A farewell note sent from the Washington Times Stacy McCain to staffers last night:
You may recall that I attempted to quit The Washington Times in
August 2007, and was persuaded not to do so by Wes Pruden and Fran Coombs.
Well, Wes and Fran are leaving now, so I suppose now is as good a
time as any for me to go.
My last work day in the office will be Wednesday, Jan. 23, though
cleaning out my desk may take a few days longer.
In December, I signed a contract to produce a 70,000-word book by May 1, and have done a good bit of research, but have only had time to write 4,000 words so far. The business of producing the “Culture, Et Cetera” page five days a week, together with blogging and other duties at the paper, are really incompatible with the kind of work this book needs, including a two-week trip to Sudan next month. (I’ve got a doctor’s appointment today to get my first round of vaccinations for the trip.)
In 1997, my wife and I knelt together in our home in Georgia, and
prayed that I would be hired by The Washington Times. Every time I’ve become dissatisfied with this job, my conscience has chastened me for my sinful ingratitude, knowing that I was complaining about an answered prayer.
Read the rest after the jump…
When we loaded our belongings into a U-Haul truck and rolled north up
I-81 in November 1997, we brought with us an 8-year-old girl,
Kennedy, and twin 5-year-old boys, Bob and Jim. Kennedy’s now a college sophomore doing a year abroad in Argentina, and the boys are 15. Meanwhile, we’ve added Jefferson, now 9, Emerson, now 7, and Reagan, now 5. So we’ve doubled our blessings and undoubtedly contributed to our nation’s health care crisis, while also warming the globe for Al Gore. (Though
I’m still not sure which of John Edwards’ “Two Americas” we’re part
of, I know I don’t want Hillary’s village anywhere near my kids.)
Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned in the past 10 years
is that the institution of The Washington Times is greater than any
individual employee. Magical things happen when you pick up that phone, make a call and say, “I’m from The Washington Times.” I’ve met TV stars, intellectuals, and political leaders. Publicists send me free books by famous authors and practically beg me to interview their clients.
This kind of VIP treatment can create the impression that it’s all
about you. But it’s not you, it’s really the power and prestige of that name — The Washington Times, America’s Newspaper — that opens all those doors for you.
As you might expect, then, it is with great sadness and reluctance
that I have decided to resign from a job for which I prayed, at a paper I love so much. Or, at least I think I’m resigning. In my typical careless way, I haven’t actually bothered to check the company’s personnel policies. I’ve got three weeks vacation coming to me, and a huge pile of accumulated sick leave, and it might be more to my advantage to get fired instead of quitting.
Maybe David, Fran and Wes can decide between them who gets the
pleasure and honor of finally firing me. Or perhaps you’ll want to leave that task to John Solomon, so he starts his tenure as an instant hero to the SPLC, Media Matters and a thousand left-wing bloggers by ending my dreadful reign of terror. (Hey, I mean, if you believe that kind of stuff …)
Whatever The Washington Times becomes without me, history indicates
I’ll never become more than I have been at The Washington Times.
Let’s face it: People routinely leave this place thinking they’re going on to bigger and better things, and then promptly disappear. I swear last week I saw Bill Sammon’s picture on a milk carton.
So that’s me — another loser wandering off the floodlit stage o
f The Washington Times, and into the darkened wings of journalistic
obscurity. If you ever want an encore, just give me a call.
Robert Stacy McCain
P.S.: I promise not to kick any doors or shout any profanities on my
P.P.S: David, how about posting this e-mail on our Web site, so
FishbowlDC links to us and at least we get some extra traffic out of it?