Local Journalist Takes On NYT’s Story About Entitled White Guy’s Decision to Avoid “News”; Wins.

294
Matthew Woitunski / Flickr Donald Trump in New Hampshire...
Matthew Woitunski / Flickr

If you missed this dribble from The New York Times this morning, consider yourself thankful. I live with my Mom and she’s a newspaper subscriber and the Times and the Washington Post arrive at the door of our condo every morning.  (And, by way of disclaimer, I usually read both.)

This piece by Sam Dolnick about an early-retired former NIKE executive, who lives by himself on a pig farm in rural Ohio, should go up in the pantheon on the Times’s recent coverage of many people who don’t deserve ink or pixels.

Link.

The intro:

Right after the election, Erik Hagerman decided he’d take a break from reading about the hoopla of politics.

Donald Trump’s victory shook him. Badly. And so Mr. Hagerman developed his own eccentric experiment, one that was part silent protest, part coping mechanism, part extreme self-care plan.

He swore that he would avoid learning about anything that happened to America after Nov. 8, 2016.

Oh, okay.  The survival, dignity, health care options, or ability to stay in this country for millions of Americans is threatened, but it’s so “disturbing” that you decide to avoid it all. Fine.  Stay on your (isn’t really a) farm.  But why is this a story?

“I just look at the weather,” said Mr. Hagerman, 53, who lives alone on a pig farm in southeastern Ohio. “But it’s only so diverting.”

How nice.  I, too, find myself occupied by the weather.  Well, I do when climate change has resulted in catastrophic hurricanes in the Caribbean and devastating fires in California; but I suppose I digress.

This life is still fairly new. Just a few years ago, he was a corporate executive at Nike (senior director of global digital commerce was his official, unwieldy title) working with teams of engineers to streamline the online shopping experience. Before that, he had worked digital jobs at Walmart and Disney.

“I worked 12-, 14-hour days,” he said. “The calendar completely booked.”

But three years ago, he decided he had saved enough money to move to a farm, make elliptical sculptures — and, eventually, opt out of the national conversation entirely.

He lives alone and has never been married. As for money, a financial adviser in San Francisco manages his investments. Mr. Hagerman says he throws away the quarterly updates without reviewing them.

So, all’s good for him and that’s fine for him.  And The Times spends the front page of its SundayStyles section (plus two inside pages, with colorful photos), why?

That was question posed by the millennial editor of two local newspapers in Mr. Hagerman’s area.  He had “lots to say” and Mr. Buchanan’s tweets, unlike the story that engendered them, are well worth reading.

And, yes, this:

For those worried about the state of the media, I give you Tyler Buchanan.

Thank you, sir.

Leave a Comment

Be the First to Comment!

avatar
  Subscribe  
Notify of