Arianna Huffington, Slavemaster?

Tim Rutten, the L.A. Times media critic/columnist, has reacted to the AOL/Huffington Post merger with the kind of race-to-the-journalistic-bottom wail that only an overpaid newspaper lifer can really air out. In the process he gets some key things wrong in a way that I think has broader interest. Sample:

[I]t's already clear that the merger will push more journalists more deeply into the tragically expanding low-wage sector of our increasingly brutal economy.

That's a development that will hurt not only the people who gather and edit the news but also readers and viewers. [...]

Consider first AOL's pre-merger efforts, which centered on a handful of commentators and a national network of intensely local news sites called Patch. The quality of those efforts varies widely, but the best ones are edited by journalists who lost their jobs in the layoffs and buyouts that have beset traditional news organizations over the last decade. These editor-reporters are given reasonable benefits and salaries that are about what beginning reporters at major newspapers were paid three decades ago. Their contributors, by contrast, are paid a maximum of $50 an article, often less.

The results pretty much conform to the old maxim that you get what you pay for; the best Patch journalism almost invariably is being done by experienced journalists who do the work out of idealism or desperation. What happens when that pool of exploitable surplus labor dries up — as it will with time — is anybody's guess, but the smart money would bet on something that isn't pretty. [...]

The Huffington Post is a brilliantly packaged product with a particular flair for addressing the cultural and entertainment tastes of its overwhelmingly liberal audience. To grasp its business model, though, you need to picture a galley rowed by slaves and commanded by pirates. [...]

The fact is that AOL and the Huffington Post simply recapitulate in the new media many of the worst abuses of the old economy's industrial capitalism — the sweatshop, the speedup and piecework; huge profits for the owners; desperation, drudgery and exploitation for the workers. No child labor, yet, but if there were more page views in it....

Some thoughts:

1) There is a key difference between "slavery" and "choosing voluntarily to write for free for one of the country's most popular political websites." For example, in slavery, it was not uncommon to be deprived of your freedom, separated from your family, whipped by an overseer, and raped by your boss.

2) Before the merger, AOL, a company that didn't exist during Tim Rutten's first of many decades in professional journalism, already employed 900 journalists, or more than the L.A. Times does now. Gawker Media, to cite one of many thousands of online-only journalism companies that didn't exist until this century (and which got its start by identifying high-quality talent that major newspapers had spent fat decades ignoring), reportedly employs 130 people. SB Nation, a sports blog network co-founded by the braintrust behind The Daily Kos, has a reported 410 paid writers. Does all this recent creativity and job-creation amount to "push[ing] more journalists more deeply into the tragically expanding low-wage sector of our increasingly brutal economy"? I dunno, ask Rob Neyer. I am willing to give Tim Rutten or anyone else $1,000 in Ron Paul-backed currency if they can prove to me there are fewer total journalism jobs (or total journalist-compensation) in 2011 than there were 2006, or 2001, or 1996.

3) At the same time, the "pool of exploitable labor," particularly when it comes to Rutten's professional niche–reporting-free bloviation–will never be less than overflowing. Opinions, as the Prophet teaches, are like assholes–everyone's got one. Which is precisely why billion-dollar newspapers like the New York Times and the one lining Rutten's pockets will pay freelance op-ed columnists as low as $250 per 750-word piece. There are more willing (and able) writers than there are slots on the op-ed page, and freelancers understand much more than tenured MSMistas that much of the compensation comes in the non-monetary categories of large readerships and editorial prestige.

That doesn't mean quality opinion journalism doesn't continue to pay. I am quite confident that George Will, Michael Kinsley, Malcolm Gladwell, Matt Labash, Christopher Hitchens, and scores of other good writers (regardless of what you think of their politics) do not go to bed hungry, and probably have not been taking haircuts over the past decade. What it does mean, though, is that the field is exponentially more decentralized, diffuse, and ultimately (the further you get away from legacy newsrooms) meritocratic than it was as recently as the 1990s. Today's digital "slave" is tomorrow's dead-tree editor in chief. One suspects that Rutten's real lament, whether conscious or not, is that the same gale forces that are unearthing new talent from long-ignored corners are simultaneously exposing the bloat in once-rich newsrooms.

