I just read the April 7 Let It Blurt column and was disturbed by your description of the panel I moderated in Austin. The point that Greg Kot, Tom Moon, and I were all making–quite clearly, I thought–was that we have all refused to sign the contracts that publicists and labels have attempted to foist upon us limiting the terms of interviews. I know that I have never signed any such contract on behalf of Spin, and that’s what I said repeatedly on the panel. This is a far cry from–as you put it–“bitch(ing) and moan(ing), as though helpless, about having to sign” such contracts. I have not “had” to sign them, will not sign them, and it’s a cheap shot to imply that Spin (or the Tribune or the Inquirer) participates in such a loathsome procedure.
Complain all you want about the quality of our magazine. Just don’t misrepresent me or misinform your readers concerning our ethics.
Editor in Chief
Peter Margasak replies:
I was aware that the journalists on the panel did not sign the contracts they were complaining about; the sentence should have read, “about being asked to sign contracts that limited what they could ask an artist in an interview.” My apologies for the error, which arose from a misunderstanding between me and my editor. I still think, however, that as journalists at powerful, high-profile publications, Light and his fellow panelists are missing an opportunity to expose and maybe even curb the extremes of the star-making machinery by writing about this reprehensible practice instead of preaching to the choir about it. If music journalists wish to be considered real journalists and not merely tools of the industry we cover, we need to think of such topics as part of our turf.