Peter Fallow -- Bizarro World Romenesko!!

If there were ever a time for an arrogant, drunken, lazy, ethically challenged and totally fictitious reporter to comment on the state of journalism, it is now!

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Washingtonienne-Wonkette update!!!

Not really. This is just a quick note to my regular reader (and that's not a typo) that I'll be on holiday for the next week or so.

All the Washingtonienne news can be found elsewhere on the Web, so all you Washingtonienne Google searchers, please go elsewhere for all of your Washingtonienne updates.

No Washingtonienne links here, so take your Washingtonienne-seeking ass elsewhere.

Same for you people looking for "Washingtonienne anal sex" or "Washingtonienne ass fucking," or "Washingtonienne Wonkette spank" or "Washingtonienne Wonkette three-way" or "big steaming bowl of Washingtonienne Wonkette."

You won't find any of that rubbish here anymore.

No "Jessica Cutler" or "Jessica Cutler ass fuck" or "Jessica Cutler anal" or "Jessica Cutler it's all bullshit" here, either.

Just so you know.

He's baaack....

My "fan" has written back:

News: factual information sans opinion, bias, prejudice or fabrication -
who, what, when where...content in context.

Fiction: the crap that passes for news spewed by people who have had their
ethics gland removed.

One should respect both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution and as
a fall back position remember - you are entitled to your own opinion - but
not your own facts.

Muse all you want - but don't reference the US Constitution in such a
disrespectful and irresponsible manner.

People have died for your right to express your opinion without fear - it is
a disgrace to treat their sacrifice lightly.  Anything labeled 'news' has a
duty to be closer to the truth than your 'standard' seems to represent.

We need more light and less heat - please note:
"Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire. Of such
is wisdom." --William Butler Yeats

Peace Through Superior Firepower,

Re: "Ethics gland removal." The only surgery I've had is a "personal enhancement " that I will not discuss here. That, and some hair plugs. Otherwise, I'm just as God made me, sir.

As for respecting the Constitution, I'm not even a U.S. citizen, so there.

I still think this is a parody. (Again, the last line. ) No one I know actually thinks like this.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Letters, I get letters...

Here's one I got today. I think it's in response to this post:

The First Amendment DOES NOT allow one to chop up quotes and remove content from context to change their meaning and distort the truth - unless you are no friend of THE TRUTH.
Please check your dictionary:

"Annuit coeptis"

Ich bin ein New Yorker
Ich bin ein Israeli

"Let every nation know,
whether it wishes us well or ill,
that we shall pay any price,
bear any burden,
meet any hardship,
support any friend,
oppose any foe
to assure the survival and success of liberty".
JF Kennedy 1961

"Never forget that on occasion
the tree of Liberty must be watered
with the blood of tyrants and patriots"
T Jefferson

"You were given the choice between
war and dishonor. You chose dishonor
and you will have war."
Churchill to Chamberlain 1938

"He who is compassionate toward the wicked
will in the end be cruel to the righteous"
The Talmud

Peace through VICTORY!

...see you in Baghdad, Damascus, Tehran, Havana...Hollywood.

I think I get it. The sender is doing a parody of one of those right-wingers I've read so much about, but never actually met.

Brilliant work, sir, though the last line did kind of give it away.

Abu Ghraib: The porn made them do it!

That seems to be the conclusion drawn by the author of this opinion piece in today's Los Angeles Times.

It strikes me as one of the saner commentaries from "the right" that I've read recently, and I'll tell you why.

My fine collection of spanking magazines has tempted me to visit unspeakable outrages on my assistants: Maid Janet, intern Ricky and my latest hire, Jayson, my shoeshine boy. He's a blogger who says he gained fame as a poet before powerful white racists and Jews brought him low.

(Those bitter experiences may explain why he bristles when I call him "boy." He's also not fond of a bit I picked up from that wonderful gangster movie Goodfellas. When I need a shine, I'll affect my best Brooklyn accent and tell him to "go home and get ya fuckin' shinebox.")

But now the L.A. Times reminds me that my fondness for a violent movie is just more proof that I live in a "culture gone stark raving mad."

But then, that's the way I've always secretly felt about you bloated, besotted Americans. You're all insane. Here you sit, thousands of miles from the rest of the world, a fat , fertile continent all yours to exploit ,and what do you do? Jerk off to "rough sex" videos.

Bloody Yanks. You deserve negative media coverage.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Nude Wonkette-Washingtonienne pictures!

Oh, did I write "nude"? I meant "new."

Whatever. Pictures like this sure do make Lil' Pete very happy.

