When we announced three weeks ago that we were looking to hire a freelance medical-marijuana critic, I expected perhaps a little bit of local attention.
Sure enough, KGUN Channel 9 came calling, and Sergio Avila did a silly but wonderfully accurate piece on the opening.
I did not expect what came next.
The KGUN piece was picked up by TV stations here and there all across the country. Then CNN Headline News came along and incorporated the KGUN footage into a short piece of its own. CNN.com took the CNN Headline News piece and reworked it into a story that was on the CNN.com front page for the better part of a day.
In the middle of all of this, international media started calling. A reporter with London's Daily Mail interviewed me and produced a story that is one of the more ridiculous pieces of "journalism" I have ever seen.
"As jobs adverts go, it is one of the more controversial. Which might explain why the response has been stone cold," the piece begins. "Southern Arizona local newspaper the Tuscon Weekly has come under fire after advertising for a medical marijuana critic."
Several problems there: First, the advertisement has not been controversial; we have received one true complaint. Therefore, second, we have not come under any fire at all.
Third, well, it's Tucson, not Tuscon.
The latest piece of media attention came (no pun intended) earlier this week, when I was interviewed on The Playboy Radio Morning Show on SiriusXM's Playboy Radio Channel. I'll just say that it was one heck of an experience, and leave it at that.
I don't understand why our decision to hire someone to review Southern Arizona's medical-marijuana-related businesses is such a big deal. After all, we're not even the first publication to do this; we're following in the footsteps of our friends at Denver's Westword. Plus, we're only concerned about MMJ in our little corner of the world. Why should a paper in London care?
But, hey ... it's been an interesting journey, if nothing else.