OK, so this is some serious inside-baseball shit that will only appeal to current and former New Times / Village Voice Media Gossip Whores.
But it must be told.
Christine Brennan is VVM’s editorial second in command, the person who oversees thew chain’s flagship paper, the Village Voice, and it’s a mystery how she got there. As far as I know, she’s only written and published one story in her career and it was unequivocally libelous.
Seriously. Just read it.
Anyone with even the most rudimentary knowledge of libel law should be able to see the burning red flags that wave all through it.
Anyway, the story is about Brennan’s ex-husband, a former Westword staff writer, with whom I once worked at an alt weekly in Boulder.
She was by far and away the most vicious ex that I or anyone else on staff had ever seen. The two communicated by fax to coordinate their time with their kids, and Brennan was continually filing motions against them that seemed to be filed for the sole purpose of making her ex’s life hell.
In other words, she hated him with a fury that hell will never know.
So here’s the funny part. One of our writers at the Boulder paper applied for an editor gig at Westword. In order to get it, he had to take a ridiculously difficult editing test, which Brennan herself devised some years earlier.
The test contained an environmental story that needed serious reworking. The applicant, who knew little about environmental issues, asked Brennan’s ex, who had written a number of such stories, to do that portion for him.
Well, wouldn’t you know, Brennan was blown away by the piece, how incredibly well-edited it was. From what I understand, she went on and on lavishing praise on it, calling it “elegant” and “beautiful”, all the while completely ignorant of the fact that it had been rewritten by her loathsome ex.
To the best of my knowledge, she remains unaware today, because I’ve told very few people, and I’m pretty sure they kept her mouth shut.