"I don't believe in journalists having 'responsibility.'"
-Seth Lipsky, October 16, 2003

Seth Lipsky and Ira Stoll demanded on August 20, 2003, that Washington "finish the war" against "the Arabs."

Seth Lipsky and Ira Stoll assembled their staff for a Champagne toast to mass death on the commencement of hostilities against Iraq. Stoll called it "my war." CNN maintains a running update here of Americans killed in Ira's war.

On February 6, 2003, Seth Lipsky and Ira Stoll wrote, in all seriousness, of a pending anti-war demonstration that the "the New York City police could do worse, in the end, than to allow the protest and send two witnesses along for each participant, with an eye toward preserving at least the possibility of an eventual treason prosecution."

The June 9, 1995 Wall Street Journal quoted an SEC complaint against New York Sun backer Bruce Kovner as saying Kovner had "altered and destroyed" subpoenaed evidence. We wish you'd do the same to the daily print run of your God-awful newspaper, Bruce.

Also, Professor G. Harlan Reynolds alleged on August 27, 2002 - when the Sun was several months in publication - that Seth Lipsky and Ira Stoll had not yet paid him for a piece authored for their inaugural issue.

Friday, May 24, 2002

In observance of Memorial Day, The New York Sun will not publish on Monday. Their next issue will appear Tuesday, May 28. Likewise, Grady Olivier and Brad Olson will be taking the day off to enjoy one of their favorite pursuits.
Good to see Alicia P. Colon back with another apologia for child molesting priests. Today Colon writes of a priest, Father Nelson, accused of sexual abuse against a 12 year old girl. Colon, the former heart and soul of Staten Island, compares the accused, an Indian immigrant, to Al Qaeda terrorists based on his appearance. Because ‘they’ all look alike, I guess. Colon, whose Hispanic heritage causes her to resemble a FALN member, writes that she initially was ready to write off the two misdemeanor charges against the priest as "church bashing," but has her mind changed when informed that Brooklyn bishop Thomas Dailey has cut a deal with DA Charles Hynes to supply information on allegations to the DA’s office. So if the bishop says it’s OK, it’s OK with Colon, who still treasures her letter from Cardinal O’Connor, and who has never had troubles with any priest who has come to her home. She closes by hoping that the 12 year old accuser will, upon testifying at the priest’s trial, have "more luck than Kathleen Willey." Snap! Take that Clinton!

Where did you learn your trade...?

Also in The Sun, we get a James P. Bowman review, again starting on page one, as it should be (but how about ABOVE the fold for once, Seth? Give your best writer some respect!). Bowman’s got two reviews today, kicking off with his take on "The Importance of Being Earnest," followed inside by his review of "Enough." But of course, right over Bowman’s review, right there on the front page, we get a nice shot of Jennifer Lopez’ tits. I guess putting a picture of Rupert Everett on the cover would have been a bit too faggy for Seth P. Lipsky and Ira P. Stoll. But at least on the inside, where Bowman’s review continues, we get...another picture of Lopez. She looks kind of dykey, so maybe that covers Everett, too. Still, to set up my man Bowman this way is less than honorable.

Also note Nathan P. Lee’s thumbs down on Roman Coppola’s "CQ." What’s great about this is how Lee doubts "that Joe First Time Director would ever get to make a movie like 'CQ'" without family connections. I greatly enjoyed the way Mr. Lee put down those careerist, nepotistic Kovners. I mean Coppolas.
Nothing is nobler than to plant the flower of gratitude, as Robert G. Ingersoll said, on the grave of a generous man. In the present instance, we plant those flowers atop the grave of a woman - one Rachel P. Kovner, erroneously reported here as deceased some weeks ago. Allow us now to do service to Bruce Kovner's daughter, and to honor her properly.

On reading the May 22 edition of the Sun, we found Rachel reporting on the City's public schools, as opposed to her usual perambulations around the area's elite universities. Writing in her stead was a Red Chinamen who told us something or other about Yale. We took this to mean Rachel had been demoted for some reason, though, thoughtful folk we are, we decided against rushing this news to print, fearful we would again upset her legion fans as we did when we prematurely reported her departure from this veil.

