When The New Yorker Gets Duped it is a Lulu

"Articles in black are available on the Web. Articles in gray are available in the magazine only."

Why The New Yorker publishes some articles on their web site and not others remains a mystery. In this week's issue (April 14, 2008) and for one article in particular that appears in gray and is not on the site, I have my theory. (Update: an abstract of the article has appeared on the site.)

The Petition
Jane Kramer
Israel, Palestine, and a tenure battle.

This article is a whitewash of the story of one mixed up rich lady who works for a big local university and who got herself into the middle of a controversy.

This lady plays the role of an innocent shy victim, who has been through an ordeal. See, she was attacked by a gang of big bad people. Now she just wants to be left alone to go to the opera and spend some time in the country.

She says she just wanted to ignore the bad people and let them go away. She forgot to tell this to the good people who collected a big bad petition on her behalf. Well see, they didn't call her to ask.

She attacked the scholarly establishment and the government institutions of a foreign country in a book -- but you don't understand -- she did not want controversy. If only they had known that. If only they appreciated what a good book she wrote. Why are they so mean to her?

She wrote on a subject she knows very little about. And true, she did not consult the experts in her own university - or even meet them. You see, she was busy calling the Met to check on her tickets and she was tired after packing her bags for the weekend in the country.

Her husband is a private wealth manager at a hedge fund in the City. But she, in her wonderful academic writings, she truly represents the hopes and aspirations of the downtrodden victims of oppression. The poor, the displaced, the victims.

That is, when she is not out at the opera or away for a weekend in the country. Or worrying herself sick over the terrible things people might be saying about her.

“What happened last year—it wasn’t about me. I was a cog in the big wheel of the issue of the Middle East and Israel,” she says in the article.

But it was about her. All about her. She wrote a provocation thinly masquerading as scholarship. She engaged in distortion and lies about the Middle East and Israel. Yessir, it was all about her bad bad work. And it was a PhD thesis - never counted as grounds for tenure to begin with.

How did the normally clear-headed folks at the New Yorker get so bamboozled?

Can you say, "When The New Yorker Gets Duped it is a Lulu?"

I guess, somebody over there at the magazine had the sense to see that they got snookered and decided at least that they should keep the resulting mess off the Internet. Perhaps it was their lawyer?

Or maybe they will put this complete article up on the Web next under its proper heading, "F-I-C-T-I-O-N."


John D. Enright said...
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John D. Enright said...
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