"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, August 29, 2003
The Sunnis take a cheap shot at the Economist today, suggesting that "the poor fellows at the Economist must have choked on their jellied eel [uh... insert own homoerotic comment here] when the lights went out in London yesterday." The Economist's crime? Suggesting that perhaps there is not as much incentive to keep a power grid up to speed when deregulation removes any incentive to do so.

It apparently does not occur to SethAndIra that there is a difference between a 40-minute blackout in parts of London and a massive, days-long, regional blackout over much of the the American Northeast. Damn you commie pinko liberals at the Economist! No word yet on whether or not the Economist -- you know, that leftist rag that supports free trade, tax cuts, the war in Iraq -- is in league with Al Qaeda, Eliot Spitzer, and a certain misidentified son of a former attorney general.

Meanwhile the Sunnis willfully and gleefully ignore the real news that is coming out of the U.K. That would be the sound of heads rolling and the collapse of a government. The Hero of Kosovo is disgraced.

And bombs are going off in Iraq today, big bombs. No doubt there will be cheers in SethAndIranistan when it is realized that the victims of today's mosque blast were primarily Ay-rab -- after all, this will only serve to help "finish the war" against them. Even the Sun's cousin publication in Chicago, the Sun-Times (owned by that very same Hollinger International), prints the "q" word on its op-ed page today. Without scare quotes.

Thursday, August 28, 2003
Quite regularly - though always unwittingly - the SethAndIranians get us to laugh out loud. Today David Twerpy makes the stunning avowal, allegedly on loan from Amos Oz, that "paranoid Islamists are responsible for almost every violent conflict in the world today." And we thought it was the Bushites.

Seldom does one see so imbecilic and palpably false a claim made in print. I suppose that when your tools are as inadequate as the SethAndIranians', and you've got just one ideological hammer, you can but see Islamic nails everywhere. After all, this is the paper that demands we "finish the war" against "the Arabs."

Supremely ludicrous is a Sun staffer - one who identifies with the paper's crazed worldview as aggressively as Twerpy does, no less - calling anyone paranoid. This, after all, from a paper whose staff is apparently fed on a steady diet of anti-malarials and potent grass, is deprived of sleep for heroic stretches of time, who work in a newsroom where the temperature is set at a steady 120 degrees, and is forced to listen to a tape of Laurie Mylroie speeches looping ad infin. Well, that's how the miserable paper reads, at least, with Seth's "they want to push us into the sea" ethos motivating the paper's "let's push 'em into the fucking desert" line.
"Useful idiots," indeed.

Now comes word from the Los Angeles Times, an actual newspaper, that "U.S. and allied intelligence agencies have launched a major effort to determine if they were victims of bogus Iraqi defectors who planted disinformation to mislead the West before the war."

I found this section interesting:
The CIA and the State Department, in particular, distanced themselves from Iraqi defectors handed over by the Iraqi National Congress, a London-based umbrella group headed by Ahmad Chalabi. CIA and State Department officials repeatedly warned that the group's intelligence network had proved unreliable in the past.

Senior Pentagon officials, however, supported the former Iraqi banker's bid as a possible successor to Hussein. Chalabi, who now sits on the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council in Baghdad, has said his group provided the Defense Intelligence Agency with three defectors who had personal knowledge of Hussein's illicit weapons programs.

One, an Iraqi engineer, told the DIA in 2001 that he knew the location of biological weapons. However, no bioweapons have been found at the sites he named.

A second defector from Chalabi's group described what he said were mobile labs that could produce several hundred tons of biowarfare agents per year. The CIA has concluded that two trucks found in northern Iraq after the war were probably designed for biowarfare, but outside experts have sharply disputed those claims.

U.S. intelligence authorities dismissed the third defector, who claimed to be an expert in nuclear isotope separation, as a fraud.

No word on how U.S. intelligence was able to separate this third defector from the rest of the frauds in Chalabi's criminal racket.

Were the INC defectors Saddam plants? Is it becoming more plausible, as The New Republic has reported previously, that Saddam was pumping up his claims to possess weapons in order to maintain a deterrent? Did we walk into a trap?

"People are really second-guessing themselves now," the L.A. Times story quotes an intelligence official saying. Another says, "We were prisoners of our own beliefs."

If SethAndIra had any self-awareness, intelligence, or integrity, they might be inclined to agree. But, as they are 0-for-3, we can expect more of the same from the Bushie-say, Ira-do Sun.
"I am profoundly disappointed with our governor, our attorney general and the associate justices of the Alabama Supreme Court, who have allowed the basis of our justice system to be undermined by a federal judge who says that we cannot acknowledge God."

