The Washington Post’s truly terrible child!


Petri thinks those people smell/Occupy Petri's nostrils: The Washington Post’s enfant terrible is eighteen months out of Harvard herself. In her latest weekly column, she scolded the youngsters who have chosen to Occupy Harvard.

Darlings! Please! It smells in those tents, this horrible hatchling said:
PETRI (11/19/11): Don’t occupy the Yard. Occupy the libraries. Occupy the classrooms. You have just four years to devote to getting a grip on some small portion of the vast array of human knowledge. Do not spend any of them in a tent, surrounded by other people who have no better ideas than you, “engaging in dialogue.” It smells peculiar there, and you could be in a red-brick building next to a bust of John Adams, learning something.
By our reckoning, Petri has gone from 21 to about 85 in sixteen months at the Post. To read her column as it appeared in the hard-copy Post, click here, then click once again.

Where do they find young people like this? Earlier, the horrible child had also offered us this:
PETRI: A tent city has sprung up in Harvard Yard, with people chanting, “We are the 99 percent.”

Cue a nationwide rolling of eyes.

The tents aren’t there because of any definite grievance. Sure, the movement lists several. It is possible to generate a grievance no matter where you turn up. Harvard, for instance, does not pay its janitors enough, or at least this is what I hear from the protests. But pay the janitors $300,000 a year and I guarantee you that within minutes another protest will form to decry that Harvard pays its janitors more than what some Americans make their whole lives, or that it is not doing enough to make certain that the world’s janitors make $300,000 annually—or perhaps, that the janitors still only make one-twelfth of what the college’s fund managers make.
Good God! Alexandra Petri, 22 or 23 years of age, knows that these complaints are silly, invented, so bogus. Darlings! You can always make something up!

As we’ve noted, the Post is cultivating Petri in the line of Collins and Dowd. When it comes to matters of gender, the elite press corps’ throwback values are startling to behold. By the way, we were shocked by something we read in that one high lady’s column this weekend.

Dearest darlings! We were shocked! Have you ever heard this before?
COLLINS (11/19/11): In 2010, Mitt earned somewhere between $9.6 million and $43.2 million, according to The National Journal’s calculation of his financial reports. I believe I speak for us all when I say that there seems to be a lot of room in the middle of that estimate, but you get the idea. Much of that came from investments, but Romney also gets quite a bit of cash for making speeches. He once made $68,000 for one appearance before the International Franchise Association in Las Vegas.

People, if you were raking in more than $9.6 million a year, would you waste your time talking to the International Franchise Association? Perhaps you would if international franchises were especially close to your heart. But, in that case, why charge them $68,000? There are a lot of mysteries in the Mitt saga. For instance, if you were a very wealthy father of five energetic young boys, would you choose to spend your vacation driving the whole family to Canada with the dog strapped to the roof of the car? Wouldn’t it be more fun to take a plane to Disneyland?
She’s closing in on thirty cites. We’ll try to count over the break.


  1. Someone should strap Gail Collins to the roof of their car and drive HER to Canada.

  2. Note that Collins has moved from ambiguity to outright falsehood. The the dog's cage was strapped to the roof of the car, not the dog itself.

  3. Note Collins' false implication that there's something improper or odd about a rich Republican giving highly paid speeches. It's normal for groups to engage well-known people as speakers and to pay them well. E.g., quite a few years ago, the Casualty Actuarial Society considered engaging Ted Kennedy as a speaker. His fee at that time was $25,000 IIRC.

  4. Bob mocks Petri's assertion that the Occupy Harvard were more interested in the act of demonstrating than in their supposed grievances. To me, that sounds plausible. In fact, the motivations of today's Ivy League college students may be one of the few areas where Petri's youth gives her and advantage.

    Last week, I happened to walk by a group of Occupy Berkeley folks meeting in front of Sproul Hall early Saturday evening. They were discussing plans for another demonstration. Now, that doesn't prove that Occupy Berkeley were more interested in demonstrating than in their issues. I offer it for what it's worth.

  5. Oo, like the new habitat here, Mr. Bob Somerby! Thanks for the spotlight on the "horrible hatchling" --- not to mention the one on the throwback attitude of the elite press corps when it comes to gender. (Although at least one of your readers posting here seems to have missed that part!)

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