Thursday came and we noted Rachel's absence altogether. That day's issue had pieces on a community's attempt to rid itself of an inadequate elementary school principal as well as a Rachel Donadio contribution on the man who singlehandedly ended the Cold War's pledge to fund New York City after-school programs. Nowehere in evidence was Daddy's Girl. Perhaps she was handed a one-day suspension or was laid up in hospital, we thought.

Today Anna Schneider-Mayerson covers heroic ground in a schools-themed piece that tells of an adolescent gang-bang in a Queens school's shit house. With such news breaking around her, Daddy's girl would surely have had her dad petition his paper for her reinstatement if she were suspended, and she would have left her sickbed against doctors orders. We can only conclude - this time with great certainty - that she has expired. Bruce Kovner, we're waiting for our intern to return from Barnes&Noble with a copy of Harding and Dyson's Book of Condolences: Classic Letters of Bereavement. Lazy men we are, we'll plagiarize a letter and send it to your offices at our earliest convenience.

Sleep well, young Rachel. You will be missed - especially on those lazy days when we don't want to have to look any further than your byline for something to ridicule.

That said, let us turn to a related matter. A man who has for the past several weeks volunteered his services as third-party fact checker to the Sun, Clay Risen, today, his last day on the battlefield, proves he is even worse at the job than Seth Lipsky and Ira Stoll. The Clay Blade says that for all our griping, Daddy's Girl "isn't a half-bad reporter." The error on his part is twofold: a more studious read of the paper would have clued him in to Rachel's likely death and urged him against applying the present form of 'to be' to the former Sun girl. The same attention to the late Ms. Kovner's output would have shown that she is actually an all-bad reporter.

Clay Blade, unlike Rachel P. Kovner, you will not be missed.

Thursday, May 23, 2002
Michael Moore, Howard Zinn, Susan Sontag, Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchill...Seth Lipsky?! Good God, the man joins the ranks of the "Blame America First" club with today's edition. On the front-page is a Timothy Starks piece on Congressman Anthony Weiner's suggestion that increased American aid to the Palestinians is contributing to the number of Israelis killed by terrorists. Accompanying the piece is a table listing both aid in dollars and deaths by year, assembled, no doubt, at taxpayer expense by a master statistician on Congressman Weiner's staff. Starks fails to ask three obvious questions:

1. When exactly, Mr. Congressman, did you come unglued?

2. The chart you submit, sir, treats just four years, and both series trend in the same direction. How, precisely, you Screech-looking motherfucker, were you graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh without acquiring even a rudimentary familiarity with basic statistics? Can you not see that your chart demonstrates neither correlation nor causality?

3. Congressman, sir, your chart tells us the Palestinians were given a total of $758,280,000, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, through which most aid to the Palestinians is paid, reports that the bulk of that aid is used specifically for improvements to civil infrastructure. Now, then, esteemed sir, given that Sharon is waging a campaign to inflict maximum damage upon that very infrastructure, would your considerable energies not be better spent serving the taxpayers by pursuing a claim against Israel for what is essentially willful destruction of American property?

Oh, and one question for Seth: why no companion editorial urging strikes against Washington?

Wednesday, May 22, 2002
We are in the uncomfortable position of finding ourselves allied with the Sun this afternoon. The administration, in our opinion, shouldn’t worry the hapless citizenry with its fear mongering, orange alerts, and talk of unspecified threats against unspecified locations on unspecified dates. Had we been called upon to guess, we would have ventured that the Sun would have supported – if not actually abetted – that fear mongering as a means to ratchet up the necessary anxiety that would permit a new war – preferably against some dirty rag-heads, though Cubans, as the Sun seems to be suggesting as of late, would do in a pinch. But our suppositions would have been wrong. The other New York dailies, save the Daily News, make front-page news of the FBI’s latest warnings. Even that Sheryl McCarthy-havening communist party organ Newsday does so, though the Sun is content to have an AP gravedigger bury the story on page three. How’s that for priority coverage of the City?