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  • ||

    Hey, who's the babe at the bottom of the article?

    If that be the face of slavery, I want one.... ;-)

  • ||

    Ah. Just follow the links.

  • Almanian||

    Yeah, then I looked further...Matt definitely picked the..."most charitable" pic, shall we say.

    I say the search for "The Face of Slavery™" must continue...

  • ||

    She looks like a Muppet.

  • Eric||

    Jeez, I guess I'll have to pinch hit for John here. You guys really think she's that bad? I'd definitely hit that, you wouldn't have to ask me twice: God knows I've seen and done worse.

  • ||

    It's always a tough crowd 'round these parts... That being said, I'm guessing 95% of the guys commenting here wouldn't balk if they ran into her at a bar.

  • ||

    I'd fight her if she ran into me at the bar, especially if she spilled my drink.

    I might win too.

  • ||

    Yeah, but that doesn't mean any of us has standards.

  • Almanian||

    I'm not gonna lie - I'd hit Arianna

  • Almanian||

    ...speaking of "no standards"....

  • Anomalous||

    She's past her "use by" date.

  • ||

    I had the misfortune of seeing Ms. Huffington "debate" Victor Davis Hanson.

    That voice of hers made me want to leave the room screaming. She certainly came off as a "dumb broad". (but she can't be that dumb raking in this kind of cash).

  • johnl||

    That Matt picked a pretty picture says less about him than the ugly picture says about the NYT.

  • Corduroy||

    Story about Patch Adams. My parent's family doctor was his med school roommate (played by Hoffman as a prude). According to him, Adam's only significant accomplishment during med school was surviving the multiple OD's, that he and his wife regularly rescued Adams from.

  • ||

    That would have been a vastly superior movie, and also would have reflected Robin Williams' personal character better as well.

  • Almanian||

    Story about Patch Adams - never saw it.

    True story!

  • Angry Ebert||

    It would be ethically preferable to shit directly into someone's eye sockets than to allow themn to watch Patch Adams.

  • ||

    "Hello! This is Francis Ford Coppola!"

    Opus: "Uh ... hello, Mr. Coppola."

    "Is this the critic that reviewed my new film 'One From the Gut' last Tuesday?"

    "Maybe."

    "Is this the critic who wrote that my film 'did for the movies what the Jonestown Kool-Aid did for kid's drinks?'"

    "Maybe."

    "I'm comin' over with a baseball bat."

  • ||

    True story about Patch Adams... In med school he was so fat that he could barely leave his room. Stuck in his dorm room he amassed quite the porn collection, and eventually he started renting his porn movies to other students. As such, he earned the nickname "Porno Adams."

    Well, given his sloth, he routinely ate at Subway because it was the only restaurant in his dorm. Next thing you know the guy loses a ton of weight and ends up getting an endorsement from Subway. But sure enough, the first time it airs, other guys from school start calling each other screaming, "Porno Adams is on TV doing commercials for Subway!"

    Oh, wait. That wasn't Patch Adams. That was Jared. My bad. But the rest of the story is true!

  • Critic||

    You know what else sux?

  • ||

    Nazis?

  • ||

    So, if understand him correctly, Joseph Schumpeter is history's greatest monster.

  • Almanian||

    Small isn't beautiful?

    *sound of worldviews being shattered*

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    Gawd, someone give that girl a sandwich, stat!

    Who is she, the poster girl for bulemia?

  • Jeff P||

    The preferred pronounciation when used as an emergency anti-emaciation treatment is "sammich."

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I would cast the merger more as a modern day Krystallnacht, I think, leading to the eventual, metaphorical herding of established journalists into box cars bound for wherever this analogy takes them.

  • Corduroy||

    Too soon

  • ||

    It's never too soon.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I refuse to wait.

