Some remarks about snarkiness

A handful of those who've commented on assorted blogs since we published information about layoffs at Westword have raised the topic of my alleged snarkiness as it applies to the Rocky Mountain News, which was recently put on the market -- the suggestion being that I've chortled about the Rocky's troubles but mewled in response to job losses here. I doubt a fair reading of my recent feature article about the Rocky sale or either of its accompanying sidebars (which focus on five scribes the Denver Post would be smart to nab and the joint-operating agreement linking the Denver dailies) would lead to this conclusion. More likely, readers assume that because I've criticized certain content at the paper, or made sport of occasional gaffes, I must be loving the notion of a Rocky-free planet.

Hardly. For the record, let me state unequivocally that I hope with all my heart that the Rocky finds a buyer and lives on and on and on. Moreover, I adore daily newspapers. Sure, they can be imperfect and messy and often exasperating, especially when they fail to live up to their potential. But at their best, they're vital and vigorous and energetic, helping to provide the glue that turns a disparate collection of individuals into a community.

At the same time, I feel, predictably, that a little snark can be a good thing, especially in grim times like these. Suggesting that this view makes my newspaper love less than pure is the equivalent of arguing that I'm anti-American if I laugh at some stupid malapropism by George W. Bush -- so do it at your peril. Otherwise, the terrorists win. -- Michael Roberts

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