"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 25, 2002
 
I was going to post a response to a new Andrew Sullivan atrocity in today's Sun, but (of all people) Mickey Kaus sums up what I was going to say pretty well. (Of course, Kaus wrote his piece last night based, I'm guessing, on Sullivan's having written his piece for his website; today's New York Sun continues its time-honored 6-month tradition of of making its readers pay for material that is free on other sources.)

On an unrelated note, the death of Paul Wellstone is a real tragedy. He represented the best of what the Midwest has to offer.

Thursday, October 24, 2002
 
Rachel Donadio's quest for the perfect couch appears to have taken her to Broome Street. No word on whether she bagged her quarry, though she reports locating an objectionable art installation where "visitors can shoot an air pistol at video images of women and girls projected onto a paper bull’s eye." Ms. Donadio has viewers calling the display "upsetting, even shocking," though the artist responsible claims the work "is not endorsing violence."

Unlike the paper for which Ms. Donadio writes, which has urged assaults on the people of Saudi Arabia, and which is delighted of the prospect of the iminent slaughter of Iraqis. Though we can't imagine Seth and Ira ever saying of the losers of the upcoming daisy cutter vs. peasant bout: "“I guess that as a target I didn’t really relate it to a person...It felt a little weird.”

Also in today's issue, Uncle Travelling Benjamin Smith (a/k/a Magellan) has also donned his walking shoes. He seems to have made it all the way to City Hall, his farthest journey to date. Unless he merely made a phone call.

Wednesday, October 23, 2002
 
Seth and Ira continue to run headlong down the path of stupidity. They write today of the aftermath of the war they demand on the Iraqi people that "When victory is at hand in the Gulf and a friendly government accedes at Baghdad, there is going to be a divvying up of the spoils. Not in the old fashioned sense of carrying off the chariots and spouses of the defeated host, but in the sense of participating in the development and the rebuilding of the liberated country."

You know, 'cause we're good at that rebuildin' stuff.
 
Today sees the return of that delightful and anonymous "STAFF REPORTER OF THE SUN" to activity on the paper's website, firing recklessly at the New York Times. The "news" piece opens as follows:
During the Vietnam war, the publisher-to-be of the New York Times, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., was asked by his father about a hypothetical situation. “If a young American soldier comes upon a North Vietnamese soldier, which do you want to see get shot?”

The way the story is told in a recent history of the Times by Susan Tifft and Alex S. Jones, the young publisher-to-be replied: “I would want to the see the American get shot.”
We of course would rather no one were shot, though the prospect of everyone escaping injury when Seth and Ira yield to hysteria and order their troops - who, plainly ashamed of their officers, here refuse to give their names, ranks, and serial numbers - to fire so.

The piece concerns the sole control of the International Herald Tribune won by the Times over the Washington Post, a former partner in the venture. Michael Steinhardt states through the anonymous intermediary that "Others are speculating that the acquisition of control by the Times company may also put a major overseas newspaper into the hands of a company that has been taking a sharply more left-wing stance on American foreign policy than that of the Washington Post." We find the charge as unconvincing now as Jeff Cohen found it in 1989, and a better case could be made that the apparent leftward drift of the Times vis-a-vis the Post is the result of the rightward drift of the latter.

We frankly doubt the addition of Howell Raines to the executive chambers of the Times resulted in significant changes at all, though it seems patent that the addition of Andrew Sullivan to Michael Steinhardt's bestiary has effected a dramatic shift towards the ridiculous.
 
Though we offer little evidence of it on the site, Like Father Like Sun does receive its share of mail. Most are demented, sub-coherent rants - often containing veiled and unveiled threats against myself and Brad Olson and family - and we confess to enjoying these most.

More seldom, something arrives which tickles us in a different manner. Yesterday, for instance, word arrived that a Seth and Ira co-production, "The Direction of Change' [sic] Part II," was riddled with factual and conceptual error, and riddled in the proper sense, not the Daphna Berman sense. This surprised us little, considering that Seth and Ira have been writing for years from an abyss of error - doing so without prospect of, or even interest in, rescue. Being a somewhat recently arrived Maori-American, my grasp on American jurisprudence is shaky, and Brad Olson is overly occupied with his numerous business enterprises to devote due attention to our letter-writer's claims, one of which we excerpt below. It's too bad Seth and Ira fell from G. Harlan Reynold's good graces by allegedly shafting him for a piece he prepared. Professor Reynolds' counsel may have spared them further embarrassment by urging against writing:
This time, Justice Stevens’ logic did not prevail, though a denial of a petition for a writ of certiorari doesn’t follow a full hearing of a case. Why, exactly, is not clear on account of the lack of a majority opinion.
Our correspondent charges Seth and Ira's piece with the deficient and defective legal learning typical of something "authored by a freshman undergrad." It is, in the correspondent's telling, obvious that the "denial of a cert petition of certiorari doesn't follow a full hearing of a case," as Seth and Ira state: "The petition is the thing that asks for the full hearing," i.e., that "full hearing can only follow the petition." The correspondent further notes that as cert denials serve merely to allow the previous ruling to stand, there is little point in issuing a majority opinion. Indeed, "cert denials are rarely if ever accompanied by a majority opinion."

