06 Dec 2014

Claire Berlinski Is Pro-Purge

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Resigned en masse.

Yesterday, Establishment liberals everywhere were sobbing into their Chardonnay over the demise of The New Republic, after the resignation of most of its Establishment staff followed the announcement of new owner Facebook-co-founder Chris Hughes’s decision to change “the editorial leadership, move the magazine to New York, and rebrand the venerable, century-old publication as a ‘digital media company.'”

Andrew Sullivan (who used to work there) collected a thoroughly representative sample of the bitching and the whining.

But expatriate writer Claire Berlinski wasn’t moved to tears. In her view, the sweeping away of the old Establishment means that now there is room for new perspectives, new talents, and hungry younger writers like herself to replace them and flourish.

By now the whole universe—or at least everyone in New York and Washington who reads The New Republic and thus thinks their universe is the universe—knows that some utterly vulgar Silicon Valley yutz marched into The New Republic, said something utterly vulgar about turning it into a “vertically integrated digital media company,” and made all the journalists there cry. Then they all resigned en masse, which prompted everyone on Twitter to talk about the death of a Great Institution and how awful these vulgar Silicon Valley yutzes are and how great it is that everyone resigned and how much they hate Buzzfeed. It was a really big deal, if you’re the kind of person in New York or Washington who reads The New Republic. …

What does that say to you? I know what it says to me. It says, “Some Silicon Valley yutz with more money than sense—and a magazine on his hands that somehow he’s got to publish—is hiring.”

So without further ado:

    Dear Chris Hughes,

    I like Buzzfeed. I agree that Leon Wieseltier was just becoming a total insufferable windbag. I like it that you made a lot of journalists cry. That, to me, says “This Chris guy’s got the right stuff.”

    So I wonder if you would kindly consider me for the position of editor-in-chief of The New Republic. If given a chance, I will use my proven skill in helping Silicon Valley yutzes vertically integrate their digital media companies, and I will help you to vertically integrate your media company digitally. I can also help you integrate your vertical company media, or digitalize the company of your media vertical. Or anything vertical, really—I’ve got the full compliment of Homo Sapiens talents. I’m totally bipedal. I eat, sleep, and breathe integration. Heck, I’ll vertically integrate every damned thing I see—I’ll vertically integrate your dog, your washing machine, your tax returns, whatever you want digitally verticalized and integrated, you just tell me and it will be integrated. Vertically. Frankly, the only really relevant point as far as I’m concerned is that you have a lot of money.

    I’m guessing the last thing you need is another fussy, self-important, hysterically-resigning prima donna of a journalist on your hands. So let me reassure you that I’m just not like that. I’m really cool. No-drama-Berlinski, they call me. Or someone did, once, before he got to know me for about five minutes. And never, ever, have I publicly described myself as “an intellectual.”

    So please, can I have some of the money? I would really like that.

    Give me a call, Chris. I’m down with the plan. I’m into your vision. Let’s disrupt things. I know that’s not how you put it, but I’m not allowed to explain precisely how you put it in this particular vertically integrated digital media vehicle. However, I am sure I can adapt to your new company culture and disrupt whatever you want in whatever vernacular you choose.

    Yours vertically,

    Claire Berlinski

    PS: I bet I could be a dance editor, too. I mean, how hard could that be?


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