Friday, July 18, 2003
On the subject of Bro. Olivier's post below, Ira's inability to leave his stupid rants off the front page, there is the usual matter of Ira's journalistic incompetence.
"A group on the left-wing fringe of Democratic foreign policy?" Ira asks, rhetorically, as if we are to assume from the presence of a former CNN exec (what with their Wolf Blitzers and Tucker Carlsons and Robert Novaks -- liberal media my ass) and some Gore donors that the State Department has formed some kind of lunatic group.
He says the group is composed thus: "It has a former CNN official ... an official of the dovish Israel Policy Forum ... one member who donated to the Gore-Lieberman campaign, another who gave to Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign, and two who supported the Arab American Leadership Council Political Action Committee, which funds extremist critics of President Bush’s foreign policy and of Israel such as Reps. Jim Moran, Earl Hilliard, and Cynthia McKinney."
What he does not tell us is that the group also contains a former Reagan national security official and a "scholar" from the American Enterprise Institute, along with noted anti-democrat Fareed Zakaria.
But how did he get the dirt on those other guys? I mean, giving to a Democratic presidential campaign is treason
these days, right?
This gets to the matter of Ira's methodology, which is so simple to decipher that it positively giggle-inducing -- he just googled all the names on the State Department press release that sounded Arab.
So, the two donors to the Arab American Leadership Council Political Action Committee are named Salem and Zogby (Zobgy is, of course, well-known for being an Arab).
The Bradley donor? Pachios, which may or may not be Arab but was sufficiently non-white for Ira.
The Gore-Lieberman donor? Telhami.
Apparently Ira couldn't find anything on Malik Hasan or Farhad Kazemi
. He does find a chance to smear Mamoun Fandy for making the downright communist suggestion that “It would be probably very good if the person carrying America’s message to the Muslim world is a Muslim himself, or a native speaker of the language that he’s broadcasting." Treason.
He also quotes Daniel Pipes saying, "It’s not so much a Bush administration list as it is a State Department list." This quote, unremarked upon by Ira, would raise the interesting question of what administration the State Department is a part of. But it solves the Fox News problem -- they don't need to be on the State Department list, because they already work for the Bush (mal)administration.
Ira says, "Of the other members, Stephen P. Cohen was identified in the release as being affiliated with the Israel Policy Forum. He was the subject of scrutiny last December when he acknowledged that he 'made contacts between business people in Israel and the Arab world' engaged in a Middle East business deal while functioning as a Middle East policy analyst. An associate of one of his partners in the deal told an Israeli newspaper that the partner 'made millions' through commissions on gas and cement deals between Israeli companies and the Palestinian Authority."
Of course, the plagiarist Stoll does not cite the source of one of the quotations he uses here, but he really doesn't have to, since it obviously came from the Sun
. The Sun
was engaged, at the time, in trying to invent a story on Stephen P. Cohen to smear the Israeli left and to tar Times columnist "Thos." Friedman, who has in the past committed the crime of quoting Cohen.
Meanwhile, in the idiotorial column, an odd outburst by the Sun
nis. On the subject of the Times trying to secure assistance for new construction, they posit, "It’s a lot harder to see the logic of hard-pressed taxpayers, in the midst of a historic budget crisis at the federal,city,and state levels, being asked to ride to the rescue of this deal."
What budget crisis? I thought it was called "growth"!! And how could the public fisc be mismanaged on three levels when all three levels are controlled by Republicans?! And since when is the Sun
against tax credits?!
Oh yeah, when it's the Times. That penis envy thing.
If you are still reading this, and you haven't seen the news, Ira's War just got a lot more fucked
Ira again disfigures the front page of the Sun
, with Seth steadfastly refusing to disabuse the Irastollah
of his curious belief that he has anything to say worth committing to print - "at page one," no less.
Ira's current riff is on the composition of the Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy in the Arab and Muslim World. His complaints against the Advisory Group are numerous: "no one from Fox News" numbers among the members and "mainstream or centrist Jewish organizations" are not represented. Let's see, a commission formed to conjure simpatico with America in Arab and Muslim countries should, per Ira, include the anti-Arab ravings of Murdoch's minions while giving robust representation to the one country viewed as more hostile to Arab and Muslim interests than America. Aside from this
, would it even be possible to devise a more absurd and certain-to-fail propaganda scheme?
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Three big anti-France screeds in today’s Soleil. A front page article “reports” that the French won’t allow the international Greco-Roman wrestling championships to be held in New York. (Quelle horreur!) An idiotorial recounts French anti-Semitism. . . in the 1890s. (Dommage!) And an op-ed piece by David Twerpy attacks France’s support for the Palestinian cease-fire. (Sacre bleu!) We await the forthcoming idiotorial in which SethAndIra scrawl
, “We’re not advocates of an immediate American military attack
on France, though we wouldn’t rule out the chance. . .”
