Henry Luce vs. Harold Ross

The New Yorker recently had a profile of Henry Luce and Time and Harold Ross and The New Yorker’s opinion of them. Balloon Juice highlighted a couple of the good parts. This is the type of cattiness we could use a little more of.

[A] brutal parody of Timestyle, called “Time . . . Fortune . . . Life . . . Luce”: “Backward ran sentences until reeled the mind.” He skewered the contents of Fortune (“branch banking, hogs, glassblowing, how to live in Chicago on $25,000 a year”) and of Life (“Russian peasants in the nude, the love life of the Black Widow spider”). He made Luce ridiculous (“ambitious, gimlet-eyed, Baby Tycoon Henry Robinson Luce”), not sparing his childhood (“Very unlike the novels of Pearl Buck were his early days”), his fabulous wealth (“Described too modestly by him to Newyorkereporter as ‘smallest apartment in River House,’ Luce duplex at 435 East 52nd Street contains 15 rooms, 5 baths, a lavatory”), or his self-regard: “Before some important body he makes now at least one speech a year.” He announced the net profits of Time Inc., purported to have calculated to five decimal places the “average weekly recompense for informing fellowman,” and took a swipe at Ingersoll, “former Fortuneditor, now general manager of all Timenterprises . . . salary: $30,000; income from stock: $40,000.” In sum, “Sitting pretty are the boys.”

“There’s not a single kind word about me in the whole Profile,” Luce said. “That’s what you get for being a baby tycoon,” Ross said. “Goddamn it, Ross, this whole goddamned piece is malicious, and you know it!” Ross paused. “You’ve put your finger on it, Luce. I believe in malice.”


I BELIEVE IN MALICE!

Henry Luce vs. Harold Ross

Matt Taibbi vs Goldman Sachs (Full Text)

Matt Taibbi’s recent take down of Goldman Sachs in Rolling Stone, The Great American Bubble Machine, is full of Taibbi’s usual clever turns of phrase and acerbic prose. What I feel differentiates this article from his work is the high pitched response from Goldman Sachs and detractors in the media who are making tons of points about Taibbi’s article, none of which are, ‘It’s not true.’ (PDF and Full Text of article.)

Felix Salmon has a refutation by a Goldman flack.
Taibbi responds to the flack and notes why Goldman’s POV is not represented in the article. They didn’t want to talk.
Time Magazine steps into it in a somewhat ham handed way. Not making many points or adding much substance to the discussion.
Taibbi responds to Time, taking most issue with Time’s ‘everyone was doing it‘ defense of Goldman.
Megan McArdle somehow connects Taibbi’s writing to Sarah Palin, which doesn’t make much sense. Then she hangs out in the comments section saying, “I’m just not down with the idea that there’s some sort of elusive “central point” to stories that permits you to write a bunch of total nonsense as long as the “central point” is good.” Which, as a commenter points out, will probably be posted as a comment on every McArdle piece for the rest of time.
Here’s Obsidian Wings saying the article isn’t as bad as Kevin Drum said it was (though Drum then recanted his statement based on the fact that Rolling Stone confusingly posted excerpts of the article online instead of the full text).

More as it comes in.

Matt Taibbi vs Goldman Sachs (Full Text)