When “Mean Girls” are men

Mean Girls_motto

By Jae-Ha Kim
March 20, 2016

A few weeks ago, my son and another little boy exchanged words on the basketball court. Things were said that neither had meant and I know they both felt bad about it. My child apologized for his part in the altercation and the other boy reciprocated. By the end of the game, they were smiling and patting each other on the back.

They’re 7.

The other day, a friend brought up an incident. She wanted to know if I ever heard from a pair of male writers who tried to tear me down for years in a public forum.

I asked her why she would bring this up after two decades had already passed.

“When it was happening, I felt like a shitty friend who didn’t defend you, because I didn’t know what I could do,” she said. “It must have been embarrassing and hurtful to go through that. It wasn’t fair.”

To be honest, I hadn’t thought about this in a long time. And when I do, I do find myself irritated — not because I’m embarrassed by what they wrote (they’re the ones who should be ashamed of their asinine behavior), but because I had wanted to sling shit right back at them.

But what would that have accomplished? All it would’ve done was satiated their constant need for attention.

Thinking about it now, I see so many things that I didn’t as a young reporter. I see their white privilege, which was tinged with racism, sexism and jealousy. How dare an unqualified Asian woman whose intelligence obviously was inferior to their own have a more prestigious and higher-paying job than they had? I must’ve gotten my job because I’m a woman. I must’ve been an Affirmative Action hiree. In their minds, I was the reason they didn’t have better jobs.

These men both knew how deadline reporting worked. They knew who was responsible for writing the headlines, which department dealt with the photographs, what the copy editor’s duties were and what the editor’s responsibility was. Yet, any time there was a mistake anywhere near one of my articles, they reported this error as if this mistake was my fault (and, sometimes, it was!) and as if this was actual news, rather than an unfortunate, daily occurrence that happens in every. single. publication. in the world — including their own.

They would say their attacks on me weren’t personal, but they would be lying. They consistently singled me out and overlooked glaring errors by their cronies. Yay?

One of them — and really, who can tell the difference between the two — called me out for quoting a musician who was talking about sampling. They insisted that I didn’t know the difference between covering a song and sampling a song. After all, how would an Asian woman know anything about music — other than classical, of course.

Bitch, please.

Perhaps incensed that the songwriter went on record contradicting their “daft” accusations, they elevated their sexism to a new level. They devoted yet another column to my flaws, where they literally infantilized me, slapping my face on the body of a bobby socks-wearing teenybopper.

How did they depict my male counterparts? They hired one of the city’s most famous photographers to take an “arty” photo of their shoes, claiming that “like most pop critics they were too humble to show their faces.”


In the subsequent years, I would face real-life issues that deeply impacted my life. I would lose my baby in my second trimester. My beloved father would die. And I would watch my son grieve for a mother he barely remembered.

The “reporter wars,” as some readers dubbed it, was nothing more than a minor irritation.

Too bad for them that they dealt with their own issues in a less mature way than a pair of second graders.

So, tl;dr: Bye, Felicia!

Now … watch out for that bus. 😉

© 2016 JAE-HA KIM | All Rights Reserved

Comments (81)

  1. Michael Miner says:

    These are hard enough times for healthy newspapers, and the Sun-Times isn’t healthy. While we had Steve Duke on the phone, we asked him when we’d see a replacement for rock critic Don McLeese, who moved to Texas late last year. Actually, it’s not just McLeese’s shoes that need filling. Nightlife reporter Dave Hoekstra has shifted to sports, and entertainment reporter Pat Smith is now at the Boston Globe. Jae-Ha Kim is a yeoman but she can’t do three jobs at once.

    • Eugene Hanson says:

      Why didn’t Whine-man write a lengthy post about how Kim isn’t in fact an actual yeoman, nor is she male, or in the navy, or …???
      See what I did there? You can take any bit of any writing and tear it apart.
      FWIW, I like Mike and know that his yeoman comment was meant to praise Kim as a hard-working and capable reporter.

  2. Frank says:

    If they were truly not out to get Ms. Kim, why didn’t they cover the errors of other people?

  3. Joseph P. Foley says:

    To the editors:

    I’ve been reading Bill Wyman’s inanities for a couple of years now and have finally boiled over. It was simply inexcusable for any publication to print his idiotic trashing of Jae-ha Kim (7-19-91), whose writing is far superior to his own.

    He bases his petty diatribe on arcane differences between her definition of terms and his own. House, hip-hop, rap, sampling; who cares? Thinking people should flush them all down the same toilet.

    It was a welcome turn of events when Ms. Kim replaced Don McLeese and Dave Hoekstra as pop music critic at the Sun-Times. Their whiny, trendy, yuppie style of writing and opinions had been a nuisance for years. Rock criticism has in the last 20 years become a kind of self-perpetuating bureaucracy which justifies its own existence as having to explain the obvious to the lumpen. In so doing it employs the big lie: tripe is really quality (Prince, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Pet Shop Boys, George Michael, M.C. Hammer) and quality is useless and irrelevant (Yes, Scorpions, E.L.P., Ramones, Sex Pistols, Motorhead). McLeese/Hoekstra’s fawning over Roland Gift of Fine Young Cannibals was particularly disgusting.

    Jae-ha Kim’s fine writing in the Entertainer has always betrayed a lack of adherence to these myths, and this is why she is attacked by Wyman. It would be a shame if she were to lose her position at the Sun-Times because of the trendy babbling of a disco sycophant like Wyman.

    Joseph P. Foley

    W. 67th St.

  4. Laura Zelenka says:

    Bill Wyman’s recent mean-spirited attack on the Sun-Times’s pop music coverage [“Misery Loves Morrissey,” July 19] amounted to little more than a personal attack on a woman in a position Wyman wishes he had. Not only did his diatribes against Ms. Jae-ha Kim smack of sour grapes but it’s obvious Wyman has no sense of fun where rock is concerned–and isn’t that what music is supposed to be about to some degree?

    Ms. Kim may have made a few factual errors but I understand her attempts at humor where Vanilla Ice is concerned–what else is he but a joke? Kim works hard and I’ve seen her name in many more music publications (including Rolling Stone) than I’ve seen Wyman’s (unless we’re talking about the Rolling Stones member, of course).

    It’s even sadder that Wyman continues to suck up to Don McLeese, Dave Hoekstra and Greg Kot–who continue to measure the size of their rock ‘n’ roll penises by their lack of humor and boundless capabilities to analyze, compare and criticize samples, influences, ad nauseam.

    I find that there are only two music critics between the two papers who have any sense of the fun and fashion that make up popular music–and both of them are women. One of them is Jae-ha Kim and, contrary to Wyman’s beliefs, I feel she knows her stuff.

