Thursday, December 29, 2011

There's Always Room for One More


I was once fired by CNN for blogging. Just keep that in mind as you read this.

Gawker: Extorting David Letterman Not Enough To Keep Guy Out of a TV Job/12.29.11

The only way this story is surprising to you is if you've never worked in TV news and understand nothing about what a cesspool of drunken, drug-addicted, mentally unstable amorality it is. It's the Island of Fucked-Up Toys.

So, to recap: Joe Halderman, who went to prison for trying to blackmail one of the most famous people in television, has a TV job again (ID Discovery). Larry Mendte, who confessed to having an affair with his co-anchor then pleaded guilty to federal charges of rifling through her e-mail, has a TV job again (WPIX in New York City). Alycia Lane, that co-anchor, who was once arrested for allegedly slugging an NYPD cop, still has a TV job (KNBC in Los Angeles). Richard Quest, who was arrested in Central Park with a dildo in his shoe, rope tied around his balls and meth in his pocket, never lost his job and is still employed by CNN.

I blogged. And I guarantee you I'm still radioactive and will be for the foreseeable future.

God, I love that fucking insane business.

17 comments:

pea said...

Well, obviously Richard Quest never blogged about his misadventure (methadventure?). It's all about writing stuff down.

C.L.J. said...

Did you ever send your boss a hooker?

Dave Donahue said...

You remind me that Gretchen Carlson broke up a co-anchor marriage at the ABC affiliate in Richmond, VA in the late 80's (early 90's?), right after she had parlayed her Miss America fame into a reporting job. Sleazy biz I got out of in the early 90's, but the story is it's the only business that attaches no stigma whatsoever to having been fired. It happens all the time to everyone for far less than what happened to you - usually when the new GM comes in and rolls all his/her homies into the management positions. Too bad, because the creative was fun (Promotion/Production) and the perks were sweet...

Brad Friedkin said...

Please don't pee in my Cesspool.
Thanks,
The Media.

JohnF said...

I never really could wrap my brain around that CNN fiasco. It sure felt like a dick move to me. Actually, I'm not sure if it was a dick move or a pussy move. If I had to speculate, I think they were intimidated by your independent streak. And the F-bombs. Still doesn't make much sense to me.

TheReaperD said...

There are two very big differences that makes you toxic while they are not:

1) Their story's were 'news' (fucked up as they were) in of themselves where yours was a 'HR issue.'

2) They weren't nailed for reporting stories and facts that the suits and corporate sponsors/owners didn't want published where as that was the reason they threw you out on the spot.

Number 2 is, in my opinion, why you should be reporting the news. But, in this fucked up world of corporate news conglomerates, this is what we get... we earned it.

namron said...

Your mistake, Chez, was self correction of your life's course. If your LA adventure as detailed in "Dead Star Twilight" had included a drug-crazed, on air freak out, why you would be the managing editor of NBC Nightly News today!

Joash said...

Not long before you were fired, I actually remember seeing you in the CNN American Morning newsroom while I was interviewing for a job and shadowing some staff on the overnight shift. The cut of your jib stood out in that place. You also looked antsier than Steve Buschemi with a case of delusional parasitosis. Then again I can't blame you. That work space had all the charm of a funeral parlor. Ed Litvak was totally disengaged and spaced out during my interview, and the writers I was seated with looked tired and defeated. There was none of the pirate ship camaraderie or excitement I was expecting from a network shop operating at the center of the universe. Like you, I am out of the business, and I can't say I miss the rim-jobbing, cronyism and surreal decision making that takes place in those management meetings. TV news truly is an atrocity exhibit. I hope you're happy to no longer be part of the gallery. Fuck em.'

Jester said...

Er, well, yes, the blogging got you fired.

But I'm pretty sure it was the airing of your former boss's dirty laundry and that of the company AFTER you got fired that turned you radioactive. ;-)

Chez said...

Oh, no doubt.

Still, someone has the potential to air your dirty laundry -- or someone has the potential to create a huge scandal by blackmailing you or rifling through your e-mail should you piss him off. You tell me which is worse.

Jester said...

Weird as it sounds, *in the context of being hired for a job*, what you did is worse. Joe Halderman didn't blackmail his employer.

You didn't either, of course, but Ed Litvak has your name stapled to every job application he fills out. You're still one of the top five things that comes up when you search for him on Google, even before his Twitter account.

Given that your potential future bosses are likely gonna know that (the industry is a small world), if you were a hiring manager, would YOU hire you? ;-) And even if you would take the chance, would your boss?

"Fired for blogging" is #6 when one searches Google for you, before your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, and I'm sure the aftermath posts you wrote about CNN internal politics are well-read in the industry. Don't get me wrong: they're entertaining, interesting, and great reads. But I'm also sure they closed a LOT of doors for you.

Companies don't mind hiring felons nearly as much as they mind being publicly embarrassed.

Not trying to piss you off. I'm just putting this stuff in perspective. You think you're radioactive because you got fired for blogging, when that ain't it at all.

Chez said...

Again, no doubt. And I'm certainly not complaining -- just stating a fact.

kanye said...

The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club.

CNNfan said...

Chez said, "Richard ..., who was arrested in Central Park with a ..., rope tied around his balls and meth in his pocket, never lost his job and is still employed by ... "

At least Richard did not end up like David, widely reported to likely have died of auto-erotic asphyxiation.






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8th anniversary of CNNfan.com 1/4/12

One of the 50 said...

Note to self: Should have shown up to work with rope tied around nuts, leather face mask on and humped the middle "N" on the sign.

Chez said...

I assume your screen-name is a reference to the 50 recently shit-canned by CNN. Sorry to hear it.

bafreeman said...

Lesson learned: if I ever work for CNN, I'm going to do all my blogs with meth in my pocket and a dick in my shoe.
I don't think I can tie up my balls though--maybe I just don't have what it takes to be a serious journalist.