Every year the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, a national trade group to which SF Weekly and the Bay Guardian belong, holds a journalism awards contest for its 100-plus member papers. During AAN’s annual convention last week in Portland, winners were announced; tragically, we (and the BG, for that matter) returned home with nothing more than hangovers. This grotesque snub (of us, not the BG) made us wonder just who the hell judged the contest. What we learned nearly caused us to projectile vomit.
The last name on AAN’s list of more than 100 contest judges is Cory Zurowski. In his short bio, Zurowski mentions that after working for a Des Moines alt-weekly and later for AAN, he “went on to toil as Bruce Brugmann’s pro bono fluffer at the Bay Guardian, where he finally received tenure in 2003.”
For those puritans unfamiliar with the term fluffer, let’s just say it’s very much a hands-on job. (Cue Beavis laugh here.) We’re certain Zurowski, who according to his bio “now raises magnolias and nutria at his bucolic abode in Stevensville, Md.,” was goofing on the BG’s anti-union publisher/editor/lost love child of Kenny Rogers and Colonel Sanders; a Web search offers no evidence that Zurowski ever worked at the paper. But just to make doubly sure, we sent an e-mail to Brugmann; he has not yet deigned to reply. Perhaps he’s too busy not paying his interns. -- Martin Kuz