What does get pride of place? Rachel Donadio’s quest for the perfect couch. She’s gonna read Proust while upon it. Jesus Christ.

Now seems the perfect time to begin delivery of that advice on managing the Sun and increasing its readership we promised Seth Lipsky and Ira Stoll. Lads, make more use of Michael Steinhardt’s and Bruce Kovner’s rolodexes. Stories on the shakeups and the Bronfman and Federation System charities these past weeks may have been spoon-fed by the Sun’s backers. If so, they should go further. The Sun could rebrand itself as a tout sheet, with Chuck Brunie and Little Joe Reich picking stocks in the business section.

Exempt, of course, from public outing would be Roger Hertog, the dithering idiot who loaded up on Enron shares after the Securities and Exchange Commission began its investigation of the Houston behemoth and is now suing for rescission. There’s no need for him to feel disconsolate though, as he would still retain some use. He could be the go-to guy for the innumerable stories that emerge about his Alliance Capital Management, a collection of funds so awful even the most incompetent union pension manager would not now place a nickel under its superintendence. Today’s Post, actually, has a story on a most admirable fellow who relieved the laughable Hertog of $3.59 million. Amidst his other losses, Hertog could not have been expected to notice. Hertog. The man who shepherds $450 billion. The man who on buying a substantial stake in the magazine, said without irony that the New Republic was liberal. $450 billion in a money management seems to buy about the same as $20 million in New York publishing. End times are near, esteemed readers, though not for the reasons Bob Mueller and Seth Lipsky are scaring us with.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002
Alicia Colon, mother of six, writes brilliantly today, defending the right of the Catholic Church to cover up crimes committed by its employees. She writes sympathetically of Father Alfred Bietighofer, the priest who killed himself under a cloud of molestation charges last week. Now we’ll never know, Colon writes, whether the Right Reverend was "an innocent man unable to deal with false allegations," or "a homosexual priest who broke his priestly vows and then killed himself when his sins were revealed." Certainly, both his accusers are lying, and of course homosexuality is the only reason a priest would molest a child.

Alicia goes on to explain why the Vatican is "disapproving the precipitous response of American bishops to the abuse scandal." Ten to twenty to thirty years after the abuses happened is indeed precipitous, but the Vatican has always been slow-acting and secretive, Alicia writes, and "who can blame it? It has to deal with a most formidable and cunning enemy, and evil can take many forms." Part of the Vatican’s secrecy, Alicia tells us, stems from the Sacrament of Confession, "the seal which can never be broken," even under the laws of these here 50 states. See, if a molester priest confesses his sin to another priest, then the priest who hears the confession can never reveal that the molester molested, under any circumstances. Why, pedophile priests may even "take advantage of this by confessing their sins to their superior to ensure his silence"! Damnable crafty pedophiles! What’s the solution? She goes on to provide us with a scenario wherein a mother goes to a bishop and alleges that a parish priest is molesting her child. "Well, that’s simple, because pedophilia is a crime and should be reported to the police." So, it’s not the bishop’s responsibility, it’s the mother’s. (Although isn’t that what was happening? Parents complain to bishops, bishops tell parents not to worry, bishops transfer molester, molester molests some more, repeat as necessary?)

By the way, what exactly does your little "scenario" have to do with confession, you dingbat? Are you saying that the mother should go to the cops instead of the bishop on the off chance that the bishop heard the molester’s confession?

Anyway, Alicia concludes that a priest who has been diligently performing his duties "from his superior’s point of view deserves to have any allegations against him treated by the Church with caution and deference."

