Jack Shafer Is ProjectingWe were delighted when we went on Slate this morning and saw this headline: “Someone Please Take Away Roger Cohen’s NYT Column.” Yes, we thought, that’s exactly what we’ve been thinking lately! If we ever bother to read that column, it rarely seems to have anything to say. So we eagerly clicked through the link on the Slate homepage and found ourselves at Jack Shafer’s column. Uh-oh, we thought. Does criticism still count if it’s made by Mr. Complain-y Curmudgeonpants himself? He who hates David Sedaris, Ian McEwan, and Michigan? What does it say about us that we agree with him? Have we really begun tasting life with such a heavy dose of salt? Is it time for us to self-appoint ourselves as public editor to the world and wake up every morning on a bed of crabapples, throw on our bitter pants, and view the world through our prescription grouchy glasses?
Eh, maybe it’s just that Roger Cohen is pretty damn boring.
Roger Cohen is writing as badly as he can [Slate]
UPDATE: We just noticed that the sub-headline of Shafer’s Roger Cohen column reads: “There’s no excuse for his lazy writing.” Which is funny, because his original headline for the piece was, “Richard Cohen Is Entitled to His Opinion,” (emphasis ours). Yeah, lazy writing is the worst, Jack.
Air America Host Randi Rhodes Mugged?MEDIA
• Air America talk-show host Randi Rhodes was assaulted on Park Avenue last night while walking her dog? [Gawker]
• Jack Shafer investigates the billionaires behind ProPublica, the newly established New York–based investigative-journalism nonprofit led by former Journal managing editor Paul Steiger. Surprise, they’re big Democratic donors. [Slate]
• Howard Kurtz took the nonstop promotion of his gossipy new book to its logical conclusion, interviewing himself on his own CNN show. [HuffPo]
The DealBook Facebook: Interesting Chart or Cleverly Disguised Smackdown?The graphic stuff has really been working for the Times, the NYTimes.com managing editor told Marketwatch this morning, and that could be why DealBook today has a big, pretty, clickable chart of more than 100 up-and-coming bankers, lawyers, private-equity executives, hedge-fund managers, and venture capitalists. They’re calling it a Facebook, because the Times is down with the youth like that, and because all of the money-lovin’ munchkins on there are under 40. But we think there’s another reason for the chart’s presence today. It is, after all, kind of an excellent fuck-you to people like Slate’s Jack Shafer, who questioned the veracity of the Times’ business-section trend story a few weeks ago about the growing number of young finance whizzes who were deciding not to get MBAs.
• Lehman landed former Florida governor Jeb Bush as an adviser. Makes you wonder which bank will get the honor of hiring W. when the “first MBA president” finally steps down. [Deal Journal/WSJ]
• Does Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis’s move to save Countrywide, the largest mortgage lender in the United States, make him a modern-day J.P. Morgan? [MarketWatch]
• John Dyment, the global head of Deutsche Bank’s hedge-fund unit, jumped ship for Shumway Capital Partners, a hedge fund based in Greenwich. [TheStreet.com]