Broken-souled, low-IQ successor to a famous newspaper!


The Sunday Times goes all Kardashian: The New York Times never seems to tire of its principal project—the project of dumbing you down.

Consider the offerings readers received in yesterday’s “Sunday Review.”

Frank Bruni is a regular columnist. He devoted the bulk of his piece to the fact that Kim Kardashian is getting divorced—and that she often gets naked.

In keeping with widely-known rules of the guild, he pretended he had an important point. Manifestly, he didn’t:
BRUNI (11/6/11): The Greek tragedy is one of degree, and the Greeks are magnified versions of the rest of us, paying a magnified price. To cast them as villainous outliers may be cathartic, but it isn’t honest or entirely just.

Honest. Just. Such lofty adjectives all but demand a pivot back to Kardashian. For those of you unfamiliar with her rise to renown, here’s a crash course: naked in a sex video leaked in 2007; naked in a 2007 issue of Playboy; a reality show; another reality show; a friendship with Paris Hilton; a cupcake flavor in her honor named Va-Va-Va-Nilla; clothes for Sears called the Kardashian Kollection; a book titled “Kardashian Konfidential.” She really knows how to work a konsonant.

Beyond that her talents are ambiguous. Like other celebrities famous for being famous, she means nothing and can thus mean everything, an empty vessel accommodating all manner of observations, a malleable moral for many stories.

In the wake of her separation announcement I watched Facebook light up with comments from gay people saying she had provided an inadvertent argument for same-sex marriage, because the institution couldn’t be treated with any more disrespect than she, an avowed heterosexual, had shown it. I got a widely circulated pitch from a publicist hawking a “national expert on the psychology of relationships” who could address the impact of Kardashian’s divorce on “the legions of younger generations that are following this and view Kim as a role model.” Legions? Role model? Oh please.

A branding expert prattled on CNN about the tricky maintenance of a lifestyle brand like Kardashian’s. A professor at the University of Southern California opined in The Wall Street Journal about “how much the marketing universe of the Kardashians has in common with the real art world,” comparing her to the artist Jeff Koons. And star-struck magazines and so-called news shows gasped: was it possible the wedding had been a sham?

Amazingly, Kardashian herself, usually so publicity-shy, spoke up: “I would never marry for a TV show, for money, for anything like that. And I think that’s really ridiculous, that I have to even, you know, kind of defend that, but, you know, I guess that comes along with what’s, you know—when you film your wedding for a reality show.”
Still awake? Bruni’s an expert at ginning up premises which justify his celebrity pimping. What was his “larger point” in this piece? Go ahead! Read it to see!

Maureen Dowd is another regular columnist. She devoted her piece to the endless hunt for tight, high-end women’s shoes:
DOWD (11/6/11): If you thought the recession had dampened interest in luxury accessories, you didn’t see the women lined up after daybreak at the Warwick Hotel on Thursday. A room there was the scene of one of New York’s most feral anthropological tableaus: the biannual Manolo Blahnik sample sale. Talley has been ringmaster of this sartorial circus for three years running.

Not since Cinderella’s stepsisters mutilated their feet to squeeze into that glass slipper have women leveled such fierce desire at footwear. At last fall’s sale, two women dumped their babies on Manolo employees in the lobby as they sped into the room.
Dowd’s whole column explored this worthlesss upper-class piffle. Do you think her “research assistant” helped her this time? Or was this column pure Dowd?

By this time, you’d almost think the Sunday Review had met its stupidity quota! But if you thought that, you don’t understand the low-IQ project this former newspaper has plainly undertaken. The section also offered this dong-tugging “news analysis”—a “news analysis” of Lindsey Lohan’s Playboy sessions! Charles McGrath, an empty-headed lost soul, was dragged in to make it three:
MCGRATH (11/6/11): Why a Fallen Angel Is a Centerfold

The celebrity blogs and the tabloid news sites like TMZ have been all aflutter over reports that Lindsay Lohan, before landing a new jail sentence last week for skipping court-ordered janitorial service at a morgue, managed to find time to pose nude for Playboy magazine for close to a million dollars. Then a couple of dissenting reports said Ms. Lohan had agreed to only partial nudity, which was a distressing comment on the economy these days. What have we come to when a million dollars no longer purchases the complete Montague? Back in the ’50s, when Playboy was just getting started, the going rate for a centerfold shoot was $500.

It now appears that Ms. Lohan, said to be nearly broke, did strip down to her birthday suit, hardly a big deal, since lots of us have already seen most of it before. Last year Ms. Lohan posed topless for German GQ, and in 2008 she appeared draped only in some diaphanous scarves for a New York magazine spread that attempted to recreate Bert Stern’s famous “Last Sitting” of Marilyn Monroe. Just a little fossicking on the Internet — better done at home than at work, by the way — will turn up dozens of additional shots of her in various stages of dishabille. The same is true, of course, for Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears. Getting naked is practically part of the job description. It was a sex tape that started Ms. Kardashian’s celebrity career before she became even more famous for getting married on a TV special and then filing for divorce last week after just 72 days.
McGrath was identified as “a writer at large for The New York Times.” As you can see, his "news analysis" involved Kardashian too!

