Easterner-turned-Angeleno Ruth Shalit's wedding blurb in the lead spot in last Sunday's New York Times is attracting some blogospheric notice. Vanity Fair's James Wolcott writes, "the recent nuptials of former New Republic writer, plagiarist, and halfpint hottie Ruth Shalit have not occasioned an outbreak of joy and congratulations." The blog SullyWatch notes the prominent NYT placement and omission of the history that made Shalit a mini-celeb in the media world, way back when:
A long while back we were involved in taking up Jim Capozzola’s question as to whatever happened to Ruth Shalit, the other Hot Young Writer to leave The New Republic in disgrace a decade or so ago (for plagiarism mainly, as well as some mistakes in the lengthy and controversial article about racial issues among the staff of The Washington Post (one of which landed the magazine in court as a city official found that he had been indicted, contrary to real life) but there were allegations that she made a few things up as well like her more infamous successor Stephen Glass)...
Unable to get another job in journalism immediately after she was forced out, she rather noisily turned to advertising after a year or so. This eventually set up Salon to give her a gig as its ad-industry columnist.
This kitten doesn’t change its spots, alas ... as David Talbot should have realized before he cut that first check. The usual corrections, one of which went on for several paragraphs, eventually led to allegations that she had completely fabricated part of one article. There was another parting of the ways, and were there any justice in the world, Ruth would have followed the example Glass set after his fall from the ivory towers and worked at a video or convenience store like any other self-respecting Gen Xer.
We last heard from Ms. Shalit in the Princeton alumni magazine, in which we learned she was living in LA and working on a novel. Yawn.
The NYT item calls Shalit a contributing writer in Los Angeles for Elle. Cathy Seipp, a local friend of Shalit's, makes an appearance in the SullyWatch post and in Steve Gilliard's blog entry that calls Shalit a "race baiter" and alleges her career resilience is based on her looks. (Wolcott terms her a "diminuitive mantrap"). Atrios also weighs in. The happy husband is Robertson Barrett, a producer here for Reality Pictures whose stepfather, Edward Klein, used to be editor of the New York Times Magazine.