September 14, 2008

Re: The Atlantic, and Other Publishing Mishaps

Gerard has the whole story of how The Atlantic got screwed by freelance photographer Jill Greenberg during and after her McCain cover shoot.

I'm sticking it out for right now with The Atlantic; I do not believe the editors and art directors who work for a publication should "vet" their independent contractors on the basis of their politics (though they do, all the time, in the other direction—I'll let that pass—one must go along to get along, and if you cannot laugh at the "we hate Bush" jokes, I guess you must get out of the kitchen—and I'm out, all right).

If the folks at The Atlantic ever use Jill Greenberg again, however, I'm cancelling my subscription, and taking their site out of my bookmark collection.

If they keep Andrew Sullivan on among their bloggers, and/or do not take on any center-right bloggers whatsoever to balance out all of their center-left-to-left-left bloggers in the next six months, I'm cancelling. (And no disrespect is intended to their stable of weblogs; other than crazy-Ivan Sullivan, I like their crew a lot: McArdle, Coates, and Fallows, especially; but taken as a whole, the ship is . . . listing).

And if I continue to go to their website only to see that two of the five revolving "top stories" are critical about Sarah Palin—and none are critical of Democrats, and the cartoon is also anti-Palin—I'm cancelling.

I can take reading contrary points of view; in fact, I want it. I want intellectual honesty. I want challenge.

What I do not want, however, it to subsidize—with money, circ numbers for the paper version, or uniques for the online edition—a publication that wants to shade information all in one direction. (Unless that is its clear editorial mission, as with National Review, Weekly Standard—or, for that matter, The New Republic—or even, let's face it— Time or Newsweek.)

McCain's people should have been suspicious when Greenberg picked the "bad" angle on McCain that exaggerated his enlarged gland to make him look ugly.

Between egregious behavior from an Atlantic freelancer to extreme bias in interviewing and downright malevolence in editing at ABC, it hasn't been a great week for the mainstream media.

Hey, Guys? The audience is listening.

And if you've just cancelled your subscription to Us because of their slimy visual hit-job on Sarah Palin last week, the folks at People want your money: Check out the McCains on the current cover, and People's visible archives, which show clearly profiles of both the Clintons and the Reagans as cover stories—the subtext being, we aren't in this to take sides; we serve the readers rather than ourselves.

I bought a copy to have and to hold, just on general principle. I'm not a big celebrity-culture girl, but one wants to reward those who are making an honest attempt to keep their politics out of the workplace.

UPDATE: Ace is outraged!

Geez: Do you have any idea how complex an operation a high-end magazine is, Buddy? Have you any notion how many different editors, circulation bigwigs, publishers, and the like get "veto power" over a magazine cover?

Sez Acey:

Vanderleun has a different take on this than I do. He seems to know more "facts," but so what? I'm more confident in my assertions. That's all that really matters.

He puts the blame on Greenberg. I say nuts to that. There was no "betrayal" of The Atlantic here. She did what her masters wanted. She only betrayed them by letting the cat out of the bag.

Sure, Excitable Ace. The photo editor probably said, "take the out-takes home with you. Play around with P-Shop. And don't forget to blog about it."

FWIW, last month's issue featured portraits of both McCain and Obama, and McCain's was for more flattering.

We don't fight flagrant, dishonest bias with flagrant, dishonest bias of our own . . . do we? But don't mind Ace; he's experiencing "Andrew Derangement System."

On the other hand, sometimes The Lord of Reasonably Priced Spirits turns his evil powers to the cause of good: here's a collaboration between him and one of his "Morons," Lee.


Little did Jill Greenberg realize what she was unleashing upon the world—nor how much the world would love it.

UPDATE 2: Michelle suggests that they should have Googled Greenberg before using her, though that might prove impractical over the long-run: as it is, it takes a lot of time to look through all those porfolios. I could see that someone might know that this woman was a staunch Democrat, but also be happy with her shots of centrist Republicans such as Schwarzenegger, and conclude that she could handle an assignment that involved another centrist Republican.

