"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, January 16, 2004
 
Beating a Dead Blue Unicorn

Yesterday Brothers Robinson and Olivier autopsied the Sun’s latest DOA idiotorial, a paean to turning the moon and Mars into military bases and/or the Artic Wildlife Refuge, Interstellar Division. I don’t mean to harp on the matter, but this is not the first time the New York Sun has meddled outside these surly bonds (as some asshole once put it). In 1835 the Sun broke a major story; British astronomer Sir John Herschel discovered life on the moon! Yes, the moon was teeming with bison, blue unicorns, “hut-dwelling, fire-wielding biped beavers,” and a race of winged humans Herschel called “man-bats.”

Of course, Herschel never made such claims; the entire story was a hoax, possibly perpetrated by Sun reporter Richard Adams Locke (see The Museum of Hoaxes, here, for full details). As the Museum of Hoaxes points out, the Sun never issued a correction, or an apology; so SethAndIra have continued one great New York Sun tradition. At least the paper has stopped making insane, unsupportable claims, though. . .

Thursday, January 15, 2004
 
Apologies to Grady, who mentions this below, but -- what the hell were the folks at the Sun drinking last night? That's a set-up for the inevitable punchline: moonshine.

Let me give you the totality of their editorial genius:
Now that President Bush has vowed that Americans will return to the moon and set their sights on Mars, you can bet the question of space exploration is going to become a political issue. The Democrats have already started complaining about the costs of going to Mars at a time when taxes are, in their estimation, already too low.They are going to be explaining that the money for the moon mission would be better spent at home. And they’re going to start to cavil that there’s no practical point to it all.

One way to pre-empt this would be for the president to vow not only to go to the moon but to claim the Earth-orbiting rock as American property and to assert that it’s needed for military or commercial purposes. If the moon can serve as a base from which to send man to Mars, after all, it ought to be able to serve as a base from which to point high-octane military weapons back at our enemies here on Earth. Or at least as a base from which to set up listening posts and the like that would be out of reach of enemy attack once our enemies start targeting the satellites we have in Earth orbit.

It’s hard to predict which demarche on Mr. Bush’s part might trigger a greater uproar among the Democrats — the idea of using the moon as a military base or the idea of using it for commercial purposes, such as mining for high-grade ore, say, or manufacturing medicines in the pure environment of an airless factory so lifeless that not even germs skulk there. One possibility is that if Mr. Bush were to declare a commercial motive to America’s mission to the moon, he could win support among the Democrats if he abjured the profits or at least promised that America would not sell the Moon, for as the poet once said:
Oh, ’twould be a grievous loss
And one beyond repair
Were the Moon to be dismantled
For a shilling here and there.

Well, that's the whole thing. I'm sure the Democrats would surely play along if he promised not to sell the moon. Can the estate of Charles Dana sue?

Remember people, there are a bunch of neocon sugar daddies out there paying for this. Makes you wonder how they got rich in the first place.
 
From an article on the return of Clinton's point man on Iraq Francis Ricciardone to the scene, we get this from Eli Lake:
In a 1999 interview with the Egyptian government controlled newspaper Al-Ahram, Mr. Ricciardone downplayed the possibility of replacing Saddam's government with a democratic one.

"In the Arab world there are many forms of government that in one way or another reflect the wishes of the people," he said at the time. "We would take a very broad view of what democracy in Iraq should be, and Iraqis themselves would decide what that is."
Ricciardone goes on record as supporting Iraqi self-determination. This, for Lake, proves him an opponent of Iraqi democracy. Anyone caring to read the interview can see that Ricciardone was actually downplaying the (prescient) notion aired by the Al-Ahram journalist that the U.S. wants to install a "puppet regime" after offing Saddam. Note question and answer preceding what Lake quotes:
The US is seen by many Arabs to be interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq. What's your perspective?


Some people imagine that we are trying to set up an American puppet regime in Baghdad but that is simply a misconception. On the contrary, we are supporting Iraqis who are trying to set up any form of government which will be at peace with itself and its neighbours.

But this could result in another dictatorship in Baghdad.
In the Arab world there are many forms of government that in one way or another reflect the wishes of the people. We would take a very broad view of what democracy in Iraq should be, and Iraqis themselves would decide what that is.
Lake is of course not an Al-Ahram journalist, he is a New York Sun "journalist," meaning he must further the "newspaper's" line of promoting the piratical puppet since foisted upon the Iraqis, Ahmad Chalabi.

Lake again:
Administration officials told the Sun that the deputy defense secretary, Paul Wolfowitz, tried for weeks to block the appointment of Mr. Ricciardone. Mr. Wolfowitz was an outspoken critic of Mr. Clinton's execution of the Iraq Liberation Act, the legislation that promised the Iraqi National Congress $97 million. [sic] in military equipment and training but was never delivered.
If only Lake weren't an inamorato of Rumsfeld's he could have charged Ole Skeletor similarly. Lake fingerpainting in The Weekly Standard back in June 2002:
In 1998, Chalabi took his case to Congress, which authorized $ 97 million for military training for the rebels through the Iraq Liberation Act. To this day the money has not been disbursed, though the paperwork approving "lethal" aid has sat on Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's desk for six months.
You may recall that aid to the INC (a/k/a Chalabi Inc.) was suspended after the collection of unknown expats proved unable to account for tens of millions of dollars in aid. It was also suspected of using American aid to lobby in Washington, something very much against the law. Thank god Chalabi's English and not Saudi, right Seth?

