"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, December 13, 2002
More losers in the LFLS office pool today: sorry cultural editor Robert and circulation director Catherine, better luck next year!

And another loser on the New York Sun editorial page as well: Steven Zak, identified as “a screenwriter in Los Angeles.” Mr. Zak (who occasions no hits in the Internet Movie DataBase) longs for the days when Hollywood really knew how to go after America’s enemies: “Between December 1, 1941 [supposed to be a comma here, isn’t there, Mr. Screenwriter?] and July 24, 1942, [ah, there’s one] we made 72 war features. Wes todd ready to stamp out evil, and we made our our films accordingly.” Where, the future Oscar winner wonders, are the films in which “Islamic fascists” are the bad guys? He does find some relief on television’s ‘24’, which features “the search for a nuclear bomb thought to have been planted by Middle Eastern terrorists. It is encouraging that an American audience finally seems ready to see militant Islam play the role of the bad guy.” Ready at last, ready at last, thank God Almighty, ready at last!

It’s weird, but I feel like I do remember seeing a movie featuring brutal Afghan warlords in it. . .
I had trouble posting yesterday, so here's yesterday's post today. (Sort of like the Sun does when it publishes old Internet stories days later.) Just mentally change "today" to "yesterday" and it should make sense:

Even when they get it right, they get it wrong. In an editorial today, Seth comes down on the side of those calling for Trent Lott to remove himself from the position of Senate Republican leader. (Personally, I hope Lott stays, as he makes a convenient representation of the evils of his party, but I digress.) Of course, Seth does nothing exceptional here; conservatives have been piling on Lott for days (surely not in a callow attempt to portray themselves as caring, decent individuals concerned about their fellow man, even though they just think it makes the GOP look bad; damn, digressing again. . . ). However, Seth just can't resist his tendencies for self-servitude (the Times is against Kissinger's appointment as head of the September 11 investigation because "he is a director of Hollinger International Inc., the newspaper company that is one of the proprietors of The New York Sun"?) In today’s example, Seth invoked the name of Charles Dana, who "quit - or was ousted from - Horace Greeley's New York Tribune because he wanted Greeley to take a harder line in 1862 in favor of what was called Lincoln's war and against slavery. . . . After the war, [Dana] put together a group to acquire The New York Sun, which he served with great distinction as an owner and the editor from 1868 until his death in 1897. The principles he illuminated - broadly inclusive, in favor of growth for all - are among the reasons a new generation reached for the flag of the newspaper he built." I'm not that familiar with Mr. Dana, so I can't assume that utter hatred for the poor was also among those principles. But I would be willing to bet that it wasn't.

Still, Seth's Charles Dana mention does serve as a warm-up for ANOTHER Dana reference that is sure to come in the next few days! (Sorry, LFLS typesetter Annie, December 12 was just too early!)
Seth and Ira irresponsibly add fuel to the fire started by Brad Olson two days back, delivering a mini-lecture on Chas. Dana's antipathy to racism. They needlessly and quite clumsily invoke the name of their own paper - actually, the name they reclaimed from more interesting forebearers who could write better - in a piece nominally about Trent Lott. Though venturing that Lott may be the wrong man to serve as Majority Leader, they note that under him, "Condoleezza Rice serves as national security adviser," which is as nearly as big a victory in the continuing battle for racial equality as the O.J. Simpson acquittal.

Yesterday they began an advertorial, "Across the country, far-sighted political leaders are destroying public housing projects."

To their credit, they're featuring Jim J. Bowman's superb film reviews on their website, sparing us the humiliation of an encounter with Jason Riley and/or Nathan Lee, the pair of flaccid hunt-and-peckers normally dispatched to cover movies.

Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Let the office pool begin!

For some time now, the New York Sun has been running a regular feature/space filler called 75 (or 100, or whatever) Years Ago in the Sun, in which Seth and Ira pretend that their embarrassing little waste of wood pulp has some connection to the fabled paper whose name they stole. Now that Thanksgiving is over, and the Christmas season is getting into swing, the LFLS staff figures it is only a matter of time before the Poachers-in-chief recycle the item that the Golden Age Sun (as opposed to the current Dirt Age Sun) is best known for: the Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus editorial of 1897. We at Like Father, Like Sun have started a little office pool in which the entrants are attempting to guess, 1.) on what day the Sun will run the piece, and 2.) how egregious Seth and Ira will be in claiming ownership of the storied chestnut. The first category is easy enough to judge (I can’t help but pity our poor copyboy Clem, who chose Christmas Day, although he should know by now that there is no way the Sun will put out an issue on a holiday, major or minor). The tough part is anticipating how bad Seth and Ira’s appropriation of this Christmas classic will be. We have decided on a scale of 1 (something along the lines of “The people who ran The New York Sun over a hundred years ago, a paper with which we have no affiliation. . .”) through 10 (“Here is a timeless holiday treasure written by our predecessor as editor. . . “).

First prize? A brand new Cadillac. Second prize? A set of steak knives. Third prize is . . .

Tuesday, December 10, 2002
I hate to repeat myself a la Seth and Ira, but Brad Olson's otherwise fine post, below, neglected to mention that Mark Steyn is a plagiarist. Demonstrations of his Michael Steinhardt-worthy practices have been noted by here and here.
Seth and Ira, ordinarily prodigal of patently illiterate and ill-conceived commentary, outdo themselves today, just as they have since Friday. The past three days in fact have seen the the duo furiously raise the ante in their stupidity stakes.

