Monday, September 24, 2007

From another web log, Ways to End the World:

[A]pparently there’s a blog almost exclusively devoted to getting Megan McArdle fired.
This is stupid, nasty, and uncalled for. I hate the woman’s work, think she’s a pox on the discourse with almost no redeeming qualities as a writer, but I wouldn’t actively campaign to get her fired — and I don’t even begin to know how you get multiple posts on the subject every day.

It helps to have five contributors, one of whom (me!) is unemployed. And Ms. McArdle helps, as you say:
She really is truly awful, and if she did happen to lose her job, I would feel bad for her as a human, but not too bad. The sheer laziness the blog documents is pretty stunning.

But I wouldn't say we're "actively campaigning to get her fired." That would probably involve, well, a campaign, with petitions, & appeals to Atlantic subscribers to cancel their subscriptions, etc. Check our founder's Mission item. The blog title is based on the Fire Joe Morgan web log, which probably doesn't think it's going to get Joe kicked to the curb either, but is a popular spot for baseball blather as well as anti-Joe Morgan sentiment.

As Ms. McArdle is the most recent addition to the Atlantic Online's "Voices" section, we just thought it would be a good idea to try to nip her in the bud. Sullivan, as you say, "has a devoted audience, books published, a long career behind him, and access to the TV." We certainly won't get him tossed out. My fondest hope would be for someone at The Atlantic to sit McArdle down & explain journalism, accuracy, writing, and at least the concept of proofreading her items. Certainly what you refer to as her "sheer laziness" would be an impediment to success in the dog eat dog libertarian world she (rather half-heartedly) embraces. I, at least, am not too sure Ms. McA. truly understands the libertarian philosophy (other than her desire not to be bothered or inconvenienced, after all her time is precious) but is, in the words of Albert Brooks, "still trying to show Mommy something," by being contrary, & because she had a bad experience w/ a "leftist" group:
McArdle signed on to work as a canvasser for the Public Interest Research Groups, the nonprofit founded by Ralph Nader that raises money for causes like the Sierra Club and the Human Rights Campaign. Her experience there hurried along her “transition from ultraliberal to libertarian.” The organization was, she says, “the most deceptive, evil place I’ve ever worked.” And that’s not all: “PIRG acted like PIRG accuses other employers of acting.” The entire thing, she writes on her blog, was a scam designed “to collect your name so that they can sic telemarketers on you several times a year.”

There's a good reason to go from "ultraliberal to libertarian." "Gosh, Ralph Nader isn't the secular saint he's portrayed as, & now that I think about it, I don't want any of my privilege reduced."

Thanks for the mention, and by the way, you don't really want to "end the world," do you? So leave our title alone.

Brad adds:

I have to run to class so I have to be quick, but two things:
1. This isn't "Silence Megan McArdle", not that we were accused of such, but it's a relatively important distinction. Megan has every right to be an idiot careerist who spends more time sucking up than researching her work. That doesn't mean she has a right to help destroy The Atlantic. And no, we're not likely to have much effect, but it's a good way to blow off steam.
2. I worked for NYPIRG one summer, and Megan is full of shit, as usual. Then again, I doubt she was a very good canvasser. Part of the gig was listening to people and then addressing their concerns. Asking them "what do you think of my feet?" isn't a good strategy.
Also, she's lying. They make a point not to sell your info to telemarketers or the like. Maybe Megan just pissed off the wrong person.
That's not to say NYPIRG is perfect, by any means, just that Megan is full of it.


Anonymous said...

Y'all keep up the good work. McArdle is a ridiculous twit. I'm debating whether to renew my Atlantic subscription or cancel it and let them know why. The only thing that stops me is that James Fallows is so good.

Fishbone McGonigle said...

I don't know about NYPIRG, but my own experience with FPIRG about a hundred years ago was also markedly different from the experience Megatron describes.