The New York Times ran a nauseatingly cozy profile of Twitter journalist and literati lefty Molly Jong-Fast by media reporter Michael Grynbaum. Jong-Fast’s mother is feminist novelist Erica Jong and her grandfather is Howard Fast, the Spartacus novelist and Communist activist. The apple hasn’t fallen far, as the subject is well ensconced in a deep-blue Manhattanite bubble.
Molly Jong-Fast had just finished interviewing Vice President Kamala Harris for her podcast when she hopped in an Uber S.U.V. headed to the Century, the Manhattan literary club where she was throwing a book party for the media critic Margaret Sullivan, a friend….
Grynbaum himself seemed quite at home within this lefty enclave.
Now, within a certain rarefied slice of American political life, she is a star. On Wednesday, she joined Vanity Fair as a special correspondent. One million people follow her on Twitter. The first guest on her new podcast, distributed by the mega network iHeartMedia, was President Biden’s chief of staff.
Other Jong-Fast interviewees include (be still my heart) Senators Bernie Sanders and Chuck Schumer.
In Woody Allen’s Purple Rose of Cairo, a moviegoer steps into the screen and enters the world of her favorite film. From her Upper East Side living room, Ms. Jong-Fast marshaled a weapons-grade Twitter habit and a penchant for sliding into journalists’ DMs to catapult herself into the beating heart of left-wing media: the MSNBC Mom who starts actually appearing on MSNBC [excitable italics in original].
“Appearing on MSNBC” -- the ultimate goal in life of a Times reader?
Just the barest glint of irony shines through this excruciatingly congratulatory profile.
Her rise is a testament to the power of social media, the increasingly blurred lines between armchair pundits and professional commentators, and the opportunism of writers, on the right and the left, who used Donald Trump’s presidency to reinvent themselves. It’s about the flight to ideological comfort among news consumers in a partisan era. But it’s also about Ms. Jong-Fast and her ability to win friends, wear her privilege lightly and help anxious liberals cope with a chaotic moment.
She was dissatisfied writing chick-lit novels. Then “Trump came down the escalator” and she started tweeting.
She tweeted her angst five, 10, 15 times a day. (Sometimes she would merely reply to Mr. Trump’s tweets, scoring likes and retweets for her punchy responses.) She replied to journalists and posted links to their stories. The conservative commentator Bill Kristol hired her to write for his site The Bulwark. She traveled, on her own dime, to cover Trump rallies and conservative conferences, mingling with the network of reporters she was cultivating online….
The phrase “conservative" applied to Bill Kristol suggests that while Grynbaum knows the ins and outs of the Manhattanite left, he’s out of touch with conservatives
He even quoted Jong-Fast’s supposedly snappy Twitter repartee throughout.
Grynbaum descended into a blue hellscape which he accurately called “Resistance Twitter come to life,” and seemed to thoroughly enjoy it.
One evening in 2019, I arrived at Ms. Jong-Fast’s building for a party she was throwing in honor of the actress Kathy Griffin. Inside the door was Resistance Twitter come to life.
The writer E. Jean Carroll, who had recently accused Mr. Trump of sexual assault, was engrossed in conversation with George T. Conway III, husband of Kellyanne Conway, when Ms. Griffin, in an ecru Valentino dress, approached….