The already formidably high bar for lunacy at the paper was cleared with relative ease by Timothy Starks on December 6, a date which will live in infamy, when he authored a piece on an alleged fund raising misdeed on the part of the rightfully elected president of the United States. Seth and Ira saw fit to headline the piece, "Gore in Funding Flap in Red China," as if calling China "Red" were a key piece of information or even accurate. Would a reputable newspaper - or one even concerned with simply not coming across as ridiculous - have headlined an article on Sun backer Michael Steinhardt's illegal trading activities ("theft," to us normal, semi-intelligent types) "Morbidly Obese Financier Hauled Before Bar"? Such a characterization would only be germane in an article such as "Morbidly Obese Steinhardt Comes Within 5 Corn Fritters of Clearing Salad Bar at Sizzler," though the likelihood of Steinhardt actually renouncing his membership in the clean plate club is remote, and such a piece will, as a result, never see publication.

But that was the sanest effort catalogued on the Sun's website last Friday. The Manhattan Institute advertorial ("Closing the Gap") was dumber by far. Within Seth, Ira, and/or the heirs, assigns, and ghostwriters urged the dissolution of the Medicaid program as a means of "creating [a] savings of $5.7 billion for the system." Never mind that the warblog's paper's backing plutocrats essentially are the system, Seth and Ira see this bold move as a means of closing the budget gap without having to raise taxes. Our spies tell us that the editorial tag team are readying a nifty proposal to scrap all public goods and institute a fine bellum omni contra omnes under which business - and speculators - can flourish without having to fund all those burdensome public goods upon which many depend - and that render the City as a desirable place to live and transact business.

On Monday, Seth and Ira's Bogus Journey saw them to the outer reaches of Moronia, from where they filed "Another Kind of Contract." In the past Seth and Ira have demanded strict obedience to the law, regardless of the law's dubiety. Seth and Ira, sworn foes of the workingman's right to secure a livelihood through collective social action, championed the Taylor Law, at least insofar as it prevents the Transport Workers Union to strike.

It's amazing how easy it is to picture Seth and Ira, alive in the 19th century and obeying the law, running down and returning fugitive slaves.

Also on Monday, Seth and Ira commissioned a piece on the arts whose headline could well serve as an epitaph - either to the Sun or to Seth Lipsky or Ira Stoll personally.

Today the numskulls order Matthew Sweeney to open up a new front against the Transport Workers Union, telling of the "Mayor’s Doomsday Plan" which, horror unimaginable, includes an expanse of mass transit. As we've been noting recently, Seth and Ira are in the uncomfortable position of having their resource-and-thoughtpower-impoverished paper beg, borrow, and cite insights and supporting factuals from the competition, to which they stand in affirmed opposition. Sweeney today quotes one Sam Schwartz, whom he fails to identify as a Daily News columnist. This demonstrated inability to bring original material to the table suggests a serious failure of the paper making coverage of the City a priority. "They’ll work it out...They’re New Yorkers," Sweeney quoted the mayor as saying in re: the possible strike. If only Seth and Ira were too. Alas, they're from Great Barrington and the Worcester Academy, respectively, and the Sun, at launch, could only boast only Rachel P. Kovner (the daughter of a billionaire who no doubt enjoyed a typical New York upbringing) and our beloved Alicia Colon as native talents. If there be substance to Bloomberg's pronouncement, then the Sun be doomed.

Today's "War Factor" may rank as the most offensive and disingenuous piece of reporting ever featured in the Sun. It's also one of the most poorly executed. Please click the link, read, re-read, and then tell me that it isn't the effort of an eight-grader. Youth or a heroic apple pie and J. P. Sousa speedball are the only excuses imaginable for something as imbecilic as the following: "But if we retreat, the terrorists will no doubt see it as a sign of weakness. Their true goal is to kill or convert all the 'infidels' and change America to a society governed by strict Islamic law. So it’s unlikely that any American concessions will stop the terrorist onslaught. Only destroying the terrorists and spreading democracy and freedom to the countries that breed them will make us safe." CFR: Here I come!

The pre-pube author of the piece notes that a less than comprehensive destruction of the Axis of Evil (i.e., the people of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea) could "cause a short-term shock to the oil market." No doubt Rachel Kovner's dad - a petro speculator who owns a handful of oil tankers to "better understand" the market - is betting on it.

Monday, December 09, 2002
Lots of fun in the Sun today. First, and most importantly: Alicia Colon is back! All of our fears were apparently for naught, as Alicia came roaring back in today’s paper, alternately criticizing and lauding the recently departed Daniel Berrigan. Another classic “What exactly is Alicia trying to say?” column. Welcome back, Alicia!

Elsewhere on the editorial page, “Skid” Mark Stain, er, Steyn, wishes a Happy 100th birthday to Strom Thurmond. (His Sun column is available here, somehow miraculously reprinted in the Chicago Sun-Times of A DAY EARLIER! I think Seth and Ira may have mastered the mysteries of time travel.) To Steyn (actually, I guess I do mean Stain), the fact that Thurmond filibustered a civil rights bill in 1957 makes for a charming anecdote; the fact that Thurmond fooled around with an about to be executed murderess is an example of rakery rather than, well, disgusting; Thurmond’s penchant for sexual harassment is a quaint throwback to times past. Somehow Stain forgot to mention Thurmond’s segregationist history, but you can only fit so much of a horrible human being’s 100 years of shame into one column, right SkidMark?


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