'Voice' firing looks really bad on paper

Here's a fun media challenge: In the space of a couple weeks, prove in a very public fashion that your title is incompetent at every level - from writers, to editors, to management.

Here's a fun media challenge: In the space of a couple weeks, prove in a very public fashion that your title is incompetent at every level - from writers, to editors, to management.

The Village Voice, which was considered "cutting edge" back before Bob Dylan could shave, pulled off this hat trick of stupidity recently as part of its enthusiastic dash toward irrelevance.

First, writer Nick Sylvester fabricated part of a cover story by making up a fake meeting with real people, an amateur move even by Jayson Blair standards. Then, managing editor Doug Simmons refused to fire Sylvester because the kid was just too nice. And finally, VV Media honcho Michael Lacey fired Simmons - but not Sylvester - and announced his move via a note scrawled on a paper napkin, a picture of which was posted on the Voice Web site.

This, after Simmons had been forced to read the staff a "help wanted" ad for his own job.

It's no surprise to PR types that the Voice's publicist recently left, and that the title now opts to issue memos on digitally reproduced napkins. Once it starts writing articles in crayon, the Gods of Dumb will be appeased.

Ratings:
1. Clueless
2. Ill-advised
3. On the right track
4. Savvy
5. Ingenious

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