I suppose I should have been satisfied to have been one of the first to have called “bullshit” on one of our age’s biggest and most fraudulent media bloviators and peddlers of second rate pretensions to “new thinking” about journalism.
And it has been satisfying to see him squeal like a stuck pig at being called out for his heartless midget-mindedness (you can almost forgive heartlessness from someone with a great mind, but not from such an egregious mediocrity, whose pretensions reveal such an utter failure to understand what journalism is about–despite his mercenary exploitation of real journalists’ misfortunes.)
But since it promises to be–if only for its comic pleasure–worthwhile to keep an eye on his ballooning ego and further empty-headed pontifications, as a kind of measure of how low the culture has sunk that it pays attention to such a second-rater, therefore, as a public service, I’m going keep a kind of informal Jeff Jarvis watch.
I suppose if I were mean spirited I would be satisfied with reprinting some of the comments e-mailed to me by–I was going to say “his peers”, but let’s be frank his superiors–in the profession, in response to my critique of Jarvis’s notions about journalism. But he seems determined, in a disingenuous way, to avoid taking responsibility for his mean-spirited and cowardly kick-them-when-they’re-down attacks on more talented but less fortunate journalists–those who have brought honor to the profession rather than shame themselves by profiting, as Jarvis has, off the misery he’s helped create, by shilling for the Zells of this world. Therefore I think I might as well, for the benefit of the families of his betters who’ve been laid off for not devising–as Jarvis has–a parasitic way of feasting on the dying body of the print profession, let Jeff know what his betters are saying about him.
These are not people who are laid off but some of the smartest people in the profession, concerned of course by the upheaval in the business, but contemptuous of the dimbulb consultants who set themselves up as experts without ever having demonstrating any excellence but self promotion. The people below didn’t write me to be quoted by name, so I won’t use their names, just some of the delightfully vitriolic and contemptuous words they pour upon JJ’s insufferably smug and self-congratulatory head.
More than anything I feel that pity for the unfortunate students who are being taught a pinheaded caricature of “journalism” by a posturing self promoter who doesn’t know the first thing about it, requires that I begin with letting those students know just what a ridiculous figure he makes, capering around as he does, to intelligent people in the profession.
We’ll go on from there to consider the intellectual bankruptcy of his “thinking”, but the quotes are a good place to start, to give a sense that I’m not alone in my views of the p.r. con game he’s running:
“… [I] wept tears of blackhearted joy when I caught wind of your almost too-genteel evisceration of the insufferably pompous Jeff Jarvis. I read your SLATE post with unalloyed glee, savoring every word …There’s more hubris in a single Jarvis entry than all of Sophocles laid end to end…”
“Loved your critique, except that you were much too nice to him…”
“Ron, Your defenestration of Jeff Jarvis is much appreciated. His great contribution to journalism is EW and he thinks he is the AJ Liebling of the web. Good God!…”
“… [his] arrogance and vehemence are remarkable. Perhaps some day Jeff will explain why some poor bastard who has spent his or her life doing the honorable, day to day work of reporting for a newspaper should be held responsible for Craig’s List …”
“Thank you! There is no one I despise more in media more than Jeff Jarvis. He’s the absolute worst, and why any self-respecting media company would pay this guy a cent is beyond me…”
Just a sampling, and again, not one of them from a laid off journalist but from successful editors and writers who see through Jarvis’s jive.
And now let’s turn to the intellectual dishonesty of his response to me in which he claims that I didn’t engage with his “ideas” but merely attacked him because I no longer “liked” him.