As Caller ID ubiquity spreads from cell phones to home phones to office telephone systems, many media organizations — for some reason we've never quite understood — try to hide their identities. 111-222-3332 showing up on your Caller ID? That's a New York staffer on the line. 111-111-1111? That's someone from the Times. ("Oh, no," Times people have been known to moan when their cell phones ring late at night. "It's" — dramatic pause — "the Ones.")
This is what makes this bit of news, just conveyed to us by a reporter who spends her days trying to avoid flackery, so chilling:
So Rubenstein PR is doing something to their phone system, and now their number comes up as 111-111-1111. Which means that every reporter who uses Caller ID to avoid publicists is going to be thwarted. I just picked up my phone thinking maybe someone at the Times wanted to give me a job, and it was just a Rubenstein person. This is going to suck.
Yes, it will.