Columnist Fired From Courant For Angering Advertiser?

If this is true, chalk it up to another reason why I won’t shed many tears when the Courant inevitably throws in the towel.

According to consumer advocacy blog The Consumerist, Hartford Courant columnist George Gombossy has been fired from the paper after it refused to run Gombossy’s latest column about the CT AG’s investigation into Sleepy’s mattresses. Sleepy’s has been accused of selling used and bedbug-riddled mattresses as new, and Blumenthal’s office has launched an investigation into the affair.

It is hard to understand why the Courant would be so interested in protecting the reputation of Sleepy’s until you consider that the mattress megolith is one of the Courant’s largest advertisers. You can read Gombossy’s unpublished column here. He had been on the Courant payroll since 1969.

12 responses to “Columnist Fired From Courant For Angering Advertiser?

  1. So, is Blumenthal planning an investigation of the Courant for depriving Gombossy of his First Amendment rights to provide space in a major paper to advance Blumenthal’s suits… or whatever?

  2. the story is big:
    the Courant fires a consumer columnist for exposing an advertiser.
    sounds like the makings of a movie script.
    too bad there are not lots of papers for the columnist to be swept up into.

  3. It’s believable too.

    Google “Sleepy’s Mattress Problem” and it fills the page.

    The same result does not occur with either Bedding Barn or Better Bedding.

    Who could believe the Courant could sink even further into the abyss?

    Yet it seems they have.

  4. Based on my own dealings with journalists (none fired), I’ve heard stories of big advertisers either being handled with kid gloves or, if they do get tattooed, retaliating. So it wouldn’t surprise me.

    But considering that Blumie is mentioned… does he have standards for opening a case? I presume so. But then… whatever happened to William Fritz, son of Mary, and the I-84 case? Did Blumie ever close that case?

    No doubt he’d walk away with a Senate seat next year if Dodd weren’t so convinced of his own wonderfulness (I don’t care if it’s not a word… I like it in this context!). But I-84 goes thru Cheshire. And I’ve heard from people who are more than annoyed about the hazards there. So I certainly hope that Blumie wraps up that investigation / prosecution before he (potentially) jumps into the Senate race.

  5. Blumie’s like one of those little plastic Jesus’ on the dashboard of one’s hybrid car:

  6. Gombossy has a First Amendment case. He can go out in a blaze of glory if he has enough courage not to play it safe.

  7. This story is news. (Both the story about Sleepy’s and the story of Gomobssy’s firing for daring to write about it.)

    Sadly, there appear to be no “news”papers left in Connecticut with the integrity to cover it.

    A quick Google news search on this topic this morning produced a grand total of two stories. From blogs.

  8. Gombossy has a First Amendment case. He can go out in a blaze of glory if he has enough courage not to play it safe.

    How does he have a first amendment case? The newspaper can print whatever it wants (except for libel and copyright infringements, etc). If a newspaper wants to be totally slanted towards an advertiser, it can be.

    He may (and probably does) have a case of wrongful termination, but I don’t think he has a first amendment case.

  9. Clickety_Clak

    Gombossy’s column was always a must-read for me….hopefully another news organization will scoop him up.

  10. Some “cases” are prosecuted in court, some in the media. The Courant probably can terminate for cause. So he may not have a legal case at all.

  11. The bit about Blunmental was tongue in cheek.

  12. Sadly, there appear to be no “news”papers left in Connecticut with the integrity to cover it.

    The Journal-Inquirer covered it.

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