Over at Fishbowl NY, Dylan Stableford remarks upon Jessica Cutler’s last-minute cancellation for a Mediabistro panel. Where most professionals would let such a cancellation go without comment, Stableford, who couldn’t possibly be thinking about Mediabistro’s interests at all, writes, “we’re shocked…that someone known for exchanging sex for money would behave this way.”
Bad enough that such a pissy post would be considered pertinent, but the attempt to taint Cutler here as a virago, when Cutler herself offered a reasonable (albeit last-minute) answer, is sleazier than a weekend NAMBLA gathering. And apparently, I’m not alone: the panel’s moderator, Rachel Kramer Bussel, also has some thoughts, pointing to the lawsuit’s possible ramifications and the need for care.
In a later post, Stableford attempts to soften Bussel’s charges, without, of course, pointing to the obvious fact that Fishbowl is owned and operated by Mediabistro.
One quick clarification — the decision wasn’t “last-minute,” as word was passed around from the events team at mediabistro.com to the relevant bloggers about Jessica’s withdrawal from the panel at least a week ago.
At the time, it didn’t even occur to me to ask WHY she was dropping off the panel; after all, lineups for such events change all the time due to various professional and personal circumstances.
But, in fairness to Dylan, I think a reasonable argument could be made that the mediabistro.com brand identity is plastered on Fishbowl, GalleyCat, and all the other blogs to a sufficient degree that it’s not strictly necessary to make the disclaimer every time a story involves the company.