Mike Elk, the outspoken labor reporter for In These Times who has ruffled feathers with a Washington journalist or six, might soon be out of a job.
“I was notified on Friday, about an hour after I landed in Chattanooga … that I would be going through my third layoff, unless something changed at the end of June,” Elk told CapitalNY this week, noting that he was one of six reporters there facing layoffs if the company doesn’t raise enough money to keep him.
Times are tough for journalists these days. Some may recall that Elk recently crowdsourced a drunken Spring Break beach vacation to Florida and actually secured enough funding to go. And so far, he has raised $1,955 to keep covering the union fight to organize Volkswagon workers in Tennessee. See his gofundme.com page here.
On there, he explained, “While I don’t mind sleeping on an air mattress, I do still have to pay the bill at Waffle House. Likewise, I need money to pay for plane tickets, rental cars, and really horrific airport food so that we can keep getting you an exclusive in depth snapshot of what is happening during one of the most important union drives in a generation.” A perk of donating? He writes, “If you give $250, you will get a bottle of some homemade Tennessee moonshine!”
Elk was laid off from In These Times in 2012, but was hired back the following year.
The publisher, Joel Bleifuss, so far, refuses to say that the layoffs are happening. “No such decision has been made,” he said.
The Mirror sought comment from our BFF Elk. Maybe he hit the snooze button this morning, but if he writes in we’ll add his commentary later.