Back in the day, newsboys and a few -girls from competitive dailies used to race each other to deadline. The afternoon paper wanted to beat the morning rag, and vice versa.
This was generally friendly jousting, mind you, which closed with the wordsmiths bellying up to the bar elbow to elbow, and buying each other a scotch-and-soda at day's end. (See: many a Bill McClellan
What'dya say, Joan Didion? Goodbye to all that.
Last week, Dick Weiss
and Deb Peterson
, two local media personalities with regular spots on McGraw Milhaven's morning-radio show
, put on the fisticuffs.
Peterson, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
's gossip columnist, had posted a Nov. 27 item
entitled "Hobnobbing with the St. Louis Beacon crowd will cost ya'!" in which she said the Beacon
's upcoming fund-raising event featuring opera singer Christine Brewer
reminded her of a series of off-the-record salons that the Washington Post
planned to host for lobbyists and Post
reporters. The events were canceled after critics charged that
deep-pocketed lobbyists could pay to play with Washington's most
The dish sufficiently pissed off Weiss, a Beacon
editor -- and former P-D
employee. On air with Milhaven a few days later, Weiss called the column "snarky" and said Peterson must have been trying to appease her higher-ups -- who'd hate to be giving the Beacon
any good PR. (Listen to the clip here
Pish-posh, retorted Peterson on Friday's show. Her column's characterization of the Beacon
as a competitor to the P-D
was "very generous," she said, before going on to call Weiss a "phony" with no reason to be "nasty" to her. (She set him up with "The McGraw Show" gig.)
The point, said Peterson, was to remind people that the Beacon
is a not-for-profit with bold-faced backers, some of whom also happen to be "buddies" with its reporters and editors.
Listen to the clip here
or below, and go all the way to the end for the Emily Pulitzer