It looks like the Strib has made Lileks an unperson.
What idiots. They have Mark Twain working for them for peanuts, and they are too f***ing stupid to do anything with him.
Lileks is good. But he’s not Mark Twain.
And, Jesus, Stephen – is it really an Orwellian Memory Hole because you got a 404?
Could it be down merely because the column is canceled and any archive they happen to have isn’t up or is at another address?
(Note that their search engine shows a bunch (33) of Backfences. They have free access to 90 days worth of columns.
This ain’t no Memory Hole. It’s a canceled column; of course the old URL 404s – there’s no column there anymore, and honestly, there can’t be a lot of demand for old Backfence archives at that URL, as they’re timely and topical, y’know?)
Normally I’d agree with you, wholly. Problem is, the Strib at least claims to keep opinion pieces available for 90 day, and it certainly has been nowhere near that long since Lileks got demoted. So for now, at least, it sure seems like they’re doing their digital damnedest to pretend like the Backfence never existed.
And even if I’m wrong about their motives, today’s little linky adventure gives yet another chance to question the decision-making prowess of the Strib’s masters. Instead of a 404 error, shouldn’t the Backfence link lead to a page asking nicely if I’d like to fork over a few bucks to get to read James’s old content?
The Star Tribune is a joke. They
are letting go a moderate voice
with a damned fine sense of style.
James! Hang in there,good things
are going to happen for you.
FYI Stephen, this link still works: http://www.startribune.com/lileks/
For how long, who knows. If the Strib isn’t smart enough to hold onto him for an online job (we’ll supposedly know soon), I have to assume he’ll take a buyout and appear somewhere else.
Meanwhile, my local paper is pushing all of their good talent out (the only remaining political columnists are the token righty and that terrible hack Nick Coleman).
Seriously, I think this is just incompetence on their part.
(As you say, they *ought* to milk it for money, but I think they’re just clueless. Or think that nobody’s likely to pay for it.)
(And I also think they probably consider Backfence to be “local flavor” more than “opinion”; it’s not really editorial page content, right?)
Wait, did you use the old “Backfence” URL?? That’s been down since shortly after his column was renamed “The Quirk”.
Try using http://www.startribune.com/lileks and see what happens.