Gracious In Defeat, day 4.

Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Idiotorial Round-up

Not much worth more than a chuckle in today's idiotorial page. The Sunnis offer up their fourth theory of culpability for Blackout 2003: This time it's Eliot Spitzer, what with his environmentalism and all. They do have some kind words for the New York AG, though, considering that he is obviously in league with Al Qaeda: "At least Mr. Spitzer has not joined the chorus of those calling for the closing of the Indian Point nuclear power plant."

That would put him in league with the dangerous madman Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. [Note: The Sun has yet to run a correction on the butchering of Kennedy's name.]

For a better laugh, consider the first sentence of today's lead iditorial, which bears the strange title, "Bush’s Progress, Pipes’s ...." "When the war against terror is over, the historians are going to mark President Bush’s decision to issue a recess appointment of Daniel Pipes to the board of the United States Institute of Peace."

Cryptic. Note SethAndIra don't mention who will prevail when "the war against terror is over" nor do they predict just how "historians" will "mark" The Resident's sneak attack. Yes, long will the words "Institute of Peace" and "Daniel Pipes" slide off the tongues of freedom-loving generations to come.

Finally, in a screed on Bloomberg's visit to Jerusalem, the Berkshires Blowhards say, "New Yorkers, who have had our [sic] own encounters with terrorism in recent years, can be proud of the way Mr. Bloomberg represented us [sic] yesterday in Jerusalem."
"Economy Is Now Poised For 'Sustained Growth,’" the Sun declares today, in what has to be one of the most ridiculously dishonest "news" stories ever to come out of that absurd publication.

"The federal government will run a budget deficit of $401 billion this year and $480 billion in 2004, but tax cuts and consumer spending will fuel a return to surplus within the decade, the Congressional Budget Office projected yesterday," L.C. "reports," showing herself to be little more than the new Sunni hack in the Washington office.

There is not much to say about this piece of yellow journalism, except to say that no actual news organization characterized the report on massive, continuous deficits as a good sign.

It must be nice to be SethAndIra, to never let facts get in the way of one's worldview.

Tuesday, August 26, 2003
Broken Record

Today's lead idiotorial begins with a quote from Condoleezza Rice, who has emerged as one of the most dependable liars in the Bush administration. Here is the quote:
Israeli leaders increasingly understand that it is in Israel’s interest for Palestinians to govern themselves, in a state that is viable, peaceful, democratic, and committed to fighting terror. Israel has to fulfill its responsibilities to help that peaceful state emerge. A new Palestinian leadership is emerging that understands — and says, in Arabic and English — that terror is not a means to Palestinian statehood, but rather the greatest obstacle to statehood.

Then, later in the piece, in case you missed the second part of that, SethAndIra point out that, "Ms. Rice claims that 'A new Palestinian leadership is emerging that understands — and says, in Arabic and English — that terror is not a means to Palestinian statehood, but rather the greatest obstacle to statehood.'" (They add, "This is true, but..." and then go on to explain why it is not true. They have truly mastered the language of the Bushies.)

Then, later, in case the reader has missed the quote the first two times (and assuming, rather optimistically, that the reader has decided to continue reading), SethAndIra add, "Instead Ms. Rice ignores [the recent bus bombing], claiming instead that 'A new Palestinian leadership is emerging that understands — and says, in Arabic and English — that terror is not a means to Palestinian statehood, but rather the greatest obstacle to statehood.'"

Maybe they should just put it on the masthead.

Let's not go into the speciousness of the Sunni logic, but instead focus on the repetition. They should tread carefully, if they believe Condi's words to be wrong. If there's one thing Rice and her cronies have taught us, it's that if you repeat a lie often enough, it is mistaken for the truth.

Condi must be such a disappointment at Chambers Street. Like Colin Powell, I'm sure SethAndIra expected her to be one of the Good Negroes -- you know, the kind that don't loot after a blackout.

Opposite this tripe, on the op-id page, nepotism reigns at the Sun. Amity Shlaes offers up this garbage: "America is devoting 2003 to the frustrating task of identifying and hunting down its new enemies. But it is also, as it happens, busy pursuing an old enemy. Or, rather, the ghost of an old enemy: the Soviet Union."

