Regrets from a replier-of-all
It can get gloomy on the political beat, so imagine our initial delight when we realized we'd received the dubious honor of being cc'd on the beginnings of an actual, bonafide Reply-all Emailgate. We've secretly always wanted to be trapped in one of those hellish threads, ever since we read of Columbia Journalism School's Replyallmageddon of 2014 or NYU's Replyallgate of 2012. That accolade was officially unlocked this morning, when someone pretending to be Martin Shkreli graced us with inclusion in a massive media email thread. This time, Fake Shkreli pretended to hock a track from the exclusive album that Real Shkreli purchased for $2 million.
But then we remembered Real Martin Shkreli was this guy, which made it awkward. And that awkwardness only doubled when he made a pass at some of us. And it tripled when he himself was cc'd to the thread and he proceeded to jubilantly insult others of us. And if you couldn't remember why Shkreli's name sounds so familiar, he's been described by some as "the left's favorite Gargamel," or if you prefer, the supervillainesque nickname "Pharma bro." In no time at all, Mashable already has written about this latest chapter in his dark chronicle o' deeds. Mediaite posted about it, too, although they were pretending not to be sad they weren't invited to the party. New York Magazine also expressed regret at being excluded but kindly called those of us who were "clearly illuminatus." And of course, Gawker gleefully dubbed nearly everyone involved "the worst people in online media," because they're Gawker, eaters of joy.
And then, well, Pacific Standard's Ted Scheinman stepped in, and truly quashed any remaining shreds of revelry by reminding us with whom we were bantering: "a man-child with the round cheeks and horrid entitlement of the worst kind of prepster, who as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals jacked up prices for the AIDS drug Daraprim." And this is admittedly a very good point, and one with which we wrestled a bit when we first got roped in: by joining the merriment of turning Shkreli into mere meme, did we risk downplaying the very real damage he did to the deeply disadvantaged? "Meme-ifying a bad guy sometimes just empowers him. Some might point to the presidential race as a lesson on that score," Scheinman writes. Ouch. Point painfully taken.
So that return to reality summarily sucked the fun out of our momentary respite from this election, although it did culminate in a meet-up in New York where, last we heard, Shkreli might even be in attendance. Update: Actually, wait, he is there.
But, really ... the least he could do is field a few questions, right? Then maybe something more useful than a reaction gif might come of this bewildering day. NY journos in attendance, you have your mission.