Friday, November 04, 2005

The New Yorker Mag is Neocon Crap

After spending another morning working for a health insurance company's website, I realized once again that the insurance industry in America, particularly in the health care field, is simply a branch of organized crime. It's called a "protection racket," and the public at large doesn't seem to realize it only because the facade and the workings of these companies is made so deliberately boring and complex. Their entire structures need to be dismantled because we all pay for their parasitic leeching off of the health care system, which is grotesque.

For a little soul-cleansing, I joined the weekly Thursday noon peace vigil in front of the Federal Building with the lovely conglomeration of folks I would call peaceniks. They have been carrying out this vigil since October 2001 when the insane people in the federal government and in the mainstream press decided it was a good idea to bomb the hell out of Afghanistan in response to the 9/11 disaster.

The biggest cheerleaders for war against the Arabic-speaking peoples have been once-trusted organs of journalism such as "The New York Times" and "The Washington Post."

Probably the most sickening example was "The New Yorker" editiorializing in their "Notes and Comments" section a few years ago why we needed to go to war with Iraq, even though they now criticize the handling of its aftermath. Their editor, David Remnick, who wrote that editorial writes a stupid column in "The Talk of the Town" looking at President Bush's "Hell Week" in the current November 7th issue.

Nowhere does he take ANY responsibility for the current state of affairs, or offer any apology for continuing to publish right-wing Jewish idealogues like Nicholas Lemann (the dean of Columbia University's School of Journalism, g-d help them!) and Jeffrey Goldberg, whose breathless reports on the doings of Al-Qaeda and the invasion of Iraq have been as mendacious and damaging as anything the infamous Judith Miller wrote for "The New York Times."

All of these jerks owe their readers an apology, but don't hold your breath waiting for one. I would cancel my "New Yorker" subscription except that it's a gift from a dear friend in Long Island, so I will simply continue to read it for their great art critic Peter Schlejessdahl (I'm sure I've misspelled his name), classical music critic Alex Ross, and the angry, investigative pieces by Seymour Hersh. As for the rest of the magazine, frankly, it's mostly a pile of steaming neocon crap.


Anonymous said...

Love those clouds!

Franny Egan said...

Lovely photographs as always.
The closest we'll get to an apology from the likes of NYT, WP and NEW YORKER for their complicity in this dreadful web of lies rings hollow...more like I'm sorry for what happened and not I'm sorry for what I did. They only regret their exposure. Shills for the administration, all of them, excepting of course Sy Hersh./Franny Egan

Kit Stolz said...

Without excusing "The New Yorker" or "The New York Times" or any other media outlet for their excesses or failures, especially for flagrant offenders of fact such as a "reporter" like Judy Miller, I have to point out that any good magazine or paper is going to have a diversity of opinion, and surely that's what we as readers want and need. I detest the neocons, and agree that the NYTimes' half-hearted apology for the "work" of Judith Miller is pathetically insufficient, but I think part of the strength of a weekly such as "The New Yorker" is that it speaks with a variety of voices. I may not agree with all of them (in fact, I know I don't) but that doesn't mean I want a magazine that only publishes opinions I second. Quite the contrary...I may not find Coetzee's recent writing as interesting as his work in the late 90's, for example, but if "The New Yorker" still thinks his fiction deserves publication, will I read it? Yes.

sfmike said...

Dear Anonymous: Love the comment!

Dear Franny: Thank you, FotoTales fan, for stopping by and joining the rant.

Dear Kit: You read the fiction? I was impressed with you already, but that's truly impressive.

I've been reading "The New Yorker" since the 1960s and what I always loved about the Wallace Shawn period was that even though it could be astonishingly boring, there would also be book-length articles about something I had no interest in that turned out to be completely fascinating. I never really read the magazine for "opinions," other than Pauline Kael's on movies with which I would often violently disagree before finally coming around to considering her view might be right.

When Tina Brown took over, the magazine became driven by the Cult of Celebrity, which was depressing because it seemed like the last publication to hold out against that dumbing-down-of-the-population trend. I loved "Vanity Fair" when Ms. Brown was editor, but that magazine was SUPPOSED to be about celebrity.

David Remnick's unfortunate contribution has been to narrow the focus even further, with everything seemingly written by and for a very narrow demographic. No more empathic, book-length, from-the-inside features about the Central Plains are being published. Instead, it has articles about new "lifestyle" problems such as private school teachers being given absurdly lavish presents/bribes by the wealthy, driven parents. That particular article was written and published as if this was going to be a concern to you, The Average New Yorker Reader, which I personally found offensive.

I love to be challenged by a voice that makes me think differently, but there are certain voices that are just not worth listening to, and unfortunately that's how I feel about most of The New Yorker writers these days, particularly the political ones.

Kit Stolz said...

You raise an interesting point about "book length features about the Central Plains"'s true, the New Yorker doesn't dare to bore readers they way it used to. Harper's too in recent years seems to have discontinued its "folio" feature, which were really long pieces on subjects that might not seem to be mesmerizing (such as Alzheimer's) but which were so well-written they usually became the best thing about that particular issue. For that sort of writing I now go to Granta...but I have to agree with you, at times I miss the incredibly unpredictable New Yorker of the old days. We're all so focused these days...

Anonymous said...

ASDF is coming soon! Don't be left behind!