Presumably, it took practice: Can we share a dirty little secret about the new wave of America’s “press corps?”
These people just aren’t very smart. They aren’t especially serious people. Manifestly, they aren’t very honest.
To get an idea what we’re talking about, consider the new post by Margaret Hartmann at New York magazine.
Pitifully, Hartmann’s headline says this: “Christie’s Other Childhood Friend Gave Tour of Fort Lee Traffic Jam.”
This implies that David Wildstein was a “childhood friend” of Christie’s. But guess what? No one believes that!
That headline made for a very bad start. This was her opening sentence:
HARTMANN (2/16/14): After it emerged that former Port Authority official David Wildstein oversaw the George Washington Bridge lane closures, Chris Christie explained that he barely knew his appointee and high-school classmate (though they were photographed together during the debacle).Nice catch! As we all know, you can’t get photographed with someone unless you know them well, probably from high school.
What a pitifully propagandistic start! That said, we were most struck by the way Hartmann ended her cheeky new post.
Truly, what follows is pitiful—sad. For the record, Jeffrey Michaels is a semi-major New Jersey political player. Chip Michaels, his substantially younger brother, is a Port Authority policemen. He’s seven years younger than Christie:
HARTMANN (2/16/14): In a public television interview, Jeffrey Michaels said of the governor, "We went to high school with—we—our families knew each other from Livingston, and just stayed in close contact with him over the years and was very pleased to help his campaign out with policy." Presumably, Christie has also stayed in touch with Chip Michaels, who was the head coach of his son Patrick's little league hockey team in 2010. Looks like Christie is going to have to go with "betrayed by those closest to me" rather than "we're not even friends" on this one.What makes that highlighted passage so pitiful?
First, it assumes that Chip Michaels collaborated with Christie in some way in the Fort Lee matter, although there isn’t a scintilla of evidence to that effect. People like Hartmann don’t seem to consider such points.
Even more ridiculous is the point she presumes to be true:
“Presumably, Christie has also stayed in touch with Chip Michaels, who was the head coach of his son Patrick's little league hockey team in 2010.”
Why would anyone “presume” something like that? Does Christie strike you as the type of guy who makes a point of staying in touch with younger working stiffs who coach youth hockey teams?
Hartmann graduated from Wellesley in 2006, then got a master’s degree in journalism. From there, it was on to Jezebel, where her brains may have been fried.
Consider: All we ever hear about is the difficulty college grads face in finding decent employment. In such an economy, why would a writer like this be employed by New York magazine, a major publication?
Most of these people just aren’t very smart. Manifestly, though, they aren’t very honest—and they aren’t even slightly serious.
As we’ve noted, this is the next group of Sam-and-Cokies! The silly pair crafted our bullshit back then. By now, the torch has been passed.
Getting a taste of the tone: When Hartmann came to New York magazine's Daily Intelligencer site, Dan Amira made the announcement:
AMIRA (6/7/12): Introducing Intel MargaretWas Pee Wee Herman writing Amira’s stuff? Today, Amira is a writer for Jon Stewart. Not that there’s anything wrong with it!
...We'd also like to introduce our new night editor, Margaret Hartmann. Intel Margaret, as we have forced her to legally rename herself, joins our team after four years at Jezebel, where she most recently served as a night editor as well. You know how some people are night people and some people are day people? She's a night person, we think! Margaret joins evening veteran Brett Smiley, who has been cranking out news into the wee hours of the morning for some time now. The two of them are an integral part of our effort to deliver a continuous IV drip of Daily Intel, straight into your eyeballs, for something approximating 24 hours a day.
Everyone say hi to Intel Margaret.
What do you think of the tone of that introduction? Would you call it playful and fun? Two years later, are you surprised by the cheeky, pitiful fare Hartmann has just “cranked out?”