Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Megan Congratulates

I apologize; this post will not say anything about morality, ethics, authoritarianism, or even journalism. I'm just going to enjoy myself in base emotional indulgence.

Megan McArdle "congratulates" Ross Douthout. While you read, remember that McArdle was up for the New York Times job, is around 36 years old, and is pressed for money. It's much more enjoyable that way.
Offering congratulations to my colleague, Ross Douthat, on his new job as a New York Times columnist seems almost redundant--he was so clearly the only man for the job.

Ah, so that's why your congrats is so belated. Redundancy, not bitterness.
If conservatism, and the Republican Party, can be rescued from their current crisis, I expect Ross to be the one swinging on a rope through the flaming wreckage to pull them to safety.

Because nothing says "man coming to the rescue" like a boy whose biggest talent is convincing people he's not actually a racist, fundamentalist professional moral scold.
That he has managed to become the leading voice of thoughtful conservatism at such an appallingly young age is a constant source of wonder to his colleagues--and crises of confidence in those who have meandered all the way to thirtiy without getting a New York Times column, or even leading a small band of Oakeshottian guerillas on a suicide mission against HHS.

Did I mention that McArdle is around 36? She expected to make six figures a year sitting on her ass in an expensive suit. Now she has to scramble for a living while in an economic downturn that she very publicly praised and supported, in her carefully hedged way. Now there are going to be years of Democratic economic advisers and she'll be in her forties before the Republicans come back to power. Douthat is 29, which means people in their thirties are the older generation. And what does McArdle have to show for her career? A stock portfolio worth half of what she paid for it, an over-priced rented house, an unemployed "roommate," a dog who eats his massive weight in kibble every day, and a car that can be opened with a can opener.
Of course, it's a blow for us--he will be missed from both the offices, and the website.

"Us"? Right.
But we have extracted a promise from him to visit regularly in return for our best wishes in his new gig.

That either means they'll miss him terribly or they're planning to blackmail him to get a mention in the Times.

8 comments:

clever pseudonym said...

The "only man for the job" remark is stupid. There were hundreds of more qualified names being thrown around. My guess is that more and more media outlets, faced with a fiscal crisis in the shift from print to digital output, are just slumming it with writers they don't have to pay as much. That certainly explains Megan's gig.

Susan of Texas said...

Heh. That would explain a lot. Kristol was probably expensive; Douthat must cost a lot less.

ignatov said...

"media outlets...just slumming it with writers they don't have to pay as much."

Probably could have gotten Jonathan Krohn for a Wii and a copy of Penthouse.

clever pseudonym said...

Then there would be those pesky child labor laws to consider, though I don't doubt that his output would probably equal or exceed Douthat's or McArdle's.

Malaclypse said...

Now there are going to be years of Democratic economic advisers and she'll be in her forties before the Republicans come back to power.

Dear Cthulu Below, if the Republicans slime back into power that soon, we'll deserve what they do to us next.

My guess is that more and more media outlets, faced with a fiscal crisis in the shift from print to digital output, are just slumming it with writers they don't have to pay as much.

But you would think they would hire writers people wanted to, you know, read. Does anyone read Douthat in a non-ironic fashion besides Ezra, Megan, and Matt?

clever pseudonym said...

Sadly, yes. There are people that actually consider McArdle and Douthat capable intellectuals.

aw said...

The "only man for the job" remark is stupid.

It strikes me as a pointed remark.

Susan of Texas said...

Yeah, it could be, but maybe McArdle is telling herself that they wouldn't hire another woman. Either way, stupid.