Russ Smith

Mainstream Media Marginalizes Itself

12.29.2004 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs
The Times' worldview, embraced by John Kerry during the last year, is one of the main reasons he lost the election.

The Culture War Boils Over

12.22.2004 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs | 1 Comment
Reading the opinion page of the Sun, a national holiday honoring Ol' Dirty Bastard is just around the corner. And according to the Times, gay Americans will soon be imprisoned. It's time to hose both sides down.

Our Man on The Rose & the Briar

12.16.2004 | Russ Smith | Music
In an era in which cartoon characters like Al Sharpton and demagogues such as Julian Bond claim to represent the concerns of black citizens, Stanley Crouch's heartfelt emotions about "Come Sunday" are a welcome tonic.

America's Most Obnoxious Conservative

I discount Ann Coulter, who's as much of a caricature as the left's Eric Alterman.

Balco Bunk

12.9.2004 | Russ Smith | Sports
Did anyone believe that Bonds' late-career accomplishments were the result of a strenuous workout regimen? Of course not, yet many of the same writers who voted him NL MVP for the past four years are now bellowing for an asterisk.

Mugger Takes on Franzen and Wenner

12.2.2004 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs
Franzen claims that Democrats have a monopoly on "fiscal sanity" -- perhaps he was reading a "Peanuts" anthology during history class.

Marlboro Man

11.17.2004 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs
At a time when smokers are considered barely more tolerable than convicted child molesters, a Los Angeles Times photographer snapped a young Marine in Fallujah with a cigarette dangling from his battle-scarred mug, and instantly we're back in Marlboro Country.

One Week To Go and Still a Crap Shoot

10.27.2004 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs, National Affairs | 5 Comments
21st Century kids have more to worry about than the media-created hobgoblin named George W. Bush.

Mugger on Kerry's Implosion and the Alt-Media Explosion

Wouldn't it have made more sense -- since putting the spotlight on Mary Cheney was a strategic decision -- to let one of Kerry's expendable advisers raise the issue in a casual, on-the-record discussion with the media? Kerry would then have it both ways: the intended damage would be done and he'd immediately fire the aide, sanctimoniously telling friendly reporters "That was out of bounds, and as I just told Dick and Lynne Cheney, whom I admire as parents, my campaign won't stoop to such a level."


It's not clear what Kerry meant by saying he wants to return "to the place we were." Does that mean the 1990s, when Bill Clinton was so busy hosting Arafat at the White House that he didn't notice the growing threat of Osama bin Laden? Does that mean that the perpetrators of the first World Trade Center bombing were a "nuisance"?

Last Word on the Debate

Jokes about Kerry's affinity for all things French are worth a chuckle, and his continual Vietnam references are just irritating, but when he spoke about a "global test" for foreign policy, that got into Stephen King territory. This guy makes Jimmy Carter look like George Patton.

A Gangplank of His Own Making

Give Kerry credit for admitting he's "confused," which is one of the more colossal understatements of this campaign.

Mugger on The Brez, Kerry and Other Living Fossils

Breslin is a relic, every bit as extinct as the "new journalist" and "street columnist" genres that once guaranteed him a table at his Manhattan restaurant or saloon of choice, often in the company of Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, Pete Hamill and visiting dignitaries like the late Mike Royko. It was a wonderful life.

Mugger Explains Why Baseball and Politics Don't Mix

09.15.2004 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs, National Affairs | 1 Comment
Dowd, a Hollywood hag whose words are enveloped by pop-culture references, doesn't give off the same noxious upper-crust aroma so common among her Times colleagues. Instead, she bathes in the "argot" of movies.

Kerry Courts the Swing Rubes

09.8.2004 | Russ Smith | National Affairs | 3 Comments
When Jon Stewart asked whether Teresa got a nickel every time he used ketchup, Kerry pumped his fist and replied, 'Would that it were, Jon! Would that it were!' I have now asked 10 guys from Brooklyn whether they know what 'would that it were' means. My favorite answer came from ex-garbageman and ex-cop Ray Garvey, who asked, "'Is it a golf club!?"

Times v. Bush

09.1.2004 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs | 4 Comments
It stretches the imagination to wonder how the onetime "paper of record" can trump the toxic level of Michael Moore-like hatred of this particular president but if op-ed columnists Paul Krugman and Maureen Dowd are apoplectic now, what mental state will they be in a year from today?

The Coming Voting Scandal

08.26.2004 | Russ Smith | National Affairs | 1 Comment
Democrat Edwin Peterson, registered in Palm Coast, FL, and Queens, was more forthcoming, explaining his 2000 double-dip as a hedge against official mischief.

The Pundits Elect Kerry In August 

08.18.2004 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs
Edwards told the Fargo crowd to ignore "the tired, old, hateful, negative politics of the past." According to Williams, that approach was just what the spin-doctor ordered, even in a state that hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since about 1628.

A Weekend in Kerry's Nantucket

08.11.2004 | Russ Smith | National Affairs | 2 Comments
The happy-go-lucky Bosox will be out of the wild-card race in a matter of weeks, maybe even before Kerry takes another detour from his "high road" and once again calls pro-Bush hecklers "goons."

Mugger v. Dowd

08.2.2004 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs | 5 Comments
Imaginary conversations, nicknames, and continual references to popular movies and television shows amount to little more than a tired shtick, and weary readers might hope that the publication of Bushworld is the equivalent of a gold watch.