I can hardly count the number of emails I’ve gotten over the past 36 hours from reporters at the Inquirer and Daily News expressing their fury at their owners’ suppression of a story about a potential bidder for the company this week.
Suffice it to say that the journalists I’ve heard from are enraged by what they see as a violation of the core principles of their trade by the people who run the company. None of them will speak publicly, for obvious reasons.
But there’s always Daily News columnist Stu Bykofsky, who’s like the honey badger when it comes to speaking his mind.
Stu sent this message to colleagues at the Daily News today:
In my almost 40 years here, to my knowledge this is a first: The “masters” pulling an Annenberg, trying to gag us, the press, you and me, both papers, online, because of their personal business interests.
This is a f***ing disgrace I would expect from some s****y publisher of a s****y paper in a hole of a town somewhere else. It just is NOT DONE in big-time, professional journalism. What a shameful moment. They owe me, and you, a personal apology – the newsroom is available anytime – and a rock-solid promise they will never, ever pull crap like this again.
I spoke to Stu on the phone. He said (with an audible smile), “I’m waiting for Greg Osberg to come to my office and apologize personally.”
Osberg is the CEO of Philadelphia Media Network, which owns the Inquirer, Daily News, and Philly.com. The Annenberg in Bykofsky’s message refers to Walter Annenberg, who owned the Inquirer decades ago.