Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Less Intelligent Megan

Shorter Megan McArdle: Felix Salmon thinks public relation embargoes are bad for journalism ethics. He says accuracy is more important than exclusives. What is this "journalism ethics" he keeps talking about and why won't he just do what the business world tells him to do, the way God and nature intended?

UPDATE: A commenter asks, who cares if you file your story first? McArdle replies:
Well, it matters for the media outlet, in the web age, because if they file six hours behind everyone else, it's very likely that no one will read their story.

Because that's what it's all about--hits and credit, not good work and professional ethics. What happened to her view that if you just do a good job you'll be successful?

Second Shorter: People are terrified they'll lose everything they have. So what? It's not happening to me.

Third Shorter: Regulation is bad since the bankers know exactly what they are doing and the market regulates itself.

Fourth Shorter: It looks like the housing market might be in trouble.

Not a Shorter: Because it's too good to abridge.

If [bankers] apply, and win government jobs . . . well, I'd like to be a fly on the wall the first time an investment banker realizes he needs a form signed in triplicate to order top shelf office supplies. It is true that bankers have an outsized sense of entitlement. It is also true that the bureaucratic nonsense the government forces its employees to endure is quite enough to drive anyone insane.

We get it, private good, government bad. You say it practically every day. Does it mean you're right?

[Commenter] April 9, 2009 7:36 AM
I don't need to get a form signed in triplicate to get top shelf office supplies. I just ask my secretary, the exact same way I did when I was in the private sector. I worked at UBS, and it was no less a slow, irrational behemoth than my current agency. But nice way to stereotype about something that you clearly know nothing about.

And DC, though somewhat lovely, doesn't come anywhere close to NYC. We need to open more federal government offices in NYC so I can live in the only real city America has to offer.

Megan McArdle (Replying to: [commenter]) April 9, 2009 10:36 AM
And what do you think your secretary does? I'm sorry, my reports come from people who have worked in the private sector and the government with non-secretary-assisted roles. Obviously, for people at the top, wherever they are, these petty annoyances are considerably eased. Now, onto per diems . . .


"I'm sorry but your actual experience means nothing. My second-hand experience is correct. Yes, I just said that bankers will not want to work for the government because they would be driven mad by government bureaucracy. And you said that you, a banker, were just fine because your assistants did that work in both the public and private sector. And then I stated that the people I'm talking about are not actually bankers, they're the people who work for the bankers who do the paperwork and errands. But you're still wrong about bankers."

Dumb or malicious--who cares? She's funny either way.

UPDATE SHORTER: As God is my witness, I'll never go without shopping again.


Chad said...

Damn, Megan just feels compelled to defend every little point she makes, doesn't she?

The whole idea that the private sector just inherently discourages inefficiency and bureaucratic mentalities is such a classic case of ideology trying to prevail against reality. She must go through life thinking "Dilbert" and "The Office" are really about people who work for the IRS.

Susan of Texas said...

Yeah, it's hard to be a journalist when you can't see the real world through your ideological point of view.

clever pseudonym said...

"Most of the embargoes I deal with are on reports from think tanks and institutions like the OECD, which would like me to be able to write intelligently about their reports..."

Tell them not to hold their breath.

I just adore the precious "insider" language, too. Megan, most people in the world do not work in the media and are therefore not likely to know what you mean by "embargo" in this instance. It is the job of a journalist to clarify these things for their readers so they don't come off like they're nudging collegues around the water cooler.

Susan of Texas said...

Yet another instance of her need to feel special, the real point of her blog I guess. She's such an althouse.

Doctor D said...

To give Megan what little credit is due, I think the second shorter was supposed to be more along the lines of, "well duhhhh" than "so what."

Other than that: good god, she's actually getting worse.

Susan of Texas said...

I agree, I just think it's funny because she doesn't have the faintest idea what's going on. She talked about a possible bottom a little while ago, when the second round of ARM resets is about to hit.