The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

The real problem with Jennifer Gish’s Times Union column, Bills Fans Need Help Keeping it Real, is that it wasn’t half as funny as she thought it was.

For example:

And Buffalo is practically in Canada. They play some of their “home” games in Toronto. So are they really New York’s team? Are they even America’s team?

Insert rimshot here. Move over, Dave Barry, here comes Jennifer Gish.

Back in seventh grade we were told to compose a humorous essay. I got to read mine recently when going through some things my mother saved. It was about cesspools — yes, I was writing about poop even then — and while my friends found it hilarious, it really wasn’t funny. I’d like to apologize to my teacher, Mr. Raff, for making him read my terrible work.

But even if Ms. Gish’s Bills piece wasn’t clever, she didn’t deserve to be excoriated by angry fans. The curses, cheap shots, and insults were completely out of line. Writing a bad column doesn’t make her a bad person.

I’ve noticed that some newspaper columnists and bloggers will write pieces that are are calculated to get the readers fired up. They’ll complain about perfectly normal things that they find mildly annoying, often involving stuff that everyone likes, such as kids or animals.  Why would they do this? Because it drives traffic. I know this because I’ve even done it myself now and then.

So, Jennifer Gish kicked the hornets nest — but unlike Lisbeth Salander, she was not ready for the hornets.

16 Responses to The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

  1. Rob: We’ve talked about this topic a number of times, but for the benefit of your readers, I call things like this a “Gustafson.” That’s when a writer puts something out there to make people crazy, knowing it will generate tons of comments, and in turn, build audience.

    This one’s a classic!

  2. Dude, you’re way to kind.

  3. It’s a business model we should all aspire to, along with having unpaid bloggers provide content for paid staff when they’re away.

  4. Agree with Chester. Comparing her drivel to your 7th grade essay is WAYYYYY too generous. Personally, I don’t really care what some dope who writes for the Times Useless thinks, particulary not this gal. I could do without the sexist remarks made by some people, but she was asking for trouble. Is the newspaper now going to reprint every nasty letter and email they get about every story, or just on this one because it helps Gish make her point. Stew on that one, Albany Eye.

  5. Gish should come down to McGeary’s Sunday and spend some quality time with the local Bills fans. I’ll be the guy in the faded Thurman Thomas jersey. She probably had to hit Wikipedia to find the name Thurman Thomas, dontcha think?

  6. former journalist

    Wonderful. Now every hack up there on Albany Shaker Road will be competing to see who can write the most outrageous story. The funny thing here (her column certainly wasn’t) is that they probably encourage that sort of thing these days. The empahasis in no longer on quality, but quantity. Let’s see who can get the most hits. Welcome to 2011.

  7. Pingback: The Times Union's Bills controversy reveals problems deeper than nasty online comments | Kevin Marshall's America

  8. Jennifer Gish’s next column will be a hilarious take on airline food.

  9. There once was a woman named Gish;
    Reporting the sports was her wish.
    She ran down the Bills
    Now she’s up to her gills
    With comments that stink like a fish.

  10. I’d like to support her, and as a woman seeking a career in journalism I hate those horrible comments, but it’s hard to stand up for Jenn. Having spent a little time around her and her little newsroom clique, I can assure you that she was asking for it. Read some of the condescending Parenting blog posts if you don’t believe me.

    If you could only see what goes on in there; it makes seventh grade look like the New York Times newsroom. Sadly, Jenn and her cronies (two in particular come to mind) are probably just laughing about all this…

  11. I don’t understand this unhealthy obsession you have with the TU blogs, particulary OTE. Your probably just jealous that you don’t get that sort of attention.

    • Dear “Pete,” I’ve had this conversation before with somebody… it wasn’t you, was it?

      I worked in the media for over two decades and have written about it extensively. I still do write about media occassionaly. Ignoring the influence of something as big and successful as On the Edge would be really hard to do.

      As for jealousy, if I wanted a bigger audience, I never would have left the Times Union. These days I’m just a speck of dust in the blogosphere, and for the most part I’m OK with that. What surprises me is that you take the time to read my blog, especially since I spend so little time writing about things like high heels and handbags.

      • Fu** you.

        EDITOR’S NOTE: I edited Pete’s comment slightly. I would normally just delete it, but it was funny enough to salvage.

  12. Pingback: Hateful Haters and the People Who Hate Them

  13. Jennifer Gish is a c*nt!

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