Monday, February 1, 2010

Canned Observer writer’s gripes deleted from blog

Posted By on Mon, Feb 1, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Some odd goings-on at the Observer’s Web site over the weekend. As reported by the conservative website MeckDeck, veteran sports reporter Stan Olson — aka The Man Who Knows More About Baseball Than Anyone — was cut by the paper on Friday. Olson wrote about his “decommission” in his final blog post on Saturday. In that post, Olson mentioned that his blog had gotten consistently high numbers of Web hits, as well as the fact that he’s been at the paper nearly four decades. And he let it be known he wasn’t happy about it; that the cuts were “a McClatchy-wide thing”; and that his job loss came as “a total surprise.” He also mentioned that he “was already working half-time, and loving all of this recruiting noise,” no doubt referring to the daily paper’s recruitment of independent contractors to take staffers’ places.

Rather, those statements were in his original blog post. As MeckDeck points out, over the weekend, Olson’s post was edited to take out, well, pretty much everything in the above paragraph. It’s not sure whether someone else at the Observer went back and got rid of Olson comments that disturbed management’s delicate sensibilities, or whether Olson was pressured to do it himself. In either case, it’s yet another in a lo-o-o-ng line of cases where the Big O has treated loyal writers as so much jetsam. And yet another instance of the paper treating its readers as so many imbeciles.

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