Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Coke, Pepsi, and Lileks

What are the chances that the Minneapolis Star Tribune is trying to pull a "New Coke" by assigning James Lileks as a beat reporter instead of a columnist?

There are some who believe that Coca Cola introduced New Coke in the 1980s knowing that it would fail, thus energizing the old brand. Is the Strib smart enough to do the same with its columnists?

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Blogger Peter said...

Here is a comment I posted over on Brian Lambert's blog at the Minneapolis Rake:


Jealous much?

YOU: "While I always thought Lileks jumped on the wing-nut bandwagon in the early '90s because it looked like a sure ticket to a radio career, and then stayed after cultivating a following, when writing on politics he at least was dealing in topics that mattered to someone other than himself, his wife, his daughter and any pets they had around the house."

ME: Wow. No way that an intelligent person could come to those conservative beliefs sincerely, right? I suppose Joe Soucheray is the same way -- played along with conservatives to get a radio show and can't turn back now. Sounds a little bit like they used to say about crossing your eyes. They might stay that way.

Posted by Peter Swanson at May 8, 2007 01:15 PM

May 08, 2007 1:19 PM  
Blogger Mahan said...

An excellent point. For whatever it's worth, I experienced my own Damascene conversion (albeit more slowly than Saul) being raised by a very Democrat mother and her family. I honestly think I shocked that side when I started attending the U of M CR meetings; if they could have declared me anathema (being Catholic), they would have.

May 08, 2007 10:44 PM  
Blogger Sornie said...

While I used to/sometimes still do read The Bleat on a nearly daily basis and liked more than I disliked, I never found the value in his print column. It read like a poorly thought out second fiddle to his blog. The Quirk may have gotten a few chuckles but if the Strib was paying him what the rumors say, the "reassignment" was long overdue.

May 09, 2007 12:32 PM  
Blogger Mahan said...

One of the problems with his column was that the paper decided the word count, rather than Mr. Lileks, which does somewhat limit the creativity a writer can employ ("In two hundred and fifty words, rewrite War And Peace. Be specific."). He apparently does enjoy writing for the Strib; just why beats me, but he's been writing for papers since working at the Minnesota Daily, so I guess it's in his blood. I lay this decision at the feet of the Strib; they chose the column size, they decided to move him to a news beat.

It's their loss.

May 09, 2007 4:15 PM  

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