Ellie Shechet is a unique, thrilling combination of meticulous reporter, brilliant humorist, sharply insightful essayist, and die-hard Ansel Elgort fan. Her list of dietary restrictions is as long as her heart is big. And now she is leaving Jezebel.
While here, she has searched doggedly for many things: the truth about YouTube vegans, who would fuck this fish or these SUR employees, the origin of a certain horrible Ted Cruz rumor, the exact location and status of Lincoln Chafee. She has also made us cry, like this time, and this time, and this time. We will miss her, but we will never forgive her.
Ellie became my first real friend at Jezebel after we went deep undercover to the New York State Young Republicans Christmas gala (pronounced gay-la). Ever since then our friendship has flourished like a very hardy flower that grows in a cave and has a root as thick as a carrot, as we did horrible reporting assignment (New Hampshire primaries) after horrible reporting assignment (the DNC) after fun but confusing reporting assignment (Electric Daisy Carnival). Once, Candy Carson actively tried to cause a rift between us. Another time, she took care of my cat and used all my face products. She is my dearest girl and I don’t know how I will ever work somewhere without her.
Ellie and I found ourselves in Detroit last October, covering the Women’s March, and on the way home, there was a minor snafu with my ticket. No one could find it in the system, we had to make a variety of calls, and I fell into a simmering panic that manifested itself by being immeasurably polite. Ellie did not think I was sticking up for myself enough, so she tried to advocate on my behalf. This is why I love Ellie and feel nauseous at the thought of her departure!! She’s a tough, sweet, and dangerously talented person with a capacious heart and a few dietary restrictions and I will miss her very much, though, as she pointed out to me recently, we are work friends who have now matured into real ones.
The collision of two anxious people can make both parties significantly more anxious because their favorite topic of discussion is Things That Make Us Anxious. That happened with Ellie a lot. We talked about things that scared us and, in turn, became considerably more scared. I will miss those conversations deeply, Ellie, so please text me if you want to meet up in person and discuss Natural Causes.
I will miss Ellie dearly. Beyond being an extremely talented reporter who could always get us to admit if we were horny for some awful person, I especially treasured our time together reporting in the field, such as when we went to freakin Macy’s to interview teenagers about Lil Yachty and I had to gently teach her how to talk to the youth.
Au revoir, Ellie!
Ellie is a wonderful, perceptive writer who does serious and thoughtful (environmental collapse) as well as totally fucking ridiculous (internecine YouTube vegan wars). But one of my favorite memories of Ellie will always be from that masterful ode to a landmark Jezebel achievement: The oral history of Titanic.Jezebel.com. Initially, she was deeply confused and had no idea what we were talking about; once it was explained, rather than demanding to know what the fuck was wrong with all of us, she threw herself with gusto into what might be our dumbest collective effort of all time. Ellie, may you see the much-desired Ladies of London reunion you deserve.
Ellie! You are petite to the world but HUGE to me (being that you tower over me with your standing desk daily). I’ll never forget you because you are a magnificent writer... and also because you spilled half a cup of alcohol on me at a party once. I am proud to have worked with you and am excited to see what you do next. If no one has claimed your standing desk yet, maybe now is a good time to tell you I don’t want it. I’ll work on my posture some other way, TYVM!
First, I’d like apologize to Ellie for something mean I once sad about redheads. I am very sorry. Second, working with Ellie has been an absolute pleasure. I only see her in uniquely terrible circumstances, like Trump’s inauguration or CPAC, but even in such situations, she has a unique ability to see the absurd and surreal and spin it into wonderful stories. I’m going to miss Ellie’s unrivaled sense of the comical, her enduring hate for Ansel Elgort, her unrequited love for Lincoln Chafee, and persistent interest in the vegan community.
Ellie Shechet? Pfffffleave some vowels for the rest of us!!!!
Perhaps now I can safely admit that it took me far too long to learn how to correctly spell and pronounce Ellie’s last name, which is pronounced SHECK-it and NOT Sketch-it, Seck-it, or SHE-chet, all incorrect variations I have probably all said in my brain and perhaps even aloud (sorry Ellie!). I never cease to be amazed by how creative and funny her posts are, especially in a political news cycle that makes me want to bore a drill through my head nearly every day. Aside from myself, Ellie is the most petite member on staff, and in her petite-ness I saw a kindred spirit who only tall idiots would be dumb enough to underestimate. I will miss her and her fierce, petite energy.
A tremendous loss that I feel sick about. It’s like everything’s gone to shit, but instead of shit it’s gluten, which is even worse in many ways.
Ellie, you are literally the only human being on earth who has made a standing desk look even remotely tempting. I still haven’t used one, and likely never will, but for that I can’t help but salute you. You did the impossible, and I’ll never forget it. Also, I love your glasses. Sorry, this is a bad roast, I only have nice things to say!!!
I will miss Ellie’s beautiful writing and sweet demeanor very much—but I will also miss picking out/coordinating gluten free goodies for her at virtually every staff function and hovering over the Jez staff as they attempt to eat them and me saying, “Those are for Ellie!!!”
I first met Ellie Shechet when Emma Carmichael had me meet with her about an open editorial assistant position. My first impression of her was that she reminded me of a Pixar side character who fans think should get her own film. (That is still my impression.) When I think of Ellie, I think of two facial expressions I’ve only ever seen Ellie make: one is a sort of distressed but empathetic pitying look accompanied by raised eyebrows (when nothing is ok!). The other is an aggressively relaxed smile with closed eyes, often in drunken contexts (when everything is great!). As an editor and writer, Ellie was a joy to work with. She’s funny and strange and thoughtful and brilliant. As a person, Ellie is impossible to dislike. I hope she gets her own movie.