    I think Wyman should find something better to do than sit in judgment of his fellow critics–like maybe work on his own sad writing and perhaps try to smile once in a while.

    Laura Zelenka


  5. Doug Hoekstra says:

    To the editors:

    I’m shocked and stunned by the Bill Wyman-Jae-Ha Kim critic’s war currently taking place in the pages of your fine weekly. While I agree with Wyman in principle, I must admit he does come off as whiny and somewhat vindictive in his critique of Ms. Kim’s writing [July 19]. Could he be trying to become the Madonna of Chicago music critics, creating controversy for controversy’s sake? Or is he merely upset that Ms. Kim chose to ignore such Wyman/Indie staples as the Vulgar Boatmen, Ben Vaughn, and the Posies? Maybe Wyman and Kim should leg wrestle for the right to define hip-hop. Hey, everybody, it’s only rock and roll. Or is it?

    At any rate, there’s no excuse for Laura Zelenka’s (“Wyman’s Sour Grapes,” 8-9-91) excessively mean-spirited response to Wyman’s not-as-mean-spirited article. Whatever Wyman’s motives, he didn’t stoop to take cover in Ms. Kim’s breast size. Bill smiles as much (if not more) than anyone in the Chicago music community and is far too tall to suck up to Dave Hoekstra, Greg Kot, or Don McLeese. Finally, in defense of my brother, anyone who has ever read his work knows that he has an enormous sense of humor, matched only by his penis size. Dave’s writing (and penis, I suspect) differs from Don’s in the same way Don’s differs from Greg. Get with it, Laura; the only thing you’ve proven is that Jae-Ha Kim has readers more out of touch than she is!

    Doug Hoekstra


    • Doug Hoekstra says:


      Many thanks for plugging my show at the Heartland. I know space is precious and I appreciate you thinking of me! (Did I ever send you “Broken Rain?”–let me know–If I haven’t I’ll get one along)

      Take care,
      Doug Hoestra

      • Sammy says:

        “Get with it, Laura; the only thing you’ve proven is that Jae-Ha Kim has readers more out of touch than she is!”

        Wow. Way to be a weasel, Hoekstra. You make fun of a person and then you bend over when you need her?

      • Jae-Ha Kim says:

        Doug, I have always held your brother in the highest regard. I enjoy his work and think he is a very talented writer. I’ve never held your comments against me, and I’ve plugged your shows in my column as I saw fit. I do find it ingenuous, though, that you would continue to solicit publicity from someone you hold in such low regard. I received your latest request for a mention. I’ll get back to you. Thanks.

        • Candace says:

          You are wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy nicer than I would’ve been. If he had wanted to be written about after he said those rude thing, I would’ve told him where he could go.

          I have always loved your writing and the way you handle things with so much grace. Get it, girl!

    • Peter Ardito says:

      The Reader allowed its pets to publish “columns” that’s only purpose was to smear Ms. Kim’s good name. She responded exactly one time in a letter to the editor. And the smear campaign continued. You call that a “war”? The pitbulls were the ones attacking. She defended herself once. You should be ashamed of yourself for yourself. To denigrate her in a public forum and then ask her to write about you. Why would you even want someone so “out of touch” to write about you. Pathetic.

  6. Mark Taylor says:

    To the editors:

    I found the letter from Doug Hoekstra in the most recent edition of the Reader [August 23] to be both amusing and disturbing. I don’t begrudge him for sticking up for his brother, Dave, because blood is, and should be, thicker than words. But Doug failed to neglect that he is in a third-rate local band (Bucket No. 6 or something equally obtuse) that has failed to make a dent on either the local or national rock scene. When Dave wrote music pieces for the Sun-Times, he used nepotism to justify running bits on the band. Could Doug possibly be miffed that when Jae-Ha Kim took over, that free publicity ended?

    The first line in Hoekstra’s letter cracked me up. “I’m shocked and stunned by the Bill Wyman-Jae-Ha Kim critic’s war,” he wrote. Funny. I thought it took two to create a war and as far as I can tell, it is Wyman [July 19] who has tried to instigate a one-man war against Kim, who has been too smart to let his professional jealousy bother her. I think it is to her credit that she has not sunk to his level by addressing him in a similar manner.

    Reading Wyman’s continued diatribes against Kim, I can’t help but wonder if he doesn’t secretly harbor a love-hate relationship for her. His words may be plucked from a college textbook, but his actions are only slightly more advanced than that of little boys who push little girls down in the playground to get their attention.

    After going to numerous concerts where we also saw all the major Chicago critics, including Kim, Wyman, Don McLeese, Dave Hoekstra, and Greg Kot, my friends and I couldn’t help but notice that the male critics clustered together like drinking buddies while Kim sat separated at a different table. It was obvious that the male fraternity didn’t want to include her in its clique. It’s not inconceivable that Wyman may harbor some physical jealousy for Kim: while the male critics looked like stereotypical rock ‘n’ roll failures with their beer bellies and glasses, Kim looked young, intelligent and, yes, very pretty. I realize that looks shouldn’t be a part of a critic’s charm–especially in print. But perhaps that’s something that Wyman hasn’t figured out for himself yet.

    But more importantly, the implicit sexism and racism that runs rampant in Wyman’s writing is more bothersome than his attack on Kim. I find it very interesting that when the inept Pat Smith, an African American, covered music at the Sun-Times making frequent embarrassing mistakes, Wyman never bothered to write about her. Perhaps he was afraid that picking on a black woman would cause cries of “racism.” But with Kim, he has found the perfect whipping woman, capitalizing on the anti-Japanese sentiment prevalent in U.S. society. (I realize that Kim probably isn’t Japanese, but most Caucasians can’t differentiate Asian names.)

    Having followed the escapades of Wyman’s attacks on Kim over the past several months, I must thank you for cluing readers in on what was once a little known fact from her byline: That Kim is a woman. Her androgynous name and objective writing style always has made it difficult to discern whether she was male or female, something I believe can’t be said about the majority of male music writers in this country who seem to think that verbal testosterone makes up for their lack of physical prowess.

    What Wyman has done with his childish whining is make it clear that he takes himself much too seriously. And when rock critics do that, they’re doing both themselves and their readers a disservice.

    Mark Taylor


    • Bill Wyman says:

      Recent letters to the Reader have maintained that I love Madonna, hate Madonna, am jealous of Jae-Ha Kim, and have a grudge against Jae-Ha Kim; that I am a disco sycophant who doesn’t appreciate Emerson, Lake and Palmer or the Scorpions; that I am racist, sexist, and just want a job on a daily newspaper; and that my criticism is somehow a factor of penis size. All of this calumny I take with equanimity. But when you imply that I have a beer belly like Don McLeese, you go too far. Sir, you are a cur.

