“[L]udicrously wrong, Alessandra Stanley-grade wrong.” In fairness to Stanley, she at least usually confines her inevitable wrongness to a single field…
Tag: "free dahlia lithwick"
Apparently, David Brooks’ ability to disguise propaganda as literary criticism might exceed his ability to disguise propaganda as restaurant criticism:
Whereas Myers only tells one major lie about the book’s content and characters—stating that “of the four main characters, only Walter has a real job” (when in actuality Franzen’s characters main and minor are universally not only gainfully employed, but unusually industrious and devoted to their jobs)—Brooks manages to pack nine material misstatements about the book’s plot into a mere 73 words…
Now, what is truly brilliant about the above is that every single one of those things is either a dominant theme or a conspicuous subtext of Freedom (and you can scroll down to see my detailed annotations if you really care.) It makes you wonder why Brooks didn’t just go ahead and add “the inimitable joys of semi-functional family life” to the list! (Maybe someone’s editor actually read The Corrections?) It’s as if the guy read a Candace Bushnell novel just so he could tell his readers that, “important new book” though it may be, the leaden plot was woefully lacking in references to female friendship, casual sex, meals consumed in trendy restaurants, ludicrously expensive anti-aging ointments and/or cosmetic surgery procedures, homosexuals, frivolity in general, and even more disappointingly he found no instances of product placement or the word “fabulous” in any of its 256 pages (and also what was up with everyone in the book insisting on going barefoot everywhere?)
It’s not exactly news that Brooks the Hack won a 1st-round knockout years ago, but…
OK, maybe he was right to praise himself — for the first time we have evidence that Richard Cohen is a very funny man. The segue from “practically, some suburban Jerusalem settlements won’t be dismantled'” to “therefore, Israel should be able to build more illegal settlements pretty much wherever it pleases and Obama should just butt out” — now that’s priceless comic timing.
Shorter David Broder: Now that the primary is over, John McCain is finally free to be the principled maverick he’s always been. Now, where is that damned Easter Bunny with my afternoon hot chocolate?
Verbatim David Broder, I swear: “One obvious area where he will be needed is his favorite field, national security. Iraq, where he was prescient and persistent, still poses challenges, and Afghanistan, where Obama badly needs a Republican partner, is likely to be in crisis before it can be called a success. Behind them looms Iran, which could be this nation’s next big test.”
I’m not going to say that this is the most vapid column MoDo has ever written — the competition is way too steep. But it’s always worth remembering that our most prominent newpaper thinks it’s worth spending oodles of money to receive utterly incoherent non-thoughts about trivia twice a week on its op-ed page, in a context in which (as her one rational and knowledgale colleague reminds us) we have some actual problems worthy of discussion.
And Richard Cohen ups the ante in the long-running competition to see which denizen of Fred Hiatt’s crayon scribble page can engage in the most appalling apologia for child rape. I hope Applebaum doesn’t take this as a challenge.
…in fairness, it must be noted that not all of Cohen’s colleagues are drinking the Versailles Kool-Aid.
While I can’t disagree that Ross Douthat seems to have dedicated his career to proving his thesis about the inadequacy of his education correct, this particular example of reducing serious arguments into silly “Patio Man drives like this, but Grill Man drives like this” categories is in fact a Bobo special; one shouldn’t have even needed to see the byline.
Well, granted, she already has a lifetime achievement award, but…
Obviously, the idea that Evan Bayh has any chance of winning a national Democratic primary is funny stuff (or pathetic, when the person making the argument is actually paid to write about politics; it’s funnier coming from hapless amateurs.) But I especially enjoyed this from Lane’s tribute to Bayh:
For months now, Bayh has been screaming at the top of his voice that the party needs to reorient toward a more popular, centrist agenda — one that emphasizes jobs and fiscal responsibility over health care and cap and trade. Neither the White House nor the Senate leadership has given him the response he wanted.
Leaving aside the feigned shock about the fact that the Democratic leadership was unenthusiastic about adopting the agenda of the second-most conservative Democratic senator, you have to enjoy the idea that the “popular” strategy for the Democrats would apparently be a “jobs” program…of the “fiscally disciplined” kind adopted by Herbert Hoover and Martin Van Buren. If Congress actually adopted Bayh’s ideas, his choice to run or not would be moot, given that his chances of winning would be roughly zero given the state of the economy…
I suppose it stands to reason that Fred Hiatt would add torture apologist Marc Thiessen (link which I would urge you not to click) to its existing stable of rape apologists, proponents of disastrous wars, other proponents of the arbitrary executive power to torture, etc. I’m just surprised they didn’t go all the way and lure John Yoo away from whatever Philadelphia rag he writes for.
I’m sure that hiring the former paid hacks of a disgraced administration will restore the Post to profitability…
Her lengthy Saturday night keynote address to the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville and her debut on the Sunday morning talk show circuit with Fox News’ Chris Wallace showed off a public figure at the top of her game — a politician who knows who she is and how to sell herself, even with notes on her palm.
Yep, 2012 is going to be 2000 all over again, with a not-very-bright reactionary governor portrayed as “authentic” against elitist Democratic phonies. Kill me now.
It used to be that Gail Collins would feign reluctance about having been forced by events to author her 75th consecutive column about some trivial political sex scandal or another. At least she seems to have given up the pretense. So, if you’re in the market for columns that don’t say anything interesting about issues of little importance, complete with au courant references to Lady Gaga’s eye makeup, you’re in luck!