Fired journalists take shots at their former bosses.

Media criticism.
June 7 2011 6:19 PM

"I Would Have Loved To Piss on Your Shoes," Part 2

More F.U. gestures directed at bosses by journalists who were fired or resigned.

(Continued from Page 1)

"You will!" said Marks.
—Source: New York Observer, July 2002

"To the fine folks at CBS News who fired me after a couple of decades, and then wrote me a—issued me—a short-term day-pass, so I could do a spot of piecework for them, I would like to say, must ring all the eloquence for which we writers are famous, pffffftth! Don't misunderstand, I don't say pffffftth! bitterly. I say pffffftth! philosophically. Anyway, the sum total is, with very few exceptions, I do thank you all."
Peter Freundlich, upon accepting an Emmy in 2001 for his writing for CBS Sunday Morning.

"I needed to separate myself from the Las Vegas showgirls with ornate nipples in the [New Yorker]. I don't blame [editor] Tina Brown. She's just scared like anyone else working for the Conde Nast empire."
Jamaica Kincaid, former New Yorker writer, who resigned from The New Yorker in September 1995, quoted in the Albany Times Union, February 1996.

"For you to kiss the ass of celebrity culture at this moment that way is like selling your soul to get close to the Hapsburgs—in 1913," wrote longtime New Yorker writer George W.S. Trow to New Yorker editor Tina Brown, deploring the pop turn the magazine had taken. Brown's response, as reported in the April 1995 American Journalism Review:"I am distraught at your defection, but since you never actually write anything, I should say I am notionally distraught."


Thanks to Don Van Natta Jr., Alex Koppelman, Tom Scocca, Ivan Oransky, Christopher Shea, Tim Worstall, others, and as always, the Fort Worth Sports Literacy Association. If I missed a good kiss-off note or gesture, send it my way: See my Twitter feed for an endless series of pffffftths. (Email may be quoted by name in "The Fray," Slate's readers' forum; in a future article; or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

Track my errors: This hand-built RSS feed will ring every time Slate runs a "Press Box" correction. For email notification of errors in this specific column, type Pffffftth in the subject head of an email message, and send it to

Jack Shafer was Slate's editor at large. You can follow him on Twitter or email him at



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