Friday, July 15, 2005

He's Baaaaack......

World's Worst

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the otherwise excellent Marketwatch website, there he is -- the undisputed World's Worst Media Columnist, Jon Friedman. Friedman returns from a two-week absence to reclaim his title, cranking out an interview piece about a man who wouldn't be interviewed.

Halfway through "Time Inc.'s Pearlstine Shows the Strain," we learn that it is really Friedman who is showing the strain. Norman Pearlstine and he "talked for only a minute or two." (Well, which is it? One minute or two minutes? Never mind....) That might explain why the story consists entirely of padding about what a great guy Pearlstine is and how he's been knocked for handing over Matt Cooper's notes, etc., etc..

"There was no point for me to probe more deeply," said Friedman. Yeah, well you can't interview a dial tone, can you? The shmuck pads on bravely, making the best of things: "He spoke guardedly in terse sentences, refusing to go beyond the official public statements that he had already issued through his employer."

Well, no real surprise there, ongoing litigation and all. Besides, the guy is the top editor at Time Inc., and he's probably busy with any number of things. But Friedman's got a column to write and he's got to pad it and, well, you can't really blame him for some harmless padding.

But this is the World's Worst, remember. So he gives us this utter crock:

It wasn't so much that Pearlstine didn't say anything of substance that made such an impression. What struck me was how he so thoroughly discouraged any questions. It was as if he was experiencing a painful, private moment in public. He reminded me of a pitcher who is forced to stand on the mound by himself after allowing a big home run. How did Pearlstine sound on the phone Thursday? He sounded stricken.
Whoa! Whoa! Is this guy for real? If anybody's "standing on the mound after a big home run" it's Friedman, who was on vacation when the big news broke and has got a big fat nothing.

And what's this "stricken" malarkey? Guy, the man had nothing to say to you. That means he is "smart," not "stricken." Besides, put yourself in his place. How would you feel if you'd picked up the phone and the World's Worst Media Columnist was on the other end of the line?

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