Journo grads: Here's what they think of you at the NY papers
A Media Guy Q&A With Ian Spiegelman
By Simon Dumenco
Published: May 21, 2006/Advertising Age
Former writer from NY Post's Page Six gossip column discusses his new roman a clef...
Media Guy: You've also got a youthful journalist character in your novel who blithely plagiarizes passages from books and from other journalists. I guess somehow you saw that coming too?
Spiegelman: What I was aiming at in the book was this wave of young, rich, entitled kids who the J-schools and Ivy League English/communications programs have been spewing forth these last few years. They work the weeklies and monthlies because something as pedestrian as a daily newspaper would be too base and, frankly, too difficult for them to handle. They are moneyed brats who come out of school expecting cover stories because everything in their lives has taught them that they deserve attention now, not in a few years. And what they're taught in their incredibly expensive programs never prepares them for anything as run-of-the-mill as dealing with cops, getting files released under FOIA [Freedom of Information Act], or just plain knowing how to question a source. So, because they think they deserve big stories -- since it's been drilled into their heads -- they lie. They invent stories, and they plagiarize other writers. Some 28-year-old shit who thinks she or he has paid her dues when they're still fresh to the business thinks nothing of making up stories.
And you can't even blame the kids. The story no one has reported is that this plague of fake writers and reporters was totally encouraged by their editors and engineered by them. These assholes fall in love with some pretty young thing -- male or female -- and end up writing most of their first stories for them. Once the editor sets them loose, then the stealing starts. There is no way around it. The New York media is so impaled upon the youthful beauty of its youngest, most avaricious writers that nothing else matters.