  • Rather||

    "I will turn your face [in]to alabaster"
    Sounds like another bitch has jealousy issues-$315 million worth.
    I don't think Reason will be getting any offers but then you could sweeten the deal and throw in a t-shirt

  • ||

    You know, if you bore this easily, just think how we feel having to even glance at the excrement you post. Really, have you no empathy at all?

  • Warty||

    Because of the beauty of the reasonable extension, I have no idea what you said, you aggressively stupid cuntdrip. But I know it was incredibly stupid. Die already, you worthless whore.

  • ||

    You know, I have always felt incifing posters was kind of like never having seen Battlefield Earth; how can you know the horror without ever having faced it? But with rectal, I can finally appreciate your position to a certain degree.

    Remember, when you look into the worthless blathering moronic troll, the troll looks into yo...no, wait, the troll just stays worthless, blathering, and moronic.

    Never mind.

  • Warty||

    Life is much better without rectal. I still get the fun of calling it a whore, but I don't have to see its drivel. I encourage everyone to try it.

  • ||

    I have stand by my principles, no matter how painful and annoying that might be.

  • Rather||

    Warty, you are a worthless piece of shit, and guess what? You don't even have to read this to already know it-Incif? My ass

  • Warty||

    What was that? Was it something stupid? Dammit, I missed it.

  • ||

    Of course it was stupid.

  • Rather||

    I love how every comment I post gives me 50 hits from Reason-I'm going to have a contest for which bitch I'm taking on the girl's day out.

  • ||

    And I love unprovable internet assertions and boasts. They are the ne plus ultra of stupid and pathetic, which fits you to a T.

  • Warty||

    You're my rectal-eyes and my rectal-ears, Epi. I'm relying on you.

  • ||

    It is my unenviable task to bear, Warty. But I shall soldier on. Rectal-senses away!

  • Jesus||

    I have no doubt you see eyes and ears in Epi's rectum but let that fucking poor rodent out of his ass.

  • Critic||

    You sure attract a lot of attention for being ignored.

  • yes||

    and I'm very shy
    -did I mention I have a blog? ;-)

  • Matt Welch||

    It could be that the reference was used for a reason you haven't yet fathomed.

  • Almanian||

    Oh, snap!!

  • The||

    Earthlink is buying Reason?

  • Almanian||

    Ohhhhh, double snap!!

  • Rather||

    ya and it could be that every picture of a woman has comments on her tits and ass for another reason too. Lol

  • Rectal||

    sigh....when will you off yourself, cuntpickle?

  • alan||

    Shouldn't that be pickler cunt. Like calling Roethlisberger a hillbilly rapist when he is more accurately a rapist hillbilly.

  • ||

    Isn't that from some Police song? Likely a reference to something literary, but that's what I remember without employing the mighty power of the Internet.

  • ||

    I would've gone with "turn your face into . . . into a jelly!"

  • ||

    Ugh . . . Should be "SMASH your face into . . ." As punishment, I will watch the entire first season of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia when I get home tonight.

  • cynical||

    Maybe he just likes The Police.

  • cynical||

    BTW, the line following is:

    "when you find your servant is your master"

  • Bob||

    What the lines from the Police song mean (apparently some of you are quite dense)
    is that when the other person learns that the protagonist of the song is now their master, their face will turn white.

  • ||

    I don't think Rutten is qualified to operate a floor polisher. Maybe he can stand on a street corner and recite poetry for tips.

  • Max||

    Or become a maximum supreme Reason.com editor.

  • WTF||

    There is a key difference between "slavery" and "choosing voluntarily to write for free for one of the country's most popular political websites."


    Yeah, but it is fun to pile on the leftists for exploiting teh workers.

  • Johnny Longtorso||

    There is a key difference between "slavery" and "choosing voluntarily to write for free for one of the country's most popular political websites."

    If not having single payer is "forcing" them to go to the market for healthcare, then voluntarily working for free is slavery.

  • Almanian||

    Once again, your logic is impeccable.

