Over in the comments threads of Enter Stage Right, longtime New York Press contributor Alan Cabal tenders his resignation over the Press‘ recent anti-pope cover story. Cabal explains that he gave new editor Jeff Koyen and his sidekick Alexander Zaitchik
the benefit of the doubt [when they took over the paper after founder Russ Smith sold it], as I do with people in almost all circumstances. Their initial efforts seemed feeble and clumsy, but I felt that with some measure of support from the Old Guard they might be able to keep the transgressive pulse that drove the paper intact and keep it steady in these perilous times. I accepted the reduction in rates as a necessary sacrifice to keep the fiscally floundering effort afloat, assuming that at some point in the future, the disastrous decline in advertising revenues triggered by the 911 event might be reversed.
But he found that things didn’t exactly pan out:
Gone are the great iconoclasts attracted by [previous editor John] Strausbaugh’s unerring command of syntax and context. [Alexander] Cockburn, [Christopher] Caldwell, Andrey Slivka, R.S. McCain, J.T. LeRoy, Ned Vizzini, the incomparable Tony Millionaire, Taki, Szamuely, Bill Bryk, Amy Sohn, my dear friend Darius James, who first introduced me to John Strausbaugh — all gone. What fills the space? Bullies like J.R. Taylor and dickless juveniles like Matt Taibbi, whose hack tendencies clearly run in the family. Daddy does Michael Jackson on NBC, Sonny Boy trashes the Pope in a meaningless cat box liner. . . .
Lightweights all, desperately striving to be dangerous while leaving open the possibility of some safe and secure upward mobility in the defanged world of mainstream media. I’m a certified Satanist, and our current issue featuring Taibbi’s adolescent assault on the Pope embarrassed me. It was a waste of paper, and a mere insult, not in the least bit challenging, to the city’s Roman Catholic population. He could have gone into P2, Marcinkus, and the assassination of John Paul I, but no, the lazy brat just ran off a stupid and ugly list that a 12 year old Marilyn Manson fan could have done better.
My loyalty has its limits, and here we are. Take my name off the masthead. I am no longer a “contributing writer” to this sophomoric mockery. NY Press once challenged the [Village] Voice — now it can barely compete with The Onion.