Monday, November 14, 2005

"Philosophical assassins"

Some of you may have noticed that I've recently been sending several links (not including to my blog) to Don Luskin, including one I knew he'd like.
SO TO MOCK IS TO STALK? New York Times writers never run out of ink. They relentlessly pound their victims in the public forum, day after day, month after month. But let someone criticize one of them with the same vigor and the critic is labelled a stalker. Does this sound familiar?
I had sent Don the link to this article about Julia Langbein, whose blog criticizes New York Times food critic Frank Bruni:
For years, sites such as,, and more recently, have held forums where people can rail against or praise food critics. But former Times reviewer William Grimes said Langbein has raised the blogging stakes.

"In the past, it was random pot shots," Grimes said. "Now, it seems that you're in grave danger of being stalked on the Internet by a philosophical assassin."

In person, Langbein, who works for the city's cultural affairs department, is far from terrifying. She comes across as more college student than character assassin.

Langbein began her poison-pen campaign by sending an e-mail to friends filled with Brunisms, but it became so popular she decided to create the Bruni blog.

The weekly lampoon generates about 1,000 hits a week.
There you have it: Don is no longer the only one accused of online stalking, which Paul Krugman has claimed. Is there a natural paranoia that comes with writing for the Times?


Blogger TKC said...

I think the paranoia comes from not being honest. Let's say Joe tells person A one thing and person B another totally, or even slightly different thing. Joe has to worry if person A and B get together and compare notes. Even if Joe told one of them the absolute truth that person would still have cause to doubt Joe for telling the other person something less than honest.
There is a saying and I forget exactly how it goes so here is a crack at it. A person who tells the truth does not have to remember who he told it to because he will tell everyone the same thing. A person who is dishonest does not have this comfort because they have to remember what they said to who. So it might engender some paranoia.

Now, couple this with being in the job where you are suppossed to report the facts and it can make for a huge case of paranoia if you're making things up.

Monday, November 14, 2005 4:47:00 PM  
Blogger Perry Eidelbus said...

Oh what a tangled web we weave...

And if you check Don's blog, there's another example of Times stupidity. They got snookered in by someone who likely doesn't exist.

Monday, November 14, 2005 8:20:00 PM  

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