We are of course unable to evaluate claims such as the rarity of the preparation of majority opinions with cert denials, but the remainder seems logically rigorous. Surely one thing precedes the next, just like Seth's launch of the Sun must precede the Sun's failure. It's as much a matter of logical necessity as a continuation of established trends.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002
 
Seth and Ira continue to race their moronathon, and whoever filed today's "The Direction of Change' Part II," (love the superfluous punctuation, Seth) clearly commands a formidable lead. Within Seth and/or Ira - it's difficult to differentiate between the two - gloats over the increasingly atrophied sense of justice, the worsening appreciation of humanity, and the ever more defective reasoning found amongst the Supremes. The editorialist seems generally gleeful over the prospect of two condemned men swinging from a yard arm, glad that, in Justice Thomas' words, "jurisprudence [will] not impose foreigns moods, fads, or fashions," i.e., a more perfect advancement of what is right, just, and compassionate, "on Americans."

It's a rarity to encounter such naked and unashamed reactionism, especially given the cases under consideration. Thanks, Seth and Ira, for treating us to so enthusiastic an espousal of genuine, unambiguous opposition to moral-human progress.

Monday, October 21, 2002
 
In today’s New York Sun, Rachel Donadio casts aside her couch-hunting efforts to bring her readers an expose so shocking, so serious, so earth-shattering, that I need to give it its own sentence:

Robert Ludlum. . . . is DEAD!

Sunday, October 20, 2002
 
Excuse us, dear readers, for neglecting to give due consideration to Norah Vincent's inaugural attempt at providing what she called - in a now deleted post to her collection of prejudices - "a salubrious corrective to the sinistral misinformation campaign being waged in the academy" for the readers of the New York Sun. Quite frankly, Brad Olson and I, both unable to see a single tree through Norah Vincent's forest of prolixity, cannot judge her success. Dull leftist plods we are, born low and posessed of insufficient vocabularies, we can't figure out what the hell Norah Vincent is trying to say.

When Mark Twain prepared a bill of Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses, he charged Cooper with 114 of 115 possible transgressions against literary art. I don't recall Twain stating what the 115th, which eluded Cooper, was, though Norah Vincent has surely broken it in "THE LEFT'S NEW STRATEGY TO REINVENT ITSELF ON CAMPUS." It's that bad. The only certainties that we concluded on reading the piece were that Norah Vincent thinks little of college students and their faculty for reason, and that Norah Vincent is outraged over certain professors presuming to insert themselves into the mainstream of dialogue on the issue of the Palestinians and their continuing disenfranchisement. Enumerating Cooper's eighth violation, Twain urged that "crass stupidities shall not be played upon the reader," though Norah Vincent wilfully and egregiously violates this command.

But that violation ranks low in severity relative to Norah Vincent's other transgressions. Synonym Finder clutched firmly, Norah Vincent files her piece in contemptuous disregard of the following:

12. Say what [she] is proposing to say, not merely come near it.

13. Use the right word, not its second cousin.

14. Eschew surplusage.

15. Not omit necessary details.

16. Avoid slovenliness of form.

17. Use good grammar.

18. Employ a simple and straightforward style.

If she had heeded the above, she would have risked comprehension. As is, her piece is all but impenetrable to examination, her closest approach to clarity coming when she derides Noam Chomsky and those affiliated with Not In My Name as "looney luminaries of the far left." An admirable effort at engaging a situation of grave severity. But this is the New York Sun, where such imbecility is prized and promoted aggressively. We thought that the Sun couldn't have done any worse for an education corresponant than when backer Bruce Kovner's daughter Rachel was given the spot. Seth and Ira's combined genius for delivering something even worse grows...

We'll try next week to mine Norah Vincent's offering for any recondite sense, though we're certain to fail. If only she employed that relatively clear prose she apparently reserves for threatening ideological opposites with lawsuits we'd fare better.

 

 
   
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