“I’m From Rolling Stone” To Applicants: There May Be Some Crying In Journalism

Jan 25th, 2007 // 7 Comments

bft.jpgBen Fong-Torres, the former Rolling Stone editor who was enshrined in Almost Famous, weighs in on the I’m From Rolling Stone intern pool and their journalism-light backgrounds:

These are the best and brightest out of 2,000 applicants? Of course not. I learned, from an insider on the show, that writing samples and photos weren’t all that were required from applicants. They were asked such questions as: “What was the last thing that made you cry?”

Sound like “The Bachelorette”? You’re catching on.

The insider, who spoke off the record, told me that MTV cast the show, as many reality shows do, “looking for interesting-looking, interesting-behaving young people. Some were picked because they were good writers. At the same time, we wouldn’t cast a normal-looking person. They wanted people who popped.”

Which is why we’re sure that the show’s producers are thrilled that Krishtine De Leon let this pearl of wisdom drop in a Web chat yesterday:

“If I have to be that Hurricane Katrina to expose all the decay going on beneath America’s schizophrenic consciousness, so be it.”

Did you hear a pop? We did, too. Or it could just be our brains melting.

He was from Rolling Stone — he can tell you what it’s really like [San Francisco Chronicle]
Earlier: Idolator’s I’m From Rolling Stone coverage


  1. Chris Molanphy

    I keep waiting for one of the contestants to tell Joe Levy, “It’s a thinkpiece, about a hard-working band making good on the road.” And Joe replies, “You’re not there to party – we’ve already had one Hunter Thompson.”

  2. Maura Johnston

    And then the contestant will say, “Who?”

  3. Cam/ron

    Followed by “Didn’t he write for The Source? For reals?”

    Anyhow, Ben wrote a fair critique for the Chron. I only wish that he gave us more dirt on RS, like Jim DeRogatis of the Sun-Times.

  4. superfluoüs_umlaut

    Not to undermine the scoop from Ben’s exciting insider source …

    … but the first part of that I learned from downloading the application form for the show from the Rolling Stone website (that was as far as my interest in being on I’m From Rolling Stone got)

    The second part I learned from, you know, having watched a reality TV show before in my life.

  5. mike a

    DeLeon flirted with a musician, saying, “Any time you come to the Bay and you want to mess around with me … I’ll be like, ‘Let’s do this!’”

    TO be fair, Richard Meltzer apparently used this line all the time.

  6. odub

    A friend of mine who graduated from the Berkeley Journalism School told me that the “I’m From Rolling Stone” producers tried – in vain – to recruit students from the j-school but wisely, no one there took the bait. They still managed to pluck three of their candidates from the Bay Area but it’s notable that none of the students actually working towards a journalism degree would touch the show.

  7. sncreducer

    Whoa whoa whoa, odub. The students from SF State (Russell and Krishtine) may act like morons, but there’s a real journalism department there too, until recently chaired by John Burks, a former RS editor (who yes, is not too fond of the current state of the mag). As a matter of fact, the SF State J-department gives actual training in journalism, whereas at Berkeley there’s a Graduate School of Journalism, which focuses more on media studies than practicing the actual craft. I’ve run into more than one Berkeley journalism “graduate” who recoiled from the thought of doing actual reporting and writing.

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