It’s no secret that times are tough at the nation’s newspapers.
But you know things are really bad when you’re getting angry phone calls from 8-year-olds.
That was the unfortunate boat that Bob Zaltsberg, editor of the Herald-Times of Bloomington, Indiana, found himself in Sunday. Owing to budget cutbacks, the paper was forced to cut comics from the Universal Uclick syndicate. Although they soon replaced them, a few of one particular reader’s favorite cartoons went missing.
An 8-year-old Bloomingtoninan named Mac called up Zaltsberg and proceeded to berate him over the missing comics. “I want these comics back now,” he says on the phone, offering to “give you all my money” for the comics’ return.[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/193831575" params="visual=true&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]
The boy closes the call by calling the paper “idiots, jerks [and] s–––holes.” He repeats that last epithet after some heavy breathing, which really elevates the menace of the whole thing:[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/193844109" params="visual=true&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="300" iframe="true" /]
“I thought it was a very funny thing, but still, an 8-year-old calling me a s–––hole isn’t that pleasant,” Zaltsberg told Jim Romenesko.
Hey, with the way things are in the publishing world right now, you probably want to just thank your lucky stars you have a dedicated reader that young, Bob.