Thursday, June 25, 2009

Star-Telegram columnist refuses to apologize for mocking the attire a web site owner wore to grave site ceremony

Earlier this week I blogged about Star-Telegram columnist Barry Shlachter's insensitive comments about the attire a web site publisher wore to a grave site ceremony -- he mocked publisher Robert McKee for wearing "an Aloha shirt" to the ceremony.

Shlachter got some other details wrong in his column, too.

McKee asked for an apology from Shlachter, but Shlachter won't apologize.

Not satisfied with the response from Shlachter, McKee contacted higher-ups at the Star-Telegram. I have seen an email executive editor James Witt sent to McKee. Witt told McKee, "I'm sorry that you were offended by the article" but said the paper would not publish an apology or retraction.

(Huh? Reporter Shlachter won't apologize but his boss, the paper's executive editor, will??)

This is a sorry reflection on the Star-Telegram. The S-T should be about connecting with the community instead of going out of its way to humiliate community members -- especially those involved in highly personal activities such as honoring deceased relatives.

McKee told me by email he feels the S-T humiliated him personally, and damaged the credibility of the website contest he operates.

For what it's worth, below is a photo of Grinning Barry, looking very dapper before heading out on a bike ride.


Photo credit: Jim Peipert, Jim's Bike Blog Hat tip: Fort Worth Weekly

One more thing -- see the S-T's inadequate "correction" about getting facts wrong about Robert McKee's web contest here.

Update: Corrected the name of the paper, thanks to those who pointed out my error.
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34 comments:

Anonymous said...

So is it the Star Tribune or Star Telegram? Let's get the facts straight before something from the rag known as the Fort Worth Weekly is brought over onto this site. More evidence that this site is really nothing but a bitchfest for unhappy people.

Anonymous said...

6:33am,

Amen!

Shows how sloppy and just plain hateful this site has become....

McClatchy Watch said...

6:33 thanks, correction made.

Anonymous said...

It must be fun being a raving McClatchy lib.

No need to ever apologize and all is right with the world.

So I guess he'll bike to pick up unemployment checks? How green of him

Anonymous said...

Slow day, heh Kevin? What's really sad about this as the above poster put is what THIS site has become. Look at how you wrote that post.
"a web site "publisher" ".
Hmmm..he's a blogger for goodness sake, calling him a publisher is a stretch.
"(Huh? Reporter Shlachter won't apologize but his boss, the paper's executive editor, will??)"
I think you read that wrong. He didn't apologize in the true sense of the word. That was more a "hey you're entitled to your opinion and we don't care" kinda phrase...seen it a million times. I read the article twice and it's a stretch to call this out as a public "humiliation". I'm also still not clear about running a contest, setting s deadline then all of a sudden deciding to go on a trip. I mean let's look at this in another way. McKee, instead of being indignant should examine his own lack of discipline. He set the deadlines. He made the schedule. He decided NOT to adhere to this. I admire him for honoring his father and reconnecting with relatives but he set himself up for getting blasted by the readers of his blog. I haven't been anywhere in the last few years where you can't get on the internet (and I've been to some rat holes on the planet) If you're going to have a blog, and sponsor a contest with a deadline better make sure you have the knowledge and technical abilities to get the job done away from home. He needs to stop crying. As you well know most newspaper columnists write stuff to get a reaction. Everyone knows this. This is just another example of how petty some of the posts on this site have become. I mean be honest yourself. We all know why you posted the photo of "grinning Barry". Because he looks like a twit. And just for the record I had no problem with McKee's shirt. Wear what you like to honor a dead relative. They certainly don't care, why should we?

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to see if B.S. survives the next round of staff cuts at the S-T, which are rumored for the end of this month. I have a feeling his job is very, very secure.

Anonymous said...

Corporate has been in the Star-Telegram this week! June 30th is the day of more bad news!

LObsTeR said...

To Anonymous 8:08am:

You must not be a world traveler. Every hotel in foreign countries do not have the luxury of the Internet we expect every motel and coffee shop in the States to have. If you don't know anything about computers, let me school you a little bit. Our hotel had an Internet connection but like most 3rd party proxies, they're heavily firewalled which means you cannot FTP.

The inability to FTP means I was unable to update my website at all. The website said to "stay tuned later this week", and unfortunately people were just going to have to be old-fashioned and WAIT. I had much more important fish to fry.

