Operation Global Media Domination: To Whom It May Concern

True/Slant tells us the news is more than what happens, so here's what happened



Certified Mail –

Return Receipt Requested

June 22, 2010

RE: Content License Agreements

Dear Contributor:

As you are probably aware True/Slant Inc. has been bought by and merged into Forbes. This transaction means great changes for True/Slant. Unfortunately it means that at this time we must exercise our right to terminate our Agreement with you effective 30 days hence. We will be working with you to move your content to a WordPress blog; we’ll send details on that shortly. While at the moment we do not have a need for your services, we forsee the possibility down the road of contacting you again.

I wanted to personally thank you for all that you have done to make True/Slant what it is today. We wish you good luck and hope that our paths cross again in the future.

Very truly yours,

Lewis Dvorkin


God knows, I’ve been laid off before. Just usually by people who knew my name.

For those of you who are interested, no, the Michael Jackson posts didn’t do it. It’d be a sorry-ass news site indeed that would fire somebody for getting hate mail. Coates and I had a lot of talks before I got hired, and one of the things that made him say Yes was my ability to generate controversy. Which hasn’t gotten my work posted to the front page ever since I started talking about Michael Jackson, but who knows? Maybe Steve Forbes is a big fan. I actually have no complaints about the way I was treated, except the one about a non-specific noun rather than a personal one in that greeting. May I be excused my emo moment?

It’s okay, I’ve still got my poetry.

By the way, for trivia fans no, they did not in fact send it Certified Mail, so I guess this will have to do as a return receipt.

I’ll be very, very sorry to see this gig go. It was never going to be a millionaire-maker, nor was my drawing power something that had Matt Taibbi staying up nights, but I was proud of the work I did there (and, I guess, will continue to do right up till the end of July, just because I’m so nice) and having briefly had one, I will never again underestimate the power of a site that has the attention of the New York media.

John Cusack retweeted my post about him, and said (somewhat loopily, as usual) “I liek lorriane!Ian McKellen retweeted my post about him.

It’s not supposed to matter, but it does. At least they know my name.

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22 thoughts on “Operation Global Media Domination: To Whom It May Concern

  1. That’s rather crappy.

    Dear what’s-yer-name, thanks for helping make us so great that Forbes bought us out, see ya.

    I wish John Cusack liek’d me!

  2. There’s still time. If he’s in Spain, tweet him some restaurant suggestions. Or crazy festivals, he has a weakness for those. Sometimes I think his whole life is the film “In Bruges” only without the killing part.

    And thanks. I made some friends there, and it seems without exception they’re the ones who got tossed. I didn’t expect a blog on the sociology of celebrity to fit into Forbes, but it’s surprising to me that Forbes would buy it only to shut it down and jettison what seems like the majority of writers. There are some amazing people there, at least for the next 25 days.

  3. You know, I was just there today. Honestly, I walk in and everyone from the owner to the bartender to the waitress to the guy who lives upstairs goes Hi Raincoaster!

    But I’m on a new diet and toughing it out, so I only had diet coke. Taking the day off my diet for my birthday Saturday, and fully expect to consume most of my calories in liquid form.

  4. Maybe John can change his life briefly to that in ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ and fix up Steve and Lewis to a cool soundtrack. Be sure to give him a couple of swag pens beforehand . . . .

  5. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been so rudely dismissed. But as they say when life closes a window it opens a tab, or something like that. I disagree with your judgment about MJ, but as an old friend of Sir Ian’s, I was happy to see you take up his banner and spotlight him so respectfully. He’s one of the last great actors we have left, and anything he has to say is worth listening to, if for no other reason than he sounds like Shakespeare himself on nitrous oxide. It surprises me none that he would appreciatweet you.

  6. FFE, perhaps it’s mocking you and in fact suggesting a verb, subject instead of a WASP?

    LW, thanks. We shall see what life opens up for me soon. There were already big changes underway:

    Hopefully some of them will pay well. Speaking of which…if you’re still interested in that retainer, I’m suddenly VERY interested.

    And we are as of one mind about Ian McKellen. He is carved out of solid awesome.

