Thursday, September 7, 2023

Fiascoes and Foibles - Tour



An Unfiltered Look at Public Finance, Media, Politics and Sports

Business Biography

Date Published: November 28, 2022

Get unfiltered broadcasting and career advice with this biting and provocative firsthand account of working in media.

Paul Burton has 45 years under his belt, including 10 as a regional editor for New York City-based trade publication, Bond Buyer, and he’s survived—and thrived—to tell the tale. From his humble beginnings to his rise in the industry, Burton covers a lot of ground in his stories, from dealing with people in media and finance to workers in tech and personnel. He not only gives honest insights about financial news but also reveals the controversial internal politics of journalism and publishing that run rampant.

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Burton’s wisdom on topics such as covering hot-button issues and fighting against negative stereotypes proves that a career in media is just like the news itself: eclectic, bold, and unexpected.

Take part in the drama and missteps that are a part of success in one of the best journalistic memoirs about business on the market.


About the Author

I am a retired journalist and author of two books, the most recent, “Fiascoes and Foibles: An Unfiltered Look at Public Finance, Media, Politics and Sports” (Elite Authors). It came out last Nov. 28. My earlier book was “Tales from the Newsrooms: An Offbeat Look” (Create Space), in 2011.

“Fiascoes,” a collection of anecdotal essays, reflects largely on my coverage of U.S. public finance over the last 10 years of my career – as a regional editor for a business publication in the shadow of Wall Street – against the backdrop of my 45 years in media. They capture drama, missteps and intrigue I encountered with color and biting, irreverent humor. Plenty of attitude. Topics range from transit/infrastructure to media and politics, and also include broadcasting and podcast dynamics, the alarming clout of tech bureaucracies, the abject failure of open-plan office layouts in the workplace and how my early days in sports journalism shaped and benefited my career.

Unique to my perspective is my blue-collar background. The media employs precious few people from working backgrounds these days. I didn’t go to Harvard, Duke or Stanford and prance right into the New York Times or Wall Street Journal. I was the son of a bartender who navigated a winding road, often working for small-to-medium media outlets who punched above their weight class, and frequently landed a rewarding knockout punch.


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“This book is a fun, provocative read that wields a first-person narrative and mixes deep insight with attitude and sarcasm. These pagers are not ‘safe-space’ approved.”


“I got a writeup in my personnel file that falsely accused me of ‘repeatedly throwing objects at co-workers.’ I never threw anything at anybody. The author of the letter lectured about being a professional, but his behavior at company conferences was anything but.”


“Recent ownership by the recent wave of bad guys – private-equity and hedge-fund folks who’ll kill you for a quarter – has clearly hurt the industry. To call them snakes would offend serpents.”


“Business journalism needn’t be stuffy, and being ‘proper’ doesn’t cut it anymore.”


“I was always the ‘push-the-envelope’ type. ‘Core mission’ to me represented stagnation.”


“[Harrisburg’s] story was tragic, though laced with absurdities … multiple doses of Three Stooges-style slapstick to entertain media, both local and national.”


(Re: municipal bond bid-rigging trial): “Witnesses included a recovering alcoholic who recalled a certain meeting between bankers because ‘the sake was exceptionally good.’ “


(Re: Former baseball pitcher Curt Schilling’s failed video-game company that failed in Rhode Island): “The video-game company belonging to the man with the bloody sock was a bloody mess.”

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