Also on the idiotorial page, SethAndIra
applaud the “emergence of David Childs. . . over Daniel Liebskind as the lead architect on the World Trade Center site”. Why? Apparently because at yesterday’s photo opportunity, Childs wore “a shirt with a button-down collar, necktie, and blue blazer,” while Liebskind wore “a collarless black shirt, no necktie, and his trademark thick black-framed rectangular glasses.” That criteria was also used in the selection of the Seth Lipsky as Sun idiotor. (Big Poppa Steinhardt
to lackey: “We need someone. . . in a fedora
Finally, imagine my shock stumbling across a “Publishers Lunch” item headlined “Olson, Warts and All”. I thought, this is it; SethAndIra
have finally discovered my dark secret
. Turns out it was about some other guy, though. Phew!
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
On the subject of idiotorials, today the Sun
nis (who apparently don't want to let their "Tweet Trust" art go to waste) take Mayor Bloomberg to task for not supporting school vouchers. The idiotorial is called "Broken Record."
Accusing the mayor of "singing the same tune" since December on vouchers (SethAndIra prefer pols like Resident Bush
, who favor fiction over consistency), the idioters take the very, very odd position of supporting school vouchers. Again.
In fact, by my count, the Sun has editorialized in favor of school voucher programs somewhere between 25 and 30 times in its mere 16 months of existence -- and that's not counting the blowhards on the op-ed side.
So who's the "broken record"?
Today’s idiotorial sings the praises of the wide array of New York donors Resident Bush’s
election campaign is attracting. (Slogan: “Second time’s the charm!”) Among those adding to Bush’s
swollen coffers are a New York City sanitation worker ($12.50), a self-employed flooring contractor ($10), and one of those overpaid NYC public school teachers SethAndIra
are always yammering about ($50--damn! Those fuckers ARE rich!). The Sunshite Boys further note the ethnic diversity of Bush’s
supporters; “there are Cohens and Clementes, a Costello, a Cunningham, a Chu, a Chung, a Cirillo, a Cihoski, and a Coddington.” In the name of diversity, we would like to note that there are also a Brunie
, a Carson
, and a Steinhardt
What multiplicity! Where in the world would you find such diverse names as those all in one place
Monday, July 14, 2003
Being a hard-hitting journalist must not be easy, but we wonder how much harder it must be to be a sycophantic featherweight like Ira Stoll.
Consider today's hummer for Henry Stern. Stern, a frequent contributor to the Sun
's idiotorial page, no doubt has a special place in the cold, Lord-Black hearts of SethAndIra. And he gets the kid glove treatment by Ira.
Entitled "Henry Stern’s Experience Leads His New York Civic to ‘Small Victories,’" the piece reads as little more than a college journalism writing exercise -- in more than one way. It contains the following writerly gems:
"Mr. Stern, 68, says his main assets are the experience and judgment amassed in his 40 years in city government, his newfound freedom to speak his mind, and his writing ability."
"Mr. Stern promises that those who sign up for his e-mails by e-mailing him at email@example.com will receive 'no spam, no porn, and no sharing' of their addresses with other groups." Give that man a Pulitzer!
"The three-ring binders with the list of park names are close at Mr. Stern’s hand, and his aide-de-camp, whose real-life name is David Bromwich (Princeton Class of 2001), also answers to 'Gingernut.'" Funny, we've been calling Ira "Gingernut" for years.
But aside from the tight prose and the no-holds-rendered approach to journalism, Ira stumbles into a few other frosh mishaps.
First, there is the missing information. Ira says:
"[Stern] developed an elaborate list of unwritten rules known only by their number and letter. He hired bright young people, many of whom are now sprinkled through the city in positions of power.
"Some of those practices are carried over at New York Civic."
One would never know it from the puff piece, but one of the practices Stern was known for introducing to the Parks Department was racial discrimination
. And does anyone think, seriously, that Ira bothered to do any reporting to verify that the "bright young [read: white] people" that Stern hired are still "sprinkled through the city in positions of power"? No doubt Ira thinks them bright because, like Gingernut and himself, they were mostly Ivy League shitheads.
Then there is the (near) plagiarism. Consider Gotham Gazette
, December 2001:
"The eccentric parks chief, who calls everyone in his department by a 'park' name and often brings his golden retriever, Boomer, along with him on official business, has led the department for almost 15 years under two mayors."
Now, Ira, July 2003:
"In 15 years as parks commissioner under Mayors Koch and Giuliani, Mr. Stern earned a reputation as an eccentric with a creative flair. A golden retriever, Boomer, almost always accompanied him.
"Mr. Stern dispensed more than 10,000 nicknames, or 'park names,' to the humans he and Boomer encountered."