When columnist Jack Shafer announced last night via Twitter that he was leaving Reuters, the media world responded with a collective electronic gasp. Despite the surprise following his announcement, this is familiar territory for Shafer, who landed at Reuters after Slate shut down his “Press Box” column in 2011. Hours after his announcement, Shafer spoke to Capital New York’s Peter Sterne in an interview reflective of just how much of an industry vet Shafer is. Even in discussing the unfortunate loss of his own job he came at it like a critic:
I don’t fit their game anymore, and I’m completely understanding of that. They’re treating me well on the way out. So there’s no reason for tears. It’s our business, right?
And in classic Shafer fashion, he found an opening to challenge how we use familiar tropes. This time, it was the idea of being “unceremoniously” dumped:
No! It’s wrong to say it’s “unceremoniously.” The job is theirs. The job belongs to Slate or the job belongs to Reuters, not to me. The day that they decide that job doesn’t exist or they don’t want me in that job, there’s nothing unceremonious about it. We know this going in. We’re mercenaries.
To stick in our own trope here, Shafer was all class throughout, never losing his humor. His reply to a question about the number of media critics out there: “there’s not enough until I’m employed again. Then there is the perfect number. The perfect math.”
[Image via: CNN]