According to the dong-tugging writer at large, “the celebrity blogs and the tabloid news sites have been all aflutter over reports” that Lohan took off her clothes. He forgot to mention another news org, the empty-headed successor to a famous newspaper.

Meanwhile, the analysts roared at one part of Bruni’s latest buffoonism. According to Bruni, Kardashian is “like other celebrities famous for being famous.” She “means nothing and can thus mean everything.” She’s “an empty vessel accommodating all manner of observations, a malleable moral for many stories.”

An empty vessel? A celebrity famous for being famous? Whose various actions mean nothing? Reading Bruni, we pictured three other empty heads. Sadly, these other empty heads are employed by his former newspaper.


  1. The column about shoes was a new low even for Maureen Dowd. Frank Bruni is gay so he revels in silliness and gossip.

  2. Greece practically touches Turkey. Armenia touches Turkey.
    Kardashian is an Armenian name. Therefore they are all the same thing. Get it?

  3. As I looked at columnists in the Sunday opinion section yesterday I thought "Can it get any worse than this?" The Bruni bit was unreadable. The Dowd piece - it should have been on page 6 of the Style section. To think I used to look forward to reading the Sunday paper.

  4. A few tears of pity for the former newspaper: they are trying to attract readers who "grew up" on Camillie Paglia explaining the artistic/historical implications of the supremely vacuous and now largely forgotten Madonna. Or, a trash lit major might snap back, Greil Marcus on Bob Dylan.

    Yet surely it was the stupid, obnoxious and transparently not liberal Paglia who was really the trailblazer here. Writing for Salon where Glenn Greenwald would oddly leave her off his list of supposedly leftist evil doers (along with that hapless creep Christopher Hitchens, who always overwhelmed star struck libs) , Paglia could count on her tripe running unanswered. Darlings, it simply wasn't done.

  5. I've never once thought of Paglia as a liberal. Like Dowd she creates her own bizarre space.
    Bruni's column ... no, I don't think he did have a point. Other than to show off how cleverly he thinks he writes ("our little Kimmykins of Sunnybrook Farm").

  6. When I was young, instead of the Sunday Review, the Sunday Times had the News of the Week in Review. The first two pages were an actual, unbiased review of the week's news. The rest contained intelligent op-eds and intelligent editorials. The decline is sad.

  7. CBS Sunday Morning did an entire segment on leaf blower noise. There source? Very wealthy neighborhoods in Connecticut and California. What a waste.

  8. "Bruni is gay so he revels in silliness and gossip."
    Dowd revels in silliness and gossip. Does that mean she's gay?
    Alan Snipes revels in ignorance and intolerance.

  9. Alan Snipes, your comment that "silliness and gossip" is a trait of gay people is sickening. Seek help. Making such comments is definitively a trait of idiots.

  10. Trashing entire newspapers is no more useful than trashing "Israel" or fat people. The Times is just reaching out to its hoards of new readers - the presumably desirable side effect of digitalization - deeper and wider democratization. So, you have to scan it for what you consider suitable content? I weep for you.

    Bruni does prattle on, but he can do whatever he wants as far as I'm concerned since, in this column at least,, he reveals a bottomless heart. It challenges me never to write off anybody, even Maureen Dowd, though, godalmighty, that is a tough one.


  11. @Snipes: Hitler was straight, which clearly means that straight people are all genocidal maniacs.

    Why the Times still lets straight people write columns for them after Hitler's, Stalin's, and Mao's crimes against humanity is beyond me.

  12. The New York Times is now the Kim Kardashian of Newspapers...famous for being famous!

  13. Dowd is one of the worst columnists in the United States.

  14. One of?

    "The decline is sad."

    Heh. Indeed.

  15. Anonymous said...

    CBS Sunday Morning did an entire segment on leaf blower noise. There source? Very wealthy neighborhoods in Connecticut and California. What a waste.

    Actually I think leaf blowers are newsworthy, both in terms of noise pollution and environmental hazard. They scare away birds from birds' natural environments; their motors are comparable to jet engines; it's entirely possible they are blowing up and circulating toxins that are in the soil. And they aren't just in wealthy neighborhoods. In my middle class neighborhood our building janitor uses one several times a week.

