From Orlando, a great moment in press baronry captured forever. Here’s video of Sam Zell, new boss of the Tribune Company, addressing the staff of the Orlando Sentinel on January 31. Photographer Sara Fajardo wonders where the paper’s going and expresses her disdain for coverage of “puppy dogs.” Zell defends stories about puppy dogs, tells her the paper needs to make enough money to afford stories about “puppies in Iraq” (or possibly just “puppies and Iraq” — you be the judge of that) and as the staff laughs and applauds, steps back and says “Fuck you.”
Why? You can’t tell from the tape. But Tribune Company spokesman Gary Weitman told the Tribune’s Phil Rosenthal that “whether she intended it or not, Sam’s perception was that she was being disrespectful in both the tone she was using with him and the fact she was shaking her head as he was answering the question and, ultimately, before he finished the answer, turned her back on him and walked away.” Weitman said Zell has tried to reach Fajardo to apologize.