      • Jae-Ha Kim says:

        Not only was Don McLeese the best rock music critic in recent Chicago history, but he was also a class act. He made a name for himself through hard work and brilliant writing. He never had to drag others down in order to elevate himself.

      • I hate Bill Wyman says:

        I just threw up a little in my mouth. His attempts at being clever is beyond obnoxious.

        I find it repulsive that he can throw the shit all he likes but he can’t take it. Kim managed to deal with this smear campaign with grace. Wyman couldn’t keep his fucking mouth shut. The fact that he has to rebut every single thing said about it shows what an immature fucker he really is.

      • Right Said Fred says:

        You’re a piece of shit, Bill. ?

    • Yoon-Mi says:

      “Pat Smith reviewed a concert she didn’t attend, and later wrote about people who didn’t exist (Chicago Sun Times and Boston Globe).”

      The duo didn’t report on this–an actual violation and against the code of journalistic ethics. No, let’s attack Kim instead for not liking a Pet Shop Boys concert. Seriously–this is where their attack on her began. With a fucking Pet Shop Boys concert.

      It’s much easier to go after people who are perceived to be “weak” and who they think “won’t fight back” — Asians.

      This pair of sexist and racist pigs are disgusting excuses for men and journalists. The word “mansplaining” was invented to describe them.

      Source: The Daily Record

  7. Lenny Pincus says:

    Let’s start with “umpteenth.” Since Bill Wyman [Letters, February 14] also uses his mouth to communicate, many of his slams against Dick Holliday have been verbalized to people I know: writers, bar owners, booking agents, fellow musicians. Unfortunately, most of what he says gets back to me; in my letter, I lumped all of his abuse together.

    Not long ago, in an article ravaging Jae-Ha Kim, Bill mentioned a number of critics he respected, including Greg Kot and Don McLeese. Let’s see what these two writers say about the “nightmarish frat-band” I’m in: Don McLeese: “The band’s self-marketed debut album (‘Everybody Knows’) shows a lot of craft and care. . . . The band could be as big a hit with radio as it has been in the clubs. The combination of the band’s overwhelming local support and its studio polish should take the Gang national before long.” Greg Kot: “‘Everybody Knows’ affirms the Bamboo Gang’s party band reputation with its splendid mix of breezy Caribbean rhythms and hot dance floor workouts. . . . Its sharp production, tight arrangements and tuneful vocals also indicate they’re much more than a club act. ‘Such a Fine Love’ practically screams for top 40 airplay.” I wonder if all three are talking about the same band.

    Bill then refers to a “cold cocking” I received from the New Duncan Imperials in the Reader’s letters section a few years ago. Despite his seeming lack of interest in the set-to, Bill managed to mangle the facts of the case sufficiently to practically demand a retelling. I wrote a letter containing a series of Bill Wyman quotes from a Reader’s Critic Choice that ended with the claim that the band in question was the best live band in Chicago. My only contribution to the letter was the word Bullshit; I thought the review of the band was lame, listing peripherals which I felt had nothing to do with any band’s worth. I also felt that it was silly to claim any band is the “best live band” in the city. When the band in question, the New Duncan Imperials, took exception, evidently feeling that I was slamming them, I wrote immediately, apologizing that I was slamming the reviewer and not the reviewed. Having boxed in the Chicago Athletic Association, my concept of a cold-cocking must differ from Bill’s.

    As for my friend’s remark, Bill doesn’t seem to have any question about his own role in the world: I do it, he watches.

    Lenny Pincus


    PS: Everybody knows Spies Who Surf is the best live band in the city.

  8. Stephen Haight says:

    Excuse me, but doesn’t the Reader have any editors to monitor when their writers aren’t doing their jobs? Why is Bill Wyman, who supposedly is your rock writer, ending his reviews with digs at the Sun-Times and Jae-Ha Kim [“Vying for the Pantheon,” March 13]? Who cares what he thinks about the paper or her? He’s not paid to monitor that. He’s paid to write about music, and even that takes him forever.

    Wyman manages to contribute, what, a story or two every couple weeks. Christ. Take an Evelyn Woods class buddy and speed it up. I realize the Reader is a weekly, but it’d be nice to read a review occasionally of a show that happened in the not so distant past–and one that wasn’t a review of Kim’s review. (Speaking of which, why is he holding on to reviews she wrote nine months ago? That New FADS show was last July!) And if it is going to take him forever to report on something, why isn’t his stuff more interesting? The Lou Reed piece was laughably boring.

    I wouldn’t know Kim from Greg Kot if they sat on my face. But I had the “pleasure” of meeting Wyman last year at the World at the Morrissey concert. My friends and I camped out for tickets and got great seats close enough to see up Morrissey’s nose. We sat right behind Wyman, who made a big deal of making sure everyone knew who he was. At the end of the show, Morrissey threw souvenirs out into the audience including one of his tambourines. Who leapt up for it, caught it and had an orgasm over it? Bill Wyman. I guess getting free tickets isn’t enough for the windbag. He has to have souvenirs meant for real, paying fans too.

    All I can say is, Mike Miner look out for your job. It looks like Wyman’s gunning for the Hot Type position. God help us all.

    Stephen Haight


  9. Laurel Adams says:

    To the editors:

    I see Jae-Ha Kim’s byline in the Chicago Sun-Times and Rolling Stone, hear her voice every week on Johnny B’s radio show and see her occasionally on television. I see Bill Wyman writing about her. Go figure.

    I buy the Sun-Times because Kim is a clever writer who doesn’t talk down to her readers.

    I pick up the Reader because it’s free.

    Laurel Adams

    Des Plaines

  10. Stephen Paul says:

    To the editors:

    [Re: Hitsville, November 6]

    “Dichotomy: division into two usu. contradictory parts or opinions”:

    What’s “weird,” to borrow a more mundane word from Bill Wyman’s venomous arsenal, is the same’s perpetually flagrant obsession with Jae-Ha Kim and her vocabulary. So inflamed is this consumption that even an infrequent browser of the Reader from the left coast can spot it. As provocative as the “alternative” press is in the Bay Area, the weeklies still have better things to do than copyedit the dailies seeking “dichotomies” between word and meaning. A possible misuse of a single word is weak evidence for supporting the dubious hypothesis that Kim is not fit to fill her post.

    Do Wyman’s words reflect merely impish and malicious intent? Or is there something more to his “problem of Jae-Ha Kim”? Is a dichotomy involved?

