12) FIRST THEY CAME FOR OUR PERMA-JOBS, AND YOU SAID NOTHING The Boston Newspaper Guild, the Globe's largest union, spins the New York Times Co.'s closure threat as a case of humble workers victimized by corporate rapacity — while simultaneously defending the preposterously cushy lifetime-job guarantees enjoyed by many of its members.
13) MAYBE SEAN DELONAS WAS THE SENSITIVE ONE? Fired New York Post associate editor Sandra Guzman sues her former employer, alleging (among other things) that she was canned after objecting to the aforementioned Obama-as-chimp cartoon, that Post editor-in-chief Col Allan used his Blackberry to show Guzman and three other women a picture of a man exposing himself, that her Latina roots led one News Corp. executive to dub her "Cha Cha #1," and that a female copy assistant was once offered a reporting position in exchange for a blowjob.
14) AND THE 2009 HARVEY MILK SENSITIVITY AWARD GOES TO . . . Compensating, perhaps, for its awkward status as a gay magazine pretending to be straight — and five years after running the think piece "Gay or Asian?" — Details publishes a simultaneously dubious and offensive trend piece on the alleged rise of the "Douchefag."
15) ANCHOR AWAY? In January, discussing Obama's presidential inauguration, Good Morning America host Diane Sawyer appears inexplicably loopy — but rather than ordering her to go home and regroup, ABC keeps putting her back on the air. Video of her appearances subsequently becomes an Internet sensation.
16) THESE AREN'T THE CLIPS YOU'RE LOOKING FOR Writing for the Fairfield University Mirror, student journalist Chris Surette crafts a column titled "The Walk of Shame" that may complicate his future job search. "So after flirting with a young swan at a party, you invite her back to your place and she accepts," Surette begins. "The road to pleasure town begins and as Johnny Drama would say, VICTORY! Congrats boys, not only did you get laid, but you have a great story for the rest of your life." It gets worse. "Not only is it a story for you and your boys," continues Surette, "but others will soon realize what happened when they see your victim walking back to the dorms in her dress from last night, with a disgraceful look on her face as if she was robbed of her dignity." Yes, Chris is just a humble college student, but his unique blend of bad prose and misogyny gets him a spot on this list. Kudos!
17) BUT NOW HE'SOUR ROBBER BARON The New York Times Co. kicks off 2009 by borrowing (at high interest) roughly $250 million from Carlos Slim Helú, a controversial Mexican billionaire described in a 2007 Times column as a latter-day "robber baron." In return, Slim receives warrants that could eventually give him control of 17 percent of the Times Co.'s common stock, putting him in a position to affect the future course of America's paper of record.
18) BACK IN THE USSR After GQ publishes a September article on Russia's prime minister titled "Vladimir Putin's Dark Rise to Power," owner Condé Nast decides not to distribute the issue in Russia, not to show the article to any Russian officials, advertisers, or journalists, and not to make the piece available on the Web. (If a story falls in the Siberian forest . . .)