  • rhofulster||

    One word: Plashke

  • ||

    In the corner of a bar, alone, Bill Plaschke.

    In his apartment, on his laptop, Matt Welch.

    Plaschke orders another bourbon.

    Welch cracks open an Amstel.

    . . .

  • Fluffy||

    If piecework is so evil, are we all evil every time we walk into a supermarket?

  • Brett L||

    I think Mr. Rutten's point (to use the term loosely) is that news-columnist bloviation is a sensitive and arduous industry that clearly requires extensive regulation including state approved training courses and exams.

  • ||

    But only for those joining the market after said regulation is approved - Mr Rutten would of course be deemed to have met the required standards, and so would be grandfathered in. (For free!)

  • Citizen Nothing||

    "..the bloat in once-rich newsrooms."

    The cutbacks in my newsroom (and paycheck) have forced me to reign in my top-hat and monocle purchases. True story.

  • Ska||

    Yukon Cornelius deserves better man. Just sayin'.

  • ||

    Yukon Cornelius: This fog's as thick as peanut butter!

    Hermey: You mean pea soup.

    Yukon Cornelius: You eat what you like, and I'll eat what I like!

  • ||

    Arianna Huffington has managed to go from the most highly paid call girl of all time (sure, she married all that money for love) to the most highly paid slavemaster of all time.

    Gentlemen, I propose we give her an honorary monocle, top hat, and cane. Truly, this is a woman after the cold, black hearts of libertarians everywhere.

  • Well||

    Gravity is getting its revenge.

  • Jesus||

    RC, she turned a gay man straight-that's fucking harder than water into wine. I proposed she's crowned the new messiah

  • Ska||

    So she really must give the best blowjobs on the planet.

  • I'd bet this||

  • Mr Whipple||

    Jesus H Christ. I knew I shouldn't have clicked on that. Fuck me.

  • Rather||

    Tell your wife it prevents or causes cancer-depending on whether she likes you or not ;-)

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Max's mom just uses a strap-on.

  • rather||

    Honey, It's like eating chicken or asparagus-it's a finger thing

  • Almanian||

    I think she should be cast as "Auntie" in the next Road Warrior movie: "Mad Max: Return to the Blogosphere"

  • ||

    That movie has been on a lot on one of my movie channels lately. I used to think it was good; now I see how awful it is.

  • ||

    She needs a cloak, too.

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Actually as a libertarian and a journalist at a bloated, dead-tree publication, I usually wear a monocle on each eye.

  • Fluffy||

    Journalism is information collected and analyzed in ways people actually can use.

    Yes, of course! For example, when the New York Times had the Bush warrantless wire tapping story and sat on it, that was just them trying to find a way that I could actually use the information!

  • ||

    Bas > Tim

  • Warty||

    "Bangity bangity bang! Right in de liver!"

  • ||

    "On today’s show, we’re going to be talking about different aspects of health, especially how to endanger the health of others."

  • Fluffy||

    Their contributors, by contrast, are paid a maximum of $50 an article, often less.

    Somebody help me wade through the haze of leftist nonsensical thinking to figure something out here:

    If we have a group of 100 people, and one of them has $100,000, and the other 99 have nothing, isn't it an article of faith among leftists that it would be just to take some of the one guy's money to help the other people out?

    And if that's the case, why isn't it also an increase in justice to change from a situation where a very small number of people can make $100,000 a year working for newspapers, to a situation where anyone has the chance to earn $50 an article?

  • omg||

    Cognitive dissonance. For an individual, it is immoral to point guns at someone and help yourself to their money, even if you are in need.

    For the state, it is immoral to not help itself to other people's money. Regular morality is turned on its head.

  • Bill||

    Logic won't work. You can never convince people who are using emotion-based logic. If you finally do prove they've contradicted themselves, they just pull out the old: "consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"

  • PS||

    Because it's all about quality. Without highly experienced editors filtering out all the bad stuff the proles might be exposed to the ranting of unpaid bloggers that could warp their little brains. And warp in a bad way.

