Last night, ASSME (the American Society of Shitcanned Media Elites), held its first meeting, featuring plenty of free vodka and cute media—and ex-media—types for a good old-fashioned Christmas bacchanal. The question on the partygoer’s lips as they stepped over an interviewer for WNYC and several photogs was, “are there more journalists covering this event here or shitcanned editors here?” “I thinks it’s about 50-50,” young Hunter Walker—a blogger for MediaBistro—guesstimated.
David Goldman, a middle-aged freelancer in a rumpled jacket, was hunkered down in a corner watching some girls dancing as the DJ scratched up some electronica. “I don’t see anyone that looks like people I know in media,” the nebbish said. “I go to MediaBistro [events] all the time and it’s nothing like this.” Shaking his head sadly he said, “there’s no structure or even business cards.” I searched for any sign of irony but saw nothing.
At the bar, Greg Garry, the Eric Stoltz-esque former photo editor of Radar, was laying out his game plan for life after his celeb-skewering rag. “I might deal drugs,” he said. His friend, also Greg—a freelance writer—piped in that reality TV might be where it’s at. Garry’s eyes lit up excitedly at the idea and he added, “Oh yeah, of New York crumbling.”
I found the dapper former managing editor of Radar, Aaron Gell—an ASSME founder—outside having a smoke. An attendee who was leaving slapped him on the back and said, “If you’re still free in January, let’s have lunch.” Gell looked at him impassively and deadpanned, “Oh, I’ll still be free in January.” Ad Age’s preppy Nat Ives holstered his notebook for a moment and upped the optimism. “It’s scary, if I get laid off I’ll never work in journalism again,” he said.
Nick McGlynn, a recent Gawker casualty, walked past with a backpack strapped to his back. “I’m going to that Jewcy party in Brooklyn,” he said. Are you mad at Nick Denton for giving you the axe? “It seems like he’s just getting rid of the good people. Either he’s got a master plan or he’s gone crazy.”
A cigarette or two later, a ski cap wearing bum that looked like a down-at-the-heels KRS-One hit up four of us for some coin. Gell let out a sigh, dropped some change into his cup and said, “You’ve got us.” The rest of us followed with donations. Walked explained the irony to the beggar: “This is a party for journalists who have been laid off.” The bum looked puzzled but Hunter rephrased himself. “None of us have jobs.” The bum nodded his head, but didn’t look too impressed. “Um, yeah, well,” he said, and started to beat a hasty retreat. “Good look with that guys.”