“I found out I was getting laid off on my way out of my therapist’s office.”
A reporter gloated that alternative journalist Tim Pool was “not doing so well” professionally — just days before bemoaning losing her own job.
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Sarah Morrison, a self-described liberal freelance writer for outlets including Vocative and The Guardian, mocked Pool in response to his Twitter takedowns last week of the media’s tantrum about “Make America Great Again” hat-wearing Covington Catholic School students. Although her Twitter account was private, her posts have been preserved for posterity.
“What happened to that guy,” Morrison joked of Pool on Jan. 19. “His Patreon isn’t doing so well. I check in on him from time to time to LOL at my journalism profs who proclaimed that he was the future of journalism because he live-streamed occupy wall street and owned a drone.”
She added that while Pool was said to have been highly paid as a video reporter for Fusion, now that he’s independent, he makes only “at least $2,000 a month,” according to Patreon.
“It’s not bad, but it’s not a 6 figure salary and it doesn’t come with benefits,” Morrison said.
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Another commenter followed up by calling Pool — whose live, uncut coverage of the Occupy Wall Street movement led some to deem him the future of journalism — a shill for “trumpie chuds.” One Twitter user sneered that as soon as Pool realized realized he could make “barrels of money” from the “conservative new media grift,” he essentially sold out.
Pool, for the record, has said that he does not see himself as a member of either the political right or left.
Less than a week later, in a twist that was captured Saturday by Redditor u/AntonioOfVenice on the KotakuInAction subreddit, Morrison tweeted about losing her job and benefits.
Responding to The Hollywood Reporter writer Jeremy Barr’s reminiscence on losing a media gig, Morrison wrote, “I found out I was getting laid off on my way out of my therapist’s office. I’m sure that will be funny as soon as I get a new job and am not paying $800/month for health insurance so I can continue to see this therapist.”
It is not clear which job she lost or when. According to her LinkedIn account, she has been a freelancer since 2003.
In an email response to Pluralist’s interview request, Morrison said: “I don’t see much of an upside to commenting and making this a bigger deal than it already somehow is, but I will say that I’m sorry Tim Pool’s feelings were so hurt by my tweets. I’ve never worked for HuffPost or BuzzFeed and I wasn’t laid off last week.”
Indeed, Pool had on Saturday weighed in on the Reddit thread about Morrison’s tweets with a scathing rebuttal.
“I think [it’s] important to point out that I’m rich and [it’s] not a secret,” Pool said, before indirectly coming for Morrison. “[It’s] a shining example of these journalists ineptitude that they [don’t] understand how business works, assuming that Patreon is all of my income shows why they are broke and laid off.”
He went on to take a shot at big digital news outlets.
“One of the reasons I turned down work with these companies is that I knew all of this was coming, they [don’t] know how to monetize properly. Buzzfeed is even selling cookware,” he wrote. “I mean good for them but that is not a media business.”
A frequent media critic, Pool has been among the promoters of the recently viral “learn to code” meme, which has mocked journalists complaining about ongoing layoffs at Buzzfeed and HuffPost. He also joined in condemnation of Twitter for threatening to take actions against participants in the largely conservative trend whom it deems to be harassing fired writers.
Few would doubt that the media is in trouble, thanks in part to the industry’s increasing reliance on Twitter and the other internet giants for distribution. And right-leaning outlets are not above pushing out their own desperate click-bait. But while liberals have wrung their hands over the future of the fourth estate, conservatives have been having more fun watching the house burn.
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