Now more than ever, I'm with the anonymous commentor on this post:

Please let me be the white meat in a Wonkette-Washingtonienne sandwich.

Would $800 be enough?

In other developments, here are our heroines being interviewed on Fox News.

After watching it, I'm more convinced of the veracity of the girls' story than ever before. I think it's their sidelong glances at each other and barely suppressed giddy laughter that seals it for me.

Quote, unquote

I'm sorry, General Mattis, but once you've been quoted "on the record," we can use those quotes any damn way we please.

Anyone who says otherwise is no friend of the First Amendment.

Hunter S. Thompson -- censored!

One of my personal heroes is getting a "raw deal" from ESPN.

According to Matt Drudge, Thompson's recent column included this line:

"Not even the foulest atrocities of Adolf Hitler ever shocked me so badly as these [Abu Ghraib] photographs did."

Good point, Hunter. Unfortunately, those football hooligans at ESPN changed it to this:

"These horrifying digital snapshots of the American dream in action on foreign soil are worse than anything even I could have expected. I have been in this business a long time and I have seen many staggering things, but this one is over the line."

They'll probably use some totally inadequate excuse like "we were just trying to save the old fool from embarrassing himself."


And speaking of hypocrites, I'm sickened by the latest from Donald Rumsfeld, who called himself a "survivor" in an address to U.S. troops in Iraq.

How dare he? "Survivor" can only be applied to those who made it through the Holocaust, or cancer, or an impeachment trial.

Breaking through the fifth wall

Via Dave Copeland, I see that Mad Magazine is making fun of The Onion.

This irreverence for the media is unbecoming.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Bush's speech: The golden shower edition!

(I'm trying, Ana. I'm really trying.) I hope my Professional Journalist colleagues had plenty of cocktails tonight, because we really need them to whip out their turgid, gray column inches and piss all over George "I'm haplessly steering the bike of state down the primrose path of pussydom" Bush's speech.

UPDATE: The New York Times does it about right. Check out the last line: "An acknowledgment of past mistakes would be nice." Yes! Say it again, bitch!

As for the rest of you, I'm a little disappointed.

Afflicted comforted; comfortable afflicted

Here we go again. That Instapundit cretin is banging away once again on the idea of "liberal media bias."


"Surveys" notwithstanding, no such thing exists among the ranks of Professional Journalists.

What these right-wing losers call "bias," I regard as the highest calling of Professional Journalism: stroking and massaging the news in such a way that it helps erect a better society. (Trust me, it only sounds dirty.)

And what is "a better society"? We don't always know, but our friends in government and academia are more than willing to help us figure it out. (We see them every weekend at all the good parties.)

In short, we're doing this for you people.

We just want to be loved. Why don't you love us anymore?

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Wonkette, Washingtonienne pose for book jacket

Fetching photo.

The book's working title: Wrong hole, Senator! "Confessions" of an Expensive Piece of Staff Ass.

And yes, let's do move on.

The arrogance of the non-journalistic horde

This post about the Valerie Plame investigation (linked over at the right-wing tool Instapundit) got my blood boiling this morning, especially this bit:

And apparently news organizations are fighting the subpoenas - this ghastly national security breach must be investigated, but not with their help.

This cur's modem or browser or whatever should be revoked. If Mr. Maguire (if that is indeed his real name) wishes to comment on how Professional Journalists ply their trade, I would suggest he invest the time to become one himself.

And don't ask me how one goes about doing that, because I refuse to tell you.

The Washingtonienne Post

Here's the lowdown on Jessica Cutler, aka the Washingtonienne, straight from the Washington Post. It's just as the Wonkette predicted the other day.

Congratulations to Ms. Cutler. She is realizing a dream that was first described nearly 20 years ago by Jules Jacoby, another ambitious young Washingtonian:

"So, I bop him for a couple of years ... do a black mink ad, retire in utter disgrace, then write a bestseller and be a talk-show host on my own talk show."

As my maid Janet Cooke is so fond of saying, "You go, girl!"

Of course, Internet gossip diva Mrs. Wonkette gets the credit for pushing this story into the pages of the Washington Post. But I think it's time for someone else to get a shout-out from the Post: Her husband, aka Mr. Wonkette, aka Chris Lehmann, deputy editor of the Washington Post's Book World section. (And isn't he a handsome man! Pensive, yet strapping.)

Call him "the man behind the woman." (Of course, considering Mrs. Wonkette's interest in anal sex, that could quite literally be true. Hmmm. We could have some Wonkettish headline fun here. Maybe I could call this item "The Post-er Boy Who's All Up in Wonkette's Ass and Vice Versa Edition," or something like that.)

