"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.

 
 
   
 
Saturday, February 01, 2003
 
Not only do we receive mail, we often send it. We're awaiting a reply to the below. It should arrive shortly after Ira Stoll's acceptance letter.
Dear Hendrik Hertzberg:

In the December 6-13, 2001, Boston Phoenix, you were quoted as saying Seth Lipsky could make the New York Sun "lively, he can make it intelligent, and he can go way, way up-market with it, with a raffish edge." Obvious to all, this is defiantly not the case at present. I ask the following:

1. Is it more of a failure or a refusal on Seth Lipsky's part to produce a readable, much less intelligent and up-market, paper?

2. What do you feel are the reasons behind this failure/refusal?

Thank you for your attention.

-G.O.
Personally, we think Seth would make better weather of it if he relieved himself of the dead weight hanging so heavily around his neck. It certainly wouldn't harm his The Manhattan Institute's paper any.

Friday, January 31, 2003
 
Holy shit!

So everyone is likely aware by now that the White House cancelled a poetry symposium after it became apparent that the poets invited to the symposium were going to turn the event into a protest against the looming war in Iraq. The Sun put ace reporter Rachel Donadio onto the story, and Rachel turned in another of her gems. But our problem isn’t with Rachel’s reportage; the crazy thing about this story is the headline:

“Poets Against Freeing Iraq Are Disinvited by White House” (scroll down)

“Poets against freeing Iraq”? And here I thought they were going to protest a war. Has ANY paper (outside of the New York Post) EVER worn its biases so prominently on its sleeve? Or more specifically on its front page, where this “story” appears?

SethAndIra have truly lost their shit, and along with it any pretense whatsoever about being objective in their news coverage.
 
More squalor in SethandIranistan (as a LFLS reader called it). Today's online editorial sets out to shame Omar Mohammedi, general counsel of the New York chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, by listing the least defensible pronouncements of CAIR and its functionaries. Seth and Ira, it seems, are purporting to show that Mr. Mohammedi fully and necessarily endorses each and every one by virtue of his position as counsel.

We wonder, then, how Seth and Ira account for their gleeful publication of Alan Dershowitz's sad attack on Noam Chomsky. Dershowitz, after all, championed O.J. Simpson and Klaus Von Bulow, both very credibly accused of brutal spousal murders. Lipsky and Stoll, by extension, uphold a man's (well, a rich man's anyway) fundamental right to solve marital problems by offing his better half. Amity had better sleep with one eye open! Ditto for Rosie Stoll (nee Palm) and her five sisters.

Thursday, January 30, 2003
 
An Avid Reader wrote in yesterday, expressing hope that we would attack the Sun’s take on the State of the Union address. Sadly, Grady Olivier was otherwise engaged all day and thus unable to write anything. I myself was busy tending to business, training a new employee on the Sunquest Pro 16SE (with the Bio-Tech tunnel design), and didn’t manage anything other than the below entry. Sorry, Avid Reader; even so, I doubt our best efforts could have outdone your own work. (A.R. likened The Sun’s treatment of “President” Bush’s speech to an oral favor, and in the most poetic of terms.)

Wednesday, January 29, 2003
 
Today Lauren Mechling introduced us to Marc Hartzman who has “taken to posting fake job listings on Web sites like Monstertrak.com and Craigslist.com.” Ms. Mechling quotes Mr. Hartzman as saying, “It entertains me. I’m fascinated by the idea that no matter what I think of, there are people who seem to want to do it.” It is enlightening to know that the Sun’s (or Ms. Mechling’s) idea of humor is some fuckwit posting fake job listings during a time of rising unemployment.

Tuesday, January 28, 2003
 
More curiosities from Adam Daifallah today. In a throwaway line, he writes, "Anti-American protests occurred in various counties yesterday, including Syria, Egypt, Bahrain and Germany." Compare that to the opening paragraph of this AP piece:
Thousands of Arabs burned American flags and effigies of President Bush in protests held in front of U.N. and U.S. missions in several Middle East nations Monday to denounce U.S. plans to wage war on Iraq.

Yemeni security officials said tens of thousands of protesters converged on the capital, San`a, while smaller protests--varying from 100 people to several thousand--were staged in Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Sudan and Bahrain.
So far, so good. In Syria and Egypt, home to evil Islamofascist terrorists and their enthusiastic supporters, opposition to America's coming war against Iraq often equals opposition to America. Not so elsewhere, even within the Islamic world. From the end of the AP report:
On the tiny Gulf island of Bahrain, home to a U.S. naval base that could play a major role in any war on Iraq, some 100 mostly student demonstrators released white pigeons and balloons into the air at an anti-war rally.

