Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Michael Wolff Needs to Write More

When I first moved to New York in 1999, one of my first pleasures was to discover Michael Wolff's column, "This Media Life," in New York Magazine. Since his failed attempt to buy the magazine two years ago -- and his subsequent jump to Vanity Fair as a contributing editor -- I am stuck savoring his barbed and incisive articles like a fine glass of Bushmills. They seem to come with less and less regularity, like this one appearing in the April issue, a takedown of President Bush's press secretary Scott McClellan.

Consider this, when talking of his prescribed lack of verbal acumen:

"In McClellan's case, almost all of his sentences are dead on arrival. Even the pre-written sentences (most every briefing begins with a statement about the president's schedule or the plausibly positive developments at hand—we've turned the corner in Iraq, etc.) are so bald and flat-footed that they become a kind of insult—he doesn't disguise the bull...

Every day, he's pulped, pummeled, spit upon for speaking White House untruths—or for not speaking them well enough.

It is so bad, and so constantly public—every misspoken word, every stutter, every repetition, repeated mercilessly across the information universe—that he can only hope that it's gotten bad enough for him to get a sympathy vote."

And, as this article hit newsstands, McClellan already seems to be on his way out.

While I understand his reticence in taking up blogging (sort of), I really wish there were more of his musings on the media; his impact is muted and restricted with his being at a monthly. With Sydney Schanberg no longer at the Village Voice, we need more pointed media criticism.

C'mon, Michael-- we want more from you, damnit. And we don't mean wordcount-wise...

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