From the Dept. of Smart Bloggers


Mark Follman
December 23, 2004 8:48PM (UTC)

Management at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has seized the computer hard drive of staff writer Daniel P. Finney and suspended him from work, according to local alt-weekly the Riverfront Times. Perhaps it was because Finney was discovered to be doing some extracurricular blogging on the clock. And/or maybe it had something to do with the contents of said blog.

"In his blog, begun this past September, 'Roland H. Thompson' -- a reference to a song by one of Finney's favorite musical artists, the late Warren Zevon -- took frequent, thinly veiled potshots against his employer and co-workers. He also wrote about stories he was working on for the paper. An example: 'Today was an absolute abomination. It began unwillingly at 7:30 a.m. when I was forced from my sweet, gentle slumber to go to work on a hideously lame story involving Santa Claus and the Hard Rock Cafe.'

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"In another entry he poked fun at the subjects of the Post's annual '100 Neediest Cases' feature. 'Speaking of dicks, I've been reading the Post-Dispatch's annual 100 Neediest Cases stories,' he wrote on December 2. 'The bottom line is that there are a lot of poor people who need stuff. It is a worthy cause. And, at some level, I feel sorry for these people. But at another level, one in which your friend Crazy Roland is much more in touch with, I must admit that I feel as if a good number of these needy cases could be avoided by a well-placed prophylactic.'

"Six days later, a '100 Neediest Cases' installment carried Finney's byline."

Make that 101 neediest cases?

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Mark Follman

Mark Follman is Salon's deputy news editor. Read his other articles here.

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