Journos Outraged as Slate Axes Jack Shafer

Co-founder is one of 4 staffers let go
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 25, 2011 1:16 PM CDT
Jack Shafer, Timothy Noah, June Thomas, Juliet Lapidos Laid Off From Slate: Reactions
Slate's masthead   (

Slate co-founder Jack Shafer, who has been with the online magazine since before its official launch in 1996, is being laid off, it was announced yesterday. The media critic is one of four staff members being let go; Timothy Noah, June Thomas, and Juliet Lapidos are the others, reports the Washington Post. (The Washington Post Co. bought Slate in 2004 from Microsoft.) Some reactions:

  • "If you weren't reading [Jack, Tim, June, and Juliet's] stuff, you're in luck—it'll be online 'til the Internet dies," writes Slate colleague David Weigel. "If you write, you should study it, because these people think and write circles around most everyone in the job-formerly-known-as-the-Life-of-Kings."

  • The move is "preposterous, sure, when considering that Shafer is among the country’s leading writers on media, a favorite of anyone who values original, uncorrupted thinking on how journalists and news outlets operate," writes Erik Wemple in the Washington Post.
  • Wemple also notes that the news "prompted a quick and dumbfounded reaction on journo-infested Twitter." Among those: Jonah Goldberg, who wondered, "Slate laid off Jack Shafer? Good lord, who did they keep?"
Click to read Shafer's candid post-mortem interview with AdWeek, in which he declares, "I was thinking of becoming an alcoholic." (Read more Jack Shafer stories.)

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