Yesterday the Washington Post published a story titled “While teaching, Elizabeth Warren worked on more than 50 legal matters, charging as much as $675 an hour.” The story is based on a bunch of new material Warren’s campaign released about her legal work. The $675 and hour came from the early 2000s when she worked with a law firm on cases related to asbestos. That rate was apparently a billing rate, meaning it was probably somewhere around triple what Warren would actually earn. The rest went to the firm as overhead and profit.
In any case, the story took on a new life when CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski tweeted about it last night.
This tweet is getting a ratio for the ages. As I write there are over 8,000 replies and only 309 retweets. Most of the replies appear to come from progressives who are having knee-jerk reactions of various types to the headline and the topic. Many people responding don’t even realize that Kaczynski works for CNN and the article was written by Elise Vibeck and Annie Linskey of the Post. For instance…
BREAKING NEWS: Lady Had A Job, Got Paid More Than Me
Nice work. Now do the amount of Wall Street, Big Pharma, & Fossil Fuel 💰 presidential candidates accepted over their careers & how much they’re taking now. https://t.co/PI7xh1eQOE
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 23, 2019
AOC tends to lie when she embarrasses herself on Twitter. In this case, I’m sure she’ll pretend she knew all along the story was by two female Post writers but she’s clearly giving Kaczynski an assignment to dig up info (what he’s known for) on “Fossil Fuel presidential candidates.” Anyway, she was hardly alone. Did Neera Tanden realize she was accusing two women journalists of sexism? I doubt it but who knows:
The bad news: sexism still permeates media coverage of women political leaders. I don’t believe that if this were a man, this story would be covered like this.
— Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) May 23, 2019
Lots of people with blue checks were seemingly asking Kaczynski to answer for the article he didn’t write:
What’s wrong with that? Why shouldn’t she charge money for her legal expertise like most lawyers do?
— Mimi Rocah (@Mimirocah1) May 23, 2019
This guy makes explicit how a lot of people seem to be reading Kaczynski’s tweet: “Ah-HA! Liz Warren got PAID for being a LAWYER!”
Andrew Kaczynski is a terrific investigative journalist, having dug up all kinds of politically fatal shit on the GOP. But when he tries to dig up as much dirt on Dems, there just isn't much. Which leads inevitably to scoops like "Ah-HA! Liz Warren got PAID for being a LAWYER!"
— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) May 23, 2019
Share your life’s tax returns so we can see if you ever had two jobs to make ends meet, Andrew
— Ned Pyle (@NerdPyle) May 23, 2019
Good for her – a working accomplished lawyer. Why write this in such an accusatory manner?
— Suzanne Lindbergh (@suzannebuzz) May 23, 2019
Hollywood got in on it too:
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) May 23, 2019
A lot of teachers have second jobs.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) May 23, 2019
“Famous legal expert makes money consulting as legal expert at a standard hourly rate for legal expert” is the sort of speaking truth to power I like to see journalists do. Congrats.
— John Rogers (@jonrog1) May 23, 2019
A few people tried to point out the obvious but then the response changed to some variation of ‘Why is he retweeting it then?!’
We all need to stop amplifying bad journalism. Better practice when retweeting a hit piece, make a comment.
— Alexis (@AlexFTweets) May 23, 2019
Not only did Kaczynski not write it, but the article itself is also not attacking Warren for hypocrisy as everyone seems to assume it must be. It’s really just a summary of documents Warren’s campaign released. This sums it up:
Finally, it’s worth noting that the Post’s tweet of this story also got ratioed but not by nearly as many people. This tweet has 1.6k responses and 148 RTs even though the Post account has nearly 14 million followers and Kaczynski has just over 300k.
While teaching, Elizabeth Warren worked on more than 50 legal matters, charging as much as $675 an hour https://t.co/e3be9dbPYM
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 23, 2019
It is interesting how many progressive fans of E. Warren leaped to defend her making good money because she earned it as an expert in her field. And they’re right! She did earn it and good for her for doing so. But what about all the other millionaires who made a lot of money working in their chosen fields? Warren has made a career in politics out of attacking the “rich and powerful.” I think the real revelation here is that someone billing out at $675 an hour doesn’t count as rich and powerful to Warren’s fans. Maybe there’s more support for capitalism than we thought.