  • Brett L||

    Now this is piracy.

    "The price of ransoms has been on the upswing over the years. Pirates took home an average of $5.4 million per ship last year — a total haul of about $238 million that year — making 2005’s average of $150,000 a ship seem like a bargain."

    Ladies & Gents, I suggest we form a corporation for the purpose of being successful pirates. I may go apprentice anyhow.

  • Almanian||

    *raises hand, jumps up and down*

    I gotta boat and guns! Can I join??!

  • Milo Menderbender||

    I left you 2 shares of stock for that list ship.

  • Almanian||

    Tim Rutten totally looks like John Walsh, former Pipe Sergeant of the 78th Fraser Highlanders Pipe Band (when I knew him - of course he had previously played for BCAL and Shotts before he came to Canada).

    /obscure Grade 1 Pipe Band references

  • Citizen Nothing||

    Like the H&R commentariat doesn't know its Pipe Band sergeants.
    Give us some credit, dude.

  • Almanian||

    You know who else was a Grade 1 pipe band Pipe Sergeant.....?

    ME

    *scary Halloween music*

  • ||

    The market verdict on the HuffPo purchase:

    Since it was announced, AOL's market capitalization has declined by the amount they agreed to pay. They could hardly have gotten a worse result by piling up $315MM worth of $20 bills in the lobby and tossing a match.

    Apparently, the stock market thinks HuffPo is worth exactly nothing.

  • ||

    That's pretty obvious considering that its only revenue generation is ads.

  • Brown from The Sun||

    Like every other newspaper.

    (Cover price doesn't even cover the distribution costs, which are much lower for web newspapers.)

  • Mick||

    Scarred old slaver knows she's doing alright
    Hear her whip Tim Rutten just around midnight

  • Warty||

  • ||

    Which is precisely why billion-dollar newspapers like the New York Times and the one lining Rutten's pockets will pay freelance op-ed columnists as low as $250 per 750-word piece.


    Geek alert!
    That is $0.33 a word at the bottom of the scale.

    Analog pays 6-8 cents per word for short stories up to 7,500 words, $450-600 for stories between 7,500 and 10,000 words, and 5-6 cents per word for longer material. We prefer lengths between 2,000 and 7,000 words for shorts, 10,000-20,000 words for novelettes, and 40,000-80,000 for serials. Fact articles are paid for at the rate of 6 cents per word.


    I suspect that F&SF;, Ellery Queen and others in the pulp trade pay similar amounts.

    Tim Rutten, you're a whiner.

  • Warty||

    The most surprising part of this is that AOL is still in business. Who knew?

  • Old Joke||

    I did.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Actually AOLs newsroom is pretty decent. I used them as a source on a number of reports I wrote last year because they actually had economic reporters on the ground rather than just regurgitating BEA statistics.

    Just goes to show that if you throw enough shit, something is bound to stick eventually.

  • ||

    The most surprising part of this is that AOL is still in business.

    Yeah, I thought that they went under during the great 'mail everybody in the U.S. hundreds of free cds' bust of the early aughts.

    Dang if I wasn't caught off guard by that as well, my mail everybody in the U.S. hundreds of free cds startup had to lay off 50 good people in '02.

  • ||

    of the early aughts.

    Aaaaggggghhhh.

    You mean "the early '00s."

    We write "the '70s." We write "the '80s." We write "the '90s." And we write "the '00s."

    Just as you don't write out "the year two-thousand eight," you don't need to write out the pronunciation for that decade, either.

  • ||

    I like to say 'early aughts', it sounds oldtimey.

    Wouldn't this: 'oh to was in the ohs', be the same as: 'ot too was in the ots'?

  • ||

    Well, you can say it however you please. That weird numeric symbol -- '00s -- can be pronounced whatever way you like.

    But in writing, it's standard to use the numeric form for decades. And thus, regardless how you pronounce it out loud, it is written "the '00s." The decade before that was the '90s, and the current decade is the '10s.

