One man’s public playground can be another’s don’t-breathe-a-word-of-it zone…
Such would seem to be the case with embattled Kansas City Star columnist Mike Hendricks. The highly flappable Hendricks and his wife have been on something resembling a tear since the newspaper hauled him in last Friday, and made him an offer he may not be in a position to refuse: take a one third pay cut and say adios to vacation pay and most remaining benefits – or else…
It’s a tough road to hoe, but arguably not as tough as that other Star staffers – myself included – were ushered down.
Hendricks and his wife’s knee jerk reactions to his denegrading downgrade: trash the Star.
Nothing surprising there, but when his publicly posted words were reported here on Kansas City Confidential, Hendricks went kill-the-messenger on me:
“You can’t get much lower than mining facebook for gossip that you can pass on,” he posted Wednesday. “A certain person is now dead to me.“
It remains to be known exactly who that “certain person” is. With any luck, Mike’s death wish is not some sort of pending horse’s head in the bed warning. But if a certain highly read, former Star columnist winds up in some darkened alley minus his or her tongue…
Hey, everyone knows misery loves company, and Hendricks Facebook pal John Martellaro weighed in with the comment that the “certain person” Hendricks described as “now dead” had been referred to by an unnamed “co-worker” at one of the local “alt-weeklies” as “that clueless goofball.”
Do these guys know how to gossip or what?
Now let’s take a deeper look – and for the record – I’ll name actual names. What the heck.
Here’s exactly what Hendricks said on Facebook – a public forum – that he is upset was reported here:
“I decided to enjoy spring break by taking the rest of the week off from work. Maybe the scumbags will think I’ve been fired. Hate to spoil the party, but…”
Since Mike didn’t have the you-know-whats to identify the “scumbags,” we can only wonder. I promise you this though, this is not the kind of public statement Star editors are fond of employees uttering.
Hendricks followed that post with what appears to be a request for help in finding a new job to replace the one he’s getting screwed over in at 1729 Grand Boulevard.
“However, I also want it out that, while I have a job, I’m open to a career change,” he wrote. “Interesting work, nice salary and benefits? Let’s deal.”
That’s not exactly something Star editors are likely to be pleased to read either, unless Mike opts for the six months, get out of Dodge, going away check.
“Every so often, I get angry about the inequities in all this cutback crap and wish ther lawyers could have stayed the hell out of it,” Hendricks posted. “Work groups — what crap.”
Now Mike’s piece d’ resistance:
“I’d like to write a column for Wednesday that expresses how I feel about all this work stuff — sadness and survivor guilt. But I doubt they’d let me.”
Hendricks later followed that post with a note referring to his editors saying that: “They’re not interested.”
He said it, I reported it, now he’s bummed.
Not because he said it, of course, rather because someone did what he happens to do for a living; repeated what somebody said and interpreted it. Turns out that’s an act punishable by, well, death.
As for Mr. Martellaro, who parted ways with the Star under, shall we say, a cloud, there’s a reason to his rhyme. In response to Mike’s statement that his editors weren’t interested, Martellaro wrote on Facebook:
“Don’t you know? There’s the real world and then there’s editor-world, in which the painfully obvious goes unnoticed just so long as you don’t write about it.”
Not exactly a genius stroke statement for the