Schanberg Gets a Last Laugh

There's more than a little irony in the fact that Sydney Schanberg -- perhaps better known to those of you who saw "The Killing Fields" as Sam Waterston --  was just given the Bart Richards Award for Media Criticism. Because Schanberg is now an ex-media critic.

Earlier, this year, Schanberg resigned the "Press Clips" Media Column at the Village Voice after a less-than-pleasant meeting between Voice staffers and Mike Lacey, the executive editor of the former New Times alt-media conglomerate that recently bought Village Voice Media. (See "NYC's alternative crisis" in the Feb. 16 Phoenix.)

In an interview for that story, the 72-year-old Schanberg said he resigned after “it was clear to me at that writers’ meeting that [Lacey] did not want a press column.... He said he didn’t want any stories that referred to other people’s work.” Schanberg described the mood in the room as “frightened,” adding that Lacey’s “language was adversarial and pugnacious.... He played the bully. I respond terribly to bullies.”

For now at least, Schanberg has a measure of validation, if not revenge.

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