How About I Just Post This Abhorrent Email For Free Instead?

Dear Dr. Schuman:

I enjoyed the article you wrote for Slate about I liked how smooth that piece was–it really didn’t come off as a paid link job. I own company in that business and was wondering how much you’d charge for a similar article about us. You can write anything you want, of course, as long as there is a link and some discussion of our operations. You can bash us and mock us as much as you wish–all we want is the link juice. Does $1,000 sound reasonable? It would have to be for Slate or Chronicle of Higher Ed. For lesser publications, we’ll have to see.

Please get back in touch at your earliest convenience if you’re interested.

Best wishes,



Dear Sir:

I just saved you $1000–although I really should pay you $1000 for teaching me the valuable lesson never to link to a “business” I find objectionable ever again, so as not to give off even the slightest whiff of the highly mistaken idea that I am somehow for sale. I would rather subsist off of fingernail clippings and my own sense of base-level satisfaction at not being a paid shill, than to take ten cents of your gross-ass money.


Rebecca Schuman

15 thoughts on “How About I Just Post This Abhorrent Email For Free Instead?

    • Almost certainly, they are “jokingly” accusing me of being a paid shill, yes. I’m not insulted by much, but to be called a dirty journalist is seriously the worst thing that anyone can say about my work, and I’d like this asshole to be ridiculed. And if I get some “link juice” out of it, and get paid more for my *actual* work? Even better.


  1. This is straight up serious. If you ever read a BS Chronicle article that sounds like paid pandering being passed off as reporting — this is why. The Chronicle, apparently, doesn’t crack down on this.


      • Man, it’s been painfully obvious from some of these CHE articles that the writer is in fact a disgusting shill. I don’t think he was insulting you. I think he was doing business as usual. He’s probably shocked at your response.


      • I don’t know–I feel like those first two sentences are really over-the-top. If he wanted to be a sponsor for sponsored content, why didn’t he just say so? Many places I write for DO use sponsored content sometimes.


  2. I wish I had the talent. Still, I’d like to reserve the name “Missing Link Juice” for a tribute band (in case you become famous).


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