Disgraced radio host publishes 7000-word pity piece about himself in Harper's

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/09/14/disgraced-radio-host-publishes.html


Here’s what Hockenberry truly can’t countenance: the loss of his public platform and the compensation to his bank balance and ego that comes with it. For him to say that “for a time the only employment I could contemplate was detailed on an email list seeking disabled senior citizens to be greeters at Walmart stores” is for him to admit the severe lack of imagination usually limited to those who can’t grasp the meaning of the word “pseudonym” (i.e. those who don’t usually get to publish a 7000-word piece in Harper’s).

For a long time now, magazines like Harper’s have been major players in what I term the “glass floor” phenomenon. The American media-industrial complex invests so much in people like Hockenberry that even when they’re exposed as frauds and abusers it won’t allow them to fail and gives them chance after chance to redeem themselves. Jonah Lehrer and the fortuitously named Stephen Glass come to mind.

The problem now is that these highbrow and middelbrow magazines and newspapers are also giving the glass-floor treatment more broadly to the last defenders of white male patriarchy. Recent examples include the NYT (the “Nazi next door piece”), The New Yorker (the now-cancelled appearance of Bannon), and The Atlantic (the now rescinded hire of Kevin Williamson). It’s all supposedly done in the interest of giving these creeps a “fair hearing” but it’s increasingly clear that’s BS.


If he wants work, I hear there are a few openings in the current administration; he’d fit right in.


So then, Harpers is still around? I remember using that pretentious rag for obscure quotes for my stupid high school English class term papers and essays, in order to seem more erudite.


Speaking of which, the current article also sounds like the product of a sophisticated high school student, so that should have gone seamlessly.


Piss off old hack.

Disrespectfully not-yours, Grey.


What a gorgeous looking chap Steve Buscemi is.


Just what we need. Creepy greeters.


The evidence is in. Sexual harassers are whiny, self-entitled man-babies.


News Flash: A lot of people in a highly-visible industry where they receive constant attention and praise are narcissists, and therefore unable to really appreciate how their behavior affects others.

Seriously, power and fame are like crack to narcissists. Of course we’re going to get a lot of them in media, management and politics. The real problem is that we’re not doing a good job of filtering them out, and that’s a failure of the whole system.


From his piece:

“Being a misguided romantic, or being born at the wrong time, or taking the wrong cues from the sexual revolution of the Sixties, or having a disability that leaves one impotent at nineteen — none of this is a justification for offensive behavior toward women. But is a life sentence of unemployment without possibility of furlough, the suffering of my children, and financial ruin an appropriate consequence?”

Ffffuuuuuuuccckkkkk yyoooooouuuuuuuuuuuu.


“Just because I murdered all those people, now my poor kids have to suffer me being in jail! How unjust! How tyrannical!”


“Is a life sentence of unemployment without possibility of furlough, the suffering of my children, and financial ruin an appropriate consequence?”

Why, yes. Yes, it is.

ETA: I do feel for his offspring. Being the child of a pathological narcissist is no fun. I wish them detachment & good boundaries.


I liked Hockenberry and thought he and his show were really rather good. This is pathetic but I suppose not surprising - his departure from the show was framed as a retirement and apparently the real reason was hidden from his sidekick reporter (who temporarily replaced him as host), who gave him a big on-air send-off full of praise. Hockenberry did him dirty there.

The new host, Tanzina Vega, was good immediately and you can tell that she’ll be really great - easily better than Hockenberry was. It’s still my favorite news-focused show on NPR. It’s good to be reminded that nobody is irreplaceable (Steve Buscemi, maybe).


I would definitely not renew my subscription over this, if I hadn’t already let it lapse over the editorial purge carried out by Rick MacArthur, or the Shitty Media Men list article, or the fact that I am 18 cryptic crosswords behind.

They grabbed him by the hockenberries.


You could always start a blog.


“But I like Don Knotts!”

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I’m still trying to suss out why they gave this person a platform…