Ageism In Strangest Places

Stacy McCain speculates on why Franklin Foer, the editor of the post-Marty Peretz iteration of the New Republic fired veteran liberal journalist Timothy Noah:

First, some idiot kid name Olga asks Nate Thayer to write for free. Then Matthew Yglesias buys himself a million-dollar D.C. townhouse. Now, an award-winning liberal journalist gets the ax:

On Thursday, New Republic columnist Timothy Noah received an email from editor Frank Foer asking him to meet at 2:30 pm on Friday. During the meeting, Foer told Noah that he was out of a job.

When Noah got to the New Republic’s lobby, on the way out the door, he decided to tweet the news himself: “I just got fired from @tnr. Don’t have a clue why. Anybody got a job?”

“All I got was your column isn’t a good fit for the direction the magazine is going in,” Noah told The Huffington Post shortly after.

Hmmm. “Your column isn’t a good fit.” Let’s imagine what Franklin Foer would have said if he had really been honest with Noah:

Dude, you’re 54 years old. Fifty f–king four, an aging Boomer with a loyal readership of aging Boomers, and that’s not where the action is these days, unless we want our advertising base to be mainly AARP, reverse mortages and Super Beta Prostate. Which we don’t, for obvious reasons. . . .

For crying out loud, Marty sold us to a 29-year-old multimillionaire. Think about that, OK?

Do you think Chris gives a damn about your Hillman Award? And so what, you wrote a book? About income inequality – as if Mister Facebook Wonder Boy is losing sleep over that.

What? . . . Well, yeah, but “quality” is in the eye of the beholder, really. Nowadays, it’s all about the clicks, Tim.
I’ve seen the analytics and, quite frankly, you’re not pulling your weight. Page-views, Facebook “likes,” re-Tweets — pick a metric, doesn’t matter. BuzzFeed gets more hits on a cute kitty video than most of your stuff gets.

Chris wants more hip, sexy content. He uses that word a lot, “sexy.” There’s basically two kinds of writing for him: “sexy” and “sucks.” 


Curiously, that’s also part of the rationale for a firing this past week in a branch of the liberal media where the stakes — and money — are much higher, as Mary Katharine Ham wrote this past week at Hot Air. Quoting a Tweet from Josh Greenman of the New York Daily News when the story broke that NBC is ordering 62-year old Jay Leno to step down next year that “By next year, there will be no such thing as televisions or shows or periods of time we call ‘tonight’ anyway,” MKH added:

But that’s why NBC keeps trying to update its Leno with younger, fresher talent, even though he rules in ratings. First Conan, and then Fallon, are supposed to lead NBC into the future where everything is Hulu’d and Roku’d and YouTubed. Though Leno works on TV, when’s the last time you saw anyone bother to post a bit of his on the web?

31-year old JournoLister, small business expert, collectivist and master of moral relativism Matt Yglesias recently parlayed his Washington Post salary into a $1.2 mil DC townhouse. I hope he’s still setting aside an emergency fund as well for when he’s no longer the flavor of the week at the Post — which can happen with stunning rapidity.




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