I’ll add one more mention to the recent burst of coverage
about esteemed film critic Roger Ebert, whom my colleague
Jeff Reich blogged about on Feb. 16. (Ebert, who has lost his lower jaw, his
speech, and his ability to eat and smell to thyroid cancer, was the subject of
a compelling profile by Chris Jones in the March issue of Esquire and appeared on Oprah this
Jim Romenesko’s media site] directed me to “The piece on Ebert
that [Will] Leitch regrets writing.” Leitch writes articles and
books and is the founding editor of the sports blog Deadspin. Without giving
too much away, the article describes Ebert’s grace and generosity toward Leitch
when the latter was a kid journalist--and how Leitch, an ambitious fellow
trying to make his literary mark, later meanly turned on him in print (in the
Web magazine Ironminds).
“ … The Web was beginning to
emerge,” Leitch remembers, “and we young turks, swept in during the dot-com
boom, all thought we were punk rock gods, ready to kill our idols. Ebert began
to feel like the old guard …”
Ebert, taken aback by Leitch’s petulant outburst, and
rightly so, predicted at the time that the lad would live to regret his words.
He was right.
Leitch’s article is good reading. How many of us have some words
from our youth that we’d like to take back? It’s even harder when you’re a
writer and those darn things have a way of getting into print.
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