February 24, 2005

Match.com me, Sidney

The Obsever thinks you might know newly-annointed New York Times Hollywood reporter David Halbfinger as the author of some personal essay in CJR about losing his laptop. But the KewlKids will actually remember Halbfinger as the guy who became a running joke in the old Spy "mailroom" column for repeatedly sending cranky letters and then trying to wheedle a job. (Psst! Matt & Jess, I know where you can find a complete set of back issues.)

But that was a long time ago, and Halbfinger's a real reporter now. "Do I need to be loved by everybody?" he says. "No. I get plenty of love at home."

That's what distinguishes him from freelance hacks like me, who do need to be loved by everybody, and who, as a consequence end up taking on cheesy assignments that we really ought to be beyond by now. It's so hard to say no to editors when you don't get love at home.

All of which is to say that you should feel free to ignore The 10 Best and Worst moments in the History of Dating, from the first issue of the new Match.com webzine (unless of course you're obsessed with lists).

Although I could have sworn a more inoccuous piece of fluff was never written, I did already get one angry e-mail from a guy who called me a hypocrite for giving the thumbs up to the Stonewall Riots while mocking attempts to ban ladies nights. "Equality needs to be a zero-tolerance issue," I was told. "Not too long ago, it seemed reasonable to almost half of the people in the U.S. that certain nationalities didn't deserve the same inalienable rights as others which led to the nation's most severe bloodshed." Apparently the Civil War was fought because blacks had to pay $4 for a drink while whites only paid $2.

Posted by Daniel Radosh


The benefits of Ladies Night are clearly separate but equal. Seriously, where's Henry Billings Brown when you need him?

It's silly to take extra freelance jobs becuase you need to be loved by everyone. You should post more blog entries if you need more love. Then you can take the freelance jobs just for the money.

I have a stack of SPYs that I'm willing to part with, for either money, or love. If the figure is to my liking.


What years do you have, and what's a ballpark figure? (I ask not to haggle, but because I have no idea what the market price is. I imagine the price is beyond my modest interest in reliving those issues. But maybe not.)

And Radosh: Can you post an example of a Halbfinger Spy letter from the old days, and the editors' response? The only running joke I remember from those letters columns was the bit about "nubbins."

It's sort of heartbreaking that the last highlight for romance was 1973 and that 4-10 of the worst was from 1973 to the present.

You cynical bastard.

Personally, I think romance died the moment the phrase "my baby daddy" was first uttered, for the record.

What kind of cranky things would he say? And where can I get a job at this Spy Magazine I'm hearing so much about?

On a side note, others will recall David H. as the Trenton bureau chief who exposed the shady land dealings of then-Acting Gov. Donald DiFrancesco. Pretty damn good work, I thought. Now can someone hire me, please?


I have 16 issues here. They run from '89 to '97.
I have no idea of what the going rate for a pile of dusty old magazines is either. But if I dust them off, I could probably ask a little more.


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