The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | March 21, 2011 | 16 Comments

Someone wrote a brief Onion-style satire in which residents of New Orleans expressed dismay that “Japanese were missing a golden opportunity” for looting in the wake of the tsunami there.

Little Miss Attila linked that without comment.

This compelled James Wolcott to cite Attila as an example of conservatives “transmitting in their usual racial code.”


You have to marvel at the extraordinary effort it took for a Vanity Fair columnist to reach such a farfetched conclusion about a blogger he’s never met, on the basis of her having linked a humorous item that ends with a reference to Charlie Sheen and the Wisconsin teachers union.

Wolcott does such things all the time. Evidently too busy to trundle his decrepit ass anywhere to do any actual reporting, he sits there, carping and sneering at, inter alia, Sarah Palin and her admirers.

It’s a newsworthy event when Wolcott manages to make it so far as a Manhattan bar, where all he can think about is “the psychopathology of certain rightwing blogs, especially those whose hosts have turned bitter and bristling with recriminations.” He’s obsessed with us, yet it is we who are diagnosed as suffering from psychopathology.

Project much?

In fact, nowadays Wolcott is America’s most eminent former TV critic moonlighting as a foreign-policy expert, approvingly quoting (with emphasis) Financial Times columnist Max Hastings: “The most powerful single strand in opinion throughout the Muslim world is bitterness about America’s continuing support for Israeli oppression of the Palestinians.”

The Jews! They’re oppressing Palestinians! And perhaps also secretly plotting to get James Wolcott bounced from his sinecure as a Vanity Fair contributing editor! Reckon that’s why Wolcott threw in an extra jab at “neocons” like Max Boot?

Note to Graydon Carter: Play him or trade him. Either put Wolcott on the next plane to Benghazi — send him where the action is, to do some honest-to-God journalism — or else cut him loose. To keep him there in Manhattan, festering like an infected boil, is ruining the man.


Comments are closed.