May 24, 2006

The Worst Magazine in the World?

When Christopher Hitchens parted ways with The Nation, he famously declared that he could not work for a magazine whose staff believed that John Ashcroft was a greater threat to America than Osama bin Laden. It was, we think, a very telling remark, demonstrating the failure of the Nationistas to make rudimentary distinctions.

We thought of Mr. Hitchens’ quip anew when flipping through the May 15 number of the New Statesman, Britain’s ideological equivalent of The Nation. For this particular issue of the rag offers a classic example of this brand of left-leaning obtuseness.

The cover presents a close-up shot of the current head of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz, which clearly intends on portraying him as evil and menacing. The accompanying caption reads: “The worst man in the world? Paul Wolfowitz: the World Bank boss and his secret regime.”

Without so much as reading a word of the magazine, you can already determine that it is the work of complete loons. Paul Wolfowitz—the “worst man in the world”? What kind of dolt would even ask such a question?

Last we checked, the following people still inhabit what R. Buckminster Fuller labeled Our Spaceship Earth: Kim Jong-il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Fidel Castro, Osama bin Laden, Gerard Depardieu. And then there’s the likes of Hamas, Bashir Assad, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Tamil Tigers (and the Detroit Lions), &c. In the sane person’s list of “worst men in the world,” Paul Wolfowitz shouldn’t even crack the top million.

So what bombshell of an article is behind this overwrought, morally obtuse query? Why, a pathetic piece penned by one Robert Calderisi, a disgruntled former World Bank employee.

In the course of his mercifully short and painfully inept article, Mr. Calderisi shares a few quotes he’s supposedly recorded from interviews with what seem to be around five anonymous World Bank workers. They characterize Mr. Wolfowitz as a bad manager and a bit secretive. And…that’s it.

Uh, come on, New Statesman. What the heck is going on? This boring review from a handful of people at a huge organization is grounds for “worst man in the world” status?

Kofi Annan would love to get this kind of press. Hey, at least Mr. Wolfowitz hasn’t gotten rich off of an impotent organization that coddles dictators and offers cover-ups for the rapes of 14-year-old girls in the Congo!

For its patent imbecility, we feel as if the New Statesman deserves the “worst magazine in the world” award. Perhaps the real worst person in the world can thumb through it. We refer, of course, to Keith Olberman.

Posted at May 24, 2006 12:01 AM | TrackBack