The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘I Applied to the CIA But …’

Posted on | February 6, 2011 | 7 Comments

Remember when I told you about Elizabeth Spiers, the famous blogger who just became editor-in-chief of the New York Observer? When I sent that post to Professor Glenn Reynolds, he sent me back an e-mail informing me that Spiers is from — wait for it — Wetumpka, Alabama.

Maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised that a small-town Southern girl has conquered the Manhattan media world. After all, in 1967, Willie Morris from Yazoo City, Mississippi, became the youngest-ever editor of Harper’s Magazine. And in 1996, Rick Bragg from Piedmont, Alabama, won a Pulitzer Prize as a reporter for the New York Times.

So anyway, I did some Googling and found this 2003 profile of Spiers:

It is not enough to have guilt-inducing stacks of unread New Yorkers and alumni magazines from three years back. Those who wish to keep current must now contend with the constantly replenished form of written chatter known as Weblogs.
Despite the obvious problems inherent to a genre whose authors write as much as they want about anything they want, a few blogs have become must-reads (don’t worry, they’re archived).
The blame goes to people like Elizabeth Spiers, 27, from Wetumpka, Ala. Her raised-eyebrow approach to the sacred syllogisms of Manhattan culture and gossip made a blog called so popular that Entertainment Weekly called it the It blog and The Guardian, a British newspaper, quoted a fan as saying it was ”like living in New York without paying the rent.” . . .
The daughter of a lineman and an accounts-payable clerk (both work for the Alabama Power Company), Ms. Spiers was student body president, a basketball and a softball player, and a cheerleader. ”But I’m not sure I want to say that on the record,” she adds.
She had a difficult time persuading her parents to let her apply to an out-of-state college, but nonetheless ended up at Duke University, where she took Arabic, wrote a paper on terrorism and considered working for the State Department or an intelligence service. ”I applied to the C.I.A. but nobody called me back,” she says. When she graduated in 1999, she joined the ranks of the dot-commers in New York City, and went on to analyze Internet business plans for venture capitalists. . . .

Imagine what might have been, if only the CIA had called her back!


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