Ken Auletta's Mantan
Hamilton Nolan's PRWeek Ken Auletta blowjob of a profile begins slow and clumsy, entirely without enough suction, but progresses -- mirabile dictu -- into something ... really quite pleasurable, like when he says, tongue-in-cheek (so to speak):
"Ken Auletta's tan rivals George Hamilton's. You could be forgiven for confusing the two. Both have risen to the top of their respective fields: Hamilton, the field of burnished-bronze, vaguely famous cultural icons, and Auletta, the field of communications journalism."
Above: "Does this suit detract from, or amplify the nut-brown subtext of my spectacular mantan?"
Brobdinangian is Ken Auletta's mantan, radiating all sorts of lusty golden honeyed waves of lovingkindness that one does not usually associate with the austere environment at The New Yorker. The New Yorker suggests to me an aversion to all things sunlight in general. One imagines Early Gothic Church architecture, heavy walls revealing little sunlight. The writers and factcheckers are cloistered like monks in the Dark Ages, engaged in scholasticism, away front he riffraff and rabble, resisting the plague, protecting Western Civilization from the barbarian hordes.
One can smell the roasting sweetmeats and boiled legumes and hear the Vespers to the English language being sung, to Saint EB White ("holy, holy, holy") and patron saint William Shawn, dearly departed ("thrice holy in the eyes of God"). One can hear the moans, as David Remnick exacts corporal punishment to copy editors who misplace the semicolon ("blessed be he who useth the semicolon correctly") and holy punishment meted out to incorrect factcheckers ("spare the rod and spoil the monk"). His mighty arm swingeth ("swish!"), and lamentation can be heard sprialling throughout the fortified halls of The Monastary of St. Conde Nast.
Wealthy corrupt patron, Baron Si Newhouse tosses some gold and silver pieces to keep the monastery afloat and his prestige in intellectual circles intact ...
Just then, Auletta struts into the offices of The New Yorker offices, a la Travolta in Saturday Night Fever, the black sheep of Conde Nast.
Imagine the contrast, if you will. Auletta's nut brown countenance, his honeyed lustre, suggesting leisurely time spent in Mustique, versus the unhealthy veal-like complexion and texture of New Yorker writers in mid Autumn, like, oh, say, Jonathan Franzen, or Philip Gourevich, or even editor David Remnick. Get some sun, guys.
Does Auletta inspire tan envy in The New Yorker offices? We think he might.
Then mantan notwithstanding, Auletta is a first rate journo. His Bob Shrum piece for The New Yorker was enlightening. The way he postures and poses, as if he were a world historical figure is truly amazing to behold:
"Indeed, Auletta's sunny personality has made him a popular public speaker (he addressed the PRSA convention in New York last month) and TV guest. His enthusiasm is such that he has appeared on the indefatigable Charlie Rose Show more than a dozen times in the past decade, discussing everything from the AOL-Time Warner merger to Connie Chung's career.
"Rose says that people yearn to be engaged by well-informed journalists who probe subjects deeply, and that Auletta fits the description. 'He knows the landscape and the players,' says Rose. 'He has an extraordinary ability to soak up the environment and gain the confidence of people so they give him access. He has total integrity about reporting what he knows and sees.'"
Hey, Charlie Rose, this isn't about you, it's about Ken Auletta. We caught you! You've got to watch Charlie Rose, keep him on a short leash. He has this Kissingerian talent of spinning everything into a conversation about his own virtues. Any subject. Ask him about the Gold Standard or The Thucydidean discovery of the balance of power theory of nation states in The Pelopenessian War and, surely, the conversation will wind back to him, and what exciting projects he's doing now, and, of course, who he knows. Poor Amanda Burden gets to hear Charlie rant 24/7 ...