Tina Brown's keeping plenty busy these days, both feeling out the pain of the hoi polloi - but especially of those old media people she intends on stomping out - while failing to slide her kid into Harvard with connections.
Because even when Mom - the former editor of Vanity Fair, the short-lived Talk, and the current Editor-In-Chief of Barry Diller's latest experiment in revolutionizing information - and Dad Harry Evans - who's been knighted for his services in journalism - try their hardest, daughter Isabelle still find herself at the mercy of the Harvard Admissions Overlords. Observe, from a well-placed tipster:
Tina and Harry have spent the past year wining and dining and campaigning everyone they know (Jon Alter, Mark Whitaker, Mandy Grunwald)—or can get to know—with Harvard connections in order to get their daughter, Isabel, admitted. And where has it gotten the poor thing? First she was wait-listed until the last possible minute, then admitted with a year's mandatory deferral. The so-called "Z list" of shame. Not a good thing to have such pushy parents.
For the record, that's Newsweek columnist Jon Alter, NBC News Senior VP/Correspondent Mark Whitaker, and Democratic political consultant Mandy Grunwald, none of whom apparently have enough grease to get Isabelle Brown her RedCard on demand.
Meanwhile, when she's not busy trying to get her daughter in the door of America's most elite educational institution, she's feeling the pain of the people she's trying to shut down. Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz points out a quote from an interview with Brown that ran last week in the Chicago Tribune:
"It's most difficult, I think, for the people who are in their 50s who are part of a big media organization where they've spent most of their lives," Brown said. "They see it all changing around them and there isn't time for them to make the adjustment, or they fear making it."
To be certain, Tina's talking about the media, but when using words like "most difficult," we're talking about people - journalists, writers, etc - who've had it fairly cushy up until this point. And given a chance to opine on the economy, she - like so many other journalists - only sees it through the prism of the media's own economic trauma. A good example? Check out Ms. Schultz's column in which she quoted Tina, entitled "Journalists' own hard luck tales help them tell those of others."
She's too busy kvetching about how "most blogs (are) an affront to those of us who believe reporting and attribution must precede publication" to realize how deep her head is up her own ass. This...is infuriating:
Shared experiences nurture empathy, and that's a handy skill when you're capturing in words, pictures and video the essence of another human being. Our privileged, arm's length status from the people we cover has evaporated, and the view from common ground is fueling some of the most poignant journalism in years...One of the greatest challenges for print journalists now is to respond to change while staying rooted in the values that brought us to this profession. We feel more vulnerable because we are, but troubled times can soften edges and open hearts to the suffering around us. We are a country of hurt right now. Home foreclosures, lost jobs, closed businesses: These are hard stories, but they are the biggest stories of our time....Journalists have never been better prepared to tell them.
Yes, because the fact that your job might be in trouble - even though you clearly still have one - definitely brings you closer to, say, the autoworkers of Detroit, whose skill sets have been literally outpaced, outsourced, and deemed worthless. Or low-income workers who were spun by sub-prime mortgages into a vortex of debt that the low-income they started with got them into in the first place (by being put in the position to even take a sub-prime mortgage).
As for Tina, it doesn't sound like she has that much to worry about: when she's visibly campaigning around town enough to the point of, well, us hearing about it, she's clearly got bigger concerns ahead of her than the fate of the economy, media or not.
Journalists' own hard luck tales help them tell those of others [Cleveland Plain Dealer]