Invoice: Commentary on Jimmy Dolan's Penis, Blogger, $400 Per Week, Payable with Village Voice Advertising Pull

Well, looks like I'm gonna have to tell the wife and our nine adopted children with various disabilities that don't so much impair them as make them unbearably cute in a Finding Nemo-esque fashion that my first raise won't be coming in quite on schedule this time. Your forthcoming hypo-allergenic pet turtle (already named: "Sam") will have to wait until next Christmas. : (

Yeah, we've received news this morning that Jimmy Dolan has pulled an advertisement for the Independent Film Center -- which is owned by IFC, which is owned by Rainbow Media, which is owned by Cablevision and Jimmy Dolan -- from the Village Voice, following our trenchant commentary on the sale of Gothamist to Rainbow Media, replete with a joke about Mr. Dolan's penis that required the attention of his corporate publicity and legal affairs crews. In the spirit of this great nation's pride, we at the Village Voice do not respond to threats of publicity-driven, vaguely-legally-fueled terrorism, no matter what level it's on. So when we got such an e-mail, we ran it.

Maureen O'Connor, my former colleague at Gawker, then picked up the item, astutely noting both A) our decorum in the situation ("at least he didn't pull a Perez Hilton and doodle penises all over your face"), and B) the clear message it sent to the editorial staff of Dolan's latest acquisition: "Under the new regime, your dick-sucking jokes will be held to higher standards." Little did we know that Dolan was about to send another message their way. Mainly, one implying that humor (or news) at their employer's expense will be punished with swift action.

And so, the Independent Film Center has pulled an advertisement from the pages of the Village Voice. The advertisement was worth $400/week. In a rare breach the wall between editorial and sales, I'd like to openly apologize to the ad salesperson who closed that account: I'm sorry Jimmy Dolan's penis cost you some commission. If you'd like me to write your child's college admission's essay, I'll do it pro bono. I'd just give you the money, but I've spent the last four days considering Jimmy Dolan's penis. The pay is proportionate.

That being said, the Village Voice won't be taking any action editorially for or against IFC, or any IFC properties. We'll continue to feature them in our listings and reviews, and we'll continue to provide the fair and passionate coverage of them (and Mr. Dolan) that we always have, though we will smile every time we think of the euphemistic "I" in that acronym.

Furthermore, the Village Voice does not nor will not take disciplinary actions against any of their editorial staff and/or vendors for making good-humored dick jokes at the expense of their superiors, so long as they fall in line with editorial standards and labor law guidelines. Especially if I have a good news peg. And we've got nothing but good news pegs here at the Voice. See what I did there?

Thomas Jefferson once noted that "our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it." He probably wasn't considering our liberty to talk about Jimmy Dolan's penis, but you know, a few hundred years later and here we are. More appropriately, perhaps, was when World Series-winning pitcher Dock Ellis once lectured his teammates before their first game of the Pirates' 1974 season. It was against Cincinnati's notorious and inimitable "Big Red Machine" lineup, and the team was immersed in an emotional slump after spring training. They were beleaguered and intimidated. Ellis told them: "We gonna get down. We gonna do the do. I'm going to hit these motherfuckers." And then he was taken out of the game after he indeed hit Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Dan Driessen in the ribs, kidney, and back, respectively. We won't be beaning Jimmy Dolan with a fast pitch, high and inside, anytime soon, but if it comes down to talking about him, or anyone, throwing their balls around, let me assure you: We won't back down from that, either.

Sorry, kids. The pet turtle's gonna have to wait.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]


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