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May 20, 2004

People I Know Roundup

A story about Paul Alan Smith, one of the world's funniest & most generous people, is here. He's so funny it makes me bitter and angry. If you (a) live in Los Angeles, (b) have any interest in progressive politics, and (c) are a good person, you should attend the events he organizes. Ask if you need details.

Also, here's the latest column by Matt Taibbi from the New York Press. This week he writes about Justin Ringling, some guy who sent a plaintive letter to USA Today asking why the media is only reporting the bad news from Iraq:

I looked up Justin after reading this. He is indeed listed in Westerly, RI, so he appears to be a real person...

I called up Justin and left several messages, explaining that I thought I could help with his problem. No answer.

So I'm left to make this public appeal to Justin to come forward. The reason is that I have a proposal for him. I would like to offer to send him to Iraq at my own expense. I would also like to offer him (assuming my editors cooperate) all the column inches in New York Press that he desires to send the missing good news back to the deprived readership of the United States. [Editors' note: Consider it done.]

I have two conditions. The first is that he goes unarmed and unescorted. The second is that he wear, every day, a t-shirt emblazoned with the American flag on the front, and also bearing an Arabic inscription on the back that reads, "God Bless the U.S."

If you're not familiar with Matt Taibbi's writing, your life is not worth living. He co-founded the Exile in Moscow, then returned to the US to co-found the Buffalo Beast. But most importantly, while in Moscow he hit Michael Wines of the New York Times in the face with a combination cream and horse sperm pie. Then Wines, unknowing, licked the combination cream and horse sperm off his own face.

This was perhaps the greatest blow struck for justice in past 100 years. It even outdoes the pie-ing of then-IMF head Michel Camdessus by economist Bob Naiman, and that's saying something. We all stand in the shadow of these giants.

Now, that should be enough achievement for any man, but not Taibbi. He also writes for Rolling Stone, and was able to get himself called "a nut and a hack" with "no place in legitimate journalism" by Matt Bennett, Wesley Clark's press spokesman. Then Bennett said Taibbi "was virulently opposed to the Kosovo War" and "Rolling Stone should be ashamed of themselves for hiring or using him."

No word yet on whether Bennett has called in a NATO airstrike on the Rolling Stone offices.

Posted at May 20, 2004 06:43 PM | TrackBack

Poor Dick Cheney. A short year ago he was the Johnny Sack of government, the power behind the throne, the real boss of bosses, the late-middle-aged model of savvy and toughness. He was a guy that an insightful but style-and-celebrity-addled political columnist had to admire even after subtracting the necessary 50 cool points for his having a hopelessly unattractive wife. Now he's shown to be poor Uncle Junior, effortlessly manipulated by Chalabi's Olivia Soprano. And scraggy-looking, relentlessly plodding Agent Harris is now leading in every poll...

Posted by: Maureen Dowd at May 25, 2004 02:07 AM