Sam Fulwood Strikes Back

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For the first time since he was hired as a Plain Dealer Metro columnist seven years ago, Sam Fulwood III has expressed a coherent opinion: Editor Doug Clifton is mean. Clifton did his best last week to make Fulwood's "reassignment" to the Arts & Life section not seem like what it was. "Sam's rich background as a reporter and his familiarity with pop culture will serve us well in his new job," Clifton was quoted as saying in a PD story last Friday. Translation: "We can't fire him, so let's at least put him somewhere he can't write about regionalism, his car, or his e-mail box." But Sammy wasn't about to go quietly. In a telephone interview with Channel 5 last week, he dished the dirt on what had really happened between him and Clifton. It provided a glimpse into an extremely awkward meeting, in which Clifton tried to delicately break it to Fulwood that, well, his column wasn't even worth using as TP. It had no relevance, no point, and frankly made you want to shoot somebody. (To experience this for yourself, visit C-Notes' complete Fulwood Watch archive.) "I don't agree with that," Sammy told Channel 5, from his native North Carolina. (It's not clear whether he traveled there after his demotion or if he never actually lived in Cleveland.) "I think my columns were fine. I got great community response." By "great," he likely meant that it was great how he could write one column, then copy and paste all the hate mail from it into two more columns. Stay tuned for Sammy's first feature story in the Arts & Life section, expected to be a stinging essay on how his television screen makes everyone's face on American Idol look purple. -- Jared Klaus

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