Now all of that is at risk: on May 10, CAQ's three paid staffers found letters slipped under their household doors, informing them that they'd been canned by the publisher. The only explanation given was that "interpersonal relations and work styles . . . [had created] a hostile and unproductive environment for all of us."
That, according to now former editor Terry Allen, is a crock. She says that the principal reason was the staff's ''refusal to be bullied [by CAQ's owners] into publishing wacko conspiracy theories and articles that served their agenda but failed to distinguish between facts and political fairy tales."
Allen told the Voice last week that CAQ's founders--the publishing trio of Bill Schaap, Ellen Ray, and Louis Wolf--tried to push through stories that showed the Serbs as "blameless victims of genocide," that would call the current leadership of Azerbaijan "a model of progressive governance," and that purported to expose Hitler's bunker in Antarctica, "which is being supplied by the U.S. navy," Allen recalled with derisive laughter.
Allen also said that Wolf was guilty of "unsavory journalistic behavior," and had been called on it. She declined to elaborate, saying, "I don't want this to descend into mudslinging." Apparently interoffice relations sunk to the point where a photograph of a man with his head up his ass was hanging in the CAQ office, with the caption "publisher" on it.
Reached for comment on Monday, Schaap declined to respond to Allen's specific charges. In a prepared statement, he and his copublishers said the dismissals "had nothing to do with the extremely high-quality content and presentation of the magazine," and were due "solely to interpersonal relations and conduct that had, over time, become absolutely intolerable." Schaap added that the magazine does intend to continue publishing, and that hiring a new editorial staff is "in the works."
It's unclear whether CAQ can put out its next issue on time. As for Allen and her two fired colleagues: "We are ready to wipe off the bottoms of our shoes, take a long shower, and move on."
ABC's Peter Jennings delivered one of the more honest network newscast lead-ins on Friday, just before going into Sinatra overkill: "There's quite a lot of news today. We'll get to some of it." . . . Haven't had a chance to read through all of the "AIDS awareness'' bilingual supplement that ran in Sunday's Daily News, but VoiceAIDS reporter Mark Schoofs says it's "really good." Besides, where else have you read the headline: "El Peligro De 'Knockin' Boots'"? . . . How fortunes shift in the world of hip-hop media. The Source was once the cred bible, before it got mad fat with ads. Now the June issue introduces a new financial column, headlined--this is not made up--"Wassup Wit Mutual Funds?" My guess is that Stress, until recently fairly unknown and uneven, will begin to take over the space once occupied by TheSource. . . . Never a paper to miss the Rat Pack angle, Monday's New York Post reproduced at length the open letter Shirley MacLaine has written to her old friend Frank Sinatra, published in this week's Newsweek. Alas, reporter Bill Hoffmann was so busy copying down the words that he must've forgotten what he was looking at, since the Poststory refers in its second paragraph to the letter "in this week's Time magazine." . . . Last week The Washington Post finally noticed the FBI investigation into the Dole '96 campaign--a story broken in Press Clips three weeks ago--in a nicely detailed Thomas Edsall piece on Thursday. Also last week, Insight magazine reported that a federal grand jury in New York is now hearing from witnesses about this case (though the Voice has been unable to confirm this, and it's unclear why the probe would be based in New York). As of Monday, still nothing in The New York Times.