The Washington Post's coverage of the Wonkette "phenomenon" -- and there's been a fair amount of it during her meteoric rise over the past few months -- has failed to make it clear that her husband, Chris Lehmann, is deputy editor of the Washington Post's Book World section.

This is an outrage. Why have the Post editors decided that he can't share in her glory?

It's like they're trying to keep a much-cited Internet gossip blogger's relationship with a Washington Post editor a secret or something.

Let's do an inventory.

Lehmann's name didn't come up in a Washington Post online chat Mrs. Wonkette conducted earlier this month; it doesn't come up in this 5-minute Washington Post video interview with Mrs. Wonkette; it hasn't surfaced in gossip columns by Richard Leiby of the Washington Post (and he only makes a short, oblique reference to the Wonkette being married to an unnamed Washington Post editor in this chat from March 26).

In fact, the only media citation I can find confirming that Washington Post deputy Book World editor Chris Lehmann is Mrs. Wonkette's husband is this story from the New York Times, and the symbiotic Wonkette-WaPo relationship is buried in the 13th graf of a 20-graf story.

That's so unfair. You'd think that a blog-driven political sex scandal that gets some play in the Washington Post would give a nod to the Washington Post staffer who sleeps with the blogger who made this a story in the first place. (Try reading that out loud in one breath.)

Come on, Washington Post. Give your staff member, Chris Lehmann, the husband of the Wonkette, the credit he deserves.

After all, the first rule of journalism is Take Care of Your Own First.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Washingtonienne update: It's for real?!?!

This story from the "little blog who cried ass-fucking" appears to be truer than some skeptical observers (ahem) seem to think. There is word that the Washington Post will be running a story (with art!) in Sunday's editions, because Sunday is traditionally when you put your most important stuff in the paper. As the Wonkette says, "their Rich Leiby knows that I actually talked to her." (Translation: "Thanks, hubby, for transferring my call to Rich!")

And here's a picture of the cornholin' congressional cutie, whose name is Jessica Cutler.

The evidence is overwhelming. The truthfulness of this obviously true story overwhelms the naysaying of the naysayers. (And you know who you are.) Wonkette has a verbatim transcript of a phone interview with the young hottie who was fired for dirty blogging on company time. Because her money-earnin' trysts with rich, powerful older men have now been exposed, this poor girl is starting to get cryptic, menacing phone calls that eerily resemble the ones placed to key figures in Oliver Stone's JFK, for God's sake!

You can connect the dots.

I reckon there's at least a 60 percent chance that what Cutler wrote in her blog reflected the absolute reality of her sex life and not something embellished in order to generate "hits."

And 60 percent is way, way, WAY over the threshold for blog veracity -- and frighteningly close to Professional Journalist levels of believability.

I shall have to send Ricky down to the newstand Sunday morning to fetch a copy of the Post.

Pictures worth a thousand shrugs

Like most of my colleagues in Professional Journalism, I think it is vitally important to publish every seven-month-old picture of naked ex-Baathist thugs standing in uncomfortable positions. It's much more relevant than last year's endless parade of photos and stories about Saddam Hussein's mass graves.

And like my colleagues, I'm completely agnostic about the impact of these pictures on the domestic political scene. Case in point: Today's Washington Post online chat with executive editor Leonard Downie Jr. Here's a question from a reader:

Arlington, Va.: I've never read the newspaper and been moved to tears before. How many others do you think feel like me now, and what impact do you think that will have on the election? I, for one, just donated money to Kerry's campaign online!

Leonard Downie Jr.: These are indeed very disturbing statements and images. It is been emotionally difficult for our reporters and editors to review all of them. I do not know what political effect they will have.

See? Images of American soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners may carry a lot of shock value, but it's politically neutral shock value.

Kudos to the Post for clearing that up.

Professional Journalists don't take shortcuts

Just for the record, I would never do anything like this. I would get my intern, Rick Bragg, to do it for me.

Washingtonienne: The story keeps growing

Gannett News Service is bringing all of its prodigious resources to bear on this story, and other papers are just playing catch-up.

Check out this fine piece of reporting:

(Ohio Republican Senator Mike) DeWine first must find out whether the woman's blog was true, said Jamin Raskin, a constitutional law professor at American University. DeWine also is investigating whether the woman used a congressional computer to post it.

In the blog, the woman said she had a variety of partners. These included an older man, a co-worker with whom she was involved in an "office sex scandal;" and a married Bush appointee who also gave her money.

"Keep trying to end it with him, but the money is too good," she wrote about the older man.

