Laurie Garrett Resigns
February 28, 2005 9:35 AM   Subscribe

Our old friend and sparring partner Laurie Garrett has resigned from Newsday, citing the dismal state of contemporary journalism: "When I think back to the old fellows who were retiring when I first arrived at Newsday – guys (almost all of them were guys) who had cop brothers and fathers working union jobs – I suspect most of them would be disgusted by what passes today for journalism."
posted by IshmaelGraves (10 comments total)
she executed our dream!
posted by matteo at 9:39 AM on February 28, 2005

You all suck. Try not sucking so much! 'cept for you who never sucked, and still care. Good luck! Write me at my new cushy, elite foreign affairs organization job, if'n you feel like it, suckers.
posted by raysmj at 9:47 AM on February 28, 2005

Whatever the MeFi community may think about her, Garrett is one of the most tenacious, courageous, hardworking, committed journalists in the world. She has reported on stories that no one else gave a shit about, tirelessly travelled to locations to get the real story while her colleagues were content to report from their desks, and called out the rich and powerful (including fellow journalists) when no one else had the courage to.

Whatever the MeFi community may think of her over-the-top response to the circulation of what was intended to be a private communication, she deserves a lot of respect for what she has done in the past as a journalist. Don't let a bit of whining from a few MeFites with wounded egos and long memories distract you. She's paid a hell of a lot of dues, and her new job is hardly "cushy." I think her resignation letter is pretty damn heartfelt, shows a real love of journalism, and a genuine dismay that it is being corrupted by commercial values.
posted by googly at 10:03 AM on February 28, 2005

It's amazing how someone can come off so whiny in plaintext.
posted by signal at 10:08 AM on February 28, 2005

Good journalists exist to be kicked in the teeth over and over their entire career for the crime of trying to spread a little truth around. Although I think it's terrible when people (the colleagues etc. she's referring to) give up their ideals, I find it difficult to truly fault journalists who do so in the environment that is modern America, or indeed the modern world. Water wants so thoroughly to return to its own level, and there is so little incentive to hold onto your ideals with all that teeth-kicking (v.s.).

She's certainly right about American journalism IMHO, but I hope she is ready to encounter this phenomenon no matter where she goes. Elsewhere is no better, at least not that I've found.
posted by sninky-chan at 10:14 AM on February 28, 2005

Didn't she say that she "shall no longer deliver such personal musings to friends and confidantes via the Internet?"

Looks like she's been screwed again by the "CLICK-FORWARD electronic world."
posted by Cassford at 11:24 AM on February 28, 2005

"...I suspect most of them would be disgusted by what passes today for journalism."

That's what "Jeff Gannon" said.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:45 PM on February 28, 2005

"Long gone are the days of fast-talking, whiskey-swilling Murray Kempton peers eloquently filling columns with daily dish on government scandals, mobsters and police corruption... They cussed and yelled their ways through the day, took an occasional sly snort from a bottle in the bottom drawer of their desk and bit into news stories like packs of wild dogs, never letting go until they'd found and told the truth."

Respect and admire her stance and all that, but lordy that's a cliché-ridden bag of bollocks to kick off your farewell memo with. I'm all in favour of the good old days when wily hacks connived ways to claim a camel on expenses, but suggesting that the biggest problem with journalism today is that it no longer resembles a B movie parody is a little... strange. "I'm sorry, I'm quitting the police force. Not enough of you guys are alcoholics who can't hold down a relationship and who feel more connection to the criminals than everyday civilians. Oh, and what's with the decline of hard-talkin' straight-shootin' loose cannons who play by their own rules? Sheesh."
posted by flashboy at 5:29 PM on February 28, 2005

That laurie garrett thread was really fascinating, actually. She may be a respectable journalist, but she's really an atrocious writer. The comments about her writing in that thread were made before we knew it was legit, and were made with the intent to show that it couldn't possibly be legit because the supposed author had a pulitzer, and this had not been crafted by a professional, much less a prize-winning one.

But then, of course, it was. Which goes to show, I guess, that some journalists are writers and some journalists are detectives/reporters* and she's definitely the latter.

Her argument is interesting, and is actually pretty consistent with that. She says that journalism was better when it was a blue collar, straight talkin' kind of job, and that as an elitist college educated entertainment industry it is basically meaningless. In other words, journalists should be detective/reporters, and not writers/essayists...

I guess one just hopes that some are both...
posted by mdn at 6:41 PM on February 28, 2005

I talked to a journalist the other day who had been a shoe salesman...I'm just sayin'

"Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?"
Galatians 4:16
- soon to be tattoed on my back.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:26 AM on March 2, 2005

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