"Essentially the Vatican is telling the American bishops to treat the priests with more respect that they are afforded by the New York Times." Well, if I may, a little selection from my dusty old Catechism: "Preserving the common good of society requires rendering the aggressor unable to inflict harm. For this reason the traditional teaching of the Church has acknowledged as well-founded the right and duty of legitimate public authority to punish malefactors by means of penalties commensurate with the gravity of the crime."

That Catechism’s got some good stuff in it. Here’s another: "[Rape] always causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them."

Still, I got to hand it to you Alicia - that gibe at the Times? Snap! They’re gonna be reeling from that one! You know your old colleagues are eating that up!
The Sun betrays its position on the undesirable side of the sliding scale by accepting pro bono work from one Bill Wander. Mr. Wander submits an article-length letter, in which he “Defends the Honor of the Sun, Circa 1936.” The defense of honor comes as Wander corrects an ersatz historian who doubted a New York tavern’s claimed founding date, which was repeated by the old Sun. The piece itself is a squabble between self-important pursuers of arcana, and is as forgettable as that consultant who decamped the paper last week. The title, however, is yet another attempt on Seth Lipsky’s part to invest his fifth-rate paper with the mantle of the venerable old Sun.

I first caught The Sethmeister practicing this fraud in The Atlantic some months back, comparing himself favorably to the old Sun’s legendary editor, Charles Dana. In a reductive, if not inaccurate description of the revered old editor, Lipsky says, "Dana set the paper on a trajectory of limited government, equality under the law, free markets, pro-growth, strong foreign policy, integrity in government.” Dana, per Lipsky, was something of a proto Reagan who occupies the very first position in an evolutionary line that yields its most perfect specimen in say, Big Dick Gilder. While Dana, in typical crank fashion, became increasingly reactionary in his later life, Lipsky’s is a curious – slanderous, actually – depiction of the man. Unmentioned by Lipsky was Dana’s residence at the Brook Farm Phalanx, and his absolute refusal to depict human beings as anything but human. In this, the current Sun, with its disgraceful coverage of Palestine, could learn something from its predecessor.

Monday, May 20, 2002
We await the day the human brain, like an outmoded or non-working PC, can be sent back to the factory for a retrofit or correction. The Great Creator seems to have outfitted Ira Stoll and Seth Lipsky with grey matter hampered by flawed chemoreceptivity or neurological architecture, leaving them unable to achieve even the most obvious of inductions. Perhaps a brief study of basic Cartesian logic or even more basic Aristotelian induction would effect a reconsideration of their stance on the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

After repeated demonstrations of Israeli wrongings of Palestinians causing increased violence, Stoll and Lipsky offer up a bold solution: a more egregious wronging of Palestinians. The absurdity of their prescription is patent, and its inevitable outcome – a mounting body count on both sides – is horrifying. Would a television weatherman identify for his viewers an approaching isobaric low-pressure system and then assure them of dry, cloud-free days ahead, he would be cashiered immediately (or at least demoted to media commentator). Ditto for any number of professions where operation on the mistaken belief that X would cause the desired Y, proved in repeated practice to actually cause the disastrous Z. Newspaper editors are apparently exempted from basic measures of competence, as Stoll and Lipsky reaffirm their belief – with increased assiduity – daily that the Palestinians must be punished.

Worse is that they seem to be compiling an ever-lengthening list of bad boys due punishment. Friday’s editorial – proceeding from a dubious understanding of America’s susceptibility to “weapons of mass destruction” – ratified the President’s discontinuous Axis of Evil. Today the paper goes after that notorious Al-Qaeda redoubt – Cuba. The Sun moves well beyond tragedy and farce, reaching disgrace (if you are charitable) or actual evil (if you are realistic). The paper engages in the most obscene display of credulity we’ve ever witnessed, allowing R. H. Sager to quote Bob Menendez, a maniac in the Jorge Mas Canosa mold vis-à-vis Cuban questions, calling Fidel Castro a terrorist - unchecked - while repeating that designation in the article's headline. The Axis hereby expands, with Stoll and Lipsky rubbing their hands together fervently while fantasizing over the thought of bombs falling on Havana.


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