Who knew that men at some of the nation’s top journalistic institutions could behave like a bunch of boobs?
The claws came out Wednesday afternoon after The New Republic published a snarky story on Ikenefuna Enempkpali. “IK,” as he is called, is now a former New York Jets backup linebacker after he had a locker room brawl with quarterback Geno Smith. IK broke Smith’s jaw over some owed money, leaving Smith benched for 6 to 10 weeks.
So The New Republic, a supposedly high-brow liberal rag that watched a lot of its staff walk out en masse late last year — supposedly over morals — published a snarky aftermath piece by TNR‘s Executive Web Editor Ryan Kearney (who used to write a lot of crappy stories for now-defunct TBD) bearing the following headline:
Kearney took the New York Post to task for calling the money owed a “measly debt.”
“I beg to differ,” he wrote. “No one, not even Donald Trump (especially not Donald Trump!), should let a $600 debt go uncollected. Implicit contracts lubricate our cultural interactions; were repayment optional, society would crumble. That makes Enemkpali a hero, not a goat.
…A society in which debts are not owed so much as suggested is a society of financial chaos in which none of us would like to live. “What goes around comes around”—which currently translates to “you damn well better grab the check next time”—would lose all meaning.
…[IK] did exactly what we all should do when confronted with the Geno Smiths of the world: Bust their jaw, for civilization’s sake.”
There was no “Satire” category marked. Just “Sports.”
If this was meant to be funny, NYT reporter Michael Barbaro, who apparently had blood coming out of his eyes this afternoon (blood coming out of his, wherever), wasn’t finding any humor whatsoever in The New Republic story. Granted, Kearney isn’t funny. Naturally, Barbaro began bitching.
NYT‘s Alex Burns, formerly of Politico, where Kearney also used to work, backed up Barbaro.
Barbaro also wrote, “In which New Republic endorses violence, in a sad statement about its editorial judgment.”
To which Kearney pathetically asked, “Why so serious?”
Not surprisingly, Washingtonian‘s Andrew Beaujon, who entered a Mistakes Hall of Fame in 2013 and previously worked alongside Kearney at the failed local news experiment TBD, hailed Kearney’s story as one of his best.
“This may be my favorite @rkearney piece of all time,” the nerdy, balding humorless journalist wrote on Twitter.
Kearney replied, “I’m starting to wonder whether you’re the only one who understands me. Marry me?”