The moment I explained where I was and what I was doing should have immediately quelled any of this prick's suspicions, which he was obviously trying to pine for some sort of scandalous scoop. He has to make his article interesting before the deadline, you know!

And by the way, it's my website, it was a free contest, and I believe I can do what I Goddamn well please with how long I want to take grading the results. Is that really worthy of newspaper coverage? You blast me and Kevin and the 100s of others who condemn this for being "petty", yet you are railing against the very petty "responsibilities" of a "blog writer". Ok then, which is it?

So, um, defend this ass-hat all you want, but mentioning private details and trying to be humorous about my father's burial service did not belong in his business section "piece". It's hack tabloid journalism.

Anonymous said...

Ouch! Touched a nerve there did I? I guess saying you should be held responsible to your "readers" was little too much for you to handle. Oh well, such is the life of a "well traveled" blogger. That's such a joke. Have you perhaps ever heard of internet cafes? I've been in several foreign countries towns' which don't have a single paved road but they have four or five internet cafes....again another blogger who just is nothing short of misinformed. Stop crying and man up.

John Altevogt said...

Once again the arrogance of the "profession" of journalism.

"He didn't apologize in the true sense of the word. That was more a "hey you're entitled to your opinion and we don't care" kinda phrase...seen it a million times."

Yes, and so have we. It's one of the reasons why we don't care that your rags go out of business. It's worth the minor, if any, inconvenience to watch you wallow in your own self-inflicted death spiral.

How much of a complete low life do you have to be to badger someone whose father just died?

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Go John GO!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes John.......GO!!! AWAY!! And would you tell your mom to stop posting those cheering notes!! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Three cheers for journalists who enjoy making fun of people who lose their parents!

McClatcy sure does know how to hire them. These journalists must come from the Al-Queda camp of Compassion.

Anonymous said...

6:33 AM - Why can’t you just use ‘citizen editing’ without the snarky remarks? You must be the bitter old man someone writes about everyday. McC W gladly corrects any error immediately. Geeez you are lame, and ruined the fact you could be helpful to this blog without the unnecessary sarcasm. Biased liberals just can’t help themselves, and that is part of the reason you circle the drain. Perhaps this blogs does not suit you, ever think of that? There are thousands that await your snarky comments. Are they still paying misfits to be the first posters I wonder?

Anonymous said...

Please delete the 9:05 AM post, and the others that take up space to belittle John. Personal attacks on John should not be allowed. These may be the same clods that drove Gannett Blog into the ground. They are vicious, and will not stop until they drive your regular posters away. I have watched them for some time ruin any blog that has opinions not supporting liberals, and the Fraud King in particular.

Anonymous said...

anom925
"Biased liberals just can’t help themselves"
Excuse me but that works both ways, at least most of the liberals that respond to this site, albeit may make some snarky remarks but at least they refrain from the racist, homophobic dribble the righties spew

Anonymous said...

"grinning Barry" is somewhat more than a twit, he is a has-been twit. Once he knew there was a family death involved, he should have backed off the story. Just because he has no regard for his family, doesn't mean that others do not. I think I read one person complained. It was supposed to be a fun contest, and no ones life was on the line. I very much doubt anyone else thought a delay for a few weeks would interrupt their lives. This sort of story makes the demise of newspapers a must. It looks to me as if Barry’s tight pants have strangled his brain, if it is located in his ass like most liberals.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, if the web site owner was black, Latino or any non-Caucasian, the ST wouldn't have published such insesitive rubbish.

Anonymous said...

I work at a McClatchy paper. (I await all the insults that most journalists who read this site expect). I don't really fear for my job because I've grown up (in a military family) being taught to just plow through adversity...which to me means that IF I get laid off, the paper folds, whatever I will proceed with my life. To support myself I'll work at a McDonald's if I have to. That said I wanted to respond to this thread. Some of you people have no idea how newspaper columnists work (I am not a writer) They love to "stir the pot". Plain and simple, those are the dynamics. They don't care if the feedback is positive or negative. In fact most of them prefer the negative feedback. I think it incredibly funny that whether you people know it or not the columnist at the ST is laughing his ass off. The more you guys make of this the bigger and louder his laughs are. That's how it works. I'm surprised the LobtSER is unaware of that. But I guess that's what happens when everyone becomes a "writer" and a "publisher". Also I agree with one thing anom905 said. You responders and "professional bloggers need to get some thicker skin if you want to put yourselves out there for public consumption

Anonymous said...

