Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Nothing Is More Important Than The Lifetime Income Streams Of Elite Tenured Columnists

And let's face it, it's a pretty good gig. If you've got a highly paid gig spewing crap about stuff you know little about, while other elites kiss your ass and consider you a part of the club, you're going to want to keep it and have it be as cushy and lucrative as possible AND you're to get a bit annoyed when people, often people who know a lot more than you, point out that you have an undeserved gig spouting nonsense about stuff you know little about.

Blogging isn't much different, except for the lack of respect and lack of riches and, hopefully in my case at least, the understanding that I am not a member of a tiny club of truly elite people who are uniquely qualified to opine in public without fear of criticism. When political blogging became a thing a long time ago, there were two basic reactions: 1) Why are these people qualified to opine on things? 2) It isn't fair that they don't have editors and producers I can complain to so I can try to get them fired.

As for 1), well, I never had any idea what the expertise of most of the people who opine about everything for money was. Once upon a time it was a kind of golden watch at the end of a journalism career, but then after complaints from conservatives about the "liberal media" all of these idiot conservatives with no qualifications except usually nepotism were being pushed onto the opinion pages. And of course no one knows where cable news street meat really comes from.

And 2), well, yes, it's hard to get me fired. It's also hard to get David Brooks fired, so I guess we're even, except for the salary differential.

The clubby "columnist defense force" is always pretty funny, especially as it comes from the same people who are screaming about snowflake college students and their safe spaces. The price of being a rich public figure is now that people are mean to you on the internet in ways you can mostly easily ignore. Boo fucking hoo.

People tend to circle the wagons around their own kind. This is normal. It's also illuminating because it shows who people like Chait actually think "their people" are.