TUESDAY, MARCH 9, 2004
BROOKS BROTHER: Who actually wrote that David Brooks column? Who wrote that vacuous, fact-challenged piece about Kerrys haircuts and shirts? (See THE DAILY HOWLER, 3/8/04.) Last night, a brilliant e-mailer linked us on to the place where Brooks may have gotten his orders. And yes, we were surprised at where we went; we were linked to David Bossies Citizens United site, where we saw that pseudo-con operatives latest 30-second TV ad. Its a vacuous ad about fake, phony Kerryand it may have scripted Brooks column. You can watch or listen to the ad at this link. But here is its brilliant, deep text:
CITIZENS UNITED AD:Try to believe that Republicans peddle this crap! At any rate, yesterday we asked the obvious question: How inane is David Brooks? Hearing this ad, we finally found outand we may have learned who actually scripts the New York Times emptiest columnist.
Because yes, dear readers: If you read Brooks column last weekend, you know how closely his meditation followed this inane Bossie script. Brooks included the name of the yacht, but otherwise aped Bossies package. The shirts, the haircutsthe whole list was there. All he added was a factually fake intro, in which he claimed that American Dems always pick phony rich guys like Kerry. But heres the text which David Brooks typed once he established that fake, phony fact. Well let you see what we all should know: Brooks and Bossie are two great minds. Weirdly, they think just alike:
BROOKS: Kerrys second wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, is worth over $500 million. Between them they have a $4 million mansion in Georgetown, a $6 million townhouse on Louisburg Square in Boston, a $6 million summer home on Nantucket, a $3 million estate in Pittsburgh and a $5 million ski lodge in Idaho, which is a 15th-century English barn that was disassembled and imported to the U.S.The only difference? David Bossie had too much class to slime John Kerrys wife in the process. With David Brooks, though, things were different. He dragged her to Clown College too.
One fact about Brooks is now clearthe scribe is a fake, empty shell. Last Saturdays column was based on fake factsand on simpering, inane observations. (Kerry once had a plummy accent.) But one great fact is still unclear; does Brooks script Bossie, or is it vice versa? Or do both of these utterly vacuous men take their scripts from some other great source? Any chance that Karl Rove writes the Times?
Meanwhile, some obvious questions for Brooks editors. First, lets restate yesterdays query. Why was Brooks column published since it so plainly was built on fake facts? Plainly, Democrats dont routinely pick Mayflower types, the ridiculous claim with which Brooks began. Nor was Nominee Gore a multizillionaire, another fake fact Brooks invented. Surely, no Times editor could really have thought that either of these claims was accurate. So lets return to yesterday question: Why on earth is the Times prepared to let Brooks lie in Times readers faces?
But now we have a few more questions for the eds who run the great Timesfor Gail Collins, the editorial page ed, and for David Shipley, her op-ed helpmate. First, of course, our original question: Is there any fact so fake and false that you wont allow your writers to print it? Is there any point at which youll defend your readers against bald-faced deception?
Readers, wed really like to know: Does David Bossie write Brooks columns? From whom do Brooks pieces derive? Does Karl Rove send these scripts to each man? And one more time, the key once again: Is anything in Brooks/Bossies scripts so inane it wont make the cut at the Times? Let them eat earth tones, they said four years back. Are they planning to say it again? Let them just eat high-priced haircuts?
WE SUGGEST YOU COMPLAIN LONG AND LOUD: The Times wants you to Contact Us. And you know theyre eager to hear your remarks; they give you a microscopic link, all the way down at the end of their web site! With that in mind, here are some names of the papers best and brightest. Gail Collins and David Shipley shepherd this mess. Daniel Okrent is the Times public editor. The hapless publisher: Arthur Sulzberger. We suggest you ask them the obvious questions. Is any fact so false that the Times wont print it? Is any topic too dumb for its pages? And did the Times know, when it hired Brooks, that it might have been hiring Bossie or Rove? Gail and David, its 11 oclock. Do you know where your newspapers written?
SPEAKING OF EASYGOING NARCISSISM: This morning, Brooks is very upsetabout Mitch Alboms writings. Indeed, low, mordant chuckles filled our halls as we thumbed through the Timesmans complaints. Never mind Mel Gibson, Brooks insists. Weve got more to fear from the easygoing narcissism that is reflected by all those people like Albom! Meanwhile, Brooks scolds all Americans today, just as he scolded all Dems last week. Americans in the 21st century are likely to be divorced from any sense of a creedal order. Naughty us! Were ignorant of the moral traditions that have come down to us through the ages.
We pose our question to the Times: Who is actually writing your columns? And why in the world are your columns so dumb? Why do you make us eat haircuts?
TOMORROW: Spinning Kerry, part 3: Halbfinger does Kerrys flip-flops.
BROOKS AND EASTERBROOK: Readers, wed probably drop the Mel Gibson thing, but you keep sending us fervent e-mails saying, No, you have to read one more column! And those columns are almost always so rich that we find ourselves forced to opine. Last night, it was Gregg Easterbrooks comments on The Passion to which a valued reader directed us. Well comment on his piece tomorrow. In the meantime, if you want to see what the Easter-man said, you know what to do: Just click here.
By the way, a note for readers who keep insisting that we should stop discussing this topic: If we do discuss this topic tomorrow, that will be something you can choose not to read!