Monday, December 19, 2022

YEARS AGO, WHEN I was just starting in this business, I had the privilege to meet a well-known muckraker and columnist. I asked him the secret of his success.

“Two things,” he said. “One: when you’re hammered after a night out, drink an entire liter of water before you go to bed. An entire liter, do you understand? Otherwise the whole next work day is shot.”

“An entire liter,” I said. “Got it.”

“Second, never write about Israel. It just pisses people off. No matter what you say, you lose half your Rolodex.”

I frowned. How he could ignore such an important topic? Didn’t he care?

“Son,” he said, “we’re prostitutes. We don’t enjoy the sex.”

Mainly by accident, I sort of ended up following that advice,... 

Taibbi is a moralizing centrist, more nostalgic for Huntley and Brinkley than Lenny Bruce. He has a fantasy of the past, like the fantasists behind Jacobin, N+1 and the Proud Boys, or like Todd Haynes. And good journalism is hackwork, not prostitution. It's as important to democracy as garbage collection; it's not art.

Jäger's aestheticized passivity. But he's discovered the Americanization of the world. 

The American experiment has just begun

For better and for worse, America’s politics are our politics, and the only way out is always through, as Baudrillard already concluded in 1982.

Baudrillard! Reliving the 80s is a trip. And this after writing about "bowling alone".  Tying himself in knots of conflicted superiority.

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