Get this: he made me delete it one month after it was posted, due to apparent pressure from Axe's owner Unilever. Ben Smith also questioned other posts I did knocking major advertisers' ads (he kept repeating the phrase "punching down"), including the pathetically pandering, irresponsible Nike "Fat Boy" commercial.
I of course understand that websites like Buzz Feed need lots of advertising dollars to operate, and that no media outlets—including the one you're reading this on—are immune to advertiser pressure.
Sometimes I invited particularly sad trolls to come to the Buzz Feed office and give me their personal insults face-to-face over coffee (none ever came). I'm sorry, but I call that "journalism."What can I say, I hate untidiness.
One of my last posts, before I was fired, was a collection of all the photos I could find on the web of people "servicing" the Ronald Mc Donald mascot.
(For the record, I found 13; College Humor only found 10). You see, this online copyranter persona I created does—sometimes—take over my actual, real-life personality.
Ben Smith immediately pinged me with a "WTF are you doing? If Ben Smith has said this to me as a reason for my dismissal, to my face, I would have stood up, taken two steps back, given him a sharp salute, and marched out of his office.
Many editorial job openings on Buzz Feed's jobs page feature a "no haters" (say it a singsong voice) caveat. After a few months of being forced to delete posts because they knocked big name advertisers' "mediocre" (Ben Smith's word) ads, what I started doing instead was make fraudulent posts about decent ads with "best ____ ad ever" titles. Maybe that's why I was fired: too many posts with overpromising, hyperbolic click-bait headlines that led to underwhelming content? We parted ways with Mark in because his tone and vision are really different from ours.