That is not just any Ruth S. Barrett it is Ruth Shalit Barrett — the exact Ruth Shalit who remaining Washington in the late 1990s following laying down a path of journalistic scandal. A 1992 graduate of Princeton University, Shalit rose quickly to an affiliate editorship at the New Republic, contributions to the New York Occasions Journal and a $45,000-for each-yr contract with GQ. But with people successes arrived problems. Shalit was busted in two major cases of plagiarism, which she blamed on accidental slice-and-paste functions. “It does not matter that it transpired inadvertently. Which is an excuse. I’ve flagellated myself and groveled and begged forgiveness,” Shalit stated at the time.
On major of the plagiarism fees, Shalit received heavy criticism for a 13,000-term story for the New Republic on race relations at The Put up. It was an exhaustive report major on criticism from nameless Write-up staffers suggesting that the paper’s range force compromised employing standards. The opus was undermined by major factual glitches. One was the allegation that D.C. contractor Roy Littlejohn experienced “served time” for corruption — while Littlejohn was not even charged with these types of an offense. The magazine afterwards settled a lawsuit from Littlejohn.
Immediately after leaving the magazine under strain in 1999, Shalit advised media writer David Carr, who was then with the Washington Metropolis Paper: “I was 23 decades old, I was crafting New Republic parts, I was writing cover tales for the New York Periods Magazine, I was submitting columns for GQ, and at the similar time, I was bopping all-around and staying a 23-calendar year-previous and purchasing miniskirts with my GQ income.” Explained Shalit: “And of course, I liked it, but guess what? A single fake shift and it all arrived tumbling down.”
That is some self-serving punditry.
On her departure from D.C., Shalit took a work in advertising and marketing in New York.
In 2004, Shalit married Henry Robertson Barrett IV. The byline “Ruth Shalit Barrett” has surfaced in the yrs due to the fact, at Elle and New York Magazine. Leah Finnegan, writing for Gawker, wondered why Elle would accord a byline to a tested plagiarist for the sake of a forgettable profile of actor Jamie Dornan: “My coronary heart is pounding. My legs are pure jelly. I’m a quivering mess. Christian Grey is sitting down across from me,” the write-up begins.
For the most aspect, these parts experience like toe-dipping routines for Ruth S. Barrett — a chance to bang out some intelligent prose on subjects of minimal import. They represent the beef of the “selected work” tab on the Ruth S. Barrett web page, which omits one-way links to her New Republic days. Her bio, nonetheless, is a little bit additional in depth: “Ruth S. Barrett is a author whose do the job has appeared in The Wall Avenue Journal, ELLE, New York Journal, The New Republic, and GQ. She lives in Westport, CT with her partner and two small children.” (The Wall Street Journal contributions day to 2003 and 2004.)
The article-Beltway clips skew puffy — thinky profiles and the like.
The Atlantic story is in a further category. It’s a layered and probing look at a subculture in Fairfield County, wherever Barrett resides. The crucial resource — “a buoyant, chatty, remain-at-home mother from Fairfield County, Connecticut” determined by her center title, Sloane — narrates the mania: “My daughter is 5 foot 11. Which is not the optimum overall body for squash. She has the frame for rowing. I have generally had it in the again of my head. Rowing moves the needle way more.”
The prose is, as ever, readable and abundant:
Backyards aspect batting cages, pitching tunnels, fencing pistes, Olympic-size hockey rinks complete with floodlights and generators. Hotly debated zoning-board subject areas contain creating codes for at-property squash courts and storm-drainage ideas to mitigate runoff from private ice rinks. Whereas the Hoop Dreamers of the Chicago jobs pursued athletics as a route out of poverty and hardship, the little ones of Fairfield County are not gunning for the scholarship funds. It’s a lot more about position servicing, by any usually means needed.
In the Slate podcast “Hang Up and Pay attention,” Stefan Fatsis opined: “The anecdotes are tremendous-mad. This is the elitest of the elite. This is billionaires who are building squash courts and fencing in their mansions and then employing, like, the major-ranked squash player in the globe and putting him on their staffs in get to attempt to get these handful of spots at the Harvards and Yales of the environment.” Fatsis concluded, “There’s just a good deal of outrageous offers and mad rich-people conduct and, you know, we are captivated to gawking at that.”
