"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, November 28, 2003
 
For some reason, SethAndIra thought we just couldn't get through the week without another dose of Daniel Pipes. His latest (see Mr. Olivier below for his earlier dispatch) is crap. That kinda goes without saying.

In it he takes up Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was asked by the DoD "to vet Islamic chaplains for the armed forces." Pipes goes on to say, "an Alamoudi-endorsed chaplain was arrested and charged with mishandling classified material."

Pipes assumes his readers get all their news from a lowly source like the Sun. For anyone who was paying attention, the chaplain in question, James Yee, after gulag-like treatment, was finally released. He was charged with keeping pornography on his computer. As all militant Muslims do.

But, whatever. To the Sunnis and their brethren, an allegation is the same as a fact. Except when it involves trivial matters like the politically-motivated leaking of classified material.

Bonus Item!

Gawker links to a rather funny Spectator article about Lord Blech's recent trip to Manhattan. In it, the gullible Spectator reporter befriends Seth Lipsky and swallows his circulation lies. Seth also informs the reporter that Tina Brown is now a Sun columnist. We have noticed this over the last few days, and can only say this: There is no surer harbinger of success than Tina Brown. Note today's column on... Michael Jackson...

Wednesday, November 26, 2003
 
"When a conversation turns to disrespect or stereotyping or negative images about a group of people, that's inappropriate," Kathleen Lucadamo quotes an Anti-Defamation League director as saying today. This is perhaps the first ADL dictum that SethAndIra fail to treat as Revealed Word: the Sun continues to do a brisk trade in baseless slander and ignorant bigotry. Presumably to save their stock from spoilage - you know SethAndIra don't work on no holidays - Stoolie and his Heavy Friend dispense much offensive material with the freest of hands in today's pre-Thanksgiving edition.

To help them unload the shit, they enlist Daniel Pipes, who is something of an adept at serving up loads of shit. Pipes presents "The Case for 'Iraqification'" for SethAndIra's customers. Why he didn't just write "it was broke when we got it" or "Arabs are smelly and incapable of civilization" instead of going on for a confused and confusing 700+ words remains a mystery.

I'm not sure what Fantastic Dan meant to do when he wrote that "Attempts to tutor [the Iraqis "in the fine art of governance"] will surely fail." Was he aiming to excuse the inevitable mess that ensues or was he heaping racist and Orientalist derision on the Iraqis capacity for self-government? He doesn't bother to explain, instead immediately following with this:
Iraq today is deeply dissimilar to Germany or Japan post-1945, primarily because a different equation exists. The Germans and Japanese were each defeated as a people and ground down by a multi-year total war, and so they accepted the remake of their societies and cultures. In contrast, Iraqis emerged almost unscathed from a three-week war designed not to harm them. Feeling more liberated than defeated, Iraqis are in no mood to be told what to do.
Interesting that he does not note the murderous sanctions which handily connected Gulf War One with Gulf War Two. As long as Iraqi deaths are squalid and invisible, they don't matter and nobody holds them against us. When they're spectacular and shown on television (interspersed with scenes of Iraqis and American tanks tearing down Saddam statues), they're part of our project for liberation - for which you rag-heads better be damn thankful. In short, we can do no wrong.

A fine complement to the don't-look-for-root-causes-because-there-are-none/don't-worry-about-empirical-reality mode of inquiry adhered to by the Sun.
 
Holiday Hollinger Fun

"Active and trusted director" Conrad Black's rapid demise continues to be a subject of widespread attention, although very little of it even mentions a little insignificant newspaper called the New York Sun. No matter. The Sun tirelessly reminds us that Hollinger is a "minority investor" -- which raises the interesting question of whether or not there is a majority investor. Roger Hertog?

Anyway, the round-up:

Salon has a great piece on general slimeball Richard Perle (click on the day pass).

The Guardian quotes "corporate governance terrorist" Chris Browne of Tweedy Browne, which led the shareholder revolt against Lord Blech, as calling old Conrad an "expenses, not a revenue creator." The New York Sun could be exhibit A in this case, although it is so sub-referential that it is not mentioned in the article.

