Saturday, May 02, 2009

The chalice from the palace has the pellet with the poison

For a raft of reasons, some of them going back many years, I have been following the saga of (ex-) editor Sally Warhaft's precipitate departure last week from The Monthly -- most recently in a piece by regular Monthly contributor Gideon Haigh in today's Age -- with feelings not so much mixed as puréed. Let us say that I can see both sides of this story, and that I would very strongly recommend that the urgers on the sidelines saying 'Oh, it's only a storm in a teacup' (or saying anything else, really) when they don't actually have a clue what happened should treat themselves to a nice hot cup of STFU.

But two phrases keep running through my mind: there's the old maxim 'Least said, soonest mended' (the only person who appears to be paying any attention to this one is Warhaft herself, and more power to her, especially since she is apparently being ambushed at her own house by bottom-feeding paparazzi, among other things); and then there's that potent phrase 'poisoned chalice'. Whoever succeeds Warhaft in that editor's chair is going to have to be very flexible, very grown-up and very laid-back. And only one of these things makes for good editorship.

Cross-posted from Still Life With Cat

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