February 24, 2008

Exclusive: A Potential Bill Keller Non-Tryst!

These days, dear reader, folks are up in arms about The New York Times’ decision to launch a scurrilous assault on Sen. John McCain. According to the non-story that appeared in the Gray Lady, a few anonymous, likely disgruntled sources assert that, years ago, some female lobbyist was sufficiently close to Sen. McCain to concern some of his staffers.

Yep: That’s it. No proof, just innuendo: Sen. McCain may have been close to a female lobbyist. To the editorial eminences at the Paper of Record, that bit of unsubstantiated claptrap is page one, above-the-fold material.

Well, well, well: We suppose that two can play at this little game. And we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” are just the sorts of folks to join in on the festivities.

Accordingly, it is with great aplomb that we report an exclusive story about Bill Keller, the executive editor of The New York Times responsible for giving the green light to the charmingly ineffective anti-McCain hit piece. A couple of anonymous, likely disgruntled sources have contacted “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” and, after much hand wringing, we’ve decided to publish the following:

Was Bill Keller Involved in an Extra-Marital Love Tryst?

NEW YORK – Two anonymous former employees at The New York Times assert that Bill Keller, the paper’s executive editor, was in danger of becoming too close with a female Times employee in 1993. Mr. Keller, who is married, spent a sufficient amount of time with this employee, Rita Duval, that a few other Times employees grew nervous of the effect this could have on Mr. Keller’s private life.

In 1993, Mr. Keller met Ms. Duval, whose fetching spandex pants suits and fur-lined sweat clothes attracted much male attention, say our anonymous sources. Within weeks of their first meeting, Mr. Keller took regular trips to Ms. Duval’s desk, supposedly to gossip about “Pinch” Sulzberger, the paper’s publisher.

“People were gabbing about this around the water cooler,” says one anonymous source, who remains nameless because he would rather drag other peoples’ names into the mud without affecting his life in any way. “Lots of staffers thought that the two of them were an item.”

Mr. Keller’s lawyer, Robert Bennett, vociferously denies the charges. According to Mr. Bennett “no one named Rita Duval worked at The New York Times in 1993. As far as we can tell, in fact, no one by that name ever worked at the paper.”

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February 20, 2008

We Know He Is Wrong

During our longish absence, dear reader, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” have been hitting the books. Call us the anti-college student: We’re actually literate.

And what books, pray tell, have we been reading? Well, dear reader, we’re glad you asked. Most recently, we strolled our fingers through They Knew They Were Right: The Rise of the Neocons by one Jacob Heilbrunn.

We wish we could report that we found this particular tome immensely satisfying. After all, it was penned by something of a political insider: Mr. Heilbrunn, in addition to having scribbled for The New Republic, is a senior editor of The National Interest, Irving Kristol’s old foreign policy rag.

So here, one might think, is a fellow who has the skinny on those slippery neoconservatives. Ah, but one would think incorrectly. As it turns out, Mr. Heibrunn’s book is part tired rehashing of the same old neocon story, part sloppy, dubious opining.

For instance, Mr. Heibrunn argues that there is something inescapably Jewish about neoconservatism, since it is apparently a tradition heavy of prophetic polemics. To which one might reasonably respond: As opposed to…what? We mean, come on: What political movement doesn’t have its share of such stuff? Has Mr. Heilbrunn never read The Nation? Has he heard of The New York Review of Books?

But that’s far from the only flaw in They Knew They Were Right. (Incidentally, Mr. Heilbrunn, unlike those dreaded neocons, often recognizes that He Is Wrong. That should make reading his latest opus’ reviews easier.)

In the course of discussing the intellectual atmosphere of post-Cold War America, Mr. Heibrunn dilates on Francis Fukuyama’s essay “The End of History,” which appeared in The National Interest. To Mr. Heilbrunn, Mr. Fukuyama’s Hegelian nonsense demonstrates the neoconservatives’ outlandish post-Cold War triumphalism. Like Mr. Fukuyama, apparently, the neocons envisioned the End of History.

Well, let’s just take a look at a bit of evidence, shall we? Neocons were enraptured by Mr. Fukuyama’s article, were they? Hmmmm.

In Bobos in Paradise, David Brooks—a New York Times neocon—argued that the way to become a famous public intellectual was to write an article so transparently foolish that other public intellectuals clamor to discount your arguments. His example: “The End of History”—an idea so dimwitted that even reading the title proved the piece’s fatuousness.

How about Roger Kimball, co-editor and co-publisher of The New Criterion, a neoconservative journal of high culture? In a lengthy discussion of Mr. Fukuyama’s argument, Mr. Kimball rips it apart. For instance, Mr. Kimball writes: “But considered on his own—i.e. Hegel’s—terms, Fukuyama would seem to be a disappointing dialectician.” Not very strong praise, eh?

But wait: There’s more. Mr. Kimball, in this selfsame article, offers Irving Kristol’s take on “The End of History.” The godfather of neoconservatism said the following: “I don’t believe a word of it.”

Well, there you have it: An article—and accompanying book—roundly castigated by neoconservatives offers the triumphalist viewpoints of neoconservatives. Doesn’t leave you with much faith in Mr. Heilbrunn, does it?

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February 17, 2008

The Affirmative Action Candidate

As regular reader(s) of this humble “weblog” well know, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” haven’t been writing up a storm of late. In fact, you can count all our recent “posts” on no fingers. Accordingly, our audience is likely as large as a concert devoted to a 13-year-old playing Pierre Boulez sonatas with his armpit. (And, yes, those Pierre Boulez gags aren’t exactly aiding our efforts to reach more readers.)

Still, every once in a while, we become so fed up with the news cycle that we simply must break our collective silence. Campaign season is upon us, of course, and it brings with it all sorts of irritants.

Allow us to elaborate. There’s a fellow named Barack Obama (D-Bromides). As it turns out, he’s running for president of the United States, though he’s only served in the US Senate for one measly term. Even so, the media have lavished him with attention and warmth, compelling numerous mindless people to plump for him—instead of more experienced Democrats, such as Joe Biden and Christopher Dodd.

Thus Sen. Obama is content to head out on the campaign trail and speak to massive throngs in nothing but abject platitudes. Sen. Obama, we learn, supports “hope.” He is, we learn, also keen on “bi-partisanship,” which appears to be a code word for “support for paleo-liberalism.” For some reason, everyone is eating this stuff up.

Oh, and one more detail: Sen. Obama is black.

So what’s going on here? Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-Pants Suit) would love to know. Whilst the media treat Sen. Obama with the kiddest of kid gloves, they assail Sen. Clinton with untoward ferocity. Every night, it seems, the talking heads fawn over Sen. Obama; every night, it seems, Chris Matthews channels Andy Capp in order to discuss Hillary.

And Sen. Clinton ain’t happy about it. Hillary and her supporters—including her notably randy husband—are up in arms about the stark differences in media coverage.

To which we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” respond: Look, Hillary, you get what you deserve.

After all, Sen. Clinton and her minions support what is euphemistically called “affirmative action” (a.k.a. preferential treatment). According to those of Sen. Clinton’s political persuasion, the United States should chuck its passé concern for the equal treatment of people in favor of a pernicious social gerrymandering. Members of so-called underrepresented minority groups (read: Unsuccessful minority groups) and women (ditto) warrant an artificial boost.

So, Sen. Obama is receiving that unfair boost. The media aren’t treating the election as a level playing field; rather, they’re favoring the black liberal.

Sen. Clinton, this is affirmative action in practice. It’s the unfairness you’ve always desired. Why don’t you love it? Why do you suddenly clamor for equal treatment?

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