Saturday, October 31, 2009
What's the Daily Beast?
They like this guy. They really like this guy.
GAG ME. The Daily Beast. The name reminds me of Evelyn Waugh. The best funny satirist of the twentieth century. He did outstanding lampoons of the press of his day, most notably in Scoop, the story of a foreign correspondent made hero by forces beyond his control. Only problem: Waugh would not have liked the Internet abomination called The Daily Beast. He'd have found its publisher, Tina Brown, a foppishly fertile opportunity for scathing ridicule, and he'd have laughed his tight ass off at Christopher Buckley -- ne'er-do-well son of William F. Buckley -- who seems determined to disgrace the legacy of his eminently cartoonable dad. Chris Buckley famously endorsed Obama in the runup to the 2008 election and has been justifying his wrong-headed decision, made on the basis of 'superior temperament,' ever since, most recently by calling for surrender in Afghanistan. Dad would be so proud.
Tina Brown, it will be remembered, is the silly British bitch who destroyed the once estimable New Yorker Magazine and now presides over a publication whose pomposity could only have been topped by Mr. Waugh or P.G. Wodehouse's even sillier media magnate, Lord Mammoth. Ms. Brown presides over tea parties (the real thing, not common-man teabuggering of the sort Anderson Cooper bends over for at CNN) in Manhattan and pretends she's still in the journalism business. If you're looking for ultimate snot on the Internet, here's its headquarters. You can always count on the Daily Beast to put on airs while the country itself is in flames. Cool, eh?
But today they have finally called out the highly paid anchor of Fox News Channel's lowest rated evening show, the 7 o'clock news starring Shepard Smith. He's a moderately charming boy I've always had a certain affection for, principally because after a few months of watching him I identified his alma mater as the University of Mississippi and was subsequently proven correct. (You'd be pleased with yourself too.) Believe me, there's no one at the Daily Beast who thinks this is a worthwhile credential. But given that Shepard is a reflexive liberal in the tradition of all other mainstream media, they're prepared to admire him as the only voice of 'reason' at Fox News. Which they do. At length. Today.
President Obama is stretched thin prosecuting three wars at once. Not only is he battling violent insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan, he’s also fighting the ruling regime at the Fox News Channel, where former Republican media strategist Roger Ailes—the journalistic equivalent of Mullah Omar—is commanding warlords Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and Sean Hannity in an epic struggle for hearts and minds.
But then there’s Shepard Smith, Fox News’ resident contrarian.
Far from toeing the company line, Smith occasionally defends Obama and other Democrats, mocks and argues with his right-wing colleagues, and otherwise has positioned himself among anti-Fox liberals as a lone voice of reason behind enemy lines—the Fox News personality who truly is fair and balanced.
Keep reading if you like, but you get the drift. Heaven knows, I don't credit Sean Hannity with much in the way of intellect, but he'd pulverize Shepard in any formal debate on any issue you'd ever want to mention, and I can't help but think this puff piece about the lowliest of all news anchors is just about as condescending as it gets. The man is a news reader in a bunch of nice suits. Period.
The winningest thing about him is the evident fact that he's never had a thought in his life. He could even lose to Wolf Blitzer on Celebrity Jeopardy. So what's the point of the Daily Beast celebrating him?
Irony. Tina Brown and Chris Buckley and Lloyd Grove are playing a parlor game with their little paper. Yes, we admire the one good newsman on Fox News, and we count on all of you to see that he's a retard. So what does that say about the rest of them? The ones who didn't major in beer and blondes at the University of Mississippi?
Can't tell you how tired I am of this schtick. Can't tell you.
Shepard? Go to hell. You're an idiot. Even Brian what's-his-name on Fox & Friends is more impressive than you are. Honestly.
Daily Beast? Reread your Waugh. You can do better. Unless you're as dumb as Shepard is...
...which I happen to think you are.