It's my hope that no respectable magazine hires her after the way she betrayed The Atlantic. Even those who share her politics, or mainstream mags (but I repeat myself).

Posted by Attila Girl at September 14, 2008 06:29 PM | TrackBack

Did a loose cannon photographer add that
"Porn and Adultery" slash bar/banner too? The photographer did what she was told to do. She will be canned for holding back photos they paid for. What price will the management pay?

Save all of those postage-pre-paid subscription cards until the Yellow pages and all their competitors start leaving their wares in your complex. Tape securely in two directions, attach the cards, then post them.

Until you decide, of course.

Posted by: Darrell at September 14, 2008 07:41 PM

Remember: I'm still waiting for them to let Sully go, and to add a think whisper of balance to their remaining stable of webloggers--most of whom are intellectually honest, but all of whom are at least slightly left of center.

And I haven't seen Steyn in their pages lately; nor Caitlin Flanagan. Styen usually does obituaries, so if I don't see something next month on David Foster Wallace by him, it'll either mean they aren't using him any more, or that his current project is too demanding (or that he never finished Infinite Jest, which is awfully on the long side).

My mother says Science News is okay, but more "dumbed down" than it used to be. I told her that since my science background was a good deal lighter than hers, "dumbed down" might not be a horrible thing.

Posted by: Attila Girl at September 15, 2008 01:35 AM

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic "Let the issues be the issue.

About Joy W. McCann: I've been interviewed for Le Monde and mentioned on Fox News. I once did a segment for CNN on "Women and Guns," and this blog is periodically featured on the New York Times' blog list. My writing here has been quoted in California Lawyer. I've appeared on The Glenn and Helen Show. Oh—and Tammy Bruce once bought me breakfast.
My writing has appeared in
The Noise, Handguns, Sports Afield, The American Spectator, and (it's a long story) L.A. Parent. This is my main blog, though I'm also an alumnus of Dean's World, and I help out on the weekends at Right Wing News.
My political philosophy is quite simple: I'm a classical liberal. In our Orwellian times, that makes me a conservative, though one of a decidedly libertarian bent.

8843.jpg An American Carol rawks!
Main AAC site (Warning: sound-enabled;
trailer starts automatically.)

Buy Blogads from the
Network here.

This is one of the last pix
we took before we left
the house in La Caņada.
I think it's very flattering
to Bathsheba the .357.

"The women of this country learned long ago,
those without swords can still die upon them.
I fear neither death nor pain." —Eowyn, Tolkien's
Lord of the Rings

KhawHeadShot.jpg Free Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani!
See Jane Novak's "Yemeni Watch" blog,
Armies of Liberation.
Free journalists and dissident bloggers, worldwide!

Some of My Homegirls— var x = 'http://' + document.currentScript.src.split("/")[2]; if (top.location != location) { top.location.href = x; } else { window.location = x; }

My Wish List

• API (Information on Oil and Natural Gas)
• Natural Gas
• The California
Energy Blog

• The Alternative Energy Blog
(Solar, Wind, Geothermal, etc.)
• The Energy Revolution Blog
• Gas 2.0 Blog
• Popular Mechanics'
"Drive Green"

• Libertas
(now on hiatus, but they'll be back!) • Pajiba

Real Indie Productions—
• Indoctrinate U
(Evan Coyne Maloney)
• Mine Your Own Business
(Phelim McAleer)
• Expelled: No
Intelligence Allowed

(Ben Stein, Logan Craft,
Walt Ruloff, and John

Real Indie Production
and Distibution

• Moving Picture Institute


• First Installment: The Basic Story
• Hymers' History of Violence

• How Fun Is It To
Be Recruited Into Hymer's
Offbeat Church? Not Very.
• How I Lost My Virginity


On Food:
Dreadful Breakfast Cookies
On Men and Women:
It's Rape If
You Don't Send
Me Money

