Something Smells Fishy

When we first saw Media Bistro/Fish Bowl NY’s blog post on the trials and tribulations of America’s Favorite MagazineTM, we were thrilled that we had achieved that Britney-esque level of fame in which all of our most boring goings-on get covered by a ravenous, celeb-starved media. Then we saw that the piece was written by former Heeb intern Lilit Marcus, and all the tumescence left our metaphoriphallus. God help us all when Jewdar feels ennobled to lecture on journalistic integrity, but this does seem to be the sort of situation in which a writer might find it ethical to disclose that she used to fetch coffee for the person she’s excoriating.

As for the substance of the piece, we are back in TMZ-land, since the main thrust of the story: "Extra: Editors and Writers in Disagreement Over Content and Style"–is about as fresh, provocative and newsworthy as "Britney Acts Crazy" or "Fat Guy Eats Big Sandwich."Jewdar will admit that we have, on occasion, disagreed with both Joshua Neuman and Rebecca Wiener, both of whom have, on occasion, had the audacity to toss our pearls of wisdom back into the sea. We will further admit that such conflicts are common at Heeb. We will even further further admit that such conflicts are common in every writer/editor relationship, and every editor/publisher relationship.

To be sure, Ms. Marcus did provide credible sources such as unnamed "insiders" and an anonymous "ex-editor," so our natural inclination is to presume her story is fairly accurate. And yes, Josh has mingled with his fair share of celebrities during his tenure with Heeb, but Lilit should know from the amount of trips she took to the post office from Josh’s apartment–which is normally tastefully appointed with two dozen indy mags nobody’s ever heard of, a dozen condiments and (I’m being generous here), a single package of whole wheat tortillas–that this is hardly a man enjoying the glamorous life.

As for the charge that some OHs (Original Heebs) are unhappy that the mag hasn’t turned out the way they envisioned, while Jewdar wishes our erswhile coworkers nothing but the best, let’s be honest: If Heeb remained the way it was, would we have interns growing up to write about it, and would anybody be paying attention?

What do you think?

About The Author


The Tel Aviv-born, Milwaukee-bred Jewdar has a bachelors' from the University of Wisconsin, a Masters from NYU, and an Honorable Discharge from the US Army, where he spent two years as an infantryman in the 101st Airborne Division. He's the co-author of "The Big Book of Jewish Conspiracies", the Humor Editor of Heeb Magazine, and a watcher of TV. Smarter than most funny people, funnier than most smart people, he lives on the Lower East Side with his wife and two sons.

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