The Other McCain

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

Revolving Doors: Freire Exits Examiner, Joins NMS; Klein Exits Spectator, Joins Examiner; Hot Air Is Hiring (Not Me)

Posted on | March 14, 2011 | 10 Comments

One of the things that has always amazed me about D.C. is how frequently young people change jobs here. You go to a cocktail reception and run into a think-tank guy you met at a reception six weeks ago: “Hey, how are things at [name of think tank]?” And he says, “Oh, I’m at [name of consulting firm] now.” So you say, “Oh, I know so-and-so who works there.” And the guy says, “No, she left. She’s working for [name of congressman] now.”

It’s a constant career merry-go-round and, apparently, the rule of this job-hopper game is: “He who has the most employers on his resume, wins.” And so anybody inside the Beltway who works anywhere more than two years is considered a loser.

Which is why, less than two years after former American Spectator managing editor J.P. Freire joined the Examiner, he’s gone:

J.P. Freire, associate editor of the Washington Examiner‘s Commentary section, is leaving his post for a gig at New Media Strategies (NMS). At NMS Freire will flex his news knowledge as a senior communications strategist. . . .
Freire has held his position with the Examiner for nearly two years. He was previously the managing editor of the American Spectator magazine.

J.P. is a smart guy who, a couple years ago, expressed a great truth in saying that what conservative journalism needs is fewer Bill Buckleys and more Robert Novaks — which is to say, more reporters and fewer pundits. And to replace Freire, Tapscott brings in brilliant young American Spectator staffer Philip Klein to fill the opening:

Philip has been Washington correspondent for the American Spectator for several years and before that was a reporter at Reuters in New York City. At both Reuters and the Spectator, Philip displayed the kind of detailed, thorough writing and reporting that will make him a key member of the Commentary staff.

Phil is a wonk. The guy loves policy like a squirrel loves nuts. Yes, he is a reporter and a very good one, but in his heart of hearts, the guy is about policy, not politics. (His writing on the health-care debate was some of the best stuff out there.) Knowing Phil as I do, I’m prepared to make a bold prediction: By summer 2012, Phil will be working as a policy guy for a GOP presidential campaign and, if Republicans take back the White House, will join the new administration, either in the speechwriting shop or as a policy assistant.

Now, finally, to something I mentioned at the bottom of a post last week:

NEW JOB – Writer
Description: is seeking a third writer to join the current duo of Ed Morrissey and Allahpundit. HotAir is the largest conservative blog, has a readership of over two million readers a month and is cited daily by Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Bill Bennett and pundits across the airwaves and online. Blogging at HotAir is the perfect opportunity for a writer with a quick wit and a nose for news. Competitive salary commensurate with experience plus full benefits. Please send inquiries to [email protected] or fax to 703-247-1257, Attention: Jonathan Garthwaite, General Manager.
Added 03/08/11.

Running a “help wanted” ad for such a plum job is extremely unusual. Notice, by contrast, how Tapscott filled the Examiner opening vacated by Freire’s departure almost instantly after Freire’s departure became known, and with a staffer from the same magazine where Freire had formerly been managing editor.

Most openings like that, you see, are never advertised, but are instead filled by friends recommending friends to their friends.

Therefore, from my perspective, this cattle-call ad can have only one meaning: The proprietors of Hot Air don’t consider me “a writer with a quick wit and a nose for news.”

Otherwise, why the ad? They could have just called me and said, “Hey, want a job?” Putting out the cattle call like this is therefore tantamount to a public declaration that nobody at Hot Air is interested in “the ugliest girl on the cheerleading squad.”

Meanwhile, at least two people have asked me to recommend them for the Hot Air job, but given this evidence of what extremely low regard the proprietors have for me, I suppose that a recommendation from me would hurt more than it would help.

So, if any of my friends are interested in appling for that job, pretend you don’t know me. If you think it will help you get the job, just say the word and I’ll be happy denounce you as a candy-ass RINO.

Because that’s what friends are for.


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