I guess if by "America" you mean "Seth, Ira, Amity, and a bunch of loony old neocons." Which is probably how this bunch identifies itself. She goes on, "They are trying to determine how so many of America’s most influential public figures, from the 1920s onwards, failed to appreciate the threat that the Soviet regime represented both to outsiders and to its own citizens."

And she names names! Among "so many of America's most influential public figures" she includes Walter Duranty (who retains the honorific "Mr." despite being dead and a Commie bastard, WETS?), George Bernard Shaw, and Barbara Walters. Quite a history-making bunch.

As a source, she cites Mona Charen's "Useful Idiots," a book published by the highly regarded publishing company Regnery. Other famous Regnery authors include noted genius Dinesh D'Souza, felon G. Gordon Liddy, and Ted Nugent.

"Retrospective Sovietology may seem an odd way to think about Al Qaeda," Shlaes concludes. A half lie. Retrospective Sovietology is the way SethAndIra think about everything. But it is definitely "odd."

Oh yeah, and while we're at it, "gracious in defeat" watch goes on...
Yesterday, Brother Tim (our man 'at' New York City, and gracious provider of faxed versions of the Sun) sent a nice copy of the Sun iditorial page. Some time after publishing my incredible, scintillating post of last night (worst. . . post. . . ever), I started to do some clean-up around the LFLS offices, when I noticed something I hadn’t before; sometime around mid-July, Ellen Umansky’s name was no longer on the masthead as “Features Editor,” with an Emily Gitter apparently taking her place.

Any of our spies (who are legion) got the inside info?

Monday, August 25, 2003
Brother Robinson asked for an opinion from his elders regarding the Sun’s second idiotorial of today, regarding Judge Roy Moore and His Ten Commandments (one of my favorite bands from the 70s, I might add). All I can say is, I had this story all wrong. From reading other news sources, I thought that the problem was the Judge and his insistence on showcasing a monument to the Ten Commandments on state property, and the messy separation of church and state issues arising from such a public religious display by a public figure on public grounds. (Plus, even I was able to figure out that that the Judge’s argument that the ‘Ments represent “the moral foundation” of our laws was a crock of shit; even in Alabama only two of the laws, Thou Shalt Nots murder and steal, are actual crimes near as I can figure.) But then Ira showed me the light. The real problem here isn’t the Judge; it’s the fucking New York Times! The Times defied a court order during an appeal, and got fined the same amount as Moore, when they wouldn’t reveal the name of a source! They defied the court, too, so they are as bad as Moore! Actually, they’re worse, since Judge Moore was “gracious in defeat,” while the Times continues to . . . well, something bad I’m sure!

Moe Szyslak: Immigants! I knew it was them! Even when it was the bears, I knew it was them!

Ira Stool: The Times! I knew it was them! Even when it was a religious psychotic judge, I knew it was them!

Ultimately, I really don’t have the energy to go into a lot of detail here; it’s just one more example of a life-killing screed from a moron whom other morons are ashamed to be seen with. If you want to read this foolish crap yourself, sign yourself up for a FREE ONLINE SUBSCRIPTION TO THE SUN! Just go here and fill out the form for the 4-week complimentary subscription. What’s great is that you can make your subscription under any name you want, and just create a completely fake email to go with it. It may help if you use something easy to remember. Currently, my user name is michaelsteinhardtisafatfuck@hotmail.com, and my password is pastrami, but previously I’ve been manicuremauldin@yahoo.com, alicia.colon.god@statenisland.gov, and emmetttyrrell@honchomagazine.com. It’s fast and easy, and every time you use it SethAndIra are deprived of another quarter.
Daifallah vs. Ira

Interesting things are afoot in the Sun today. Ira was presumably so busy filing a top-of-page-one non-story about tax shelters in the U.S. Virgin Islands that he had no time to idiotorialize, leaving about a third of the Sun's house column to be filled by photos -- one of which, strangely enough, is an image of one of the Sun's own idiotorials. No surprise there; as we at LFLS have pointed out before, the Sun is the Sun's own top ad buyer. [The other idiotorial is an absurdly reasoned defense of the Alabama judge who thinks himself above the law. Care to take that one on, Bros. Olivier and Olson?]

But what came out of this wreckage is rather enlightening. Let us now look at two pieces on the same subject, the beating of a German activist opposing Pyongyang -- one filed as a news story by Adam Daifallah at the very bottom of page one (I guess "freedom" is not as important as Ira's own byline), the other filed as an idiotorial on page 8.