    Stephen Paul

    San Francisco

    • Eugene Hanson says:

      If there was a flagrant error, it was as much the copy editor’s fault for not catching it as Kim’s. When you file on deadline, you are typing a mach speed to get the piece in on time. The copy editors are there to make sure that everything is correct. Everyone in editorial knows this but the laymen do not. Whine-man chose to take advantage of that in order to make her appear incompetent. Maybe his followers believed him. But to the rest of the people who had more than one brain to share among themselves, they knew he was full of ?

  11. Leslie Dodson says:

    Nov 19 1992

    To the editors:

    I am writing in regards to yet another of Bill Wyman’s nasty little musings on the quality of entertainment writers at Chicago’s daily papers. I found his hits against Jae-Ha Kim of the Sun-Times to be particularly offensive [Hitsville, November 6].

    Does Mr. Bill mean to give the impression that he is sexist, racist, and divisive? Or does he fancy himself a well-informed writer with perceptive critical faculties? He’s sending a confusing message to your readers.

    Perhaps in his next column, Bill could clarify whether he is an angry, mean-spirited fellow or a useful, analytic voice in the press.

    Does Bill Wyman suffer from the words of his idol–Morrissey? “We hate it when our friends become successful. . . . It’s all so laughable.”

    Leslie Dodson


  12. J. Kim says:

    To the editors:

    Why is it that your “writer” Bill Wyman is wasting time and space on reviews of other journals? And even more irritating, why is it that he is using his position as the local moron-columnist to write about other writers? (In his latest article dated 11/6/92, he spends 80 percent of the first page blathering about the Trib and Sun-Times, and the various writers of those papers.)

    He is so condescendingly smug about his opinions (I’m sure the editors and the writers of the two dailies hang on to his every word. Do they call him before they make any major decisions?) that he must not realize how much of an ass he is.

    I can only say that the Chicago Reader must be very impressed with his inane stories, and the sophomoric and pompous style in which they are written. So much so that you allow him to waste valuable column space on personal attacks.

    I have seen several articles where he nitpicks at my sister Jae-Ha Kim, a writer for Chicago Sun-Times, while gushing at any other writer whose name he can remember.

    In the article of 11/6, his major beef against my sister was that she used the word “dichotomy” twice in two articles. So what? Her usage of the word was correct in both cases.

    He never told the readers why he felt like this deserved attention. Maybe he had a snit because he had to look up the word–both times?

    I’ll nitpick as this “writer” has been doing.

    Nitpick mode on.

    In the first paragraph of Wyman’s article on 11/6/92, he writes, “Kot has single-handedly revivified the paper’s music writing . . . ”

    Revivified? Wow, that impressed the hell out of me. I hope everybody else was impressed, too. Especially those at any major newspaper who might want to hire this pathetic person.

    At any rate, what exactly is he trying to say? Did Kot improve the music writing for everybody on the paper, or did he revive the music writing of the paper just by improving his stories so much–in spite of the mindless slop the other writers put out.

    Nitpick mode off.

    Gee, now that I’ve shown I can put out this type of tripe, can I have a column on your paper, too?

    What I’d really like to know is why this vendetta against my sister? Since I’ve never met him, nor anybody who’s treated him, the only thing I can think of is that he is a very insecure person who is extremely jealous that he can’t write for a major newspaper. And the wimp he is, maybe he singles out my sister because she is a lady who’s not likely to punch him.

    I’d think a lot more of him as a person if he’d just tell my sister what the problems are, face to face, instead of being so two-faced and hiding behind his column. I understand that he acts like a fawning puppy when he does actually see my sister at concerts.

    J. Kim

  13. Andy Gerber says:

    The Reader would like to apologize for Bill Wyman mistakenly attributing the remake of the Stones tune “Wild Horses” appearing in a Bud commercial to “a Tori Amos soundalike,” when it is in fact a three year old recording by British pop combo The Sundays.

    He will be given 30 lashes with a wet noodle for not remembering the song’s inclusion on their second DCG release (1992′s “Blind”) and another 30 lashes for opening his prodigious yapper without reseraching the facts. And as the Sundays released their first album in 1989, Miss Amos herself would have to be considered a “Sundays soundalike,” although we editors always thought she sounded more like a Kate Bush rip off.

    We at the Reader are especially embarrassed that this gaffe follows Wyman’s sarcastic public thrashing of Sun Times writer Jae Kim by one scant week. We will be sure to remind Bill of the age old adage concerning the residents of glass houses and stone throwing.

    Not even a Sunday fan,
    Andy Gerber, Chicago

  14. Jae-Ha Kim says:

    To the editors:

    For the past four years, the Reader’s rock music critic Bill Wyman has used his column as a forum to vent his personal obsession towards me. I never bothered to reply because I assumed his fixation with me would pass.

    Obviously, it hasn’t. Wyman has incorrectly misread my silence as permission to continue defaming me in a public forum. If Wyman is going to talk the talk, he had better be prepared to walk the walk, because his mean-spirited columns no longer are just irritating. They’re libelous.

    Wyman has taken it upon himself to critique my writing on a regular basis. He could have kept his left of center, PC image intact if he had done a thorough job and included the works of all the music journalists in town. Instead, he has singled me out for his smug, arrogant treatment. He must not realize that he comes across not only as petty, but as sexist and racist.

    He is a perfect example of the pot calling the kettle black. I’m sure the irony won’t be lost on many that while his condescending diatribes against me are meant to weaken my credibility, he continuously makes laughable errors. Perhaps he’s not familiar enough with the members of Pavement to care about spelling their names correctly, but he still hasn’t grasped the fact that Eddie Vedder doesn’t spell his name with a “t.” Then there are the times he misspelled my name in the same sentences he was denouncing me.

    Apparently he is suffering from selective memory loss since he overlooks the mistakes of his cronies. Because this is between Wyman and me, I find it unnecessary to identify the other journalist who mistakenly referred to U2′s hit song “Numb” as “Dumb.” Ditto for the critic who inaccurately reported that Joan Jett played a duet with a bass player who wasn’t touring with her at the time.

    More perverse, though, is Wyman’s habit of trying to pass off fiction as fact. After I reviewed a Jesus Jones concert, Wyman took it upon himself to regurgitate my piece. Citing my story, Wyman wrote, “When [Jesus Jones] played here . . . Kim wrote, “Some of the sampling . . . sounded inspired by George Harrison’s sitar playing on “Tomorrow Never Knows.”‘ He continued, “The sample is not “inspired by’ the sound: it is the sound.” Not according to Jesus Jones songwriter Mike Edwards, who personally told me, “[Wyman] was daft to say something like that in print. We never sampled “Tomorrow Never Knows’ for any of our songs. ”

    In any case, Wyman’s motives are transparent. He is a vindictive, shrill harpy who would do anything to have my job. I have seen him at the Sun-Times on several occasions rallying for a staff position. The fact that he’s still at the Reader speaks for itself. The fact also remains that he was caught simultaneously freelancing for both Chicago dailies and now writes for neither.

