Wednesday, October 3, 2007

DDD, Example #2

Example #2;

Every time I read one of these things, I wonder at what motivates someone to make up an entire career, a whole set of credentials. Part of it is almost admiring, since I'd never have the chutzpah. But more of it is just curious. Why do it? Is it the middle-class equivalent of a fourteen year old kid stealing a minibike--unable to conceive of getting the credentials through legitimate means, they simply help themselves to the unearned when no one's looking? Or is it something more sinister, some positive enjoyment of the fraud?
Setting aside the fact that folk like Jayson Blair have been interviewed, and might be useful in answering some of these questions, I have a major gripe. Maybe even two. To begin with, Megan, people like you are why people like Alexis Debat conceive of and get away with what they do. You are a fraud in your own right, you simply are too lazy to fabricate or plagiarize material. Instead, you find it sufficient to merely ask the questions that you should instead be answering as part of your damn job. You don't do a good job, but have a career because you know, and kiss up to, the right people. Your only qualification is your ability to network. If you can get away with your shit, why can't a talented fraud do so, too? Hell, at least they have to be informed about their topics to get away with it, so they've still got one up on you.
My second, more significant, gripe is with this quintessential glibertarian, and conservative, belief that opportunity is equal. Megan did not work hard to get where she is, unless you count networking. Most journalists have to dedicate their lives to their craft simply to stay employed within it, and the pressures involved are tremendous. I don't mean to justify any of the bad practices this leads to, but they don't come out of a vacuum. Megan did not earn her position, it was given to her. This shows both that opportunity is not equal, and that those without connections have to bust their asses even harder to get one of those few gigs not reserved for people who know people. I could unquestionably find.. what, 15, 20 econobloggers, at least, who could do a better job than Megan with a couple minutes on Google. Opporunity is not equal, and Megan's employment is powerful, if anecdotal, proof of this.
So, those couple dozen of you reading this may wonder, how is this dumb? It's dumb because Megan seems to think she earned her gig the old fashioned way; by showing she deserved it. It'd be one thing if she knew she was lucky as sin to be where she is and pushed herself to make full use of the opportunity to develop her "skills" whereby she might one day be deserving of her position. That'd involve putting in lots of hard work, and displays of humility where, instead of ignoring or banning commenters that demonstrate her lack of effort to inform herself before attempting to inform others, she admits to her mistakes, accepts that she needs to do better, and actively tries to do so. Instead, she moves on to the next post, and a fresh chance to be shallow and glib. This post by Megan is dumb because it demonstrates an utter lack of self awareness, which I think is at the heart of so many of the qualities we rag on her for at this blog. People have done good jobs in positions they didn't deserve, and who knows, Megan might be capable of it. We certainly haven't seen her try.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jeebus, it's not "chutzpah." It's a dishonest lack of integrity. Hardly something to admire. What an idiot. And aren't their motivations pretty obvious? Laziness, landing a higher paying/more prestigious job, etc? This is just another one of her stupid posts dripping with false modesty.