"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, December 12, 2003
 
Quentin Robinson has pretty well beaten the tar out of SethAndIra's latest SpEditorial, but allow me a further note.

So the Bushite junta, constituted in significant part by recycled Reagan-era creeps, seeks to justify its recent mass-killing of Iraqis incidental to its illegal war by reference to earlier mass killings perpetrated by Iraq's deposed dictator? Well why didn't those creeps prevail upon Saddam to stop the murders during the course of their friendship - i.e, at a time when they could easily have done so and thereby saved countless from "atrocious slaughter?" Instead they were furiously supplying him with the names of communists to be liquidated. Pretty fucking gutsy to cite murders you were basically complicit to legitimize your latest round of blood-letting.

And pretty fucking disgusting for SethAndIra to disseminate this shamefully cynical piece of imbecility further.
 
The Sun publishes a rather lengthy idiotorial today titled "Oil and Graves," whose logic is as hard to discern as it is difficult to read. In essence, the Sun seems to be arguing that since Saddam Hussein killed a lot of people, any criticism of the profiteering going on in Iraq is, by definition, evil.

"Aside from Senator Lieberman, not one of the Democrats has staked out a serious position on the Iraq war. There has been flip-flopping," they posit. This is one of many untruths that they muddle through on their way to the intellectual void. Let's just say this -- if supply-side economics is a "serious position," it is very hard for an adherent of that discredited, shameful ideology to argue that damn near anything is not a "serious position." Among the candidates for president with a "serious position" on the Iraq war we would include, yes, Mr. Lieberman, Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich, John Edwards, and George W. Bush, the last "serious" in the sense that it is "seriously delusional."

Denouncing what they call "the Halliburton trope," the Sunnis take scant notice of the fact that joining the chorus parading the "Halliburton trope" is the inspector general's office of the Department of Defense. In the Straight Lies category they mention that "the good doctor himself, Dr. Dean, played up his recent endorsement by the losing presidential candidate in 2000, Vice President Gore." This is a true statement if you accept as an axiom that the person who gets the most votes in an election loses it.

Then there is the question of casualties. "Not every mass murder is one that can be stopped by an American invasion. America’s power is not infinite. But the American death toll from the invasion and occupation of Iraq so far is 453," quoth SethAndIra. Yes, it is true that 453 is a small number compared to, say, a larger number, but the grounds of the argument have shifted. We are to compare 453 with the thousands of Saddam's dead. And we are to leave out the maimings and the cripplings and the missing limbs and all that unpleasantness. And we are to forget that we have no idea how many Iraqis are dying under American occupation since the proconsulate in Iraq has ordered the Iraqis to stop counting. We are lying with numbers.

But no matter, the real subject here is the Holocaust.
Mr. Lieberman, at least, is aware of history. His wife, Hadassah, was born in Prague in 1948 to a mother who survived Auschwitz and a father who escaped the Nazis during a forced march toward Auschwitz in 1945. We’d wager that Hadassah, at least, reading the AP report of the trench at Mahaweel where more than 31,000 perished, couldn’t help but to think of Babi Yar, on the outskirts of Kiev, where 33,000 Jews were machine-gunned into a pit in September of 1941. It is President Bush’s own great achievement that even without such a close personal connection or narrow escape from unspeakable evil, he understood the need, in Iraq, to confront and defeat it.

The Sun frequently dabbles into this kind of nonsense, "wagering" on what prominent people think without ever bothering to, say, call them and ask them. In this case the fact that Hadassah Lieberman's parents survived the Nazis is taken as proof positive that all criticism of any aspect of Gulf War II is objectively pro-genocide. Indeed, they quip, "Reading the reports out of Iraq these days it seems difficult to argue that the president was wrong." Yes, Q.E.D.

It is a ground rule in modern debate that the first one to raise the Holocaust to support their argument loses. SethAndIra, you have lost.

Thursday, December 11, 2003
 
Some truly baffling assertions in today's number of the wretched Sun. Sethey-poo pens a necrophilic paean to deceased extremist Bob Bartley in which he says that Bartley "helped defeat the second Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty and opened the way for the idea of missile defense and what we now call Star Wars, which helped give America its margin of victory in the Cold War." Of course it did. Then Manhattanite Vijay Dandapani notes that "moderate followers of Islam have always been in the minority." Of course.

