"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.

 
 
   
 
Wednesday, July 02, 2003
 
The heat must be getting to SethAndIra.

Wading deeper and deeper into the sweaty, constipated logic they spray all over their edit page day after day, the Wise Men come up with today's idiotorial, "Straw in the Wind." A testament to bait-and-switch, begging the question, and just plain contradictin' yo'self... let's just go to the source.

The Broadsheet Bigots begin by taking Britain's foreign secretary, Jack Straw (the title is a pun!) to task for saying publicly that he cannot imagine a scenario in which the UK would attack Iran. I wonder why...

"It’s hard to think of a more foolish statement uttered by a more senior official in the recent history of statecraft," say Stool and Lipsky, who have no ability to discern irony.

Further: "We’re not advocates of an immediate American military attack on Iran, though we wouldn’t rule out the chance that if the popular Iranian protests against the clerical regime, which are scheduled for July 9, are large enough, the effort to topple the mullahs could benefit from some American air raids aimed at key command and control targets. In other words, military force might help the Iranian people defeat their terror-sponsoring dictatorship."

Get that? So they're not advocating an "immediate" American attack (we wonder who exactly would care if they did). Except that they advocate that the American military perform "some American air raids" -- some might call this an "attack" -- on or about July 9th, which is to say, in about a week. One week, apparently, does not qualify as "immediate."

Then, one of Ira's favorite tricks -- which never works because Ira is a fucking idiot -- they use the liberals words against them!

"But if disarmament is the goal, a credible threat of force is necessary — or at the very least useful. It’s not just neo-conservatives and Donald Rumsfeld who believe this. Here is former President Clinton, writing in the Guardian in March 2003: 'Only the threat of force from the US and the UK got inspectors back into Iraq in the first place. Without a credible threat of force, Saddam will not disarm.' Here is Mr. Straw himself, in November of 2002, in an official statement on the situation in Iraq: 'The inspectors are returning because we have backed our diplomacy with the credible threat of force.'"

And look how well that worked out in Iraq! Inspectors -- you mean the ones SethAndIra found so tiresome and unnecessary? And when did we start talking about Iraq?! Do SethAndIra have any idea what their topic is, or did they get drunk and decide to have some fun with their Nexis account?

The Sunnis apparently have no understanding of what relation the projection of American power in Iran, historically speaking, has to do with the current government of Iran. We include in this category Reagan's dealings with the terrorist state, which involved not only selling Iran weapons but also cutting a deal with them to keep Americans held hostage until he was elected president.

"British soldiers died in combat along with Americans in helping to free Iraq," they say. British and American soldiers continue to die in Ira's War. It apparently will never sink in, with these nitwits, that "free Iraq" means allowing Iraq to turn rather quickly into an Iranian-style theocracy.
 
Grady, Quentin, and I are of course focused on the New York Sun, but there are numerous other papers in New York City. (Grady counts American Metal Market among his favorites; Quentin refuses to miss an issue of the Daily Racing Form; I myself get most of my information from the Amsterdam News.) Among these is the New York Observer, which this week publishes the following by Richard Brookhiser:

George W. Bush will be with us, at the outside, only until January 2009 (if history is any guide, his second term will be mired in controversy and failure).

Ah, so it’s Bush’s second term that’ll be mired in controversy and failure.

Nice to know that the Sun doesn’t have a monopoly on shitty columnists.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003
 
What are SethAndIra if not patriots? ("Ignorant dogmatists" and "assholes," while correct, are not the answers I was looking for.) Donning their stovepipe hats, the two star spangled Bay Staters set about tackling an issue that acquires increasing import as July 4 approaches: New York's ban on "private fireworks."

Mustering a quantum leap in imbecility, the Sunnis suggest that the fireworks prohibition couldn't be, say, a prudent public safety measure given the city's building density, the formidability of some of the explosives being detonated, and the Brad Olson-like levels of alcohol consumption typical of the holiday. No, despite the ban's long standing, it's more a matter of "Mother Bloomberg"'s imperfect patriotism.

SethAndIra tell us that they "can't help but look back fondly on the days when fireworks were more associated with patriotism and joy than with the shattering of skulls or rinds." Which reminds us of Seth's desparation to rehabilitate the war in Southeast Asia, where, damnit, the explosion of an air-fuel bomb or the deployment of a batch of napalm was each an exercise in patriotism. War is not the catastrophic failure of human community. No, say SethAndIra, it is a glorious defense against a rampaging global communist conspiracy/a global Islamofascist conspiracy/trial lawyers/etc. And watching a bottle rocket explode is almost as edifying as the shock and awe of Baghdad.

But no need to despair, fellows. Uncle Rummy is here to make sure you're not left all dressed up in your brownshirts with nowhere to go.
 
Ira's war!

Why do American troops hate America so much?

Monday, June 30, 2003
 
Just one more note about the homophobes...

Today's Sun reprints an AP story (their only source of actual news) that quotes Bill Frist, key leader of the Republican Party, saying he would support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages. This outpouring of bigotry, which enjoys the full support of SethAndIra and their Scalia fan club, is not so remarkable coming from a Republican -- their party has lived on bigotry for the last 40 years or so.

But how do you square a constitutional amendment with this: "'Generally, I think matters such as sodomy should be addressed by the state legislatures,' Mr. Frist said. 'That’s where those decisions — with the local norms,the local mores — are being able to have their input in reflected.'"

So there you have it, a federal constitutional amendment... except it should be up to the states. Sounds like Ira's been writing his talking points.
 
As we pointed out long before the overfed homophobe James Taranto, Justice Antonin Scalia never said, "I have nothing against homosexuals." He said, "I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means." While to Taranto this is somehow a fit topic to lob more bile at the New York Times, he does not come to grips with what we find most amazing about this statement, which is that it excludes the Supreme Court from "normal democratic means." This is quite a shocking statement -- after all, isn't the process of checks and balances the foundation of our democracy?

Alas, not with these Republicans, who are ever closer to one-party rule. Viva Generalissimo Bush!

The idiotorial page of the Sun today contains an interesting passage. In a moving, touching piece entitled "Do Not Call," about the nation's new anti-telemarketing program, Ira writes, "Most telemarketers are afraid to make unsolicited calls to cell phones, given that the clear consumer harm — customers pay for incoming as well as outgoing calls — presents all the basics of a successful lawsuit." And thus gives us all a lesson in why tort reform is such a stupid idea. Law suits keep the vaunted "private sector" honest.

"The do-not-call list will, of course, be available to telemarketers — for the purpose of removing the names. But what is to prevent the list itself from falling into the wrong hands?" Who does Ira mean? Poindexter? One wonders what Stool would do with a do-not-support-Generalissimo-Bush list.

 

 
   
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