Friday, January 25, 2008
A NOTE FROM KEN LAYNE
I sent Ken Layne another email on Wednesday after work. I am not particularly happy with the writing, it is a little long and scattered and unclear. It had been a long day. But it is a little dishonest to publish his reply verbatim and edit mine, so in that spirit here goes:
Subject: Towards a truce?
Hey - homofascist here. I just wanted to write you again and see if we can make some kind of deal. I know this shit is crazy, and believe you me it has blown up way more than I thought it would. But I have a suggestion that I would love to discuss.
I think it would really go a long way to have something from you in writing that I could post to my "troops". I know Megan isn't coming back to Wonkette - I am a lot of things, but not stupid. I pretty much imagine that anything you would say would be along the lines of "look, I am in charge, I have a vision for how I want things to be, Megan didn't fit in, end of story." I mean, I know it is just a business decision that you made that some of us don't like, but that is just the way it goes sometimes. I can totally respect that, even if I am one of the ones who doesn't like it.
We aren't expecting some kind of huge mea culpa (well, I am not - I certainly have read you long enough to know better). In fact, to me it really isn't even explaining yourself, it is just a summary of the way it is. But I do think some kind of official word would go a long way towards everyone just moving on. You may lose a few, but you and I both know that most will come back, and of course over time you will continue to gain new readers and commenters.
Please let me know what you think. As I have made known in the past, I was (still am) a huge fan of your writing. I was really sorry when you left and had I known all of the circumstances behind it I probably would have organized something similar for you. And I was glad when you came back. I am just not sure that Wonkette is right for me anymore.
Thanks Ken, and I hope to hear from you.
Jason (aka homofascist)
The reply follows:
There have been a half-dozen editors of Wonkette over its five years, plus scores of guest editors and contributors and fill-ins and try-outs and columnists and interns, etc. It's just a website, part of a chain of websites employing a hundred-plus writers who come and go, myself included.
Megan was given the opportunity to say goodbye to Wonkette readers after her short stint as an associate editor, and exercised her own judgment in her farewell post. I certainly don't speak for the company, but I can't imagine a publisher using its own publications to provide continuous updates on a disgruntled ex-contractor.
So there you go. In my mind I offered a forum to extend a small gesture to disgruntled readers (who would seem to be the bread of butter of Wonkette - just sayin’) and instead got a pretty clear indication that we are not worth the time. Perhaps I am reading too much into it, and perhaps my letter was poor - he certainly didn’t seem to get what I was asking of him. But in some ways I think it was the kind of official word that I had been hoping for and it has only gone to strengthen my resolve. I will let you draw your own conclusions.
UPDATE: On his last point, it has been brought to my attention by a very astute HFA member that Gawker has in fact published at least three updates on former editors Choire & Emily. An example is here.
UPDATE II: Megan has a fabulous post over on her blog re: the letter.