Monday, November 08, 2010

You Don't Say

If you pay really careful attention, you'll notice that I occasionally soften the language of the pieces that appear here before submitting them to the Huffington Post. I have no issue being a profanity-spouting firebrand on this site, my internet home, but when it comes to HuffPo I generally try to temper my thoughts a little simply because of the amount of exposure the columns there tend to get and generate. The overall tone of the material doesn't change; I just go out of my way to be at least a little more dignified.

There have been a couple of times, however, that the blogging gods at HuffPo have actually asked me to edit something I've submitted -- or have asked for my permission to allow them to edit it themselves. Generally, I go along with it because, once again, as long as the point of the piece remains intact I couldn't really care less whether there are one or two fewer, as Jim Kirk would say, "colorful metaphors."

But with that in mind -- and we all know how I have no desire to bite the hand that feeds me some decent press -- I invite you to take a look at the way yesterday's little column on Keith Olbermann currently appears in the Huffington Post. It's, well, interesting, to see what changes needed to be made in order for it to be approved for publication. It was submitted without the Maddow coda, so you can discount that right off the bat. But some of the other edits -- which for the most part I agreed to, by the way -- they're pretty noticeable.

Remember, what's the one rule of writing for the Huffington Post?


Anonymous said...

chez posts an article.. article appears on huffington post.. chez complains about huffington post.. chez posts an article..

Chez said...

And the circle of life goes round and round. Actually, I wasn't complaining at all about the changes; for the most part I approved them. It's just mildly entertaining to point out.

Anonymous said...

And just to summarize the two changes I saw ([] for context):

[fed up with his] unruly talent megalomanically [running roughshod over him]


his occasionally tyrannical ego and penchant for behaving irrationally
his penchant for standing his ground

That last one is sorta big...

Chez said...

Which would be why I said it was worth taking a look at.

kanye said...

Do you ever feel compromised when this sort of thing happens?

Don't get me wrong; I understand the realities involved when you're being published under somebody else's masthead but, this is a bit different. You're altering an already published piece; not for length or style, but for content, and at the behest of someone who probably doesn't know your work very well, and probably isn't at all considering your interests.

The dynamic somehow seems different than a typical "gun for hire" piece that a professional writer produces as work product. At least when viewed through the lens of how much "this little experiment of yours" means to know, from what you've told us in the past.

When something like this happens, do you ever look over at that Baerwald blurb and think to yourself, "Time to take that one down"?

IBG said...

I put up a post on Huffpo last week calling the Tea Party America's revenge fuck. Post-edit it read: "The Tea Party -- America's revenge," which not just sucked the teeth out of the comment, but all the meaning.

Chez said...

Kanye, this is the first time that something's been edited to the point where it actually changed the overall tone of what I'd written. Yeah, I wasn't thrilled about it and easily could've just opted out of HuffPo -- but for what it's worth, while I'm a big fan of all that fierce integrity stuff, I am actually trying to be slightly more open to the opinions of others when it comes to what I write. Look, while yeah, it was changed at HuffPo to fit their unwillingness to piss down the backs of certain people, it's still up in its original form here. I'll survive a little adjustment from them since it's their site and not mine. Thanks, though, for trying to make it seem like I'm some kind of sell-out.

kanye said...

You're attributing intention where none exists, Chez. I never tried to make it seem like you were anything, but rather I asked if that's how it made you feel; specifically in relationship to this place that you care so much about.

Big difference.

If I thought that you were "selling out", I would have come straight out and said as much.

And you know that.

Chez said...

I was only being half-serious about that last line.

CNNfan said...

Hey Chez, Tell'em CNNfan sent ya ;-)

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kanye said...

Shit. I hate when that happens.

Btw, it's your fault, Chez. There was time here when this kind of thing wouldn't have happened; when I would have automatically known that you were both being genuine and busting balls...the same way that I was.

Then, of course, a bunch of shit happened in your life, and it got kind of "egg-shelly" around here for a while.

Lately though, I've been noticing the old Chez ducking his head in here on a more regular basis. I hope that's a sign that life's starting to go a little better for you.

Not that I care or anything.

'Ya prick.

CNNfan said...

Are you getting fired from
the place that got you fired from
the place for blogging?

Joke… My masterpiece.