Prefab Spruiell [Updated]

Over at the premier journal of conservative thought, The National Review, Stephen “Little Horseshoes” Spruiell (media critic, trajectory: baffling) is making poor old Bill Buckley price a rotisserie attachment for his casket.

NYT: No More Parties
[Stephen Spruiell]

In his column in yesterday’s New York Times (sub. req.), Frank Rich announced that the paper will no longer participate in the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. E&P today confirms it, and writes that the paper will also stop attending the Gridiron Club dinner, a similar affair.

This strikes me as a very dumb overreaction to a perceived coziness between Washington reporters and their sources. What happens the next time a New York Times reporter is invited to a White House dinner, as David Sanger was last June? Are NYT reporters henceforth barred from attending any party or social function at which government officials are present, for fear that liberal bloggers might accuse them of being lapdogs again?

Burning questions indeed for the dumb and perceived-cozy liberal media! If only there were a way to…

[Zeerp] “Hello, dum-dums.”

Oh hi, Great Gazoogle. We were just wondering if. . .hey, what’s this?

New York Times and Media Relations:

Diane McNulty
Executive Director,
Community Affairs & Media Relations
(212) 556-5244

To be fair, maybe they didn’t teach the finding-out thing in right-wing journalism school, because it’s more productive on a deadline basis (Spruiell sometimes churns out two or more posts per day, sometimes with entire paragraphs in them) just to make up silly questions and concoct fake stories, archly being like, “Duh, dime dupid,” whilst trusting that one’s readers are even dupider.

By implying that there’s something improper about such hobnobbing, the Times brass is setting its D.C. reporters up for all sorts of accusations, should they, God forbid, get caught having a drink with a friend who works for the government.

Yikes! Because indeed, it can be embarrassing when one is caught having drinks with friends.

Above: Spruiell gets his freak on

Update 3:17pm EST:

[ring ring]


“Hi, Gavin. It’s Diane McNulty of the Times.”

“Oh, hi. Thanks for calling back.”

“You were wondering whether Times reporters are barred from all…”

“Yes, hold on; let me pull my notes up.”

“Well, the answer is very short.”

“Ah. I thought that it might be.”

“The answer is no.”

“Thank you!”

“You’re welcome.”



Comments: 46


It has become endlessly amusing, this right-wing presumption that in the age of Google, their menacing theoretical questions remain ominously unanswerable.


Priceless! I can even see the void when I look up his nostrils!


Is that seriously a Prefab Sprout pun in the title. Seriously is that also the pun in the parentheses: exit anorak


Why, Stephen has the whitest teeth I’ve ever come across.


Is that seriously a Prefab Sprout pun in the title.

[kicking a pebble]


The softskulled rightwingers are deflecting their anxieties about future revelations from the DCMadamgate issue onto Frank Rich and the NYT’s newfound purity*: You’re calling us whores like that was a bad thing! Isn’t being a whore what we’re all happiest to do, because it’s easy & brainless & doesn’t require any heavy lifting?

(*rehymenization — pointless & expensive but very, very chic right now)




It’ll behoove ya to care for your uvula.


Whuzzat pic from, some horrifying rightwing version of Facebook? Maybe it’s from Acebook, where GOP Party Animals make MTV faces before settling down to a pro-forma discussion of the gay menace.


The is a long entry for Sprueill. I mean really, really long. And here comes Sadly, No!’s mean, old media critic critic to point out that a small act of reporting would render Sprueill’s elaborate exercise in speculation pointless. Way to go, Gavin, clipping an artist’s wings!


Oh, well, I also called Diane McNulty at the Times. Will update later.


I’m always reminded of Bloom County and the Beacon’s relationship with Senator Bedfellow – calling him on the phone to yell “You’re going down in FLAMES, you tax-fattened hyena!”

The political press should maintain an antagonistic relationship with the people they cover.

