Pol Pot School of Management

May 4, 2009
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When the Khmer Rouge of Killing Fields infamy set out to trump that old monster Chairman Mao’s horrendous Cultural Revolution, the plan was to destroy all that was familiar and, like mad bureaucrats everywhere, substitute Orwellian name changes and titles and sloganeering to no other end than that they can do it.

Except in the matters of dignity and tradition and pride, trifling things like that, it may be of little relative consequence that the efforts by the Tribune corporation to destroy newspapers by savaging the local staffs (while enjoying the usual bloat and bonuses at the top)  include  substituting Orwellian name changes and titles and sloganeering to no other end than that they can do it.

At The Hartford Courant, the editor, a good man, is now tarted up as the “print platform manager.” You might wonder what is wrong with a title that has existed for centuries. You would be told to shut up and keep your stupid questions to yourself.

At the Baltimore Sun, another Tribune victim, the process is extended to include lower ranking editors  — “Sports editor, for example, becoming “head of sports.” There is a “head of opinion” where there used to be an “opinion editor.” Since there is still a “deputy sports editor” who is not yet “deputy head of sports” the process is incomplete. Watch that space. They even have a “director of audience appreciation” now, which they sorely missed in the days gone-by. They have a “director of night content,” a dark assignment, surely. The “head” of lifestyle and entertainment has aboard an “events coordinator” which is probably not someone to organize shufflboard matches and square dances. Well, maybe that’s exactly what she does.

It is the first act of the destroyers to dismantle the familiar, to substitute language for accomplishment, sleights of hand for substance. This from a gang that has accomplished nothing whatever that has worked — nothing! Everything they have touched has failed and flopped or been unable to respond to the new world. As always when you fail and you are a boss, create a diversion. Change the titles.


1 Comment


  1. That’s for sure, Denis. All so true. The head of the Courant may be a good man, i don’t disagree with that, but he has basically lined up the paper for slaughter. Other men across the country have stood up to these Media Hitlers and said they’d rather die (be fired) than do the work of evil. And so those men have walked away with their dignity. Why has no one done this at the Courant?

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