Lake's ahistorical "reportage" is not the most outlandish thing in today's Sun though. Ira's "Moon and Sixpence" - and it has to be Ira's; even Seth is better than the agglomeration under consideration - is truly bizarre. The author of that piece thinks it possible that Bush would "win support among the Democrats" if he were "to vow not only to go to the moon but to claim the Earth-orbiting rock as American property and to assert that it's needed for military or commercial purposes." Maybe Seth's out of town again?

Wednesday, January 14, 2004
 
Hawkeyed LFLS reader Mark alerted us to this job posting on JournalismJobs.com:

The New York Sun, a 5-days-a-week broadsheet newspaper, is seeking a full-time copy chief to manage the newspaper's proofreading and style guide.

The copy chief will proofread pages, enforce house style, manage a group of freelance proofreaders, traffic nightly page flow, as well as providing the last line of defense before pages move to the printer. The ideal candidate will be organized, well-versed in AP style, and prepared to work in a high-pressure environment from 4 p.m. until midnight.

The position is located in New York. For consideration, send resume to

Robert Messenger, deputy managing editor, The New York Sun, 105 Chambers Street, Second Floor, New York, New York, 10007.


Brother Mark asks if the “house style” means “riddled with mistakes and inaccuracies,” showing he is all too familiar with the Sun.

I would simply add that 1) this ad itself seems to violate the Sun’s style guidelines (don’t you mean “The position is located ‘at’ New York,” Mr. Messenger?), and 2) the following sentence is outstanding: “The copy chief will proofread pages, enforce house style, manage a group of freelance proofreaders, traffic nightly page flow, as well as providing the last line of defense before pages move to the printer.” Ah, I see, so “The copy chief will . . . providing the last line of defense before pages move to the printer.”

Rarely has the need for a copy editor been so dire, or so apparent.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004
 
"Two senior members of Iran’s revolutionary guard have defected to the American side in Iraq," reports Eli Lake in today's Sun.

Hey! He's scooped the world!

Where could this great intel have come from? Eli will only say "American officials familiar with the intelligence," but I think he's being coy. C'mon 'Li, who was it? Dougie "Fresh" Feith?

Who the fuck would give an exclusive scoop to a newspaper no one reads? Sounds like the Sunnis have been soaked again.

Still, Eli is funny. He says of the People’s Mujahadin, a terrorist organization, that, "the group was also the source of accurate information on Iran’s clandestine nuclear centrifuge in Natanz, information that eventually prompted the Iranians to say they would allow the International Atomic Energy Agency to perform unannounced inspections of its nuclear facilities."

I thought the pre-emption doctrine prompted the Iranians to open up. You know, don't wanna end up in a spider hole. Damn, Eli Lake, you sure do hate America.

Funniest line of the day, though: "In September, the Coalition Provisional Authority chief, L. Paul Bremer, told the London Daily Telegraph "Iran continues to meddle in various ways in Iraq’s internal affairs.'"

L. Paul Bremer. Chief of the Department of Meddling in Iraq's Internal Affairs.
 
Today’s correction box, page 2, New York Sun:

Gambling at off-track betting parlors in New York has declined by about one-third since its peak in the mid-1970s. A photo caption accompanying a column in yesterday’s New York Sun misstated this trend.

This wouldn’t seem to be a big deal. We wouldn’t even have noticed it here at LFLS. In fact, we probably wouldn’t even be mentioning it today, except that the Sun apparently felt so strongly about this correction that they decided to run it a second time, at the end of the letters to the editor.

WETS?

Monday, January 12, 2004
 
What A Difference Criticizing Dear Leader Makes

"That Mr. O’Neill finds [Bush's pre-9/11 preparations for an Iraq invasion] so scandalous is another matter. It suggests that when he went into the administration, he was either out of sync with the law or had an inadequate understanding of the constitutional oath, which imposes on the president an obligation to 'faithfully execute' the laws the Congress passes." -- New York Sun, January 12, 2004

Wow. Strong stuff. How could you ever trust a man who "was either out of sync with the law or had an inadequate understanding of the constitutional oath"? Especially when:

"Corporate income taxes just get passed along to customers, employees, and shareholders, who already pay sales taxes, income taxes, and capital gains taxes. They are a double tax. This is why the Treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill, has been advancing the idea of abolishing corporate income taxes at the federal level."-- Editorial, May 15, 2002

Out of sync with the law!

"Mr. Bush’s first treasury secretary, Paul O’Neill, spoke about tax simplification, but he’s left the administration." -- Ira Stoll, October 17, 2003

Because he hates the Constitution!

"Better, the president and the Republicans could go on the offensive, with a plan hatched by Treasury Secretary O’Neill, who is undertaking a study of ways to revamp the tax system from top to bottom." -- Editorial, November 8, 2002

Lawless! Without sync!

"We’ll offer a word on behalf of Secretary O’Neill, the outgoing Treasury boss ... While Mr. O’Neill ended up playing the gadfly more often than he played the helmsman, he did seek to make the case that Social Security needs privatizing and to advocate for fundamental tax reform. In context this might even be called radical in the best sense of the word." -- Editorial, December 9, 2002

"Radical" as in criminal-minded!

Or might it all have to do with this other headline in today's Sun: "Bush White House In Damage Control Over O’Neill’s Slam."

Yes, that might be it. GOP talking points, brought to you by the Sun.

 

 
   
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