The Chicago Sun-Times delivers a fairly honest update to its readers on how the Hollinger fallout will affect the paper. Don't be looking for the Sun to be so forthright...ever.

The Telegraph offers a shockingly submissive report on a letter Conrad Black sent to their staff. In it he expresses his desire for "effective corporate governance," something he had previously dismissed as "a fad."

Finally, "active and trusted" Conrad will be featured in a deck of cards called "Wall Street's Most Wanted," joining Kenny Boy Lay and others.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003
 
Even if Conrad Black is an "active and trusted director" on the board of the New York Sun, we wonder with much nail-biting what will happen to Barbara "Babs" Amiel's semi-regular column when Lord Black is interred in a Canadian or American prison (although, the likelihood of that is somewhat diminished by the fact that old Conrad was too chickenshit to sign his own company's financial statement).

Now that Babs's wings are clipped, we would hate to see her leave the Sun's pages. After all, her political satire is too pointed and hilarious to drift away into the void.

Take today's offering: "Islam’s Greatest Enemy." Please.

"The veins of living human beings show a blue tinge, characteristic of de-oxygenated blood coursing toward the heart. In life, all humans spill red blood and a lot is made out of this in literature," she begins, showing herself to be a rather promising poetess. But the question of what "a lot is made out of" in "literature" is not really her focus. Instead, she delivers a scandalously cheeky look at the idiotic paranoia of the neocon mind.

"The single most important lesson to be learned from the events in Turkey is the obvious one, and it is a lesson for Muslims: namely, that they have as much to fear from militant Islam and its Islamist dictators and strongmen as does the West — if not more." It's funny because it's true! The neocons are always to quick to dismiss liberals seaching for "lessons" in acts of terrorism if those lessons happen to conflict with the neocon worldview. Yet the neoconartists themselves are always very quick to find "lessons" in terrorism when they suit their own purposes. Bravo, Lady Babs!

There is more:
I think it was the great Islamic scholar, Bernard Lewis, who first had the notion, but Daniel Pipes coined the sentence: “If the problem is militant Islam, the solution is moderate Islam.” This plain insight is a lesson often pointed out, but so far not learned. Even if the West does learn it, that alone would not prevent what happened in Istanbul. It is Muslim societies that have to learn and genuinely understand that virtually all the suffering they have endured over the past 30 years has come from the homegrown extremists within.

Brilliant! Note the slipshod namedropping at the beginning of the paragraph. It seems as if Babs is out to make fun of those cons who only kinda pretend to read the stuff they kinda pretend to be talking about. Then the empty-headed, condescending finger-wagging. Look, says Babs, you stupid Muslims need to get it through your stupid heads that your lives suck because you're all stupid Ay-rabs. I love it!

"Militant Islam has a number of strands, but it has a straightforward ideology: First, to turn all Muslim societies into Islamic theocracies, and then to conquer the world," she "says," in that wonderful character voice she is developing. What does this woman know about militant Islam, at least that she hasn't almost read in the works of Bernard Lewis or Daniel Pipes? Who cares?

"A radical minority can take over a country or a faith," she posits, after some mind-numbing wandering around the political correctness of certain British Muslim groups. Is she talking about Islam, or the Bush administration? One can only guess that, talented as she is, the allusion to the current American government and its devotion to fanatical Evangelical Christianity is not lost in this brilliant work of satire.

"How many British consuls need to be blown up in Turkey before Britain decides to stop appeasing the devil on its own doorstep?" Babs concludes. Ha! Put the Muslims in camps! Pitch-perfect.

It would be a real shame to see old Babs go away. After all, it is such a joy to see the Sun forced to print such a wonderful send-up of its own dreadful thinking on its own pages.


On a somewhat related note, wouldn't it be fun if the Sun were part-owned, at least for some time, by the Carlyle Group? After all, the Carlyle Group is nothing if not a Saudi-funded retirement system for out-of-work Republicans. That would make the Sun, at least for a bit of time, a Saudi-funded publication. Delicious.

