Alright, so we caved. We were at Borders and noticed New Yorker film critic David Denby’s new book, Snark, about how he hates bloggers, Sarah Palin, Maureen Dowd, Tom Wolfe and others for the exact same undefined reason. We actually bought the book (YOU’RE WELCOME DENBY) and were planning to skim for the Wonkette part, giggle, and then give the slender volume away to the nearest hobo. So, OH MAN. First he references one of your male associate editor’s posts about Chelsea Clinton and suggests that the “young women” who wrote it must have some catty jealousy issues, with their vaginas. Then he writes that we made fun of Ted Kennedy on the day of his brain tumor surgery, citing a post about something else entirely that was written seven months before Kennedy even got cancer. Damn those bloggers, always trying to ruin other peoples’ reputations with false information!

Our section is so fancy that it gets to introduce the very first “Principle of Snark,” that we attack everyone without reason. Indeed, it’s just random occurrence that our targets are Republicans 75% of the time; we pick names out of a hat. But Denby — whose book curiously labels things “snark” only if the writers’ “targets” are Democrats — finds a couple of throwaway posts we wrote about a Clinton and a Kennedy. The first:

The First Principle of Snark: The “Whatever” Principle. Attack without reason. What, for instance is the point of this January 2008 post from the popular political-gossip blog Wonkette, which covers goings-on in Washington D.C.?


Give credit to The Clintons for the job they’ve done raising Chelsea. Chelsea was born deaf and dumb, a veritable “wild child” who the schoolteachers couldn’t tame. But after 20-odd years, through Bill and Hillary’s tutelage, she now speaks “words.” And since she’s young, she can use this new talent to talk to other young people about her struggle with muteness. It wasn’t an ordinary job, getting this demon to speak like a person. But Bill and Hillary aren’t ordinary people.

It has the form of parody–it conveys to the reader that some kind of earnest claim (that, say, the Clintons brought up Chelsea well) is being put down. But is also sounds like jealousy. Wonkette is written by young women who may have hated Chelsea’s bland words as she went around the country supporting her mother’s candidacy. When a piece of snark doesn’t make sense, some hidden fury may be screwing up the writing. The post is failed low snark–obscure rage and sheer ineptitude choke any possibility of laughter.

*Ahem*, [Cracks knuckles].

We’ll grant him that it wasn’t the funniest post ever (although coincidentally one fairly well-known female writer for the Washington Post did tell your male associate editor that she laughed hysterically at this one, so it’s possible that certain people, arbitrarily, respond to certain things differently than others. Imagine!)

Otherwise — and we hate explaining jokes, but just this one time — it is a fairly obvious reference to The Miracle Worker, Mr. Fancy Art Critic Who Knows All Books And Movies. If we remember correctly, the original last sentence was in fact, “But Bill and Hillary aren’t ordinary people — they’re Miracle Workers,” but we decided that would take it a step too far; it was already obvious to people familiar with this major cultural and historical touchstone. If only we’d known, we would’ve kept it!

We have no malice towards Chelsea Clinton. She is fine, and we hope that her hedge fund is still prospering by betting against mortgage-backed securities. When we wrote this MIRACLE WORKER blog post, people were somehow amazed that Bill and Hillary Clinton were “letting” Chelsea finally speak publicly at the impressionable, vulnerable age of 28; even though she was just reciting stump speeches and — at this time — taking no questions, it was some sort of… miracle… to many figures in the media that she was able to speak in coherent sentences.

Lastly, Wonkette’s male associate editor — whose byline is on the post — is not a “young woman,” you *fucking slanderous idiot*, and has no psychological female cat-fight syndrome, which is not only an arbitrary notion, but a sexist one. And there is definitely no jealousy whatsoever here for Chelsea Clinton. Yikes.

It gets better:

On June 2, 2008, the day of Senator Edward Kennedy’s surgery for a brain tumor, Wonkette posted as follows: “Beloved Taxacussetts [sic] senator and last-surviving RFK/JFK brother Ted Kennedy is in the hospital today after doctors fixed a clogged argery in his neck. They successfully removed the Jameson bottle and now he’s ‘resting.'” This at least makes touch with something–with readers who know that the senator has lifted a glass now and then. But what kind of mind offers this joke on a day in which Kennedy might have died from brain surgery? Ruthless wit directed at the rich and powerful should always be encourage, and Kennedy’s boozing and womanizing are certainly grounds for satire, but wait, at least, until the guy can put his feet on the floor.

Wonkette’s insensitivity, like so much of snark, has a proudly idiotic flavor; it seems to be goosing false piety of some sort. You could dismiss it as inane, but the malice of it–the free-floating contempt in a void–gets to you. And the three-dimensional opportunism of it, too. Why not simply ignore it, then? Well, many people do, but the gas of snark enters the air around us as a corrosive sense that cynicism is hip and everyone is vulnerable.

