Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Goodbye To You

Press play to hear this article's soundtrack.

It is with deep, deep, ever-so-deep sadness that we at the Snark note the passing of Megan McArdle from the pages of The Atlantic (online!) It seems that she and her beloved magazine have parted ways and now McArdle must bid adieu to her cushy, prestigious little Watergate office. But as McArdle told us when she bought her darling Victorian row house, she has confidence that she can always find a new job in DC, and lo and behold, McArdle was snapped up at once by Tina Brown.
This is a bittersweet post for me to write. I've missed you all terribly while on leave, and in the interim, Newsweek has come to me and made me an offer I couldn't refuse to move there.
Ah, proof positive that McArdle was not fired, as some ungenerous people might think. True, McArdle went on book leave right after lying about her Koch conflict of interest but since The Atlantic never cared about that before it could not have fired her for such unprofessional conduct. Now we know that McArdle quit to write for The Daily Beast and Newsweek instead. They must have offered her a great deal of money; while Newsweek has a bigger audience, The Atlantic featured McArdle prominently as its only female Voice. Anyone trying to find McArdle amidst the clamoring clutter of The Daily Beast will need a search engine and a microscope.

Some might quibble at the disloyalty McArdle has displayed after all The Atlantic has done for her by taking a chance on a little-known blogger and financing her book leave. Thanks to The Atlantic McArdle was also a shining star at the Aspen Ideas for Big Brained Thinkers festivals and followed those triumphs with speaking engagements and fellowships provided by allies of David G. Bradley. But, thanks to McArdle, we all know that the most important thing in the world is money and we also know that where money goes, Megan McArdle follows.
I'll still be on leave for a few more months while I finish up the project I've been working on, and then at the end of the summer, I'll start blogging and writing for Newsweek/Daily Beast.
Yes, Megan McArdle, once the Senior Editor for economics at The Atlantic, will now be one of the fine stable of bloggers at The Daily Beast and a "correspondent" for Newsweek. Evidently her first assignment has something to do with McArdle's specialty, failure. Wikipedia tells us:
The back page is reserved for a "My Favorite Mistake" column written by celebrity guest columnists about a mistake they made that defines who they are.[25]
Since McArdle recently tweeted requests for her devoted followers to fill out a survey on their favorite mistake, McArdle must be working on that or a similar column; we look forwards to many posts and articles explaining how wonderfully failure has worked out for, well, certain people.
[yap yap yap]  
I'm very excited about the opportunity to work in a newsroom led by Tina Brown, whose turnarounds of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker are legendary. But it is not without regret--the inevitable regret that tradeoffs are necessary and I cannot take the job at Newsweek/Daily Beast without leaving so much behind at The Atlantic. In my five years here, we've gone from a magazine that was fantastic, but losing money by the bucketful to one that was still fantastic, but also profitable. That happened in the middle of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, an achievement which still boggles the mind. We've built a web presence, and a web brand, that few organizations can match. And it's been immense fun. Working for The Atlantic has been more than I ever dreamed it would be. I'll forever be immensely grateful to everyone who was here during my time--including my readers and my commenters, who are the ultimate reason that I get to spend my days reading and writing about stuff that interests me.
Those readers and commenters variously informed McArdle that they wished her the best and that most of them would continue reading her column at The Daily Beast, if they could find it. A few noted sadly that they understood her decision to sell out and didn't blame her at all for going for the money, and a few took a final shot at our favorite libertarian princess, now swiftly replaced by Garance Franke-Ruta. (Thanks, Downpuppy.)
Come tomorrow, I should have a URL to give you for the new blog, where I'll be posting a little bit over the summer (expect a post when the Supreme Court decision on ObamaCare drops). For now, I'll just say thanks for reading. I miss you guys more every day.
The link did not arrive but she need not bother; a less-important Megan is not the threat that an Atlantic Megan represented, and therefore is not worth wasting one's time over. Since McArdle was recently whining about her nasty troll critics no doubt she will be immensely relieved that she has traded prominence and respect for money and can now sink into anonymity. The Snark will continue to check out McArdle from time to time but as she is no longer important she will no longer be a central focus on this blog.


Who's next?


Phil Perspective said...


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

David Brooks needs to be hit with a shovel on a constant basis.

(Although it'd be hard to top Charles Pierce here, and driftglass has been on the case for a long time.)

Susan of Texas said...

