Today we have another installment of: “Ask Piranhamous Anything.” And we do mean anything. Send your queries to FishbowlDC@mediabistro.com. This isn’t an advice column — Piranhamous doesn’t know what the hell you should do with your life any more than you do — and worse, he doesn’t care. Try to keep your questions short — we want to keep this fun, simple and insightful.
1. You have to have dinner with Salon‘s Joan Walsh or The Daily Beast‘s Tina Brown. Who do you pick and why and where do you go?
Crap, do I have to? Joan Walsh is unbelievably awful, arrogant as the day is long and I’d imagine she’d constantly be telling the staff not only to rise up and take the place over from “The Man,” but would simultaneously complain about the service to the point they’d spit in the food. Tina Brown would spend her time quoting other people in the hope it would make everyone think she was just as smart while simultaneously complaining about the service and getting our food spat upon. And given their business track records and political philosophy, I’m getting stuck with the check either way, so which one doesn’t really matter. Frankly, I’d rather starve to death.
2. Will you watch Al Jazeera any more than you did Current TV?
You can’t multiply by zero. There are only three reasons I ever watched Current: 1) to make fun of The Young Turks, or Turds, or whatever the hell they’re called; 2) to see if Eliot Spitzer accidentally made a hooker reference without realizing the irony; and 3) because the batteries in my remote died at the exact moment I was passing that channel and I had to change them (which, as it turns out, was how they got most of their viewers outside of homes with at least one resident who wears a tinfoil hat). So no, I won’t watch Al Jazeera any more than I watched Current. I prefer my anti-Americanism to have higher production values so I’m sticking with MSNBC.
See the third question regarding email surveillance inside newsrooms…3. What do you think of news outlets monitoring staff email? Is this even legal?
If it’s on a company’s server and it’s a company’s email address, it’s company property and fair game. If this is an issue for you, you probably should’ve entered a personal email address when signed up for the U-Jizz listserv (get your mind out of the gutter; this is a term birders use to describe bird semen) or should contact your cocaine dealer through other means. If you’re doing something you don’t want your employer to know about you shouldn’t use communications methods your employer provided you. It’s like borrowing the company car for the weekend and returning it filled with beer bottles, dirty needles, used condoms and severed finger and being pissed when the HR guy wants a couple of answer. It ain’t yours, it’s theirs. Act accordingly.