If her blog is true, DeWine could give her the boot easily, Raskin said.

Of course the story is true. The Wonkette, who broke the story, said so to the Washington Post:

"It is no more fictional than anybody's diary. My gut feeling is that it's true. She's pretending to take pride in her own degradation and I don't think you can fake that. I do think she's a good writer. I hope that she gets a book deal and gets some therapy."

It is indeed difficult to fake a diary, especially when you do it anonymously on the Internet. Professional Journalists know this. That's why this story has legs. Plus, it's always important for the public to know that Republicans can be as morally debased as Democrats, because we're simply not reminded of that fact enough.

Think of it as providing a bit of balance in the wake of that whole Monica Lewinsky thing.

Gannett News Service, you are performing a true public service here. You've helped turn a possible work of fiction into a scandal.

Hats off to you! (Do I smell a Pulitzer?)

UPDATE: She's officially been sacked. Remember, no matter if what you're writing is true or not, DON'T BLOG FROM WORK.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Defunct D.C. blog mined for news story

Excellent work, Gannett News Service. Excellent work. This is obviously a story of the upmost importance, and I'm glad the media is all over it. An anonymous blog with a life span of a month can, indeed, be used as a "source," as Bob Woodward might say. (Full background here on the Washingtonienne, if you're unfamiliar.)

What made this Gannett News Service story so great? I'll show you. Here's the line from the eighth graf of a 13-graf story that demonstrates the extra effort a true media professional will put in to be truly "fair and balanced":

"The exploits described in the blog might not be true."

There's a word for this, people:

Call it journalism.

At a moment such as this, my pride in my profession knows no boundaries.

Have they no shame?

The conservative attack dogs will stop at nothing, nothing I say, to besmirch the name of one of our top Professional Journalists, Seymour Hersh. (Incidentally, he gets his suits from the same tailor I use. For a Jew, he's really quite a smashing dresser. And of course he's very clever, just like the rest of them.)

What's the point of drudging up quotes like these (most of which were clearly taken out of context -- whatever that is). It's telling that some of them were highlighted by that notorious right-wing attack dog, Glenn Reynolds:

Arthur Schlesinger: "the most gullible investigative reporter I've ever encountered."

Jules Witcover: "Hersh's attributions generally fall short of normal journalistic yardsticks."

Ted Kennedy: ""Scurrilous."

Seymour Hersh: "If the standard for being fired was being wrong on a story, I would have been fired long ago."

It's just so unfair.

This damnable country. I feel like drinking again.

Zip it, Alter ...

I've just read that Jonathan Alter of Newsweek recently called the Bush administration "astonishlingly incompetent" and a bunch of "clowns" on some obscure radio program called Air America.

Damn it, Alter! Get it together, man! You're a Professional Journalist! Keep your views to yourself and just churn out those qualifier-laden anti-Bush columns that carry a whiff of "nuance." Times have changed. Those yahoos in Little Rock or Wyoming or wherever are now in possession of The Memo, from those people at The Note.

A good idea is a good idea ... forever

I've always agreed with that David Brent truism, and I've always tried to apply it to my own work. It appears that my colleagues at the New York Observer feel the same way, too.

According to Gawker, this piece from the Observer about making your own Thomas Friedman column "borrowed" quite liberally from this piece from McSweeney's.

This would be a bigger deal if anybody actually read the New York Observer or McSweeney's. As for me, I say, what's wrong with a little borrowing among Professional Journalists?

If we recycle an idea, or lift a quote from another source without crediting it, or plagiarize, you can trust us, because we Professional Journalists have always had a monopoly on good ideas.

And you know how long a good idea remains a good idea ...

Welcome to my blog!

Hullo! I'm Peter Fallow, best-selling author and former star reporter of New York's City Light newspaper.

How can you tell that I'm a serious journalist?

Because I make each individual sentence a paragraph.

That's what the pros do.

Anyway, a chap named Tom Wolfe wrote about me (rather uncharitably, I might add) in a novel entitled The Bonfire of the Vanities.

After reading that book, certain "critics" of mine would have you believe the following:

That I'm a drunk.

That I cut corners.

That I embellish, twist and spin the news.

That sometimes, I just "make shit up."

I've heard that my sole motivation is my own fame.

According to these commentors, my vanity has so blinded me that I don't even realize what a hack I truly am.

Well, I have two words for them:

So what?

I have come out of retirement because it's clear that I am the right person to comment on our present moment in journalism.

Also, my AA sponsor says it will be good for me to blog.

In short, I'm exactly what you deserve, and at least as good as what you're used to.