  7. Pingback: How Many Royals Does It Take To Screw In a Blackberry? | lolebrity

  8. LW, by the way thanks for the 35 or so readers who went from my Gawker profile to lolebrity.net after your comments! I have too damn many sites, but I’m glad I changed the link from TrueSlant!

  9. Ditto what Metro said…Miss/Mr contributor. Love how your still baffling the ‘net re your actual sex (I’m talking the whole fe/male thing, not the Cthulhu tentacle obsession thing), on Gawker and everywhere else. What? They think only a man can be this obnoxious?!?

  10. Pingback: Operation Global Media Domination: the Double Millennial Situation « raincoaster

  11. Valerie Harper was sublime as Tallulah in Looped. “Cocaine isn’t habit-forming, I should know, I’ve been using it for years.” Truly a role she was born to play, and she did her great justice.

    Now, I can’t believe you clocked 35 readers to your site based on my comments? I guess you have a way of knowing these things, and here I was thinking you were the only one reading my messages.

    And, now that I know you’re open to a retainer, I will start giving some serious thought to what my boring ass could do with your magical powers. Though Tallulah would tell me, “If you want to help the internet, don’t be a blogger dahling, be an audience!”

  12. Ooh, I like Tallulah more and more!

    And I always loved Valerie Harper. I can’t picture her in that role, though, having grown up knowing her as Rhoda. Still, the woman has tremendous talent.

    And yes, 35 people clicked through from my profile to http://Lolebrity.net , which is one of my other sites, which must have left them wondering what the hell you were on when you recommended it. Let’s just say it hasn’t taken off the way I had hoped.

    Any link dropped on Gawker has tremendous pulling power, which is why I can’t help myself from dropping links all the damn time. I’m sure Denton hates me for it.

    And by the way, I’m putting up the schedule for my new online blogging and social media classes tonight and tomorrow at http://raincoastermedia.com/2010/07/07/social-media-course-schedule/ which is yet ANOTHER of my blogs, my business blog. Or if you want, I could just email you the press release.

  13. I grew up with a huge crush on Valerie, in fact all the gals on MTM, so it was either the law of attraction in action or a gift from God that I would not only work with her twice, but get to know her very well on a 6 week job in your fair city. She’s one of the very few whose person does not shatter their persona but ameliorates it. Even I, who adore her, wasn’t prepared to see absolutely no trace of her as she completely transmogrified into Tallulah Bankhead, it was breathtaking, mostly because I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to breathe. She got the Tony nom, and while I have no doubt Viola Davis was amazing, my feeling is Val was robbed. If you ever get the chance, don’t miss it!

    I still don’t see how you can attribute Gawker click-throughs to my comment, since the link is on your profile, but if you can, I’ll take it. I could tell it is a work-in-progress, but it’s intriguing nonetheless. I’m glad I had pull if I did. Why would Denton hate you dropping links? I thought the more link-to’s/link-from’s the better? Plus, they give you a place to put your link in your profile? Alas, still learning netiquette.

    I read the memo on your move from WordPress to My Life…and it all sounds very positive. I even set up a MyBlogLog account because of it, though I don’t know if that will still be useful for your new venture. But by all means, email me the press release, or I will check back. It all sounds like a giant sliding glass door is opening for you. Congratulations!

  14. Thanks! I posted to Facebook that it sounded like a drum solo, what with all the doors shutting and windows opening, etc.

    Denton doesn’t like anybody drawing readers off Gawker onto other sites, and it’s bad netiquette to incessantly drop links anyway. I think I’ve done five this week, so I’d better stop for awhile.

    Never been to New York, and if I do go it’s doubtful I’ll have the budget for a Broadway show, but if I can, I’ll go. Otherwise I’ll have to scan BizBooks for the script or something.

  15. Well keep your eye out for a filmed version, or a showing on PBS, HBO, or even a tour. As a TB & VH fan, you won’t want to miss it. If I hear about a TV airing, I’ll let you know. Forget the script, you must see Valerie.

    Netiquette shmetiquette, the internet is all about self-promotion, and what goes around, comes around, so he should be pleased, especially with the quality of your contributions to his site, to let you promote. How did he get where he is?

    You’ve never been to NY? That surprises me. You must go! And there are many ways to get show tickets at very reasonable prices. Anyway, think big, I see budget being much less of a concern in your future.

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