- Today in Tabs
- Walter Isaacson and the Power of Not Asking Questions
Walter Isaacson and the Power of Not Asking Questions
Well ah don't, ah say, ah don’t give a hoot about a rocket tah’ Mahhs, boy.
Last week, The Washington Post published an excerpt from Walter Isaacson’s Elon Musk biography which included the claim that Musk had shut off Starlink coverage near Crimea to neutralize a Ukrainian military operation:
So Musk didn’t “turn off coverage,” he just “did not enable coverage?” Isaacson’s updated version of the story treats Starlink coverage being disabled within 100 miles of Crimea as some kind of natural state of affairs, a passive-voice “policy” that “had been implemented earlier.” Whose policy, and implemented when? The intrepid reporter does not seem to wonder. Meanwhile Musk spent the weekend claiming that his brain implant company only did fatal experiments on “terminal moneys (close to death already)” and not explaining any of this.
But just as Isaacson was busy kissing Elon Musk’s ass, Shawn McCreesh was puckering up for a big New York Magazine Walt Isaacson profile to complete the human centipede. McCreesh’s signature “guy whose favorite movie is Swingers” voice and sycophancy for the powerful have never been more grating. The phrase “swizzling a Sazerac” appears in the very first sentence, and while he respectfully notes that Isaacson “still retains a touch of his genteel Louisiana drawl,” later on ”a prim, polite, and politically connected uptown New Orleans woman in a floral dress whose name is Anne Milling” gets the full Foghorn Leghorn dialect treatment:
You can judge McCreesh’s ear for Milling’s accent yourself in her interview for the 2012 Junior League of New Orleans Mary Harriman award, but neither McCreesh nor Isaacson appear to be aware that Elon Musk has never sent a rocket to Mars. At least McCreesh managed to get an explanation for how Isaacson got the details of his Starlink anecdote so wrong:
Avoid asking questions! So simple, but so powerful. If you never ask questions, everyone will be happy talk to you and you can fill book after book with whatever they want you to say.
Chotiner really captures Douthat’s unique talent for patiently thinking his way through social issues and always managing to follow all the right steps to arrive at the wrong conclusion. Douthat also claims that “If I wrote a flatly conspiratorial essay for the Times, it would get fact-checked and not published,” as if none of us have ever seen a Pamela Paul column.
The anti-glasses wellness influencer’s vision healing secret is apparently “put essential oils in your eyes.” @this_is_mallory’s full spiritual vision healing masterclass livetweet thread is really something. The influencer, Samantha Lotus, was last seen following Mallory around all social platforms and messaging her legal threats.
What a piece of work is a man. How noble in reason, how infinite in faculty. In form and moving how express and admirable. In action how like an Angel. In apprehension how like a god. The beauty of the world, the paragon of animals. Here’s what happens when you burn a sparkler through an egg.
I have no opinion about Martin Short but people sure did object to Dan Kois calling him “the most annoying actor on Earth,” which up until Friday I would have thought everyone agreed was Short’s lifelong artistic project?1 Classicist Ms. Frizzle shows off “the fit of a 3 year old whose parents have completely given up,” but they’re educating her ass about modern sweatshop labor in the QTs. This skeet goes too hard to embed. Brave explorer missing since passing through the ice wall; Globe Earth myth not yet debunked.
Finally: Kate Lindsay, “We're all lurkers now.”
Today’s Song: Olivia Rodrigo, “Vampire”