Dang. From his radio show a few minutes ago:
"All I ever wanted to be was a newspaper writer," he said, which is likely not something that anyone under the age of 30 will ever say again. "This other stuff is great, but I don't care about it," he continued. "In my mind that's what it says on the headstone, it says 'newspaper guy.' "
But he also said he signed the papers to take the Post's buyout last night, after working here for, I believe, 29 years. He said he still might contract with The Post to do his Talking Points videos and his Page 2 excerpts, and he said some people in the leadership asked him to stay but didn't really insist, and even though he'll keep doing PTI and the radio show and MNF, he said he feared he'd never have the moral high ground again.
He has seven days to reconsider, but he said "I'll have somebody kidnap me and tie me down so I don't change my mind." And, as any longtime listeners would expect, he was plenty wistful when discussing what happened yesterday.
"There was not enough wine in the world, there wasn't, not last night," he said. "I'm watching 'Idol,' and I'm thinking about all these things, and I don't know who I'm supposed to talk to about this....It just feels odd. It feels odd and it feels bad. It doesn't feel sad, there's no sadness to it, it just feels wrong."
He also said "the Web site is sort of the future on some level," which I guess might be accurate, on some level, maybe. Then again, newsprint might make a dramatic comeback.
And no, I'm not happy. I've said this before, in several contexts, but when I moved from Newark, Del. to D.C. in 1998 as a miserable non-profit researcher who had never lived in a major media market, suddenly I was reading Kornheiser, Wilbon, Boswell, Jenkins and all the rest every day, and I was amazed. It was impossible for me to get my non-profit research done, because I spent all morning reading The Post sports section, before the Web was sort of the future. It absolutely made me want to leave non-profit research and become some manner of sportswriter, although first I decided to sell cheese for a while. But this paper's Sports section in the late '90s, and presumably for years and years before that, was something pretty special that actually made you anxious to open that stupid plastic bag in the morning.
Either way, will try to dig up some "Best Of" over the next few days, if the Web site poobahs don't beat me to it, since they're the future and all.