  • ||

    How about: "the early 'oos (pronounced as 'aughts')?"

    I don't want people to read what I write and think that I am the kind of person that would say "the ohs" when describing the beginning of this century. I am an 'aughts' person and would like to communicate that to the reader.

  • Balko||

    Kum back here bitch!

  • X||

    I like calling them the double naughts

  • low-hanging strange fruit||

    "There is a key difference between "slavery" and "choosing voluntarily to write for free for one of the country's most popular political websites." For example, in slavery, it was not uncommon to be deprived of your freedom, separated from your family, whipped by an overseer, and raped by your boss."

    Whereas, when guest-blogging at the Corner, it was absolutely mandatory.

  • ||

    The face of slavery

    Actually, it's the face of smug, puss-eating fuckhattery.

    I've said it before, if I ever meet someone and they "why, yes, I do blog for Gawker." my fist will just fly out on its own volition and into his/her face. It will be a completey autonomous reaction.

  • ||

    I can't imagine anyone ever admitting to such a thing.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    why, yes, I do blog for Gawker.

    There is more dignity in admitting to being a professional turd-taster than blogging for Gawker.

  • Old Mexican||

    The fact is that AOL and the Huffington Post simply recapitulate in the new media many of the worst abuses of the old economy's industrial capitalism — the sweatshop, the speedup and piecework; huge profits for the owners; desperation, drudgery and exploitation for the workers. No child labor, yet, but if there were more page views in it....


    And here I thought this kind of silly rhetoric was left behind my elementary school social sciences books of the 70s...

    Guess not.

  • sevo||

    "And here I thought this kind of silly rhetoric was left behind my elementary school social sciences books of the 70s..."

    If he'd have included "Serve the People!", it would have been.

  • ||

    No child labor, yet,

    Based on what I've seen at the HuffPo, I wouldn't rule that out.

  • oh really?||

    it was not uncommon for slaves to deprived of their freedom?

  • MNG||

    Hey, you conservatives are late to the Huffington hate. I've been hating her since the 90's when she was a right-wing media darling whose husband was one of the many rich GOPers trying to buy a state wide seat in CA.

  • indie poli-hate douchebag||

    Yeah, well I was hating MoveOn.org back in, like, the Clinton presidency, before all the Twilight kiddies joined in and the whole thing went fucking corporate.

    No one's fooled by your scenester bullshit, tool.

  • johnl||

    She came to my Santa Ana community group to stump for 187. We met in a hospital basement off Bristol in a room that could seat maybe 40, so she was really pounding the pavement.

  • Jason S.||

    What it does mean, though, is that the field is exponentially more decentralized, diffuse, and ultimately (the further you get away from legacy newsrooms) meritocratic than it was as recently as the 1990s.

    Sounds right, I guess ( I don't have the foggiest idea, really) -- but I do recall when Huffington Post's "citizen journalist" Mayhill Fowler created a stir after she reported Obama's "cling to guns or religion" remarks during the '08 campaign. She also nabbed some candid Bill Clinton remarks as well. Yet she didn't get a speck of gold for her efforts. That's cold, yo.

  • Amakudari||

    Huff & Puff It Down (Adbusters)

    Socialite Arianna Huffington built a blog-empire on the backs of thousands of citizen journalists. She exploited our idealism and let us labor under the illusion that the Huffington Post was different, independent and leftist. Now she’s cashed in and three thousand indie bloggers find themselves working for a megacorp.

    But the Huffington Post is not Arianna’s to sell. It is ours: the lefty writers and readers, environmentalism activists and anti-corporate organizers who flooded the site with 25 million visits a month. So we’re going to take it back.

    We’ll stop going to her site. And we’ll stop blogging for her too. Then we’ll give birth to an alternative to AOL’s HuffPo by using the #huffpuff hash tag to tell the world about our favorite counter-culture websites and indie blogs.

    We are the ones who built the Huffington Post. And now we will be the ones who will huff & puff it down.

    I'm at least willing to give Arianna Huffington style points for demonstrating the gullibility of Team Blue diehards.

