WHAT A DOLT. I imagine it would take a while to amass enough rejection letters from the op-ed page of a major daily newspaper to be able to get a funny column out of it. Bruce Stockler didn't want to wait. So he managed to sweet-talk National Review Online into posting his piece on rejections from the Washington Post without bothering to have actually been, you know, rejected.
Howard Kurtz has the details here. Read that first, and pay careful attention to the words of National Review editor Rich Lowry, who tells Kurtz, "This piece seems to me to be pretty obvious satire. It seems to me he's obviously making stuff up to be funny." Lowry does concede that the satire, if that's what it is, is more apparent by the end of Stockler's piece than at the beginning. But Lowry makes a serious factual error in calling Stockler's column "funny."
Then, if you care enough to continue, read Stockler. Act quickly! I wouldn't bet a lot of money that it will remain online the rest of the day. If you're like me, I think you'll agree that Stockler is nothing but a lying liar. (Via Romenesko.)
BRUDNOY'S LAST COLUMN. Among many other things, David Brudnoy was a film critic for the Community Newspaper chain. This week, CNC publishes his final piece - a heartfelt plea for AIDS research, especially in the Third World. There's more Brudnoy here.
In the new Phoenix, Harvey Silverglate has a terrific tribute to his friend.
NEW IN THIS WEEK'S PHOENIX. Jack Beatty, of the Atlantic Monthly and the radio show On Point, talks about the great political writing that's between the covers of a recent book that he edited, Pols.
Oh, chill out, Dan. Stockler's piece is at least *mildly* funny. True, the first couple of paragraphs are deadpan but after that it pretty clearly becomes self-satire. It might even function as a bit of a dig at paranoid right-wing critics of the 'liberal media', initially sucked in by the piece's verisimilitude before belatedly realizing that the conspiracy is all the writer's own head.
Stockler responds to the mini-tempest today: see
Kind of hard to debate humor, but I didn't find Stockler's piece particularly interesting or amusing, and I say that as an NRO subscriber. I'm also surprised that NRO ran the piece even though its editors and contributors have frequently complained about how many readers fail to recognize even the most blatant forms of parody/satire.
Even so, for WaPo to get worked up about it is pretty strange. Journalistic resources not well spent, that's for sure.
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