****Some of you people have no idea how newspaper columnists work (I am not a writer) They love to "stir the pot". Plain and simple, those are the dynamics. They don't care if the feedback is positive or negative. In fact most of them prefer the negative feedback.****

I think many people know that. That's why 90% of the US population wouldn't mind seeing journalists gang raped and then being shot into the Sun.

And then the media still can't fathom why nobody likes them.

LObsTeR said...

to anonymous 8:43..


Have you perhaps ever heard of internet cafes? I've been in several foreign countries towns' which don't have a single paved road but they have four or five internet cafes....again another blogger who just is nothing short of misinformed.


Hah. You're just like that reporter. All quickfire and no research. If you read my post (it was only three paragraphs, I know that might be a lot for you) I said our hotel's proxy didn't allow an FTP connection. Obviously you don't know what that means, wiki it. And no, there was no time to bring my laptop to an internet cafe, I had resolved to "if I can't fix it in the hotel, the people will just have to wait".

You are obviously spoiled by this culture of ME ME ME and EVERYTHING NOW. Waiting an extra few days for some stupid free contest results is hardly a life and death situation as you are trying to make it.

And it's cute that you like to latch onto this "blogger" bit, as I have an actual job and this is just a fun thing I do on the side. BTW, I have been to 25 countries, so I don't need to listen to some snarky douche newspaper apologist about how to travel, kthx.

LObsTeR said...

to the guy who works @ the mcClatchy paper:

think it incredibly funny that whether you people know it or not the columnist at the ST is laughing his ass off. The more you guys make of this the bigger and louder his laughs are. That's how it works. I'm surprised the LobtSER is unaware of that.

Oh, don't get me wrong, I know he's laughing his ass off. That's what arrogant bullies do, they write their retarded irrelevant "business" pieces such as this one he filed, sit back and giggle at the fireworks. He knows the FWST is on his side, so it's all hilarious, nothing's going to happen to him, right?

Well, have you seen the backlash at all? It's not just one "whining blogger" with thin skin, it's hundreds of people who have commented on various sites (including FWST) that this guy's material was unprofessional and just plain uncalled for.

You are a company man so naturally you side with this guy, regardless of what he chose to write. I then take it to mean you would have filed the same ill-researched and horribly-written piece if it were up to you? .. What an awesome and classy collection of journalists, McClatchy has to be beaming proud!

There's a reason people chuckle when they hear the word "Newspaper", and to know some antiquated veteran writer with lots of tenure is spewing stupid comments without cause for concern for accountability makes your industry all the more laughable.

Keep defending him. It's comical to see people think that's indicative of a Harvard-educated journalist.

Anonymous said...

Telling post: “this site is really nothing but a bitchfest for unhappy people.”

That is the same wording used over and over on the Gannett Blog. They have invaded us folks, the alien beings have landed here!

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The old bitter one says, "Here's a hint, newspapers and REAL journalists will be around for a LONG time, much longer than your crappy little blog will be."

Don't bet your last paycheck on that buddy!
BWHahahaha

John Altevogt said...

Yet another reinforcement of my point that libs are only capable of insults and incapable of a logical argument. So bray out all of them you want, they just make our points about how little you matter.

McClatchy Watch said...

Deleted several comments that violated the rules.

Anonymous said...

Anyone notice the physical resemblance to Mike Hendricks this guy has?

Maybe there are physically identifiable traits that leftist hacks have in common? Kind of like pedophiles. You can pick them out of a crowd.

Truth Hurts said...

"this site is really nothing but a bitchfest for unhappy people."

Is that what draws you here??

McClatchy Watch said...

4:28 now that you mention it, he does look like Mike Hendricks.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but he doesn't look like his wife. Roxie, "The Cockeyed Octopus"

How long ago was it that the Star kicked her to the curb?

Anonymous said...

WTF - Now we have to pick on cyclists? I remember when this site had relevant facts about McClatchy.

Anonymouse said...

The irony of all this is that you're giving the Startlegram guy and the paper immense publicity. His own website?!
He must be laughing up his jersey sleeve.
Just wondering if McKee/Lobster and this guy are in cahoots to drive traffic to his column...