Why worry about recorded history or empirically observable reality? This is, after all, the Sun, helmed by a "man" who is an on-the-record opponent of responsibility. Expect the Sun to continue serving its trademark inaccurate, uninformed and downright bigoted shit.
 
We expected the Sunnis to go apoplectic over the Supreme Court's decision to uphold McCain-Feingold, with the requisite money-is-speech hysteria and the attack of the scare quotes. But we might not have expected the Sun to begin its idiotorial with an excerpt from the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, an amendment which, by any meaningful standard, the SethandIranians hold in complete contempt.

Here is their parsing: "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Note the ellipses. The excised text -- "[no law] respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" -- is rather conveniently left out by a paper that believes that, "No one can dispute that the Ten Commandments are fundamental to Alabama's and our nation's law and government," and that favors the suppression of Islam.

They even possess a questionable fealty to the part of the amendment they choose to draw our attention to. To date the Sun has come out in favor of prosecuting protesters who choose "peaceably to assemble" against the neoconartists illegal war in Iraq. Their allegiance to "freedom of speech, or of the press" is rather limited to that speech and press that aligns with RNC talking points.

The Sun is in full panic mode: "[W]ho knows where the next phase of 'campaign-finance reform' may lead us. If the corporations and interest groups don't have an unrestricted right to criticize politicians, why should us cogs in the press be exempt from control?" they ask.

An appropriate question for a "newspaper" funded by a handful of wealthy criminals that functions as a GOP newsletter.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003
 
SethAndIra know what's best for you, be you citizens of a sovereign Middle Eastern state or a members of the Islamofascistterrorist-sympathetic Democratic Party. Stoolie and his overweight enabler address the latter group this morning when they announce that "Lieberman Fights On."

The snubbing of Lieberman, the Sunnis write, is a regression. Given the idiotorial's stated definition of "progress" - imperial war-making against Iraq; renunciation of government revenue at a time when entitlement spending is set to soar and a peace dividend is nowhere in sight; putting paid to the irrational privileging of American workers by the American government - they are, we suppose, correct. But outside of SethAndIranistan - that bizarro world where accepted definitions are ignored, along with agreed upon conventions on spelling, logic, basic history, and journalistic practice - Lieberman is rightly regarded as a menace roughly antithetical to the progressive spirit that could again vitiate the Democratic party. Which, given the way his candidacy would narrow the scope of permissible debate to Crazed Support For The Terror War vs Marginally Less Crazed Support For The Terror War, is precisely why Lipsky and Stoll adore him so.

No, say SethAndIra with fingers a-wag, best you Democrats jettison Howard Dean and stick with the FASB-antagonizing, arms-loving, Patriot Act-supporting, Plan Colombia-championing sicko who looks at the recent history of Democratic capitulation as the Party's very apex. And damn you for attempting to determine who best represents your interest without consulting us!

All Hail the Sun variant of democracy. May God protect its avatars, Joe Lieberman and Ahmad Chalabi.
 
In the Credit Where Credit Is Due Department...

Yesterday I wondered aloud whether SethAndIra would hurl the same vitriol at Shrub as they did at Bloomberg for meeting with the Chinese premier. In today's idiotorial page they do, although they rely on some hack from the Heritage Foundation and "Thos." ("The Ham.") DeLay to do most of the talking for them. Anyway, they were at least consistent. Surprisingly, though, the idiotorial makes no mention of tax cuts, tort reform, or school vouchers.

And today John P. J.P. Fipp Avlon is wondering aloud "What the heck happened to Harvard?" Carrying the torch from SethAndIra's snoozer yesterday on the unveiling of a W portait at the Yale Club, JohnPJPFipp informs us that he, too, was invited. ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzz

Meanwhile we're killing more kids in the name of freedom and security. But the always charming James Taranto would rather focus on charming sentiments like "If a woman aborts her child, he can’t very well grow up to be pro-choice."