  • ||

    Huffington is nothing if not a brilliant business woman. She took a an online blog site and make into $300 million. You have to respect that. I think she realizes that the type of online nutroots progressivism that made HuffPO's business model is done. It is not longer good business. So she is selling out while she can and is doing something else. The leftieas are just pissed because this shows how they are now yesterday's news.

    And yes, Elizabeth Spiers is cute. Anyone on here who claims they would kick her out of bed is gay or lying. NTTAWWT

  • ||

    And Spiers is a God awful hack and Gawker is pretty much the worst non Soros blog site in the world. But she still is cute.

  • Jason S.||

    I'm at least willing to give Arianna Huffington style points for demonstrating the gullibility of Team Blue diehards.

    That's true. The same can be said for Fowler, knowing that she had agreed to a free exposure/experience arrangemnet type of thing -- and nothing more.

    A big part of HuffPo's brand was a "hooray for the little fellow" populism, though (I think?). Some type of meritocratic windfall for a minor citizen journalist scooping a top ten story of the campaign would seem to bolster that brand. In theory, I guess. Hell if I know.

  • WTF||

    Well, this is interesting:
    SO AOL VALUES THE HUFFINGTON POST AT $315 MILLION, but apparently the market values it at zero: AOL stock sheds $315M — HuffPo price tag.

  • ||

    Gee, Matt, glad you "reason" that "George Will, Michael Kinsley, Malcolm Gladwell, Matt Labash, Christopher Hitchens, and scores of other good writers (regardless of what you think of their politics) do not go to bed hungry..." But I do wonder if there's a "reason" no women came to mind?

  • ||

    The "jobs" you're touting (at Patch, SBNation, etc.) fall precisely into the category of the "expanding low-wage sector" or our economy. For every Rob Neyer there are thousands of people being paid fractions of a penny per hit to line the pockets of the Arianna Huffingtons of the world.

    You may think that's terrific, but I don't.

  • BD||

    Bingo. I'd definitely take Matt's bet.

    Most SB Nation bloggers are devoted fans who earn a few bucks a month in exchange for being professional about their work.

    Nothing really wrong with that, but it's a stretch to call those journalism "jobs." If I put AdSense on my blog and make $2.12 in a month, is that a "job"?

    Big newspapers certainly had their overpaid, overexpensed employees (though barely a third of the pampering thrown at big-market TV folks), but the sad part is that we're losing many of the family-supporting jobs. Big newspapers also operating in expensive areas, and journalists aren't going to live well in those areas as the old-timers are pushed aside for young cheap labor doing more work for less.

    Is this a tragedy? Maybe not. But I worry that journalism will one day become the province of those who can afford to do it. Then it'll be far more "elitist" than it is in anyone's wild fantasies today.

  • ||

    The photo at the bottom of this bit of sophistry proves only what the balance of the world has known for several years:

    Matt Welch remains hard up for female companionship.

    Understand that this is no surprise. Lucianne Goldberg and the pairing of Norm Podhoretz and Midge Decter are still paying tidy sums (offshore, of course) to their on-paper daughter-in-laws. For Podhoretz and Decter, this is a second go-round; the first time, Norm and Midge simply failed to come up with enough dinero and the daughter-in-law executed an opt-out clause, citing abusive working conditions.

    Everyone knows Matt Welch can't get a date. That's old news.

    And anyone who thinks that a bar-stool polemicist with a log-in at www.enteryouropinion-conservative orliberal-forpennies.com is a journalist shows themselves only to be dumber than Rand Paul's stomper - or stompee.

  • ||

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles detailed data on employment by job category. Where's my $1000?

    http://www.businessweek.com/th.....alism.html

    It would be unsporting, of coures, for you to respond by redefining "journalism" as something meaningless broad.

  • ||

    Yes, Matt, we all know that you are The Victim.

    Oh, excuse me: You're really The F---in Victim. (Forgot about your penchant for F bombs. My mistake.)