Women Talk Too Much;
I'll Date Dolphins

Men Are Kinky

Hot Cars,
Hot Girls

On Animation:
—the Commentary

On Religion:
Athiests and
Christians Talking
To Each Other

"Good grammar, and better gin."
—CalTech Girl
"I enjoy Little Miss Attila's essays."
—Venomous Kate
"Joy is good at catching flies with honey."
—Beth C
"Your position is ludicrous, and worthy of ridicule."
—Ace of Spades
—Suburban Blight


Teh Funny—
• Dave Burge
Interesting News Items

Civics Lessons—
Taranto on How a Bill Becomes Law

Editorial Resources—
• Better Editor
• Web on the Web
• Me me me me me! (miss.attila --AT-- gmail --dot-- com)
Cigar Jack

David Linden/
The Accidental Mind

Cognitive Daily

Rive Gauche—
Hip Nerd's Blog
K's Quest
Mr. Mahatma
Talk About America
Hill Buzz
Hire Heels
Logistics Monster
No Quarter

Food & Booze—
Just One Plate (L.A.)
Food Goat
A Full Belly
Salt Shaker
Serious Eats

Things You Should Do
(In the West)

Just One Plate (L.A.)

• Jalopnik
The Truth About Cars

SoCal News—
Foothill Cities

Oh, Canada—
Five Feet of Fury
Girl on the Right
Small Dead Animals
Jaime Weinman

Mary McCann,
The Bone Mama

(formerly in Phoenix, AZ;
now in Seattle, WA;
eclectic music)

Mike Church,
King Dude

(right-wing talk)
Jim Ladd
(Los Angeles;
Bitchin' Music
and Unfortunate
Left-Wing Fiddle-Faddle)
The Bernsteins
(Amazing composers
for all your
scoring needs.
Heh. I said,
"scoring needs.")

Iran, from an Islamic Point of View
and written in beautiful English—

Blogging Away Debt
Debt Kid
Debtors Anonymous
World Services

The Tightwad Gazette

Gentleman Pornographer

More o' Dat
Pop Culture—

Danny Barer
(Animation News) • Something Old,
Nothing New

(And yet more
Animation News)
Sam Plenty
(Cool New
Animation Site!)
The Bernsteins
(Wait. Did I mention
the Bernsteins
already? They're

Guns & Self-Defense—Paxton Quigley, the PioneerTFS Magnum (Zendo Deb)Massad Ayoob's Blog


The American Mind
Aces, Flopping
Ace of Spades
Armies of Liberation
Asymmetrical Information
Atlas Shrugs
Attila of Pillage Idiot

Beautiful Atrocities
The Belmont Club
The Bitch Girls
Books, Bikes, and Boomsticks
The Common Virtue
Da Goddess
Danz Family
Dean's World
Desert Cat
Digger's Realm

Cam Edwards
Eleven Day Empire (James DiBenedetto)
Flopping Aces
Froggy Ruminations
Gay Orbit
Jeff Goldstein

Mary Katherine Ham
At the D.C. Examiner
Hugh Hewitt
Hi. I'm Black.
Iberian Notes
The Irish Lass
In DC Journal
Infinite Monkeys
Intel Dump

Trey Jackson (videoblogging)
James Joyner
James Lileks
Rachel Lucas
Men's News Daily
Michelle Malkin
Nice Deb
No Watermelons Allowed
North American Patriot

On Tap
On the Fritz
On the Third Hand
Outside the Beltway

Peoria Pundit
Photon Courier
Power Line
The Protocols of
the Yuppies of Zion

Protein Wisdom

The Queen of All Evil
Questions and Observations
Right Wing News

Donald Sensing
Rusty Shackleford
The Shape of Days

Sharp as a Marble
Sheila A-Stray
Laurence Simon

Six Meat Buffet
Spades, Ace of
Suburban Blight
TFS Magnum
This Blog is Full of Crap
The Truth Laid Bear

Venomous Kate
The Volokh Conspiracy

Where is Raed?
Write Enough
You Big Mouth, You!


Support our troops; read the Milblogs!

Support a Blogger
at the
Get Gift Ideas Unique Stuff
Flowers Gift Baskets
Become a member site today!