Tuesday, December 09, 2003
 
"I've got a fever, and the only presciption is... More Daniel Pipes"

So on page 7 today, a space that is ordinarily [chortle] reserved for "news" coverage, we see that Col. Shove That in Your Pipes and Smoke It has written his latest dispatch for the lame Sun.

In it, he offers the objectively fair and balanced observations that, "Anti-Semitism in Europe was for nearly two millennia a Christian phenomenon; now it is basically a Muslim one." Somebody forgot to get the memo to the resurgent Neo-Nazis.

And, "Unless Europeans find the strength forthrightly to address this problem — and all indicators suggest that is unlikely — there is reason to expect a general Jewish exodus from Europe, perhaps along the lines of the general Jewish exodus from Muslim countries a half century ago."

Uh-oh. Somebody better tell Ira! I thought anti-Semitism today was a George Soros - New York Times - Labor Party/Self-Hating Jews - State Department - Jacques Chirac - Democratic Party Axis of Oy!vil. Where do these Muslims fit in? And aren't most Muslims Arabs, hence by definition "semites"?

No matter: Europe better find a way "to address this problem." Note that genocidaire Pipes does not use the word "solution."

And, in case we need reminding, SethAndIra remind us about 387 times in today's Sun that China is "Red" or "Communist," just so the unfortunate reader doesn't get it mixed up with some other China.

Speaking of China, the Sunnis take Bloomberg to task for meeting with "Communist China’s premier." We expect they will give Dear Leader Bush the same treatment tomorrow.

Resident Bush, despite his nice speech about democracy, also seems to hate freedom. Why does he hate democracy so much?

But, pointing to their real-life concerns, SethAndIra today laud the unveiling of a portrait of W at the Yale Club, in an idiotorial designed more to remind us they were invited than to push any real agenda. Except their hope that the Harvard Club will also follow suit. Yes, the world is watching...

Monday, December 08, 2003
 
The always sharp-eyed Quentin Robinson caught an error in my post of Friday: the Independent article I cited did, in fact, mention SethAndIra's delightful toast to the start of The War Against Terror (T.W.A.T.) Part 2: Iraqtric Boogaloo. I regret the error, but STILL I have to point out that a), Seth did not deny the champagne toast "allegation" (which is in Sun-style sarcasti-quotes, because it is true), and b), what about the discrepancy in circulation numbers, Seth? (To recap, on Nov. 6 Seth wrote the Independent that the Sun's circulation was "comfortably above the 45,000 a day we’re guaranteeing advertisers," while on Nov. 10 MediaWeek stated that the Sun was reporting circulation on 40,483.)

So what's the deal, tough guy?
 
One note on Bro. Olson's fine post on Auntie Em's nonsense in Friday's Sun. Em characterizes Conrad Black's problems as springing from "disagreements with members of his boards." This is a straight lie.

Black's problems spring from the blind acquiescence of his "boards" to his every wish. And, in those cases where he chose, from his willingness to completely bypass his "boards" so he and David Radler could reap in the bounty. The "disagreements," which I would rather characterize as "allegations" or "demands that Hollinger investigate its massive institutional corruption" came from minority investors.

Hey! Kind of like Hollinger is a "minority investor" in the Sun!

Auntie Em, I would encourage you to get your facts straight. But, as that has never been a concern of yours, fuck you.

The Chicago Tribune published a great story about Hollinger's shady dealings over the weekend. Here is my favorite part:
The deal: In 2000, Chicago-based Hollinger International Inc. sells four small papers in New York and Pennsylvania to Bradford Publications Co. for $38 million.

The sellers: Conrad Black, Hollinger's chairman and chief executive officer, controlled the company through stock ownership. David Radler was Hollinger's chief operating officer.

The buyers: Black, Radler and associates also control Bradford.

The agreement: Hollinger promises not to compete against the papers it sold to Bradford, in exchange for a payment of $6 million dollars.

The lender: Hollinger lends Bradford $6 million to make the payment; Bradford hands the money back to Hollinger.

The result: Black and Radler borrowed money from Black and Radler to pay Black and Radler for not competing with Black and Radler.

Sounds like the same kind of santorum-smeared circle jerk that keeps the Sun's circulation going up-up-up.

 

 
   
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