30 Comments


  • Fine work, sir.

    I don’t understand how anyone who isn’t wholly motivated by greed – and what Bush can do for them – would feel any desire to defend that evil buffoon. I mean, it’s not as if he’ll face another election.

    Is there such a thing as hard journalism anymore? I don’t see it. Fox “News” isn’t really any worse than, say, CNN; they’re just blatant fawners. And if they’re just mouthpieces for the White House, why do they only give us the Bad News? How about a happy-see-how-sunny-the-world-is? kind of news? That’d at least make a guy feel better about the reaming the govm’t gives us.

    Chris

    December 04, 2005
  • Thanks for that, Bob. Well said and necessary.

    dewy-eyed billets-doux

    Now there’s a band I’d buy tickets to see.

    December 05, 2005
  • Weren’t you a charter member?

    December 05, 2005
  • Well said indeed, sir. I hope the Times prints your letter, to much-deserved accolades.

    December 05, 2005
  • Yeah, but the bloody nobs kicked me out for that Ringo bloke.

    December 05, 2005
  • Preach it, brother.

    Still, it’s arguable that Bush does have an Eisenhower’s grasp of the war: Mamie’s.

    December 05, 2005
  • How much misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance does it take before Mr. Brooks’ dewy-eyed billets-doux to the GOP are moved from the op-ed page to a lonely hearts column?

    LOL! Great line, and a great, articulate letter crafted from well-turned anger.

    December 05, 2005
  • Hey Chris. I think the average person doesn’t want to believe that their government is evil or corrupt or incompetent, but the folks in the media have no excuse: they know more than the average citizen, and they’re exposed to this administration’s incompetence and mendacity on a daily basis.

    December 05, 2005
  • Thanks, Mark. I think the dewy-eyed billets-doux are opening for Coldplay at the Key Arena in January.

    December 05, 2005
  • Ha! Thanks, but I’m sure the Times isn’t going to print any letter that referes to one of their columnists as the Bush administration’s unctuous Ganymede.

    The letter is both too insulting and too long to see print.

    December 05, 2005
  • I always wondered what became of Pete Best.

    December 05, 2005
  • Ha, thanks—though there’s no particular merit in preaching to the choir, I guess. As I said above, the Times would never print that letter.

    At that, Mamie would make a better president than the recumbent.

    December 05, 2005
  • Thank you, thank you. I was, as you can tell, a little wound up when I wrote that.

    December 05, 2005
  • Gits.

    December 06, 2005
  • He was (understandably) bitter, recorded an album called Best Of the Beatles (with no actual Beatles songs) to try to capitalize on their success, and is still around, advertising himself as “The man who put the beat in Beatles.”

    December 06, 2005
  • First of all, great letter. Not that it will matter. I think Calame might respond that on a page featuring Dowd, Herbert, and even Frank Rich who finally got moved to Op-Ed because his Arts&Leisure columns every week shredded Shrub and his policies, at least one unctuous Ganymede is necessary for balance. I realize your point is not necessarily about Brooks’ slant so much as his disohnesty, but finding an honest supporter of the Bush administration — go see if you can borrow Diogenes’ lantern.

    The interesting thing about Barney Calame is that before he became the Times’ ombudsman, he was the gentle Chief Justice of The Wall Street Journal. He read everything that went into the paper, was scrupulously fair to everyone, and was the person you went to if you weren’t sure if something was appropriate for the paper or not. His rulings always made sense, and I always wondered what he thought of the Journal’s editorial page (which more so than most papers is kept very separate from the news pages; the Journal’s managing editor likes to joke that you get two papers for the price of one).

    December 06, 2005
  • Thanks! As I said above, the letter is too insulting and too sprawling to get printed. There are two issues: “balance” and Brooks’ dishonesty.

    I oppose the notion of “balance” on principle. I think news organizations have kowtowed to this false god for too long. Congressman Jones proposes a resolution that New Jersey schoolchildren are taught that the Earth is flat. He is roundly ridiculed, but the Trenton Fosdick-Marigold’s executive editor says there must be balance, so some wingnut professor from the Garden State Seminary and Beauty School is found to supply a quote to the effect that the Earth does look kind of flat from where he’s standing, and why not “teach the controversy” and let the kids make up their own minds? I think a news organization’s focus should be on rendering the closest approximation of the objective reality possible. Empiricism, not balance should guide editorial policy. That by itself would pull the covers off a lot of bad ideas from both parties.

    Brooks’ dishonesty I think needs no further elaboration. (But can I resist? No!) If you’re a veteran reporter and columnist and you use an anonymous quote like that it means you’re either an idiot with an impossibly long learning curve, or you’re lying to your readers by presenting the anonymous staffer as a credible source.

    Calame is okay, from what I’ve seen in his Public Editor’s column. He was justifiably tough on Judith Miller, and he’s good at explaining the Times’ editorial process to outsiders.

    December 06, 2005
  • Anonymous

    unctuous Ganymede! Lonelyhearts column for the Prez’s inflamed ego!

    Oh what a marvelous letter, Bob!

    As with several of your readers, I enjoyed the phrase “the Bush administration’s unctuous Ganymede” and especially the question “How much misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance does it take before Mr. Brooks’ dewy-eyed billets-doux to the GOP are moved from the op-ed page to a lonely hearts column?”

    I do hope they print it. But of course they prefer letters that are signed “Head of the Yale Institute for Political Validation and Appreciation,” so maybe that’s how you should have signed it.

    December 06, 2005
  • Anonymous

    misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance

    Gee, aren’t these Disney villans?

    Bill the Mason

    December 07, 2005
  • Unfortunately, no, though the Bush administration certainly has its cartoonish aspects. Misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance appear to be the administration’s three areas of expertise.

    December 08, 2005
  • Re: unctuous Ganymede! Lonelyhearts column for the Prez’s inflamed ego!

    Hey, thanks, Mary. As I said somewhere above: satisfying to vent, but ultimately not very effective.

    December 08, 2005
  • I thought the Dewey-Eyed Billets-Doux were Coldplay.

    December 08, 2005
  • It’s just that you embarrassed them by forcing them to look up Ganymede.

    December 08, 2005
  • Yes, I believe they’re the three fairies from Sleeping Bushie.

    December 08, 2005
  • No, the Dewey-Eyed Billets-Doux are a Harry Truman cover band….

    December 08, 2005
  • So would Checkers.

    December 08, 2005
  • Anonymous

    LOL! Nice.

    Bill the Mason

    December 08, 2005
  • I like The Harriest True Man for a band name. First album: Just a Heartbeat Away.

    December 08, 2005
  • Hello,

    I haven’t the least idea who you are, except that suggests that you have a fondness for Easter Island, and might enjoy reading about our trip there. I returned last night, and B (we share our journal) isn’t home even yet, so I do not know when the trip reports and pictures will get posted, but you are free to see ’em when and if we do get them posted.

    Since our journal is Friends-only, I Friended you to give you access.

    If you want to know anything in particular, feel free to ask over in our comments.

    K.

    February 01, 2006
  • Hi K. We apparently have a few friends in common. I know Peg through . Thanks for friending me—I’m looking forward to reading you Rapa Nui travelogue. More later.

    February 01, 2006

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