Bloggers = B Players?Posted: January 27, 2017
Working my noggin on this quote from Justin Peters’ review of Thomas Friedman’s book over at Slate:
A very perceptive barfly once explained it to me like this. In the corporate world, you’ve got A players, B players, and C players stacked top to bottom like a pyramid. There’s this documentary called Jiro Dreams of Sushi, about a perfectionist Japanese sushi chef. When an A player sees that movie, the barfly explained, she will come to work the next day determined to work harder and smarter than ever before. A B player will spend the next day raving about the movie to anyone who’ll listen; maybe she’ll write a review for her blog. A C player sees Jiro Dreams of Sushi and comes to work the next day inspired to order Japanese food for lunch.
Tom Friedman is a B player interpreting A players for the benefit of C players, and there are lots of C players, and maybe it’s that simple. But both B players and C players habitually miss the point—and, in the end, so does Thank You for Being Late
Let’s consider this:
- this sentence occurs in a review on what is essentially a blog, so is Justin Peters self-identifying as a B player?
- quoting a “very perceptive barfly” is a very Thomas Friedmany kind of thing to do. Is that the joke/point Justin Peters is making?
- are we really calling Thomas Friedman a B player? The dude is the dominant NY Times columnist, consistently crushing it with bestselling books.
Sensitive to the fact that the word “blog” has come to connote “loserish.” Have been struck by the fact that Stephen Miller and Steve Bannon, who are today writing the President’s executive orders, are, essentially, bloggers.
Consider this Politico profile of Stephen Miller by Julia Ioffe. At Duke:
But mostly he used the column as a lightning rod, a way to court angry reaction and put himself at the center of major campus controversies. He wrote that interacting with the population outside the campus was overrated. “Durham isn’t a petting zoo,” he chided. “The residents won’t get lonely or irritable if we don’t play with them.” He was a strong supporter of the war in Iraq and called Ted Kennedy a “traitor” for criticizing American use of torture.
Miller invited another media figure, David Horowitz, to Duke, and that led him to Jeff Sessions:
The name he made for himself in fighting the university establishment, through his column and in inviting Horowitz to speak, would later reap benefits. It was Horowitz who, in 2009, would recommend Miller to his old friend, Jeff Sessions.
President DT himself would not be president if his Twitter micro-blog were not so stimulating and provocative. The Trump movement comes out of provocative media networks. How on Earth is the left losing that battle?
Wonder if — hear me out — an effective force for anti-Trumpism and resistance could be mini-networks, newspapers, arguments, alternatives, ideas, forums for strong takes. Reach people and really change their minds, is the idea.
Write to me, lemme know what you think!