Sometimes, Comedy Writes Itself

Northwestern Journalism Dean Concedes Mistake

CHICAGO (AP) ― The dean of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism told a meeting of alumni and students that he made a mistake when he quoted an anonymous student in a story he wrote for the alumni magazine.

John Lavine said Tuesday he should have immediately realized that he should never not name somebody or a student who gives a quoted comment.

“I really blew it,” he said. “There is really no other way to say that.”

Some Medill salumni aid they worry Lavine’s actions tainted the reputation of the school.

Ya think?

This is a perfect storm of what is wrong with journalism today. I’d think it was a parody from The Onion if I didn’t see it myself in my local paper this morning.

The Dean of the Journalism School at a prestigious university stole quotes for an article. From a college kid.


Not a freshman. Not a sophomore. Not a junior. Not a senior.

Not a grad student. Not a Masters candidate. Not an Assistant Professor. Not an Assoicate Professor.


You’d think, maybe, just maybe, the Dean of the School would understand the most basic concept of attribution. Apparently, you’d be wrong.

So, from where I sit, this is either extreme arrogance, or extreme ineptitude. Or both.

Both are embarrassing, to the school, and to every graduate of the Medill School. Of Journalism.

Both are grounds for firing this loser.

And the cherry on the sundae? The AP article above is a joke too. Check out this phrasing:: “… he should never not name somebody or a student who gives a quoted comment.”.

Um, what? “… he should never not …”? “… somebody or a student …”? WTF? And in the same sentence? If I was an 8th grade English teacher I’d red pen that crap out of that.

Maybe the AP clown that wrote that sentence graduated from the Medill School. Of Journalism.

  1. Yessiree,

    True comedy does in fact write itself.

    False comedy, on the other hand, is what we see when we watch or listen to … George W. Bush.

  2. Sorry … but, I just couldn’t resist.