    Since my writing apparently offends Wyman so much, here’s my suggestion to him: Stop reading my stories. Then he can go back to doing what he does best, which is kissing Liz Phair’s butt.

    • Bill Wyman says:

      For the record, the mistakes Kim charges me with making came from articles published three years ago and one year ago, respectively; corrections and apologies were made at the time.

      • Steven says:

        Shut up you ignorant man. Is it that important to you to always get the last word? You are insufferable! Why didn’t you rebuke Kot and Derogatis for their errors? Derogatis cited a band member as being on stage when he wasn’t even in the touring band. I can only imagine the lengthy article you would’ve written if Kim had made the same error.

        • CanDance says:

          Haha! He’s an asshole, dickhead. Hate him, hate his writing. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but he is as nasty on the inside as he looks.

    • Elessar V. says:

      Dear Reader,

      To read the letter from Jae-Ha Kim to Bill Wyman [May 12] was like a dream come true: critic ripping critic to shreds! As a musician who has occasionally had the misfortune of reading unfavorable reviews about my own work, I can attest to the sinking feeling of helplessness that occurs when a critic takes months or years of your creative energy, and, on an impulsive whim, publicly bludgeons it in print through a few “clever” paragraphs. (Jae-Ha Kim did a “favorable” article on my band once: but it included numerous factual errors, embellished quotes, and several direct quotes that were complete fabrications.) Any musician who read (in J.H.K.’s letter) the dimwitted bickering about samples had to be disgusted by the lack of understanding both writers publicly exhibit about the topic. Try sampling something just once, you dorks, will you please?

      I find that most critical reviews read like narcissistic, shameless pontificating by ordinary listeners who have somehow convinced themselves that their personal opinions are miraculous revelations. I often wonder about the critic as I read a surly review or article: Are their shoes too tight? Are they constipated? Do they need to get laid? Do they actually enjoy music? Do they actually enjoy life? Do they ever fear for their personal safety after lambasting someone?

      Hopefully the public will realize someday that, for the most part, critics are self-serving, and a destructive force in respect to the arts. They are leeches who suck off the creative talents of others to make a buck. I’ve always wanted to see someone critique rock critics to point out to the public just how terrible most of their writing actually is. It was thrilling to see these two goofs turn on each other like cats. Jae-Ha and Bill, I hope you continue your brawl until you destroy each other. Maybe you should think about doing something creative with your own talents (assuming you might actually have self-generated ideas), stand on your own feet, and discontinue the ignoble profession of making a living by using and abusing artists.

      Elessar V.

      • Patrice says:

        Opinions are like assholes—everybody’s got one. As someone who has written articles and been accused occasionally of “misquoting,” I often found that the subject didn’t remember how stupid they sounded in the interview. They were lucky that I took out many of their dumber quotes.

    • A loyal reader says:

      Dear Editor,

      Jae-Ha Kim plays the racism and sexism trump cards when she derides Bill Wyman’s attacks on her writing [Letters, May 12]. These disingenuous and too easily invoked broadsides weaken an otherwise compelling letter. Say what you will about Bill, but his commitment to covering artists of all genders and races outstrips that of any local critic except Jonathan Rosenbaum. (Notably, Bill’s writing is a welcome respite from that of his Section Three sidekick, the apologist for white guys with guitars Peter Margasak. He’s the Rock 103.5 of the underground set.) Kim correctly and welcomely points out some Wymanian foibles, but to suggest his campaign against her is race- or gender-motivated belies a clear trend of general tolerance in his written and radio-broadcast work. Bill may be petty and vindictive (and I’m not necessarily conceding that he is), but the -isms don’t apply to him. However, Kim’s airing of Bill’s dirty laundry, just as Bill did mercilessly to Urge Overkill and Touch & Go Records in his column a few years ago, can be seen only as overdue comeuppance.

      A loyal reader


      • A loyal reader is an idiot says:

        Oh here we go. How come when a white man makes a complaint, he’s not playing the race card? Wyman and his crony reek of white privilege.

        This moron makes no complaint that Wyman relentlessly and maliciously sought to smear this woman’s name in print. But one letter to the editor from Kim and all of the sudden it’s playing the race card. Fuck you, you moron. Truly. Get hit by a bus. Maybe that’ll knock some sense into you.

      • Mark Lono says:

        While I enjoyed a loyal reader’s letter (June 16, 1995), it is obvious that he/she did not get the point. Jae-Ha Kim never accused Bill Wyman of being racist or sexist. What she said was that he “must not realize that he comes across [emphasis added] not only as petty, but as sexist and racist [Letters, May 12].” Whether he is or isn’t isn’t even relevant in the context of Kim’s letter because she is right. He does come across that way when he goes on and on about her without even seeming to realize that he’s all too often wrong; and he’ll overlook the “crossing the boundaries” actions of his white, male pals. (For the record–I have nothing against white males and am one!) Which rock critic all but manages a band he writes about all the time? I know. Bill knows. I have no forum to write about it, but Bill does, and he lets it slide. If it were Kim who was sidelining as a manager, you just know he would’ve been on her like black to an eight ball. The bottom line is Bill Wyman is an idiot who can’t cover his tracks very well. As for me–I can’t wait until Steve Albini takes him to task again. Now that’s rock ‘n’ roll.

        Mark Lono


        PS: As for Elessar V.’s letter (6-2), you blow! Kim gave you a favorable review and you still complain. I find it ironic that while you condemn Kim (and Wyman) for expressing their opinions about artists–which by the way you aren’t, even though you think you are–you no have problems expressing your opinion about them and their work. Why shouldn’t rock critics exist, you moron? You seem to think that it’s somehow more noble to make music than write about it. Let’s face it: good writing is more entertaining than listening to bad music (that’d be you, Elessar). And you should be exposed for the hypocrite you are. I know for a fact that you solicited stories from writers. But I suppose you only want ones OK’d by you to be published. Sounds to me like you’d rather have a PR flack write about you than a reporter. Then they could lie and say you were actually good. Finally, if reading about Jae-Ha Kim and Bill Wyman is a “dream come true,” then you really are as unimaginative as your band’s music indicates.