Can you ask Ellie to reuse the blurb I wrote her for that award we nominated her for that I can’t remember the name of? :)
[in a second email]
It was really nice I SWEAR.
I would like to use this space to issue a formal apology to Ellie for something that happened a few years ago at the old Gawker offices on Elizabeth Street.
Ellie: I’m sorry for slapping you in the face that night. Yes, we were playing a drinking game called, “Slapshots,” but did I adequately explain that to you or anyone else? Unclear. Anyway, sorreeee, hope you’re doing well!!!
Ellie is a beautiful neurotic and a naturally thoughtful person who fully and fastidiously invests in her stories. Her devotion to her work is the reason she was able to turn a single unconfirmed tip about Ted Cruz into one of the most revealing stories about him ever published anywhere, and why she was able to infiltrate and actually comprehend the complicated world of vegan YouTubers, and why she made a question about fireflies one of the most affecting climate change storiesI’ve ever read. She still hasn’t found Lincoln Chaffee and his stunning center part, but I am certain she will one day, and that they will have a really nice time together.
Many years ago, Ellie told her invisible boyfriend that her aspiration in life was to be internet famous. Now that I can finally share this video of her taking a swig of vodka and then getting slapped at a Gawker party in 2015, I think we’re one step closer. I really can’t wait to see her on the next season of Vanderpump.
One of the best things Ellie has ever done, besides fixating worryingly on poor Lincoln Chaffee, is try to chase down an unsettling sexual rumor about Ted Cruz. The rumor was—how do I put this—both horrible and a physical impossibility, but Ellie used it as an exploration of how a man who’s so loathed that his college classmates still can’t stop talking about it rose to such unlikely heights. I mean this as a compliment: I’ve had literal nightmares about that story.
Ellie’s ability to swan dive right into the worst imaginable shit (picturing Ted Cruz in the nude) will surely serve her well in whatever awful secondary career doing this has prepared us for. What is that? Literally what are any of us doing? Ellie, please tell me when you figure it out.
Ellie more like smelly
Has anyone done that yet
Ellie is proof that the very best political writing and reporting can be deeply felt, morally correct, and entirely batshit. Often all at once. She is one of my favorite writers, at Jezebel or anywhere, so leaving just as I started editing her was an incredible own and I respect her for it.
The nicest thing Ellie ever did for me was get a standing desk so I wouldn’t be the only one in the pod with one. But we both hated them and never used them. We thought we’d blog about it but then got bored by own thoughts about it. Here’s a taste of what could have been:
But that’s not what I’m here to say. This is: Ellie is probably my favorite living writer. I had the pleasure of editing a piece of hers last summer for which she visited Gatlinburg, Tennessee on the trail of the disappearing fireflies in that region. In the piece she expressed remorse, fear, beauty, and the perils of growing up and into our adult lives with more clarity than I think I’ve ever read. To explain how fireflies can be a bit of a “canary in a coal” mine in times of environmental trouble, she wrote that “When fireflies disappear from an area, it’s a visual note that something has gone wrong in that habitat.”
I think of Ellie in a similar way. She might describe this as a neurosis, but I think of her as having a sort of extra-sensory ability to see the world’s threats with unusual clarity, metabolize them, and then signal danger to the rest of us in a way that somehow manages to delight us all. Also, like a firefly, one end of her is a very bright color. She can go on for thousands upon thousands of words about vegans fighting, anxiety workbooks, or bugs, and I still want more. (Ask her about salmon fisheries next time you see her.) Ellie is truly a younger, hotter John McPhee.
Anyway, get Ellie in your habitat. She will light it up.
To know Ellie is to love her and also her collection of various ailments and dietary requirements. The most quintessential Ellie experience I can conjure occurred last July, when she, Joanna Rothkopf, Tara Jacoby and I were vacationing in San Juan. After making us all go to TWO separate restaurants so she could find a gluten-free/dairy-free dinner to her liking, Ellie proceeded to smoke an entire joint by herself while we waited in line for the club, then had a very predictable meltdown while trying to get a drink from the bar and made us all go back to the AirBnB just as I was convincing some extremely rich venture capitalists from New York to buy us drinks. (“Where do you live?” “Brooklyn. Where do you live?” “Columbus Circle.” OKAY ZADDY, hit me with the top shelf!)
In short, this betch is high maintenance and it’s a testament to how truly wonderful and weird she is that we even put up with all her shit!!! We’d do it for no one else, simply because we’re all so lucky to call her a friend. And also: because she’s one of the most brilliant, intuitive, effortless funny writers I’ve ever worked with; she will never accept it on her own terms, so hopefully once she gets a zillion book deals it will finally sink in. Love you the most, Ellie Shechet.
In April of this year, I had Ellie attend a Tribeca screening of the film Jonathan, starring her nemesis Ansel Elgort. The review turned out beautiful, but for some reason Ellie didn’t quite appreciate me for giving her such a rad assignment. She probably thinks I’m incredibly sad she won’t be on staff anymore, but the truth is I’m gonna haunt her. In the coming months, I plan to reach out to her for all future Ansel-related freelance work, in an effort to continue this journey. Who knows, maybe these two will cross paths at some point, if Ellie chooses to venture into music (though she cannot sing) or film. If so, he’ll see that she doesn’t really hate him, and that she is a kind and nervous soul who is funny beyond belief.
Lastly, since Ansel Elgort happens to follow me on Twitter, I reached out to him for comment on Ellie’s departure. He did not respond to my message as of the time of this post, but I will update you all if he does.
Goodbye forever and ever, Ellie, except when I have Ansel assignments for you. <3