Daifallah: "A human rights and freedom activist in Seoul was trampled by police yesterday, two days after South Korean authorities injured the man while stopping him from sending helium-filled balloons containing radios into North Korea."

Ira: "Dr. Norbert Vollertsen of Germany was physically attacked twice in South Korea this weekend..."

Does Ira not believe that Vollertsen is a "human rights and freedom activist"? The idiotorial is far more neutral on this than Daifallah's dispatch.

Rev. Shin said that he was standing beside Dr. Vollertsen doing translation at the anti-North Korea protest yesterday when a group of North Koreans “came out and started the terror."

“Three of them came out and pointed at Norbert, then seven or eight came out and they ran like lightening [WETS?].The riot police was lined up to crack down on us…I guess they were special ops. They dashed on Norbert and knocked him out. The South Korean riot police arrived and stepped all over Norbert, intentionally I guess. Norbert was carried on a stretcher to the hospital,” Rev. Shin said.

Ira: "Dr. Norbert Vollertsen of Germany was physically attacked twice in South Korea this weekend — once by South Korean officials on Friday when he was trying to launch toward North Korea balloons with radios on them and a second time by North and South Korean authorities yesterday."

Daifallah makes no mention of the North Koreans being "authorities." He only describes them as "a group of North Koreans." Which is it? Shouldn't the "news" story make this fact clear?

Daifallah: "Dr. Vollertsen’s experience is shocking not only because it demonstrates the lengths to which Pyongyang is willing to go to stop the free flow of information into its borders, but also the way that South Korea is working to quash human rights activism aimed at liberating North Korea."

Ira: "It’s not that there aren’t reasons for South Korean caution — no one wants an amateur balloon launch accidentally to trigger a North Korean offensive in which 8 million South Koreans die. The South Koreans are also concerned about the costs of absorbing an influx of North Korean refugees."

Daifallah: "'We are just under total threat here by all sides. I don’t know if the government exists in South Korea,' Rev. Shin told The New York Sun. 'There’s a branch government of Pyongyang here. The people are not revolutionized, but it’s a puppet government.'"

Ira: "It was the South Korean riot police who — intentionally or not — trampled on Dr.Vollertsen at yesterday’s protest, according to Rev. Shin, who told us that Seoul is just 'a branch government of Pyongyang.' That’s an overstatement, but, given the events of this weekend, it’s easy to understand why Rev. Shin would think so."

What the fuck? "Easy to understand" why South Korea is "a branch government of Pyongyang"? Maybe it's just me, but if we are going to have a "branch government" contest, I think the U.S. would figure well ahead of North Korea. But nevermind, the debate goes on!

“We’ve been watching under successive administrations a policy that can only be described as appeasement. There are tons of North Korean operatives in South Korea…it creates a hazardous environment for people like Norbert. What the South Koreans want to do, for some reason, is to prop up the regime,” said the president of the Center for Security Policy, a Washington based think tank, Frank Gaffney. “The South Korean government is complicit in much of what the North is up to. It’s really appalling.”

Ira: "Foreign policy expert Frank Gaffney says the 'South Korean government is complicit in much of what the North is up to.'"

Well, at least there's some agreement here. Interestingly enough, Gaffney was the "foreign policy expert" who went to war with Grover Norquist over Norquist's ties to Middle Eastern terrorist sponsors, pointing out the inconvenient fact that America's top lobbyist for tax cuts is also a terrorism sympathizer.

Speaking of Gaffney and the Center for Security Policy, I wonder if "think tank" is appropriate, considering Gaffney has claimed it is more like a prominent pizza chain. Any of those donor names look familiar?

There will no doubt be those who argue that because Dr. Vollertsen is a German, this is not an American issue. There will be those who argue that the question of human rights and freedom in North Korea is a sideshow and that America should keep its eye on the question of North Korean nuclear proliferation, which is, the argument goes, the real security threat.There will be those who argue that the stance toward North Korea is a matter for the elected governments at Seoul, Washington, and Tokyo, not for individual activists.

Those damned, wrong-headed, anonymous "those." There will also be those, like SethAndIra, who will insist that the Bushies should take America's overwhelmed and understaffed military into an all-out war with North Korea as soon as possible.

They propagandize for this all the time, though today they admit that "no one wants an amateur balloon launch accidentally to trigger a North Korean offensive in which 8 million South Koreans die." No, not an amateur balloon launch -- better an amateur president and his merry band of brownshirts.

Then there will be those who argue with their own reporters.


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