I guess there are as many idiots in journalism as there are in any other profession. But in a job mostly consisting of writing down your innermost thoughts on an issue for everyone to see, being an idiot is especially embarrassing. Usually, you have colleagues, including editors, to prevent you from making embarrassing mistakes, but it more and more feels like these people often aren’t much smarter than the person writing the story. Which is why we more frequently get dumb coverage like this story in The Atlantic.
The texts make it clear that these men are fundamentally alienated from the rest of the world by their wealth. “In one sense, the texts show that billionaires are just like us – they’re not doing advanced calculus; they’re in their DMs talking smack, making jokes, and trying desperately to get their way,” Lauren Pringle, the editor in chief of The Chancery Daily, told me recently. But she added: “These are absolutely not normal people with a normal understanding of the world.”
Who are these people writing this shit? What did they expect? Did they, until they read Elon Musk’s text messages, really believe that rich people were somehow more intelligent or better people? Why? By virtue of being rich? And is it honestly news to you that rich people don’t operate like you and me, who have to hold down a job and struggle to put food on the table every day? What exactly makes you think that someone who has more money than a human being can even properly conceptualise would have the same problems as us? Why does it surprise you that people who literally have more money than they know what to do with would treat that money callously?
Elon Musk isn’t the first billionaire. How can you claim to write books, articles and even a newsletter called Galaxy Brain with authority on topics such as technology, media and “big ideas” and not understand the most obvious facts of life on this planet? Where do they get these numbskulls? And why does nobody notice the crud these people publish?