Sunday, February 05, 2006

Absence of Prudence

This is very parochial, concerning a tiny universe of writers and intellectuals. But it's noteworthy for the way it revels in the public airing of petty grudges. Nay, it doesn't revel - it gambols, aiming to make its targets look condescending, stupid and cheap.

...And Jacob Weisberg, whose name does not appear below and who was for many years a staff writer and an editor at The New Republic. He now runs Slate, apparently unpleasantly enough for a few first-rate staffers to have already departed to Yahoo!, with perhaps a few more highly valued staff thinking about it.

In an age when ironic snark and the angry broadside are the rhetorical poses of choice, this is interesting for its incestuous bitchiness toward former colleagues, its use of the shiv rather than the bazooka. (Maybe shiv is the wrong word. It implies subtlety, in short supply here. Serrated knife? Blunderbuss?) We want to know more - what scores are putatively being settled here?