Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Mea Culpa

In yesterday's blog post on changes at the Sun and Greenspun Media, I erroneously indicated that former Sun and Las Vegas Weekly writer/editor Joe Brown had "seemed to announce" that he was leaving journalism. I had read something that led me to think that that was the case and, in my haste to post, I went with it even though I could not find the original source material.

Brown was upset with that passage -- since changed -- and wrote to call me out on it. Still unable to find the reference that led me to that conclusion, I asked him to help me remember to what I referred. It was a peculiar form of journalism -- publish something, then ask the offended subject who was telling me I was wrong to help support it -- but eventually the confusion was clarified. Again, he was rightly gobsmacked and aggravated. I was being informal with Joe in my emails because I thought we were friendly and didn't recognize the gravity of his ire; I belatedly figured out he was just really disgusted with me.

It turned out, I had been looking in the wrong place but my recollection wasn't really that far off. I had thought Joe had written something in the Weekly, but in fact he had given a comment to Norm Clarke in the Review-Journal. This was Norm's passage from a May 26 column:

Joe Brown, one of the most talented writers to work this city's entertainment beat, is moving on. Hired by the Las Vegas Sun two years ago, Brown confirmed Tuesday in an e-mail that he has left his writing job at the Las Vegas Weekly and Greenspun Media: "Heading for points unknown. This kind of thing felt more exciting when I was younger."

I took that last sentence to imply he was giving up on journalism. Now I realize that "this kind of thing" could mean just about anything -- that he's fed up with internal drama at Greenspun or the Weekly, that he's no longer interested in this particular subject matter, that he's feeling too old to cover a place like Las Vegas.

Of course, I could have just asked. And I didn't. And now I still haven't; he told me he's just leaving Vegas but not journalism and that's all I really think anyone cares about here. Brown's departure is a loss to Greenspun Media and to the city as well as to the colleagues over there who regard him as their friend. So whatever it is he plans to do, I wish him the best and I apologize for the distress brought on by drawing conclusions.

P.S. If you want to read one of my favorite pieces by Joe, check out this Las Vegas Weekly piece in which he poses on the cover both in and out of drag. Classic.


Anonymous said...

Funny, the way I would read "This kind of thing felt more exciting when I was younger" is heading out to a new horizon without a job felt more romantic and exciting before the onset of adult responsibilities.

Anonymous said...

Or he got laid off. His writing will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Brown is hardly the only person in Vegas who is really disgusted with you.