Kevin Pang | Chicago Reader

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Re: “HuffPo, Kachingle, and the Quest for Truth

Perhaps I'll chime in, and I'll go ahead and use my real name and feel like a big person.

I'm Kevin Pang, and I write for the Tribune. Frank and I have had some run-ins along the way, but mostly, it's coming from one side.

Take for instance, the time you called me a douche on your blog. Now, I'm a big boy, and actually found that episode quite funny. I wasn't at all offended -- after all, I make a living poking fun of myself in print and on television.

But here's the bigger issue: you are the Editor-in-Chief and President of a well-established magazine in Chicago. You lead a group of great writers who are doing top-notch work. Now, think of a comparable editor in this city holding the same title. Can you *ever* imagine a Gerry Kern, a Don Hayner or an Alison True ever call someone in public -- a low level employee, at that -- a douche? My guess is no.

It's a tough landscape out there, I don't need to tell you. I've had friends and colleagues lose their jobs in journalism; I'm sure you have too. There's a feisty competitive spirit among our publications on an institutional level, yes, but on a person-to-person level, we respect and appreciate and root on each other's work.

So I say this without an ounce of facetiousness: I feel a little sad for you when you decide to start these brushfires. I don't know if it's insecurities, or maybe you're just terrific at time management, being able to run a weekly magazine and find the time to pick fights with people far smaller than you.

People aren't annoyed at your principled stand on Kachingle-Minergate. They're annoyed that you feel the need to respond to every criticism with some snidey back-handed remark.

I don't follow you on Twitter, and folks occasionally tell me you're poking my way. And that's totally cool. Because I don't read it, and really, I've too busy with work to respond. There were many instances when I could have gloated, or Tweet something condescending, but I chose not to, because my folks always said to take the high road. It might have felt good in the short term, but in the long run, I'm telling you man, I would've felt shitty about myself. I'm sure you would teach your children these same lessons.

You can take my comments here as a joke, you can mock and say "haha, look at Kevin crying in the corner." And that's fine. But I'm absolutely sincere when I say this: read back your comments on this page, your Twitter posts, your dealings with other people, and see if this is the public image you want represented of yourself. If you want to be the guy who relishes in starting unsolicited pissing matches, as the guy who won't let go and must have the last word, that's your prerogative.

I'm 29. I'm still fairly green to this business. I don't know how old you are, but you've been in journalism for some time, having attained this high position. I don't need to tell you this, but there's nothing more important to me than the reputation among my peers. Guard it with your life.

Again, I say this not to be ironic, or facetious, but sincerely, from man to man: I wish you well.

Kevin Pang
Chicago Tribune

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kevin Pang on 04/16/2010 at 12:36 AM

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