Labor reporter Mike Elk, who once told a Washington Free Beacon reporter to "fucking burn in hell," is planning to take a much-needed Florida vacation if he can raise enough money from friends and family to pay for the trip.
In an email headlined "HELP—Labor Reporter ‘Vacation’—Matching Donations up to $500," Elk asked friends to "get rid of your guilt and give today" to his vacation fund.
"Dear Friends and Colleagues," wrote Elk in the email, which was obtained by the Free Beacon. "After covering the Chattanooga Volkswagen labor dispute for the last 6 months—and not really sleeping for the last two months—I am beat and in desperate need of some time in the sun."
"Alas, as a labor reporter, I can’t actually afford to take a real vacation because most people read my work without actually paying for it," he continued.
According to Elk’s email, a "generous reader" offered to "match any donations to my ‘vacation’ fund up to $500—money that won't only pay for past informative journalism, but a piece I am working on down in Florida."
The In These Times scribe and anti-cyberbullying advocate promised that the money would not just be used for some well-deserved R & R.
"Now, before you send me emails demanding that I use the money to relax and find a golden retriever puppy to play with while laying on the beach listening to [Brazilian Tropicália song artist] Gal Costa, I'm covering (when I feel like it) another longtime passion of mine—baseball," said Elk, noting that he has been credentialed to cover spring training for his hometown baseball team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.
"So if you donate, not only can you feel good about yourself and my working holiday, but you can read an awesome labor reporter [sic] perspective on what it's like to hang around a Major League clubhouse."
Generous friends and colleagues would get more than just insightful sports coverage and the contentment of helping Elk unwind, he added.
"Donations over $50 get a postcard with an original drawing by me, and donations over $100 will get an original Mike Elk drunk dial from a beach."
Elk had already surpassed his fundraising goal as of Tuesday afternoon, pulling in $615, according to his GoFundMe.com page.
Elk fans and supporters can contribute to his Floridian getaway fund here.