    You're always The F---in Victim. Just like John P. Normanson and Daniel Snyder.

    If you believe that your brand of sophistry and polemic represents journalism, more power to you. The Brothers Koch are cutting you a check (offshore, of course). Long ago one learned that logic, like sex, has its price. Just surprised that yours was so damn low. The logic. Your lack of a sex life was no great secret and, puh-leeze, spare us the pathetic details. The idea of you procreating or "doin' the nasty" turns the tummy about as much as Kathryn Jean Lopez on the same topics.

    Hey, there's an idea. You and K-Lo on Valentine's Day. Now, there's a heart-chilling idea.

    Be sure to F---in contact me when you post an F---in piece of F---in first-source, F---in fact-based, F----in polemic and sophistry-free journalism under your byline - or for that matter, when anyone does so on the entire F---in Reason website.

    Happy F---in Valentine's Day. Say hello to K-Lo.

  • chady||

    If your definition of "journalist" includes bloggers on SB Nation, then you probably haven't read much of anything on SB Nation.

    If your definition of "paid journalist" includes bloggers on SB Nation, then you must think a kid running a lemonade stand is a small-business owner.

  • ||

    From Merge-Left:

    Arianna Huffingtons World (Part 7)

    Y’all probably noticed. I took a break from “my world” yesterday, because I’m not always in the mood to mutate into a sixty year old Ex-Greek-American-Republican-Democrat–Slaveowner and sometimes I get this impression that y’all (anywhoo) – are not too crazy about ‘my world’. But today I can promise you guys are going to love it – BECAUSE – can you believe it: One of my slaves had the nerve to come up with this lawsuit. Which is kind of ‘cool’ because I love to put down slaves – specifically if they claim that “the Huffington Post’s bloggers essentially have been turned into modern-day slaves on Arianna Huffington’s plantation.” Not only is this line of attack painfully original, mirroring as it does Tim Rutten’s comparison of HuffPost to a slave ship, it’s also, as was Rutten’s metaphor, deeply funny. As Mattington Welchpost, editor-in-chief of Reasonpost, put it: There is a key difference between “slavery” and “voluntarily slavery”. For example, in slavery, it was not uncommon to be deprived of your freedom, separated from your family, whipped by an overseer, and raped by your boss. In “voluntarily slavery” I don’t have to do that AT ALL anymore. AND furthermore I can use all these cool lawyer words on my slaves like: “without merit” and then mix it with cute jokes like : “I am hesitant to take any time away from aggregating adorable kitten videos to respond”. But the suit touches on so many important issues about the current state of the media, the kittens will have to wait.

    (and wasn’t that funny? You know slaveowners nowadays have to be REALLY fuuunny!) – or as Hufftechdirt’ Mike Maspost, who sliced and diced claim by claim, writes: ARIANNA -(ME) can be compared to “the modern day village villains” –(like the Facebook dude) – who “want to pocket millions of dollars that they did not earn, that they have no legal claim on, taking away from the hard work of their slaves” and get celebrated for it!!

    A… holery is soo uebercool!

    And the famous “Bottom line: the vast majority of the slaves are thrilled to contribute — and we’re thrilled to have them. (and to make lots and lots of dough with them) – Indeed, we are inundated with requests from who want to use our platform. Helpful idiots are looking to join the party, not go home early. And the key point that the lawsuit completely ignores (or perhaps fails to understand) is how new media, new technologies, and the linked economy have changed the game, Millions of people shift their focus from passive observation to active participation. Writing blogs, sending tweets, updating Facebook pages, editing photos, uploading videos, and making ‘Free content’ – I (ME) can milk to the UTMOST degree – and I even found some other idiot who paid ME 300 Mill for it!

    And I’ll give the last word to PosttechHuffdirt’s Mashuff: “This all could have been avoided had Jonathan Tasini ‘and all the other slaves not been such ‘voluntarily slaves’…

    Well ONE has to ‘own’ them – Why not ME?

    Okay?! back to those adorable kittens…

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