Monday, November 24, 2003
 
The Guardian reported yesterday that the Carlyle Group (a more powerful and even shadier collection than Hollinger’s board) is considering bailing out Lord Black of Doublecross, saving Hollinger from the Good Lord!’s one-man (and woman) Hollinger wrecking crew. The key quote for Bros. Olivier, Robinson, and Olson, however, is this one, from “a Carlyle source”: “It’s unusual for a group of assets to come to the market like this. We would look to sell off the Jerusalem Post and Hollinger’s stake in the New York Sun.”

Selling off Hollinger’s stake in the Sun? But who would buy such a disreputable, half-assed, Rotarian newsletter of a “paper”?

Well, we would. That’s right, Grady Olivier, Quentin Robinson, and Brad Olson hereby announce our intention to bid on Hollinger’s share of The New York Sun. We have already begun arranging finances for our acquisition; Grady is selling his most prized possessions to raise cash, Quentin has finally sold the scrap metal that’s been piling up in his backyard, and I myself have made an investment in a project that promises to have a quick, and financially rewarding, turnaround. However, as Hollinger’s investment in the Sun is said to be in the $10 million range, and seeing as how Carlyle likely won’t want to lose any more than half of the money Hollinger put into the rag, that still leaves us a couple million short. So, in the near future, we will be soliciting potential co-investors from among our beloved, and very wealthy, readers. Watch this space for news on what promises to be a brave new venture, and how you can pay up and cash in!*

*Certain statements contained in this website that are not historical facts constitute "Forward-Looking Statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

Forward-looking statements, in general, predict, forecast, indicate or imply future results, performance or achievements and generally use words so indicative. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results or performance of the Company and its businesses to be materially different from that expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such factors may be described or referred to from time to time in filings made by the Company with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Included in those factors are the following: general economic and business conditions (under the Bushite junta, these have been predicatbly shitty); political, social and economic conditions (though war is the health of both the state and the daily circulation of any newspaper, the Bushite perma-war is unlikely to outweigh the limitless incompetence of SethAndIra which assures the Sun's eternal marginalization); political, social and economic conditions and local regulations in the countries in which the Company conducts its businesses (the Sun conducts no business. It is a charity ward and a fantastic money-loser); government regulations and compliance therewith (Seth and Ira cannot comply with things as simple as fundamental moral prescriptions - i.e., Love thy Arab neighbor - asking compliance with anything, really, is asking too much) ; demographic changes (SethAndIra hate demographic changes and are grateful that the Cadillac queens have thus far not penetrated their Brooklyn Heights redoubt; sales and revenues mix (SethAndIra have this fixed at zero-zero); pricing levels (reduced to a fucking quarter, yet nobody's buying the motherfucker); changes in sales and revenues to, or the identity of significant customers (we included this one perfunctorily: the Sun has no customers - or editors - of significance); changes in technology (if they devise a newfangled atomic Fedora, expect Seth to hit up petty cash); availability of raw materials and adequate labor (Seth still throws on the flasher mac and cruises the j-schools and bus depots for fresh meat and newly arrived provincials to corrupt. Hello, David Andreatta); availability of appropriate professional expertise (for SethAndIra to petulantly shun); availability of liquidity sufficient to meet the Company's needs; the ability to adapt to changes resulting from acquisitions and divestitures and to effect cost reduction programs (witness the Sun's masterstroke BYOB throwdown last year), and various other factors referenced in the Management's Discussion and Analysis section of Like Father Like Sun’s Form 10-K for the year 2003.
 
Today we get Anna S&M's blockbuster piece on the "food war" pitting a group of co-op members against a groovy big business (FreshDirect) of the sort SethAndIra love so much. Recall that Anna was spotted last week groveling for the war stories of purported defectors who forsook collective organization, the Sun's low regard for which is by now well documented, for the glories of FreshDirect. Her piece suggests she was as successful here as Seth was in forestalling male pattern baldness.

The premise of her piece - an alleged "trend" in which "Co-opers [are] leaving to buy their groceries from FreshDirect" - is directly refuted by co-op manager Joseph Holtz who "says it's too early to tell if co-op members are leaving for FreshDirect." So why write the piece at all?

So much for that war. If only Ira's war was as imaginary. That one's horrifically real.

 

 
   
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