It’s not so surprising, though, that a corporate-whore administration would strive to purchase the most advantageous coverage from the press; what leaves me aghast is how appallingly cheap it is to do so.


You called the paper? That’s not anywhere in the Citizen Journalist’s Guide to Citizen Journalism. That’s cheating!


Did you ask to be transferred to the Science section for an explanation of how a modern day homo sapien could have a brow like that? Is it possible that his wingnut ancestors so strongly objected to the idea of evolution that they practiced abstinence when all the other kids were evolving?

Also if you got through to somebody at the Times I hope you used the opportunity to question them on why the fuck they gave Althouse temporary squatting rights at the most valuable op-ed real estate going. I’m still pissed about that. She ran on the same days as MoDo and the twin towers of idiocy rising from the bottom of the page must have embarassed a lot of NYT employees.

a different brad

Sheesh Gavin. Calling the Times is like asking a girl if she has cooties. You can’t run the risk of infection involved in finding out.


I have a rhetorical question:
What could be more embarassing than having a drink with a Bush administation official?


Gavin, when are you guys going to learn? The lessons are there, and by watching the administration you could become tougher and meaner and less effective.

We do not TALK to the enemy. The enemy is, um, enemius, and talking is right out. Talking rewards them for their bad behavior, talking sends the wrong message, talking is clearly the province of the weak. We are powerful, so we don’t need to TALK. Your options vis a vis the NYT were the following:

You could impose sanctions (perhaps cancel your sub?)

You could threaten to bomb them

You could threaten to invade them

You could actually bomb them

You could actually invade them

But do see the damage you’ve done by talking with them? The only thing you should EVER say to your enemies is “all options are on the table”…



Jeez. I think I can see his spleen


Now that Sprooie brings it up, barring NYT reporters from being all chummy chum chum with the people they’re supposed to covering sounds like a fine idea. It’s a shame the Saggy Grey Lady didn’t go so far.


Gavin is awesome. that is all I have to contribute.


I would like to take this opportunity to state that I will not be attending any White House functions, not dinners, lunches, breakfasts, brunches, after school snacks, listening parties, coffee klatches, wine tastings nor public hangings.

Unless, of course, it is me they plan on lynching for sedition, in which case, my attendance is compelled.


What could be more embarassing than having a drink with a Bush administation official?

Being seen having a drink with a Bush administration official.


Well, it looks like Spruiell does track down the occasional source. To get the lowdown on The Left’s hypothetical dastardly plans to stimy Murdoch’s purchase of Dow Jones, he contacted James Gattuso of the Heritage Foundation. Stellar reporting ensues!

Random Observer

So wait….now conservatives are complaining that liberals bash the media?



Because no one represents American Freedom more than an Australian oligarch.

Smiling Mortician

So mikey, are you saying that Gavin has actually emboldened the NYT? He should be careful. That will give them powers we can only dream of, and it will be all Gavin’s fault.

Oh, and Jrod — fixed your quote:

barring NYT reporters from being chum sounds like a fine idea


This is too cool. I just finished writing a post about Wolfowitz. So I’m running blogger’s spell check and of course, it highlights “Wolfowitz”, and I mindlessly click it. The very first suggestion is “halfwits”. I’m not making this up…



Personally, I wish we’d get the chance to italicize our enemies once in a while. Just to mix things up.


Bush told me just the other day that the evil iranian mullahs are developing a top secret Italicizer beam.

You wouldn’t want the Smoking Gun to be a Mushroom Cloud!!


Qetesh the Abyssinian

barring NYT reporters from being chum sounds like a fine idea

Smiling Mort, isn’t chum the name for that slurry of blood and organs that folks tip overboard to attract sharks? Those who want to attract sharks, that is.

This is too cool. I just finished writing a post about Wolfowitz. So I’m running blogger’s spell check and of course, it highlights “Wolfowitz�, and I mindlessly click it. The very first suggestion is “halfwits�. I’m not making this up…

And who said software wasn’t intelligent?


