Friday, June 10, 2011

Paige Wiser

Robert Feder has an interview with Paige Wiser, who was fired as the Sun-Times television critic after she reviewed a concert she only saw part of (Glee Live), and then mentioned songs that the group didn't perform.

Paige and her husband Jim are friends of mine, so you can take my opinion with a grain of salt, but after reading her comments to Mr. Feder, I have a tremendous amount of sympathy for her. She said why she did it (she had to leave the show because her daughter was barfing). I've been in that situation before several times (child barfing while on assignment), and it really does make you drop whatever you're doing. She says that she should have just reviewed the part she saw--and I agree with that. If she had, and made the barfing part of the story (I certainly can see the comedic possibilities), it would have been fine with her readers.

My feeling is that a Glee Live review is not exactly the Pentagon Papers, this wasn't the end of the world, and the Sun-Times more than likely used this as an opportunity to trim some more payroll. That doesn't excuse what she did. She shouldn't have done it--and she admits that in no uncertain terms. The move by the Sun Times certainly isn't indefensible under the circumstances. Even Paige agrees with that.

But I'm bummed out for several reasons. First and foremost, I really like Paige and feel for her. Secondly, I really believe she's a gifted writer and I'll miss reading her. And finally, I worry this will hang over her reputation for awhile, and it stinks that one moment of bad judgment will overshadow nearly twenty years of quality work.

That doesn't seem like a fair punishment.

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