"We want to tell America and the world that we want peace ... and to spare the poor Iraqi people,'' 24-year-old student Lamya al-Shuwaik said at the rally outside U.N. offices in Bahrain's capital, Manama.
I watched extended footage of the Bahrain protest. There was one "Death to America" placard versus several dozen calling for peace. Songs calling for same were sang. This seems more an anti-war than anti-American rally. The German protests, according to this AP treatment, were explicitly against war, not America. But, hey, if you wanna call it anti-Americanism, that's fine by Brad Olson and I.

It seems then that anti-war = anti-America, from which war = America is easily derived. This is the overly facile equation common among the Islamofascists and their good buddies on the left, at least according to Seth and Ira, Hitchens, various warbloggers, and the lesser minds of the right. Amazing that Seth and Ira subscribe to it in modified form.
 
The reader who declared me brain dead writes again re: my earlier proposal to retain Ira Stoll as editor of the present site:
What? Are you seriously considering depriving me of my fun? No fair! Why I could even do the editor bit myself for free! (If I had the time, of course). Please continue as before. I promise to never, ever, send you another smart-ass email. (Next one will be a smart-alecky one.)
Your fears are groundless, dear reader. With Ira editing LFLS, you'd find seven times as many errors, at least. Under Stoll's editorial watch we've seen the publication of self-authored pieces missing indefinite articles and even the misspelling of his columnists' names. This says nothing about his performance on the assignment end, which though a non-factor in the arrangement we propose, has been dreadful. No, my friend, the addition of Ira to the LFLS staff would in no way diminish the fun you derive from writing letters pointing out misspellings and the like. Occasions for such letter-writing would certainly multiply, and those letters would continue to find gracious receipt.

We appreciate your kind offer and continued correspondence.

Monday, January 27, 2003
 
The New York Sun’s version of page one news: “Oldest New Yorker Has Smoked Most of Her 109 Years.” Sigh.

Meanwhile, a faithful reader writes in agreeing with our celebration of the talents of Errol Louis, and adding prayers that Mr. Louis someday finds himself at a publication worthy of his talents. Your humble servants Olivier and Olson (which, not coincidentally, was the name of our short-lived late-70s comedy act) have contacted friends in the news business to see if they can lend Mr. Louis a hand. Furthermore, we have also spoken with other friends in the media industry to see if they would possibly be interested in hiring SethAndIra.
 
Adam Daifallah continues to paint by Seth Lipsky's numbers. Today's admission that "White House Planning Stalls for Post-War Democracy in Iraq" is another megadose of formulaic Sun reportage. At its core is a credulous, ideologically interested belief that "Mr. Bush’s stated policy of a democratic future for Iraq" is anything more than a statement. Following in quick procession is the dubious assertion that Ahmad Chalabi and the merry men of the Iraqi National Congress are capable of and anxious to provide that democracy.

Next David Wurmser is cited without reference either to his affiliation with the partisan American Enterprise Institute or his history of advocacy on behalf of the Ahmad Chalabi. The latter omission would be grounds for serious reprimand at a real newspaper, though this is the Sun, where the former probably earned Mr. Daifallah a talking to from Ira. And even then it wouldn't have been the neglect of stating Wurmser's affilition, it would have been his affiliation an sich. Adam, please remember that it's the Manhattan Institute that supplies you with those bias-free goodies that inform nearly everything under the Sun.

Daifallah truly outdoes himself and his handlers by citing Laurie Mylroie, "an expert on Iraq." Ms. Mylroie's expertise is so great in fact that we may see an Einstein-like lag between the postulation of her more heretical theories and their eventual proof. Or, more likely, Ms. Mylroie will continue to be deservedly ignored by all but the most disreputable.
 
The below correspondent who found me in material breach of copy editing responsibilities writes again to note that my reply even was laced with misspellings and marred by omitted words. As before, nolo contendere. My competence is less than comprehensive, though I believe I have devised a way to spare my face from reddening further.

Brad Olson, as regular readers know, helms a series of ordinary, semi-successful business ventures. He has expressed his willingness in the past to pool the proceeds of his operations with my more modest capital, hiring a dedicated editor with the combined sum. I believe his offer stands.

I propose to hire Ira Stoll on a part-time basis, paying him, pro rata, double what he relieves Michael Steinhardt of. After all, editing Like Father Like Sun is nowhere near as demanding as editing the Sun's mighty 16 pages. He must be endlessly harried and harassed by what seem innumerable duties: holding JP Avlon's hand as he walks through a neighborhood peopled by the poor (yuck!), assuring and reassuring a demoralized Rachel Donadio that the perfect couch is indeed out there and that you've just gotta keep climbing up on that horse after each unsuccessful antiquing run to Sag Harbor, and guarding against the intrusion of uncomfortable facts upon his flat earth sensibilities. In comparison, Brad Olson and I would e-mail Ira our sporadic few hundred words to be edited at his leisure. And he'd receive handsome hourly compensation for troubles.

Let us know, Ira, if you care to sign on. I stand at the ready with cash in hand.

 

 
   
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