Hunter Walker on The Art of the Link-Baiting Hit Piece

Well! Now that Former Colleague of Former Website Hunter Walker spent some quality time Monday baiting Former Former Former Former Cable Host Keith Olbermann, let’s see what he came up with:

After his ouster from Current TV last Friday, Keith Olbermann spent much of the ensuing three days bickering with Twitter users who mocked his firing. Mr. Olbermann also got into an extended discussion with The Politicker about why he thinks Twitter feuds are worth his time and energy.

The Ensuing Three Days would be 72 hours, minus 24 for sleep, so let’s call it 48. And how much is much?

As of last night, Mr. Olbermann has sent 20 messages since his firing was announced last Friday hurling insults at Twitter users who cracked jokes at his expense or linked to rumors his firing was due to his difficult behavior.

That would be — hold on a sec — 144 minutes per tweet, or if you prefer easier math, about seven tweets per day. Which you might think undermines the premise of Hunter’s link-baiting hit piece, but you have no idea how much work goes into typing 140 characters or less.

Keith Olbermann On The Art of the Twitter Feud [Politicker]

Nojo. Stop showing off your maths skillz. Hunter holds not only his small dick like a T-ball trophy a Journalism Degree, but he also has a Wikipedia page stub (with at least two borked reference links), and a Twitter account. His education might not have included simple math, but Journalists are allowed some poetic license when quantifying facts because no one can divide, either. Besides, I liked Shattered Glass.

@Lost in the Negative Space: I never thought Hunter would turn into a Sneering Hipster, but hey, whatever pays the rent.

That said, there’s a way he could pull that off. But first he would have to own up to what he’s doing. A post titled “Batting Practice with Keith Olbermann” — in which The Writer cops to Twitter-baiting — would work.

@nojo: Turn into one?

Yes, “Batting Practice with Keith Olbermann” would have worked very well. Copy editing — that’s a component of J-school or not?

C’mon, Hunter! We miss you! Greg was kind enough to say, “Hi.”

Don’t tell me you don’t read your own press, Hunter.

@Lost in the Negative Space: I always thought Hunter was a Nice Boy, if a bit Percy Weasleyish. This kind of cheap slam doesn’t fit the profile. Must be the beard.

And my J-school experience is decades out of date — our copy-editing class used blue pens and paper, although my college rag later installed computers during my time there.

Same college rag that hit me up a half-hour ago to review some Staff Geek job applications, as it happens. What they really need is a clone of me.

@nojo: Out of date or not, you did talk about things like, oh, headlines, negotiating changes with reporters, lede issues, angles, impartiality? Hunter writes for a Real Paper now, amirite? Like, there’s a press and all that that runs almost once a week. Or is he still getting paid by page view?

I think beards aren’t a good choice for Pot Lickers. And they don’t make you look older. And they don’t hide your receding hairline. And they don’t hide the Santorum on your sweater vest, Argyle Izod or not.

@Lost in the Negative Space: Negotiating changes with reporters?


When you’re on the copy desk, fuck reporters. They had their chance. Let them wait until morning to see how you mangled their precious writing.

Also, Hunter writes for the NY Observer, which indeed does print, but which is not a straightforward newspaper. More like an alt-weekly for twits.

@Lost in the Negative Space: And to answer your broader question…

If you’re working the copy desk at a conventional newspaper, you’re the last line of defense before a story hits print. So beyond standard proofreading, you’re editing for clarity, rewriting for impartiality and house style, guarding against libel, and often composing the headline. (I say “composing” because you have to fit the headline into the alloted space.) And then you’re cutting two inches because an ad got in the way.

Once a reporter hands over the copy, that’s it. You only holler at the reporter if a substantive issue arises: Say an attribution isn’t clear, or a crucial fact is missing — something that can’t be solved at the desk.

To a copy editor, the story is just raw material, grist for the mill. What eventually shows up under your byline may bear little resemblance to what you turned in the night before.

Speaking of newspapers, as of Sunday, DodgerBlue’s local fishwrap has put itself behind a paid firewall, free for subscribers to the dead tree edition. I predict that will not work out well, precisely because the Los Angeles Times is not the New York Times.

@SanFranLefty: I get it for freebie because I can’t talk my wife out of dumping our print subscription. I don’t bother with the hard copy any more, it’s not worth the energy expended to turn the pages.

@nojo: The copy desk is also notorious as a haven for Anglophiles.

@Dodgerblue: Well, I guess if there’s an article that Mr. SFL or I really want to read, I’ll hit you up for your log-in info. I am waiting for the Gray Lady to catch up on how many people and devices are hitching a log-in ride to their website, thanks to my Sunday only subscription.

Why are you guys on the warpath for poor old work-a-day Hunter? He managed to do something I never could, which is land a job in journalism.

@Greg Wasserstrom: I think that there are precisely two people here who care a whit about Hunter one way or another. Neither you nor he should sweat it.

@Greg Wasserstrom: I am amused, of course. I’m not starting a regular feature on Hunter Walker’s Crimes Against Journalism, but I had to see what he did with the material he gathered.

And, well, I really did think he was better than that.

As for this hunter, I may miss the spring turkey season because we have a lot of crap to do at the house to get ready for Son of RML’s Confirmation on May 11. I’m already stealing one weekend away from house and yard work to take a two-day wilderness first aid course in early May (my two year card expires in July). Got my hunt applications in for deer hunting in the fall plus an antelope hunt. Mrs RML is in touch with a guy she knew back in college whose family has a ranch in antelope country, so I’m crossing my fingers about possibly getting in over there if I don’t draw, plus that, there’s my friend’s ranch that has a few deer on it.

@SanFranLefty: I have found that certain paywalls are not impervious to simply clearing your browser of its cookies. To really start pushing it to people that they need to buy a subscription/get an app is when you create story stubs on the main site that tantalize readers to get “premium copy,” such as what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution does now. But it hasn’t tantalized me yet to buy our dumbed down fishwrap that white flighted itself to the burbs not during the 60s — but only 2-3 years ago.

@Greg Wasserstrom: How much is he paying you, Greg?

Oh! And how’s your brother?

Who’s this Hunter Walker person? Did I miss something?

@redmanlaw: You always miss the turkey, so don’t sweat it.

@Greg Wasserstrom: He managed to do something I never could, which is land a job in journalism.

I think Hunter always had the ability to spell, which I’ve heard is useful in the trade.

@peggynooner: Those wiggly red lines hide a multitude of sins. Alopetic beards, not so much.

We’re a bag of dicks…

And I still haven’t seen an orca up in here.

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