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All my young colleagues thought this post—"What It's Like Being The Oldest Buzz Feed Employee"—was CUTE, but I wasn't kidding. You laugh, but many of Buzz Feed's most viral post are lists of . So that's one plausible reason I was canned—defending my stuff too much.Sometimes I invited particularly sad trolls to come to the Buzz Feed office and give me their personal insults face-to-face over coffee (none ever came). I'm sorry, but I call that "journalism."What can I say, I hate untidiness.Ben Smith immediately pinged me with a "WTF are you doing? If Ben Smith has said this to me as a reason for my dismissal, to my face, I would have stood up, taken two steps back, given him a sharp salute, and marched out of his office." I wrote back, "I feel the post is a comment on the human condition." He wrote, "It's pretty great" but delete it. Let's get to a meaty reason—a reason Buzz Feed and Ben Smith have zero interest in discussing. The world of fighters is always kinda fascinating...throw in some good character study, quality production, a great score, and you got yourself a pretty cool looking docu-series.
I absorb a great deal of heat from targets of stories that we write, from Beyonce's publicist to politicians to businesses, and I've just realized the stuff I am least able to defend is, occasionally, yours.
Because Buzz Feed had grown so big so fast, they didn't want some loose cannon highlighting the shitty ads of potential or current big name advertisers. Being a visionary, I brought this point up in my initial interview with Ben Smith.
He said, more or less, "You don't worry about that, that's my problem." Boy oh boy did it become his problem.
Let's just say, it's 'creative differences.'" (I paraphrase, but he most certainly used the c and d words.) I reached down to pull up one of my socks. Ben got a worried look on his face and started to peek under the table.
I smiled inside as I imagined him wondering what I might have hidden in my sock.Our editorial team operates independently of advertisers, and I've never based a decision about reporting on an advertiser's needs.