Magazine article The Spectator

Watch out, You Editors

Magazine article The Spectator

Watch out, You Editors

Article excerpt

New York

K. Frank Johnson, Charles Moore, John Witherow, Andrew Neil (the rest are too grubby to be mentioned in the most elegantly written pages of the Englishspeaking world) you have been warned. The poor little Greek boy is joining your ranks, and not a moment too soon. Starting this summer, I shall be editing an insert in the Big Bagel's only profitable weekly newspaper, the New York Press. The NYP is a hell of a success. It was started by Russ Smith, a sartorially correct young gentleman, ten years ago. After seven years of struggle and sweat, it now makes lotsa moolah. This is the way it should be. NYP shades towards the right, although it employs columnists like Alexander Cockburn, a man whom I might not agree with where politics are concerned, but one who calls a spade a spade and does it in beautifully written prose to boot.

Russ Smith writes the 'Mugger' column in his own organ, a long rambling J'accuse that pricks the pomposities, exposes the hypocrisies, and more or less insults the ruling liberal elites of this celebrity-mad town. My job will be to write a column and edit six pages filled with upmarket news, gossip, politics and cultural criticism. One thing is for sure. Certain phonies will soon be gunning for me. The cultural apparatchiks of this town have for far too long gotten away with murder. Take Stephen Glass, for example. He is a 25-year-old twerp who was recently fired from the New Republic for having written numerous exposes - such as uncovering a group of Clinton-haters plotting to overthrow the government, or being present when a group of drunken, drug-taking conservatives engaged in an orgy at a Washington conference - all of which turned out to have been invented by him. The irony being that Glass - no relation of my friend Charlie Glass, God forbid - acted both as a writer and as a fact checker.

His crimes having finally been exposed, Glass has not been punished. Instead, he is attending Georgetown University while the hacks in this town and Washington are expressing their sorrow `that a great talent has been wasted,. This is the biggest crock of you-know-what since British tabloid scum called the Queen unfeeling for taking her grandsons to church following the death of Princess Diana. …

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