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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Witty, Cynical and Skeptical People

Last Friday afternoon, I had the opportunity to sit down with David Haupt, whom you may not be familiar with, but I'm fairly certain you know his work. David, founder of The Onion, came down to give some feedback with a start up company I'm working with. As David helped form the general concepts of how we should market to our clients (newspapers) it was fascinating to hear his anecdotal stories about what it was like in the beginning of the Onion and how that has changed. [David's blog is here]

Over the last 4 years, I've had the fortune of developing a couple relationships with journalists, editors and publishers. Yesterday, as I was at a local event and talking with the publisher and editor of a local paper, it dawned on me that one characteristic all newspaper staff have in common is a dry, witty and cynical sense of humor combined with a skeptical look at the world. The two yesterday, David last Friday, and even a good friend whom I recently reconnected with are all skeptical cynics. In fact, and I think my good friend I'm speaking of would take this as a compliment, he and David were strikingly similar in many ways. They even looked alike, which was a little eerie.

Don't get me wrong, I don't give that description with disdain, instead I say it with sentiment because I think I could easily fit the profile of every newspaper person I've ever met. I am definitely skeptical in many ways and obviously cynical. Some even agree I'm witty, though not everyone thinks those combine to be humorous.