Friday, March 20, 2009

Judith Warner Lectures

Judith Warner, who made her reputation on the anxious backs of the top five percent of earners, who complained last summer that she could no longer afford to drive her Range Rover because gas prices were too high, tunnels into Barbara Ehrenreich's territory in her blog post today, and while Warner isn't wrong, it still rings smug.

One choice quote:

"We — journalists and readers both — simply must, for once, resist the temptation to let what may or may not be happening to the top 5 percent (or 1 percent) of our country’s families set the story line for what women’s lives are becoming in this recession.

Because, the fact is, the story’s not about them. "

Um, thanks Judy. Now, will you call up your friend Hanna and tell her the issues around breastfeeding (here and here) aren't about you -- I mean them -- either. Because, seriously, who is she lecturing here?

On the one hand, Warner is right that the stories right now should not be about the pain being felt by moms on Long Island who have to cut back on Gymboree classes but about those losing homes. (As George Packer , too, made poignantly clear.) On the other, I don't want to hear from Judith Warner, the chronicler of our privileged discontent, about where the real "storyline" is and how we have to "for once" look down the economic ladder for our collective narrative. After all, that story, the "real" story, the story of those outside of the top tax bracket, has been out there for years, even while the economy was booming Warner was looking and writing no further than very green grass in her own backyard.

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