  15. Ronald D. Stock says:

    I cannot decide whether to be saddened or amused by Peter Margasak’s silly, pointless, and inexplicably mean-spirited missive on Jae-Ha Kim’s job change at the Sun-Times [Post No Bills, July 25]. On one hand I am saddened that Mr. Margasak has nothing better to do with his time than take bitter cheap shots at a fellow reporter. On the other, I was perversely amused by his nonsensical blatherings. The reason I switched my allegiances with regard to alternative-music reporting from the Reader’s often clueless (and thankfully departed) Bill Wyman to the refreshingly original and entertaining reporting of Jim DeRogatis (and later Jae-Ha Kim) was a desperate need to escape the cloyingly pretentious pomposity that the Reader’s tiresome music critic(s) frequently exude in industrial-strength portions. Mr. Margasak’s epic whine was a gleefully amusing reminder of what I am not missing.

    Conversely, Ms. Kim seems to recognize the pop-culture worlds of pop and alternative rock as the surrealistic corporate circuses that they are and reports them as such–rather than adhere to the dogmatic listen-to-band-write-about-what-they-sound-like formula Mr. Margasak appears hopelessly (haplessly?) enamored of. Shame on Jae-Ha for injecting a little lightheartedness into the oh-so-serious old boy clique of Chicago music reporting!

    Mr. Margasak’s meaningless, boorish bout of “literary” spit-ball shooting represents a new Chicago Reader low in “journalistic” character assassination, and is the very embodiment of the pap he accuses Ms. Kim of writing. Perhaps Mr. Margasak should spend less time slagging other critics for supposedly having “nothing to say about music” and use his poison pen for more constructive purposes–like writing about music.

    Ronald D. Stock


  16. Jeff Gazbarro says:

    Dear Peter Margasak,

    Never has your column moved me so much that I had the urge to write you a letter and say, “Thank you!” Your column of July 25 (“Rock ‘n’ Roll Vacancy”) said everything that I ever thought and always said about Jae-Ha Kim, author of such noted literary works as Best of Friends: The Unofficial Friends Companion. One more example of how anyone with a word processor can call themselves a “writer.”

    Usually I think music critics are scum (located on Albert Brooks’s “Worst Human Being” list between lepers and curable lepers), but since you took over Section Three from that other nimrod, I have been a rabid reader. And although I certainly do not agree with everything you say or even all the music that you consider to be essential, I appreciate your acrid and accurate portrayal on another “freebie-mongering industry weasel.”

    Jeff Gazbarro


    • Emma says:

      I am literally weeping at this guy’s “attacks.” Apparently not everyone can be a writer, judging by his letter.

      • Amie says:

        Right, Emma? And to Jeff, yes, anyone can call themselves a writer but that doesn’t mean it’s true. Just by the fact that she’s written a book qualifies her as a writer and a published writer at that.

  17. Evan Degnen says:

    To the Editor:

    Peter Margasak’s column [July 25] was a ridiculous little rant about the job switch of a more successful colleague at the Chicago Sun-Times. With no facts to back up his claims and the testimony of the proverbial unnamed “source” at the Sun-Times, Margasak sought to smear the name of Jae-Ha Kim with his feverish writing.

    Not having any sources at the Sun-Times–or the Reader for that matter–I don’t know what exactly went down. Nor do I particularly care. But what I do know is that reporters switch beats all the time–some even of their own choosing. It has happened everywhere, even at the Reader. Since Frank Youngwerth no longer is subjecting readers to his pedestrian writing in Spot Check, is it fair for us to assume that he has been demoted? Probably not. Again I say, who cares? But that’s the level Margasak has sunk to.

    Judging by the play the Sun-Times has given Kim’s stories, it appears she is being touted more than ever at the paper. The Sun-Times seems interested not only in keeping her at the paper but in keeping her happy. They recently flew her out to New York to cover the Big Blue Hearts at the Intel Music Festival and gave her piece on Beck a full page. (With no disrespect to Greg Kot, I believe that was a scoop over the Tribune.)

    Also, in trying to prove Kim to be a poor reporter, Margasak showed his own limited resources. He cut and pasted various tidbits from the Eye Candy section of her column, which I always assumed meant to be exactly that–eye candy. I found her enthusiastic take on pop culture–and not just pop music–to be a breath of fresh air, especially in the jaded world of rock criticism where writers tend to like to read their own words more than they enjoy listening to the music of artists they’re supposed to be writing about. But with obvious bias, he failed to include her many insightful stories, including her views on the shabby way women are treated at concerts and the gender roles that are still at issue today in rock ‘n’ roll.

    As for his nasty dig about her supposedly losing her all access backstage pass because of the change of her job title at work, I have two words for him: get real. I’ve heard Kim on Q101, I’ve heard the on-air staff at WXRT praise her work, I’ve seen her byline in Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone, and I’ve seen her book in Barnes & Noble. Plus, she’s a hottie. I’d bet any band would rather rub elbows with her than a dork like Margasak.

    Evan Degnen

    W. North

  18. Ben Kim says:

    Michael Miner was right to call attention to the Sun-Times’s conspicuous absence from the recently concluded national convention of the Asian American Journalists Association in Chicago (Hot Type, August 14 and 21). But when it comes to the cause of minorities in journalism–Asian-American or otherwise–the Reader is hardly one to criticize others.

    “Sun-Times: Appearances Be Damned,” Miner titled the first column. Let’s check out the appearance of the Reader’s editorial masthead. Sridhar Pappu, staff writer, South Asian. Krishna Knabe, editorial assistant–white, actually. That’s it–one Asian-American (we’re not counting freelancers, like longtime music and film contributor Ted Shen). Other nonwhites? Cheryl Ross, staff writer, and Michael Marsh, editorial assistant, both African-American, for a total of 3 out of 38.

    Miner also went on to list all the journalists of color who have left the Sun-Times over the past few years. Well, why did former editorial staffers Yeun Littlefield (Asian-American), Rosalind Cummings-Yeates (African-American), John Sanchez, and Ben Ortiz (both Chicano) all leave the Reader over the past few years?

    I should disclose that the Reader has been good to me, personally. As a journalist, I count several of my freelance pieces for the Reader among the best edited and most rewarding in my career. I should also mention that the Reader made a donation to the AAJA convention, manned a job fair booth, bought a full-page program ad (whose mixed message–”Do you hate your job?” “Have you had it up to here with ‘objectivity’?”–didn’t contain the word “diversity”), and dispatched managing editor Pat Arden to the “Finding Your Niche” panel, where he sat alongside other white representatives from Chicago magazine and the Medill School of Journalism.

