obtained an exclusive copy of Steve "Hertz" Berg's resignation letter:

As many of you are aware, today is my last day at the paper. It is time for me to move on and I want you to know that I have accepted a position as “Trophy Husband”. This decision was quite easy and took little consideration. However, I am confident this new role represents a welcome change in my life and a step up from my current situation. While I have a high degree of personal respect for the Strib as a paper, and I have made wonderful friendships during my time here, I am no longer comfortable working for a group largely populated by gossips, backstabbers and Napoleonic personalities. In fact, I dare say that I would rather be dressed up like a pinata and beaten than remain with this group any longer. I wish you continued success in your goals to turn vibrant, productive, dedicated reporters into an aimless, shambling group of dry, lifeless husks.

May the smoke from any bridges I burn today be seen far and wide.

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Berg

UPDATE: We have just learned that large portions of Steve Berg's resignation letter were actually copied verbatim from a rather famous resignation letter that made the rounds on the internet a couple of years ago!

Wow. Old habits die hard.

UPDATE 2: Steve Berg writes to correct the record:

I am sorry that I inadvertently incorporated a large portion of the resignation notice of another person into my own. I do recall reading that one several years ago and it must have subconsciously crept into my letter while I was writing it.

As for the rest of my tenure at the Star Tribune, I regret nothing. As a member of the editorial board, it was our duty to question the motives of our government and uncover corruption wherever we found it.

Thoughtful criticism and close scrutiny of all government officials by the press and the public are an important part of our democratic society. Now as in our past, only the understanding and involvement of the people through full and open debate can help to avoid serious mistakes and assure the continued dignity and safety of the nation.

UPDATE 3: The KAR crack research staff has just discovered that the third paragraph of Mr. Berg's followup e-mail is identical to a passage of Jimmy Carter's farewell address.

UPDATE 4: Mr. Berg writes back regarding his lifting from the Carter speech:

Ever had a conversation
That you realize you've had before?
Isn't it strange?

Have you ever talked to someone,
And you feel you know what's coming next?
It feels pre-arranged!

'Cause you know that you've heard it before.
And you feel that this moment in time is surreal.
'Cause you know when you feel deja-vu

UPDATE 5: With very little research, we have been able to determine that the above-quoted correspondence from Mr. Berg is just a cut and paste of some Iron Maiden lyrics.

We have set our spam filter to block any further correspondence from Mr. Berg.

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