Time Inc. just laid off 600 people, but that didn't keep the flagship magazine from sending, we're told, four editors to the plutocratic playground of Davos. They're acting as obnoxiously as possible, naturally.
Among the contingent is business columnist Justin Fox, whose ski report is excerpted in the video at left. It's already firing tempers back home, and no wonder: Fox skis right up to the camera before admitting there is no one but Swiss people around. Hence, no news to justify his early arrival.
Fox promises to keep everyone posted when real news happens, after he's done skiing. We're sure his shell-shocked, penny-pinching New York colleagues take comfort in that.
Even more obnoxious, somehow, is a Davos report from Michael Elliot, the Time second-in-command already reviled by some within the company for blowing hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in airfare.
"Anxious readers will want to know that my bags have finally arrived," it starts.
Writes a tipster, "Gee, Michael, all the hundreds of laid off Time Inc. employees have been soooooo 'anxious' that your bags finally arrived. Fuck you, douchebag."
What else will "anxious readers" want to know, according to Elliott?
that the rosti - an artery-clogging local dish of potatoes, bacon, and fried egg - is as good as ever. I had a great one tonight with my German friends Joe and Christine Joffe, then dropped in to the drinks party hosted by Israeli high-tech entrepreneur Yossi Vardi at the Belvedere. And then the long trudge through the icy streets - it snowed off and on all day, and I was told that the skiing on the Parsenn was spectacular, dammit - and so to bed."
Elliott's dispatch was sufficiently irritating that it was subtly mocked — in public! — by national political correspondent Karen Tumulty.
Not surprisingly, readers have been largely indifferent to Time's Davos "reporting," produced surely at great cost to the cash-strapped magazine company: In the course of 20 posts, Time's Davos blog has attracted all of four comments.
With corporate executives making decisions like these in the midst of a severe economic crisis, is it any wonder executives like Richard Parsons — former overlord above Time Inc. — get adulatory coverage for an act as basic as taking the train?