    The “Why Are Our Mastheads Still So White?” panel is a perennial at your “alternative” press conventions, occasioning much hand-wringing and ass-covering, but spurring no change. Nigel Wade didn’t pay lip service to our convention, which was arrogant of him. But I’ll grant the Sun-Times this much: Mi-Ai Ahern is editor of the Showcase section, and reporter Jae-Ha Kim (who weathered a protracted, embarassing-for-him attack by the Reader’s Bill Wyman) sat with me on a panel about Asian-Americans in pop culture (which was attended in far greater numbers than the concurrent panel your editor appeared at). Which counts for at least as much as the Reader’s lip service.

    You’ve got the proof on your masthead, don’t claim the moral authority to criticize other media organizations over their commitment to minority hiring.

    Ben Kim


  19. EventTracker says:

    It’s great The Reader is reporting on racial and economic inequality with statistical substance, but it’s disgusting how much The Reader is part of the problem.

    Let’s look at the staff box stats, shall we?
    Full time Editorial: 100% White (and 64% Male)
    Listed Part time (Contributing) Editorial: 99% White (1 Contributing Photographer, Amanda Areias, is a person of color)

    Possibly some interns of color, i.e. the least or unpaid workers. It’s unclear if there are even non-whites on the non-editorial side.

    As far as I know, the number of black people working in editorial in the Reader’s entire history is single digits or possibly zero (if this is wrong, please correct me). There hasn’t been a full time writer of color for at least 10 years. Most of the workers of color over the four decades were editorial (including the front desk during the boom times).

    Beyond full time, freelance work by non-whites has been remarkably low over 40 years, and it’s possible just one minority freelancer has been published more than once since 2000.

    Which is spectacular bullshit. There are three respected universities with journalism programs in the area, churning out enough non-white graduates every year for the reader to find someone willing to work at alt-press wages. Chicago is home to Ebony/Jet and other home grown media for various ethnic groups. Yet the Reader can’t even get regular minority representation among it’s freelancers.

    I strongly feel that if one is producing a special issue about the progress of race relations in the last half century, you don’t get to give yourself a pass. It’s bullshit that the Reader apparently didn’t even consider working with a black writer on this issue.

    I think it’s beyond time for someone at the paper to talk about why this is. Yes, the Reader does well at speaking FOR people of color, but it seems to think none of them are qualified to speak for themselves. Meanwhile, the Reader has had ugly moments which only a white editorial would let slip: Bill Wyman’s vendetta against Jae-Ha Kim, back when she was the only minority music reporter (and one of the few females) employed in the mainstream Chicago press (it would have been great if the Reader’s 40th anniversary party had addressed that), Brian Costello’s article on the anniversary of Disco Demolition which denied it had anything to do with Chicago’s race relations, and so on.

    If The Reader has any integrity, Michael Miner (or hopefully someone a wee less defensive) will write a response to this and publish in the next issue. At the very least, you can quote an excerpt of this comment. I doubt it will happen, however.

  20. Pia says:

    Brava! I was in high school when those entitled, white men started this pathetic, onesided feud. I often wished that you would fight them and they would get their comeuppance. Even as a teenager, I could see through their jealousy. I don’t usually judge people by their looks, but I had the “pleasure” of meeting both those men at a show. From the way they behaved, pushing aside fans who’d waited for the chance to purchase tickets, and gloating over their backstage passes and referring to the female fans as nothing more than groupies, they were as ugly on the inside as they were on the outside. I’ve always loved your music articles, but I’m an even bigger fan of your social justice pieces. Thank you for fighting the good fight!

    • Jae-Ha Kim says:

      Wow, what you described is such inappropriate behavior. It’s a shame that they couldn’t just enjoy their position without trying to put down the band’s fans. And thank you so much for your compliment. Although I really enjoy writing about pop culture, I get more fulfillment writing about issues that sometimes don’t get enough coverage.

  21. Melissa Seal says:

    Wow ! I really can’t believe their superiors let it through for so long? Seems super unprofessional!
    You definitely took the high road on this~ ♥

  22. John Lee says:

    I remember this. I can’t believe their bosses let it go on as long as it did or that your paper didn’t do anything to stand up for you. Big fails all around. Actually I’m not surprised. The journalism world of even 20 years ago wasn’t as progressive as people would have you believe–as you probably know. I know you’ll say you’re not, but in many ways you helped break barriers for a lot of us minorities who would see your byline and your photo in the paper and think, “Wow, she looks like me. I can do this.”

    Congrats to you on your success and the good life you seem to be living. I’m a long-time reader and fan, but first time poster. Cheers!

  23. Lisa Tanzanetti says:

    Have you been in contact with these Grade A assholes?

    • Jae-Ha Kim says:

      Do we hang out? No! One of them did reach out to me a few years ago for help on something and mentioned that it wasn’t him, but the other guy who wrote all the stuff. Riiiiggggghhhht. I didn’t believe him, but I thought it was interesting that he would turn on his “friend” when he thought it would benefit him.

  24. Lara Trezekonov says:

    Dude bros. LOL! What a bunch of immature jerks. You took the high road, Jae. Good for you!

  25. Cassandra says:

    I don’t care if you couldn’t write a sentence or were the best critic in the world. It’s not another critic’s job to critique you in their column. You were classy enough not to name them or their rag, so I will follow suit since I hated working there, too. Our milquetoast, weak, ineffectual boss should’ve shown leadership and told them to knock it off orfired them. I wish you had sued their asses because I know that a lot of what they printed was untrue. Those of us who worked with them didn’t face humiliation in print like you did, but we worked in an environment that was full of egregious behavior. One of the worst places I ever set foot in.

  26. Terrence says:


  27. Marisol from the U.K. says:

    I remember this time well too and thought it was mad! What I especially enjoyed was when they said that you described a song incorrectly (SHOCKING! lol!) and that so and so hadn’t been an inspiration for a song or something. And then the artist actually came up and stood up for you and essentially said yes, that person was an inspiration for the song and you had it right and these fuckers were daft to contradict you.

  28. Ginger says:

    Your success is the best revenge!

  29. Roy Lee says:

    Sounds like they’re jealous and have too much uncalled for pride.

  30. Al says:

    I remember this and wrote a letter to the reader that they didn’t have the balls to publish. I pointed out all their mistakes in one week and asked when they were going to own up to them. The weasels never responded. I actually liked some of their writing, but not their pretentiousness or precious take on rock n roll. Your writing was accessible and written in a way that respected your readers, rather than looking down on us. I laugh to think that those weasels thought you were weak or stupid. Your education, life experiences, ability to speak more than one language, and everything else puts those mouthbreathers to shame. Good on you. Keep on living your wonderful life.

  31. Pat Carey says:

    I remember your excellent reviews and columns – I was a reader and enjoyed. So sorry for the bullying you had to put up with.

