"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, October 11, 2002
 
Seth and Ira flaunt their disingenuity today as they "Welcome [us] to the Fight," though it's unclear whether the fight they refer to is the present rush amongst Democrats to see who can capitualte before the war party the fastest or whether the fight refers to the disgusting war against the people of Iraq that the Sun's been after since Michael Steinhardt breathed life into the sickening enterprise.

We love when they write of their preference for the "restoration of democracy in Iraq under the free government in exile encompassed by the Iraqi National Congress" as if the Iraqi people had actually shown at some point that they wanted anything to do with the organization. As Seth and Ira ceaselessly remind us, Iraq is a dictatorship, so have no idea what a democratically selected regime in Iraq would look like, though the opinion of Iraq's neighbors re: the Iraqi National Congress are clear.

They close the piece affirming their delight that "the attention of our military planners can be turned to the next of our enemies." Us, too. We too deplore heavy-handed interference with the work of those trying to document the stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction, and we find it wholly unacceptable that a state use chemical weaponry against its own citizens. We look forward to future Sun advertorials (written on behalf of the nauseating plutocrats backing the paper) urging war against the loose cannons in question.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002
 
Rachel Donadio's quest for the perfect couch is again derailed, her irresistible Internet Tendency again getting the better of her. Working Google overtime, Ms. Donadio overwrites a summation of the material warehoused by Matt Drudge showing a dim-witted celebrity including a bunk Shakespeare quote in a speech. Some pedestrian observations ("The lines have blurred. If Washington became Hollywood during the Clinton soap opera, then for Democrats under Bush, Hollywood has become Washington") and the perfunctory call to an area Shakespeare scholar and a rightwing think tank fill the piece out.

The numbers:

1,160 - total word count

111 - sum total of words excerpted from bunk quote

3 - appearances of the phrase "on her Web site"

0 - substantive, non-inane thoughts

1 - demonstration of colossal ignorance on the part of self-identified "liberal Democrat" Columbia professor James Shapiro. The relevant passage:
"As a liberal Democrat, what saddens me is I don't see my party saying what's so obviously wrong and so obviously corrupt about the government strategy right now," the professor said.

"You have to go to invented 'Julius Caesar' rather than your congressional leaders to find a language to hold this up," he said. "It's terrible!"
The good professor may not find him persuasive, though we think Senator Robert Byrd is doing an admirable job demonstrating obvious corruption:
Think for a moment of the precedent that this resolution will set, not just for this President but for future Presidents. From this day forward, American Presidents will be able to invoke Senate Joint Resolution 46 as justification for launching preemptive military strikes against any sovereign nations that they perceive to be a threat. Other nations will be able to hold up the United States as the model to justify their military adventures. Do you not think that India and Pakistan, China and Taiwan, Russia and Georgia are closely watching the outcome of this debate? Do you not think that future adversaries will look to this moment to rationalize the use of military force to achieve who knows what ends?
Yet the professor fails to see his "party saying what's so obviously wrong and so obviously corrupt" about Bush's worsening mania, which Byrd's speech is plainly "holding up." Is he aware of events not happening on the campus of Columbia?

Monday, October 07, 2002
 
Seth and Ira, as expected, deploy a drone to discredit opposition to unelected microcephale Bush's threatened war against Iraq. Daphna Berman was sent on a recon mission to Central Park to practice a bit of that famed New York Sun brand of unbiased journalism, observing the anti-war demonstration in progress yesterday . The imbecility begins almost immediately.

First, citing unspecified "estimates," Ms. Berman notes that the "protesters in New York ranged between 3,000 and 10,000." Actually, estimates available to Ms. Berman and her editors in advance of the piece's publication ran much higher: an October 6 AP wire item gave organizers as numbering the demonstrators at "at least 20,000." Ms. Berman does not explain in her piece why this estimate was not included in her range, nor does she give the source of the 3,000 estimate; we have found no other outlet retailing it. Perhaps Ms. Berman mistakenly seized upon the attendance estimate for the Los Angeles protest, which was indeed 3,000.

The substance of Ms. Berman's piece - headlined "Park Peace Protest Is Riddled With Anti-Semitism" - is what is most exceptionable. A reader relying solely on her article would be given to believe that the demonstration was a Concordia riot if not an actual Nuremberg Rally. Ms. Berman takes dutiful note of who was wearing a kaffiyeh, and who was saying what about Israel. In a piece reporting a major demonstration which "drew a larger crowd than similar gatherings in the early 1960's" as the New York Times noted, just 179 of the 761 words are devoted to answering questions of who what where and when. The remainder is a transcription purporting to document the anti-Semitism allegedly riddling the protest.

But Ms. Berman finds only one blatant anti-Semite. Several questionable remarks are recorded ("the international financiers have their hooks in everything," noted one man, though Ms. Berman omits the words preceding the statement, providing ellipses instead of context), as are several unfavorable characterizations of Israel and Israeli policy. "There are powerful Jewish people in the nation - wealthy lawyers and bankers. They control a lot of the money and Bush doesn't want them to be upset," Ms. Berman has one protester as saying. While we here at LFLS will leave the empirical validity of the protestor's claim to the social scientists, we must note the protestor's age: 15. Were there no adults Ms. Berman could approach?

The reality of all grassroots movements is that they comprise adherents of every stripe, from the bigoted a-hole located by Ms. Berman to the respectable church-goer. It's more than a great shame that Ms. Berman didn't include any of the latter in her piece, it's a wilful and disingenuous omission. One would think that if anti-Semitism so thoroughly riddled the protest, others would have reported on it. After all, a reporter failing to note so outrageous a salient feature would be unworthy of his position. The biased folks at the Times, of course, made no mention of it in their treatment of the event. Neither did the Columbia Spectator, which lent the Sun The Major, also a Fedora-fan, some months back. USA Today, likewise, was silent on what Ms. Berman, Seth, and Ira assure us was widespread anti-Semitism. Ditto for Newsday. In a fit of self-loathing, Mort Zuckerman presumably forbid mention of the rampant anti-Semitism in his Daily News. The above AP report didn't deal with the widespread hatred, neither did the report compiled by the notorious anti-Semites of the Agence France Presse. Which of course isn't to say that it wasn't there, only that the reporters attached to the aforementioned papers and organizations are remarkably derelict in their duties.

What a lovely way to marginalize dissent, Daphna Berman.

Sunday, October 06, 2002
 
Sorry, dear readers, for our general inactivity of late. The pattern will likely hold through the upcoming week, as both Brad Olson and I are vacationing. Alas, the Sun is unavailable where we are presently quartered, though the Financial Times, from which Seth lifts his wife's column, does reach us.

Calamity Shlaes continued to mine her bottomless pit of stupidity and mischaracterization for her 800+ words of deep, deep thought. She was again writing about nation building, this time having the audacity to characterize the threatened war against the Iraqi people as "valuable" provided one adopts her "radical democratic" schema. Amity shows early in the piece that she subscribes to the most debased sort of democracy imaginable: one that is plainly anti-democratic. She does this by suggesting we served the Afghanis with with the "conquest of Afghanistan and the revival of its democratic institution, the loya jirga." Now she wants us to make more friends in Iraq and Lebanon with similar interventions. Amazing.

 

 
   
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