Joshua Greene faced a barrage of criticism after his story about an unidentified soldier being shipped off to Iraq appeared. Soldiers and others insinuated "that I or the soldier or both made the whole story up," Greene wrote in a follow-up column. "Nobody, they say, ever jumped out of a plane 4,426 times. Okay. Maybe it was a helicopter." In Greene's favor, a chaplain called to say the story had resonance, even if the number of jumps was incorrect. "And maybe I'm a flawed journalist, 'cause as the man [the soldier identified only as "Babe"] packed up his house, I didn't call him a liar enough as I sat complicit in sending him to war," Greene muses. The Free Times published a number of letters from readers questioning the story.
Twelve former employees of the Cleveland Free Times have filed a lawsuit in Ohio against New Times and Village Voice Media, reports the San Francisco Bay Guardian. The suit is the latest fallout from an October 2002 deal between the two companies that shuttered Free Times and New Times Los Angeles. The deal led to a Justice Department antitrust investigation that culminated in a consent decree in which neither company admitted guilt. The suit alleges that the workers who lost their jobs when the two papers closed were terminated illegally; the lawyer who filed the suit is seeking class-action certification.
Outgoing Cleveland Free Times editor-in-chief David Eden used to work for Barney, the purple dinosaur, Connie Schultz reports in The Plain Dealer. Schultz takes issue with reporting in the alt-weekly's "The Nose," which Eden described to her as "a snarky gossip column," and with news coverage at Channel 19, where Eden will soon become managing editor. But, she writes, "a guy who used to cavort with Barney can't be all bad."
Cleveland Free Times editor-in-chief David Eden is leaving the alt-weekly to become the new managing editor of that city's sister television stations, WOIO Channel 19 and WUAB Channel 43, The Plain Dealer reports. Free Times Publisher Matt Fabyan is seeking a replacement.
Editor Pete Kotz says the two ad department employees had been out drinking and were just "trash-talking over the phone." Cleveland Free Times Editor David Eden claims they threatened to murder a Free Times employee and rape his wife. Whatever it was, it's now in the courts. Adam Simon and Brian LeBlanc face charges of aggravated menacing, telecommunications harassment and making threats over the telephone, The Plain Dealer reports.
James E. Dible becomes the first non- member of the Mead family to head the Erie, Pa., publishing company that owns majority stakes in AAN-members Cleveland Free Times and the Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO), as well as the daily Erie Times-News, Editor & Publisher reports. Dible, 60, helped start Cyberlink, an Internet company, and the paper's GoErie.com Web site. He replaces Michael Mead, 65, who is retiring.
New Times Executive Editor Mike Lacey calls Cleveland Free Times' recent attacks on New Times and Cleveland Scene "an explosion of bluster." Lacey accuses Free Times' Editor David Eden and Publisher Matt Fabyan of concocting "conspiracies wrapped in an ad hominem attack" and of publishing "organ discharge." He cites sales and profit figures that starkly contradict Free Times' assertion that it was winning the alternative newsweekly battle in Cleveland.
In its second issue since reopening after a seven-month closure, Cleveland Free Times writes a snarling cover story on the finances of its rival Cleveland Scene and its parent, New Times. The story by Editor David Eden charges that the Scene "is living on life support and is awaiting its day of reckoning."