For New York Times Reporter, the Low Road

Sometimes two reporters cover the same story and New York Times food writer Jeff Gordinier is ON IT. And by “on it,” we mean, threatened to take his ball and go home when he found out Missoula Independent writer Erika Fredrickson was writing a cover story on Girl Hunter Weekend, “a three-day, $2,000-plus adventure for women looking to learn about living off the land,” a story Gordinier thought he had an exclusive on.

Fredrickson, whose feature you can read right here, recounts:

“I’m not trying to be gruff,” he says condescendingly, “but I thought we had an exclusive.”

“I thought we did,” I say, half joking, trying to get him to lighten up. “You know, we’re an alt-weekly in Montana. You’re the New York Times. I don’t think we’re in competition here.”

“We’ll figure something out,” he says before walking away.

“We’ll figure something out” turns out to mean threatening Georgia [Pellegrini]’s publicist with pulling his article if he doesn’t at least get an exclusive on two of the weekend’s events: pheasant hunting and falconry. The publicist apologizes profusely to me and says her hands are tied.

After the encounter appeared on Romenesko, Gordinier tried to mansplain it all away with, wait for it, a plug for his feature in T Magazine:

“I dive very deeply into my reporting; it changes the dynamic to have another journalist present … I am sad to see that the Missoula reporter’s thing was to be petty and take the low road, but so it goes. I wish her the best. I did what I do: I wound up writing what I think is an engrossing, entertaining, accurate piece about the Girl Hunter weekend itself. Look for it in T soon.”

We will not look for it in T soon. Here’s a link to Fredrickson’s piece in the Missoula Independent.

Leave a Reply