This is not just a list of media people we don't like. Nor is it just a list of media people who had a bad year. This is a list of media people who—abundant evidence shows—should not be in the media, any more. Give it up. Try something else. (We'll even make a suggestion.) You've given it a shot. It's not working any more. The media is not for you.
Oh, Frank. It all went so very wrong this year. You were a fine restaurant critic, but you became a columnist, and... it just got worse, and worse, and worse. You're not made for this. Fortunately, you have no idea what your current job entails anyhow, which should make your career transition less stressful.
Suggested new career: Hallmark greeting card blurb writer.
You're not so different from Frank Bruni. You had a good run as editor of the New York Times. Credit given! Good job in a difficult time, etc. etc. Your decision to become a columnist, though, has proven disastrous. (For you.) Good lord. Even thinking about it makes me want to grab you by the shoulders in a firm but not legally actionable way and shake you and say "God damn it, Bill, just stop! Stop writing, about the internet, in particular, and about other things in general. You are incapable of sounding like anything other than a pompous yet ill-informed blowhard, no matter how hard you try." This post is that action, in a more passive aggressive way.
Suggested new career: Hal Holbrook-esque Mark Twain impersonator
Greta Van Susteren
This is a bit misleading, because Greta Van Susteren has never been a "real" journalist—she is, in fact, an anti-journalist, so allergic to the concept of journalism that the world's most repressive regime judged her to be the safest member of the media to let visit. Think about it, Greta. That's a bad thing. See... ah, fuck it.
Suggested new career: Ha, she might as well get a show on Fox News. Wait.
You're too old, too rich, and too out of touch to come up with any stories that are actually worthwhile. That makes you the same as the vast majority of other network news stars. But you take much more objectionable vacations. Retirement is your calling now.
Suggested new career: Party attendee.
Besides being a ruddy-faced shameless starfucker who is uninteresting except when you're trying to avoid jail time, you also should have been drummed out of journalism long ago for having the same ethical standards as... well, as a slimeball British tabloid editor, which you were. You, sir, are no Larry King. (Who was not a good journalist either.)
Suggested new career: Twinkie filler.
You know who you are. (*COUGH and the cough sounds like the words "Meghan McCain, Luke Russert, Jenna Bush, and Chelsea Clinton*) You had the world on a silver platter, by accident of birth. You could have done anything. And what did you do? You took the cushiest, easiest fakest jobs in the media, for yourselves. Hey, regular people want those fake jobs. Don't be jerks.
Suggested new career: Rich wastrels.
Yes, that Judith Miller. Still clinging to journalism, via a gig as a theater critic. You: out. Out! Out!
Suggested new career: Living cautionary tale.
David Pogue is a sort of literary tech PR guy masquerading as a New York Times columnist. Man, PR pays much better. Plus, the chicks.
Suggested new career: Tech PR guy, just as stated above. Read the post before you ask questions.
Mary Elizabeth Williams
Instead of reading Mary Elizabeth Williams' platitudinous pop culture columns on Salon, you can just read, say, Yahoo!'s Entertainment section, wait 24 hours, hit yourself on the head with a hammer until you forgot what you read, then read it again aloud, while half-concussed, taking pure MDMA, and watching Glee! Roughly the same effect. Also be sure to throw in some irrelevant tidbits about your personal life designed to short-circuit any criticism of your work in advance. Or just never read a Mary Elizabeth Williams column.
We're not being mean. We're being honest.
Suggested new career: Inventor of new flavors of children's breakfast cereal.
This guy is pretty much an actor who plays a "magazine editor" on the Today Show, while talking about his abs and plagiarizing his own writers. Dave, are you really giving the readers of Men's Health the high level of journalistic dedication they've come to expect? As well as giving your abs the level of dedication they expect? Something's got to give.
Suggested new career: Abercrombie & Fitch junior retail associate.