The deer now have guns (#3,672)

The deer now have gunsGordon Borrell has a fun saying about JD Lasica’s “personal media revolution” that I’ve often used here: “The deer now have guns.” He then follows that with, “What do you do when the deer have guns? Get into the ammunition business.” I think that’s profound and so very true, and if we’d spend just a little time in the ammunition business, we might find that it holds the key to downstream profitability for media.

Be that as it may, there’s a great story unfolding in New York that epitomizes Gordon’s message about the deer and guns.

New York Times Magazine reporter Lynn Hirschberg published a profile last week of singer/rapper Maya Arulpragasam, also known as M.I.A. The artist apparently didn’t like the piece and tweeted the reporter’s phone number. Over the weekend, M.I.A. published recordings she had made of the interview with Hirschberg, which has caused embarrassment over a particular reference in the story to M.I.A. eating “truffle-flavored” french fries. This spin on Ms. Arulpragasam’s lifestyle is contradicted in the recordings, where the reporter is the one who ordered the foo-foo fries.

Hirschberg’s response was predictable, calling the tweeting of her phone number “infuriating.” The New York Observer is having fun with the whole thing, calling it “truffle-gate.”

“It’s a fairly unethical thing to do, but I don’t think it’s surprising,” she continued. “She’s a provocateur, and provocateurs want to be provocative.”

The Observer noted that the episode poses difficult issues with reporters, who are used to having total control of interviews.

The duel between reporter and source has spooked the journalism world, reminding writers that, thanks to Twitter and Facebook and other online sources, they may no longer have the final word.

This is precisely what Gordon Borrell meant years ago when he uttered that wonderful line about deer and guns. The personal media revolution has forever altered the relationship between the interviewer and the interviewee, and we all need to pay attention.


  1. Terry, may i please use the “Armed Deer Area” caution sign for my Windows Phone 7 mobile app?

    I can’t pay as my apps don’t seem to make any money but this sign/image fits the theme of the game and I’d be happy to give you the appropriate attribution and or list your website.

    thanks in advance for you time andd effort.

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