All appropriate. The Atlantic piece marks a quantum enhance in Shalit’s slow-movement comeback. As she predicted in her 1999 job interview with Carr (who died in 2015), “I feel I wrote a large amount of pieces that were being superior and reasonable and legitimate. And I am absolutely sure, at some place, I will produce again.” The Atlantic byline presents however additional heft for a caveat that frequently accompanied Shalit tales: that plagiarism offenses really do not spell automatic doom for journalists. The scofflaws make clear, they apologize, they do their time and numerous return to perform.
Everyone steeped in this record reads a Ruth S. Barrett tale with excellent caution. Which is what the Erik Wemple Site did. We slowed down for the component the place the Atlantic report discusses some grisly fencing injuries sustained at a national fencing opposition in Ohio by Sloane’s 12-year-outdated daughter. It is really some thing:
But a minimal over a year ago, during the Fourth of July weekend, Sloane started to think that probably it was time to connect with it quits. She was crouched in the vestibule of the Bay Club in Redwood Metropolis, strategizing on the cellphone with her partner about a “malicious refereeing” dispute that had victimized her daughter at the California Summer time Gold tournament. He experienced his individual trouble. In Columbus, Ohio, at the junior-fencing nationals with the couple’s two young ladies and son, he reported that their middle daughter, a 12-yr-previous saber fencer, experienced been stabbed in the jugular during her 1st bout. The wound was ideal following to the carotid artery, and he was withdrawing her from the event and traveling property.
She’d been hurt in advance of though fencing — on just one situation gashed so deeply in the thigh that blood seeped by her pants — but this was the 1st time a blade had jabbed her in the throat. It was a Fourth of July massacre.
Seems awful — and unbelievable. “In my career as an athlete and mentor, I have by no means really seen this come about to any person,” Byron Neslund, a longtime championship-stage fencer, wrote in an e mail to this website. “Not to say freak accidents are not achievable, but in fencing they are incredibly exceptional.” Genuine: Fencing ranks superior in security amid athletics, and “major trauma” from stabbings is “exceedingly uncommon,” according to the London-centered Institute of Sport Workout & Wellbeing.
With that in head, we asked the Atlantic for facts about the “Fourth of July massacre.” It declined to comment on the report. United states Fencing, organizer of the event, told the Erik Wemple Website that it doesn’t release personal injury data without the need of the consent of the athlete or the athlete’s parent/guardian. Makes an attempt to arrive at Barrett have been unsuccessful.
An additional extraordinary facts issue in the Atlantic piece relates to residence-brew recreation in affluent Fairfield County: “Backyards function batting cages, pitching tunnels, fencing pistes, Olympic-dimensions hockey rinks entire with floodlights and turbines. Hotly debated zoning-board subject areas include making codes for at-property squash courts and storm-drainage options to mitigate runoff from private ice rinks.”
Boldface extra to spotlight a dilemma: Truly?
Alright, but who would actually know how lots of Olympic-measurement yard hockey rinks are in Fairfield County? “I would know,” says Ryan Hughes, founder of North American Rink Administration, a company that builds outdoor rinks for nicely-off county people. “I know of no person who’s designed an Olympic sheet, not even the hedge-fund guys.” Most of the property rinks in the space, states Hughes, fall shy of even the scaled-down NHL-common rink size. (Olympic rinks are about 15 ft wider than NHL versions.)
We know that we’re nitpicking. But when the former Ruth Shalit is producing for your publication, you nail down all Olympic-measurement promises. Just after the Erik Wemple Blog site knowledgeable the Atlantic of Hughes’s statements, the journal ran a correction stating, in section, that “although the non-public rinks are significant and comprehensive with floodlights and generators, they are not Olympic-sizing.”
That depth slipped by means of a the magazine’s factual safety web. “This function went by our standard arduous enhancing and point-checking process. We actuality-test every magazine piece incredibly totally,” noted the magazine in a statement. It extra this protection following some again-and-forth with the Erik Wemple Weblog: “This is an great story, which is why we released it. It illuminates the serious lengths some affluent mother and father are taking to get their little ones into elite colleges and reproduce course advantage. Our audience are experiencing it.”
They may well have also enjoyed a bit a lot more information on the writer.
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