Peterson: A day without the Daily
Yep, I did it. Point the finger right here.
I ruined the Vail Daily.
And it only took me nine months.
The paper running the wrong answers to the crossword puzzles a few months ago? That was me.
That front-page photo of the stubborn burro at the Beaver Creek Rodeo this summer? Yep, me again.
And the F-bomb that slipped into #VailLive a few weeks ago? You guessed it.
Ditto for using “boarding house” to describe the proposal to turn an EagleVail office building into communal living spaces for workers.
I secretly got all those East Vail residents to write letters opposing the controversial Booth Heights proposal, too, and then, just to double down on the subterfuge, I let the developer write columns to pour gas on the fire.
And my masterstroke? Killing off the scoreboard page in the back of the paper because I secretly despise the NFL and the rest of pro sports.
Me, me, me, me, me.
Sorry, Jim Pavelich. My bad, Bob Brown.
I’m kidding, of course.
Truth is, when you’re the editor, you get all the calls, and you’re accountable for every single word and photo that winds up in the paper or online — even the things you never saw before they hit the page.
Doesn’t matter that the crossword puzzles get laid out in Greeley. Or that the county application materials for the Warner Building proposal included no fewer than eight pages referencing boarding houses. Or that I don’t pick who chooses to write the letters and guest columns that land in my inbox. Or that we’ve run more cartoons skewering liberals than anti-Trump cartoons since I arrived back at the Daily — trust me, I keep a count.
I’ve tried to call every single reader back and listen, especially the guy who screamed at me for killing scoreboard and “not respecting the NFL and Major League Baseball because you’re some fancy-pants liberal paper.”
That guy obviously didn’t realize he was talking to a guy who used to direct NFL coverage at CBSSports.com for nearly three years and was in the press box the last time the Broncos won the Super Bowl.
It doesn’t matter that formatting all that small type was a chore for the copy desk, or that the standings were incomplete because of our press deadline. Or that the most accurate information pops up in a blink on a smartphone by literally saying two words to Siri or Google. Or that the Vail Daily is the only outlet for reading about local athletes and local teams, while pro sports coverage is ubiquitous.
Nope, all stupid arguments, from me, the editor of this “fancy-pants” paper.
Not once did I say, “Hey, 1986 called.” Not once did I lose my temper. I’ve politely thanked every reader who has called for his or her feedback — and then I’ve gotten right back to the serious work of burning this treasured local institution to the ground.
Anyway, a little more than a week ago, while watching Jason Isbell shred on the Ford Amphitheater stage, I shared all this with Daily photographer Chris Dillmann, who had maybe the best piece of feedback I’ve heard in my nine months back in the valley.
He said everywhere he goes, all he sees is people reading the paper. But he has heard plenty of complaints as well. Heck, he’s the jerk who took that burro photo.
“You remember that movie, ‘A Day Without a Mexican,’ that they showed us back in in high school?” he said. “We should take the Daily away for a day and see just how much people freak out.”
And to think about how hot people got over the wrong crossword puzzle answers. Talk about phone calls.
“It’d be like the ‘Soup Nazi’ episode on ‘Seinfeld,” I said. “You don’t like it? No Town Talk for you!”
I’m kidding, of course.
I promise the paper is coming out tomorrow. Maybe.
A day off sure would be nice.
Editor Nate Peterson is mad as hell and he’s not going to take this anymore. Actually, not really. He can be reached at email@example.com