Ross Douthat is a possibility, although it would be very hard to pass on Brooks when he declares that we are not authoritarian enough.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

someone needs to p-shoop Brooks into Cartman's 'Respect mah authoritah!" character.

Downpuppy said...

GFR has a total "go for the capillaries" approach so far. If she keeps it up, she'll disappear.

The most fun lately at The Atlantic was watching Robert Wright get stomped by his commenters, and respond with ultimate lameness:

[Update, 6/12, 10:30 a.m.: Some commenters have convinced me that, in saying that people like Dawkins and Myers "violated the nonaggression pact," I made the violation sound more unilateral than it was. I don't doubt that some creationists had already amped up their assault on the curriculum (and sometimes succeeded not just in a formal sense but more subtly). Still, my main points are (1) even if this is what provoked Dawkins, Myers, et. al., their gratuitously insulting reaction (IMHO) was still counter-productive, fueling the anti-evolutionism fires; (2) their reaction may well have abetted anti-scientism in areas unrelated to evolution, such as climate change.]

Anonymous said...

Can't tell if we're supposed to think McArdle stabbed the Atlantic in the back and ran to greener pastures at the Beast; or whether she was fired and sent off to browner pastures at the Beast; or whether she stabbed the Atlantic in the back and headed to browner pastures at the Beast.

I realize we need to squeeze the most schadenfreude out of this episode, but I do kind of wonder what the deal is.

Susan of Texas said...

McArdle is no longer important enough to wonder why she does what she does, thank goodness. I hope she enjoys her little blog and her kitchen equipment and lives a long and useless life.

Lurking Canadian said...

I hope at least that you will continue to review her Christmas wish list, Susan. I would be lost without Megan telling me which salt shaker was the Must Have Christmas gift.

Batocchio said...

Well, the Daily Beast now better lives up to its name. It does feature some good pieces occasionally, but boy, they're assembling quite the stable of hacks!

I'm glad that The Atlantic has immediately become significantly better. Addition through subtraction and all that; to flip a libertarian belief, anything that McArdle does in inherently bad and must be opposed. I did an alarmed double-take when I read "Garance Franke-Ruta," mistaking her momentarily for Katherine Mangu-Ward. Whew!

I think you still need to follow McArdle occasionally. Everyone's piling on Brooks, but it's well-deserved, and Douthat gets smacked around a fair amount, but not as much as warranted. There's also the entire Reason crew. Or you could read Roy Edroso's weekly wingnut roundups and see if someone's particular style of batshit or bullshit cries out to you. (I prefer the wingnut sampler approach, myself, and find advanced bullshitting the most captivating.)

Anonymous said...

Susan sez:

"no doubt she will be immensely relieved that she has traded prominence and respect for money and can now sink into anonymity."

But isn't that kind of the point? I always thought that this overt libertarianism is just a schtick to fellate well-heeled people into parting with their money. mcMegan just did it so much better than most. Now she has her payday and can go back to writing about bad kitchens, no?

As for who's next - I would vote for the Brookster, but he has already finished his fellating. How about Andrew Sullivan? His mouth is still open.

- cynic

fish said...

I always thought that this overt libertarianism is just a schtick to fellate well-heeled people into parting with their money. mcMegan just did it so much better than most. Now she has her payday and can go back to writing about bad kitchens, no?

I always felt she was one of the people that truly believed her own bullshit (which is why she was so thin-skinned in the comments). No better example of the person born on third who thinks she hit a triple.

Susan of Texas said...

McMegan's made the leap to the level where she'll never have to take a position or make a mistake again but you're right, Botacchio, she needs to be followed as well.

The media has moved on from distracting us from the massive transfer of wealth to an attempt to rehabilitate the reputations of the elite. McArdle says failure is the path to success, Brooks tells us we owe allegiance to our elite, Sullivan, despite his intelligence, will support anyone who flatters him. They will attack the entire premise of equality.

They need to be reminded that they are the 9%, not the 1%.

Substance McGravitas said...

There's also the entire Reason crew.

I feel really weak for being constantly interested in libertarian-bashing. It's always the same kind of thing - HEY I AM LOOKING AT THIS COMPLEX PHENOMENON LIKE A PRECOCIOUS TODDLER! - and yet I can't look away.

satch said...

Newsweek, huh? Figures... if Newsweek will pay a neocon fraud like Niall Ferguson to write about "history", of COURSE they'll pay McCardle to write about economics.