Pffft. Big deal, Gavin. So you got an answer from one side (obviously biased, at that) of the issue. What’s missing is the source, who requested they remain anonymous due to concerns about keeping their job, who said that they heard from at least two other people in New York that some journalists may in fact be effectively banned from attending cocktail parties that may or may not feature the attendance of as many as ten or eleven Government Officials at the same time. What you did was just gotcha journalism, not the fair and balanced stuff we’ve come to know and admire from the mainstream Murdoch media.


Gosharoonies! A Slim Galliard reference in the title of the last post, and a Prefab Sprout pun in this’un. You guys are so darned eclectic it hurts.

How’s about hitting the song catalogues of Ian Dury, Mose Allison or Swamp Dogg for the next post? Let’s ride this cultural reference rocket clear out to the Crab Nebula.


Howdy my hippie friends! Are you guys still worshipping at the altar of Gore? Sure, Global Warming is a great idea for a ‘humans will destroy the world’ armageddon, but can I interest you ina better idea? I’m going to play all my cards right now: Anthro-Global Warming is disprovable. Before it’s too late, and your lie is caught, I suggest blaming insects. Then, you can say that whatever human institution you hate most (freedom, for example) is causing an increase in the number of insects.

When you are part of a cult, you’ve seriously got to stay ahead of the critics. Another idea is to say that planting crops will destroy the world! You can’t be proven wrong, since we all want to eat, and won’t allow you to stop production. It will make you look altruistic! Do it now!

Serious apologies for my attempt to hijack the thread. I’m just a conservative, and you know how stupid we are! So it’s kinda not my fault.

Hippies. Heh.


Also, I’m off for 3 days. Want to suffer another Photoshop contest loss, Gavin?

Thought not :(.


I’m just a conservative, and you know how stupid we are!

If we didn’t, dumbfuck, by your willingness to ignore simple science and a full scientific consensus has demonstrated it for us to see clearly. Why bother? Why not just take a position that we have to protect economic growth while reducing carbon emissions? Why do you feel like you have to argue with science when you could embrace it and still be utterly resistant to solutions. You come off like a tool. As you say, a stupid tool…



I think I will name this post after me. I shall call it “appetite.”


Oh jesus, I didn’t realize Kevin was in the house. Let me empty the contents of my stomah and brain. *whoosh*


Henry Holland

Hippies. Heh.

Jesus H. Christ, when are you conservatards going to get over The Summer of Love? It was 40 years ago, and pace the *shudder* Ronnie Raygun criminal junta *shudder* and the two Bushes, your side pretty much won. Grow the fuck up a little, please? Please?


Eh, mikey, they have the “Do Not Kill Our Oil” matinee, which is the matinee to “Global Warming: We Don’t Think So”…We’re totally winning this, motherfuckers.”


BAH…too many uses of matinee, and too many uses of apostrophes. I suck and should never drink wine. One of those should have been martinet.


in other words, seriously ignore me. No, I mean it.


I don’t get the whole gist of this thing at all.

Reporters, who are supposed to be government watchdogs, probably shouldn’t get very chummy and cozy with the people they are supposedly watching?


Explain it again slowly please, I’m not getting it at all. Conflict of what a what?


BAH…too many uses of matinee, and too many uses of apostrophes.

I’ve used manatees and apostrophes in careless ways after a bit too much Tanqueray and wine, but that’s another story…

At some point, the whole denying there is a problem so as to not have to actually come up with a solution gambit is going to bite the wingnuts in the … Oh yeah. (slaps forehead, reads just about any story in the A-section of the newspaper).


I think guys like Kevin were probably grounded or had cub scout den meetings on the day everyone else in seventh grade got to go see the Dead and wear their tie-dye. It’s why he’s so bitter.

Doesn’t explain the stupid; that was already there.


Aw, poor Kevin has the shits and feels giving…sorry Kev, we’re still cleaning up the mess Anal Annie and her sockpuppet left.


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