  32. Pat Carey says:

    About music specifically I am referring to in the past tense. I still enjoy all of your work.

  33. Kim Jaehwa says:

    This is powerful, Jae. Thank you for sharing.

  34. Paulina says:

    “By the way, the Hitsville photo department struggled mightily to get a picture of Kot and DeRogatis, but like most pop critics they were too humble to show their faces. After being reminded of the public’s right to know, however, they did allow rock ‘n’ roll photographer Paul Natkin to make this portrait of their feet. Which is which? Send your guesses; we’ll print the answer.”

    Could he have possibly been any further up their butts? With all due respect to Kot and DeRogatis, they are ugly men whose photos no one would want to see. Yes, but that makes them humble so there you go.

  35. Tracy says:

    It’s pretty obvious why this ugly pair of “men” wrote those things. But their publication is culpable for not leashing these bitter asses. Why did they run these ridiculous articles? They gave them a forum to bully Kim. I wish she would’ve sued them.

  36. Eugene Hanson says:

    Why didn’t Whine-man write a lengthy post about how Kim isn’t in fact an actual yeoman, nor is she male, or in the navy, or …???

    See what I did there? You can take any bit of any writing and tear it apart.

    FWIW, I like Mike and know that his yeoman comment was meant to praise Kim as a hard-working and capable reporter.

  37. Penelope says:

    I agree with the pp that success is the best revenge. Here you are meeting Daniel Henney and Kim Soohyun and traveling around the world with your handsome husband and cute son. I’m sure their sad little lives are filled with “witty” chats amongst themselves about how clever and they are.

  38. Alicia says:

    I love this piece, Jae! Girl Power! 🙂

    These “men” are nothing more than bullies who had (have?) an outlet to whine. If your outlet had given you the forum to criticize all their errors, it would’ve been a more even playing field. I’m disappointed in the Sun-Times for not giving you that and also the Reader for allowing these asinine attacks. As far as I’m concerned, the Reader was just as guilty for not stopping these men. Perhaps their editors even encouraged this. For shame.

    I hope you are well.

  39. Antonio says:

    Misleading readers isn’t honest journalism. I would have a difficult time referring to either Dumb or Dumber as being journalists.

  40. Yoon-Mi says:

    “Pat Smith reviewed a concert she didn’t attend, and later wrote about people who didn’t exist (Chicago Sun Times and Boston Globe).”

    The duo didn’t report on this–an actual violation and against the code of journalistic ethics. No, let’s attack Kim instead for not liking a Pet Shop Boys concert. Seriously–this is where their attack on her began. With a fucking Pet Shop Boys concert.
    It’s much easier to go after people who are perceived to be “weak” and who they think “won’t fight back” — Asians.

    This pair of sexist and racist pigs are disgusting excuses for men and journalists. The word “mansplaining” was invented to describe them.

    Source: The Daily Record

    • They should be ashamed for their actions says:

      Yoon-Mi, the Pat Smith thing reminds me of another writer who made things up. When Paige Wiser was fired from the Chicago Sun-Times for leaving a concert early and writing about songs that weren’t sung and things she hadn’t actually witnessed, where were these righteous dudes to right the wrongs? Can you even imagine what they would have done had it been Ms. Kim who had done this? They would have demanded her head on a stick.

      Wyman and Sack can pretend all they want that they didn’t have it out for her, but their actions show otherwise.

      BTW, I hate the Reader. Always have and always will. I used to get it when my dog was a puppy so he could poop on Wyman’s face.


      • Alyssa Hanson says:

        I normally like Robert Feder, but what’s with his column, basically making excuses for Wiser’s “judgment?” Where was he was Kim was being eviscerated? Oh, right, Wiser is a white blonde and Kim is an immigrant Asian. #whiteprivilege

  41. Em says:

    I worked at several of the same publications as the parties involved and I can honestly say that there were several slimy people at the Sun-Times who aided and abetted these guys. One of the most backstabbing people was a woman who I’m pretty sure is no longer there. She hated women and saw the editorial desk as her own, personal fiefdom. She was a miserable person and she probably still is today.

  42. Alicia says:

    “Yes, the Reader does well at speaking FOR people of color, but it seems to think none of them are qualified to speak for themselves. Meanwhile, the Reader has had ugly moments which only a white editorial would let slip: Bill Wyman’s vendetta against Jae-Ha Kim, back when she was the only minority music reporter (and one of the few females) employed in the mainstream Chicago press (it would have been great if the Reader’s 40th anniversary party had addressed that), Brian Costello’s article on the anniversary of Disco Demolition which denied it had anything to do with Chicago’s race relations, and so on.”

    THIS!!! ? The Reader likes to present itself as hipster and cool, but these incidents speak for themselves. This is why diversity matters.

  43. Pat says:

    First of all, that photo! Second, those “journalists” misused their positions. Third, they were obviously racist and sexist. As one of the commenters noted on your blog, the Reader has always been a very white publication. As far as I’m concerned, their idiot editor is as guilty as they are. Who allows this kind of thing to go on? And for years at that?

  44. Chen says:

    These guys are about 60 to 65 by now, right? Hipsters are obnoxious enough, but when old men try to pass themselves off as cool, it’s just sad.

  45. Thom says:

    LOL! They have issues! Best wishes to you and your lovely family. Come visit Finland and write about it! I will show your family around!

  46. Pat Lewis says:

    First of all, that photo! Second, those “journalists” misused their positions. Third, they were obviously racist and sexist. As one of the commenters noted on your blog, the Reader has always been a very white publication. As far as I’m concerned, their idiot editor is as guilty as they are. Who allows this kind of thing to go on? And for years at that?

  47. Kim Jaehwa says:

    Pat, I recommend that you read the comment section. One of the commenters said a similar thing as you: “Meanwhile, the Reader has had ugly moments which only a white editorial would let slip: Bill Wyman’s vendetta against Jae-Ha Kim, back when she was the only minority music reporter (and one of the few females) employed in the mainstream Chicago press (it would have been great if the Reader’s 40th anniversary party had addressed that).”

  48. Pat Lewis says:

    The staff was definitely implicit in all of this. The whole thing is shameful, on their part. Disgusting. On a different matter, the bus video at the bottom of this article…priceless! 😛

  49. Alan says:

    Some of your coworkers were just as bad as these two. None of them came to your defense, yet, when they were “picked on,” the boys club went into action to defend each other. Sexism and racism is real in this world. I’m sorry that you had to deal with more than your fair share of this. But cream always rises to the top. Like you said in one of your other posts, you’re living the dream and I salute you!

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