  16. nike shoes, Cheap Jordans,Cheap Jordan Shoes,Cheap Air Max,Cheap Free Run Shoes,nike shoes,nike outlet,nike factory,nike store,nike factory outlet,nike outlet store,cheap nike shoes,nike sneakers, toms outlet, toms outlet,tom shoes,toms shoes outlet,tom shoes,toms wedges,cheap toms,, air jordan, air jordan,jordan shoes,cheap jordans,air jordans,jordan retro,air jordan shoes,jordans,jordan 11,jordan xx9,jordan 6,new jordans,retro jordans,jordan retro 11,jordan 5,air jordan 11,jordans for sale,jordan 4,jordan 1,jordan future,jordan 3,jordan 12,michael jordan shoes,air jordan retro, cheap jordans, cheap jordans,cheap jordan shoes,cheap jordan,cheap jordans for sale,jordans for cheap,jordan shoes,jordans,air jordan,jordan retro,jordan 11,jordan xx9,jordan 6,new jordans,air jordans,retro jordans,jordan retro 11,jordan 5,air jordan 11,jordans for sale,jordan 4,jordan 1,jordan future,jordan 3,jordan 12,michael jordan shoes,air jordan shoes,air jordan retro, jordan retro, jordan retro,jordan shoes,air jordan,air jordans,retro jordans,air jordan retro,jordans,jordan 11,jordan xx9,jordan 6,new jordans,cheap jordans,jordan retro 11,jordan 5,air jordan 11,jordans for sale,jordan 4,jordan 1,jordan future,jordan 3,jordan 12,michael jordan shoes,air jordan shoes, air max 90, air max 90,nike air max 90,air max 95,air max 2014,air max 2013,air max 1,nike air max,air max,nike air max 2014,airmax,nike air max 2013, air max 95, air max 95,nike air max 95,air max 90,nike air max 90,air max 2013,nike air max,air max,air max 2014,nike air max 2014,airmax,nike air max 2013, nike free 5.0, nike free 5.0, nike free trainer 5.0,nike free run 5.0,free running 2,nike free run,nike free,free running,nike running shoes,nike free trainer,free runs,free run 5.0, omega watches, omega watches,omega watch,replica watches,rolex watches,replica omega watches,rolex,watches for men,watches for women,rolex watches for sale,rolex replica,rolex watch,cartier watches,rolex submariner,fake rolex,rolex replica watches,replica rolex, ralph lauren outlet, ralph lauren outlet,ralph lauren outlet online,polo ralph lauren outlet,polo ralph lauren outlet online,polo ralph lauren,ralph lauren,polo ralph,polo shirts,,polo outlet,ralph lauren polo, oakley sunglass, thomas sabo

  17. oakley sunglasses,cheap oakley,cheap oakley sunglasses,oakley sunglasses cheap,oakley outlet,oakley sunglasses outlet,oakley vault,oakleys,,sunglasses outlet,cheap sunglasses,oakley prescription glasses,fake oakleys,oakley glasses,oakley store,fake oakley,oakley sale,cheap oakleys,discount oakley sunglasses, ray ban sunglasses, Ray Ban Sunglasses,Ray Ban Outlet,Ray Ban Sale,Cheap Ray Bans,Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses,ray ban sunglasses outlet,ray ban,rayban,ray bans,ray-ban,raybans,ray ban wayfarer,ray-ban sunglasses,,rayban sunglasses,cheap ray ban, burberry, burberry,burberry outlet,burberry outlet online,burberry factory outlet,burberry sale,burberry handbags, chanel bags, chanel bags,chanel handbags,chanel sunglasses,chanel outlet,chanel purses,chanel handbags official site, coach outlet store, coach outlet,coach outlet store,coach outlet store online,coach outlet stores,coach factory outlet,coach factory,coach factory online,coach factory outlet online,coach outlet online, chaussures louboutin, louboutin,louboutin pas cher,christian louboutin,louboutin chaussures,louboutin soldes,chaussure louboutin,chaussures louboutin,chaussure louboutin pas cher,louboutin france, sac michael kors, michael kors,sac michael kors,michael kors sac,michael kors pas cher,sac michael kors pas cher,michael kors france, north face outlet, north face outlet,the north face,north face,the north face outlet,north face jackets,north face jackets clearance,northface, yoga pants, yoga pants,lululemon,lululemon outlet,lululemon athletica,lululemon addict,lulu lemon,,, beats by dre, beats by dre,beats headphones,beats audio,beats by dr dre,beats by dre headphones,dr dre,dre beats,beats by dr,dr dre beats,dre headphones,beats by dr. dre,cheap beats, ferragamo, ferragamo,salvatore ferragamo,ferragamo shoes,ferragamo outlet,salvatore ferragamo outlet,ferragamo belts,ferragamo belt,ferragamo outlet, nike blazer, nike blazer,blazer nike,nike blazer pas cher,Chaussures Nike Blazer,Nike Blazer Femme, nike air force, swarovski crystal, swarovski