Here’s the post to which Denby is referring. It says, “By Ken Layne, 2:59 PM on Fri October 12 2007.” Ken’s post is about how Ted’s little neck clog was discovered during an MRI to examine his back, which was hurt in a 1964 plane crash, a story forgotten by or never known to many, so the rest of Ken’s post revisits it. Seven months later, Ted Kennedy would get brain cancer, though, so uhh maybe Ken should have known that!

In fact, when Ted Kennedy’s brain tumor was discovered, we were very sad and respectful.

We’re honestly very, very baffled, not just by his interpretations, but by the crucial, objective and lazy factual errors Denby makes; ones that don’t just nullify his tedious, didactic argument but actually indict him of the very same amateurism and reckless hate-mongering he imagines is both our ethos and the biggest threat to Western civilization in world history. Lord knows what else he makes up to fit his narrative in the rest of the book, but of the two (2) Wonkette pieces he analyzed, he got two (2) entirely wrong.

Speaking of our “malice,” well, that reminds us of The Law, and here’s a nationally published book by an insular, pretentious slob — currently traveling the country and giving interviews on a big media tour — whose stated goal is to hurt our reputation, because he doesn’t like our jokes. His means of doing this is to completely make up shit about us, and it’s out there, and it’s permanent. That sounds like solid grounds for “libel,” Denby, if only anyone gave a shit about this book. Instead, it is just extremely hilarious. Ha ha, fail.

(Although it would be nice if we could have our $15.95 back. E-mail [] and we’ll provide an address. Don’t be an asshole.)

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  1. There is obviously sexual tension/hostility between you vaginas and David Denby. Maybe you two should get together over a bottle of wine, some Denby porn faves, and just see where it goes, etc.?

  2. Methinks this Denby fella’s the snarkiest of us all.

    Wonkette is written by young women…

    Think he knew this was Jim’s post? And Ken’s the editor? And this is, threfore, some kind of locker-room-style put-down (a la “Wonkette’s staff is full of Mary’s who couldn’t hit the water if they fell out of a boat, literarily speaking.”)

    Or is assuming a hair-faced troll capable of the complex emotions available to most sentient beings too much?

  3. I think he’s also known”NYCBoomer” on the puma blogs. His writing has the PUMAesque, stick-up-the-ass feel to it. Next to Michael Medved, he’s got to be one of the worst film critics ever.

  4. Two minor quibbles:

    CLAIM: we attack everyone without reason. FACT: we attack EVERYONE without reason.
    CLAIM: When a piece of snark doesn’t make sense, some hidden fury may be screwing up the writing. FACT: Furries always screw up the writing. Hidden or not they’re subject to the fact stated above.

  5. People who write boring shit about other people’s creative output are whores. But maybe I’m just jealous because his vagina is turned inside out.

    Or that he’s getting paid. You really do need to get your money back.

  6. [re=233397]memzilla[/re]: Well, Snark currently gets three stars from the fourteen customer reviewers on Amazon. Which seems a bit high. Just twenty or so 1 star reviews and that rating will start to sink. Of course, to be really amusing, you should probably know something about the book in question, which is way to much work. Maybe a bunch of five star reviews?

  7. When 50 year old lame assholes are using the word snark, it needs to be retired. As soon as I saw Wonkette on his bitchery list, I wasn’t interested in continuing. Some things you just have to mock, because otherwise you’d cry.

  8. This is the guy who didn’t have the good sense to shut up when he lost his shirt in the stock market. He had to tell everyone what an enormous failure he is. Now he takes an excellent form of satire (when done properly, a la Wonkette) and trashes it because he’s too fucking old or stupid to understand what has happened to the polite loser culture of fail where dumbass white people like him ruled simply because they had a dick, white skin and a college edumacation. He is the literary equivalent of a child throwing his toys out of the sandbox because everyone left him to go swim in the new kid’s pool. Instead of learning how to swim he just goes over there and pees in the pool. He probably smells like pee. And failure.

  9. Oh my Lord, you sound so pissed! I’m pissed off with you! THAT BITCH.

    Nice rebuttal, Wonk. You can SO some my Midol – as much as you want.

    David Denby? Well, what can I say? He missed the train and now he’s going to take it out on everyone because he can’t understand the language. It doesn’t bother me that he has a poor perspective as much as it does knowing that he got paid for being a vacuous twat. Quite frankly, I think you could have used that money to a better advantage. I’m giving you four thumbs up for prime snark.

  10. um… I now only answer to\pay attention to one national Chelsie; National Superfreind Capt. Scully Mc “jesus:” Chelsey Sullenberger. If she cant land a plane in the Potomac with a bottle of Jameson … god help us all.

  11. You know, I’m surprised that he had to fabricate such stupid stuff. He could have just pointed to the blood orgy we had on the New Moon of June to enable Dick Cheney to keep human form.

    No mater how snarky you are, that shit is just not funny. But it is a ton of fun.

  12. I do have to admit that I am disapointed to know that the New Yorker is not scouring the comment threads here so they can discovery me and have me write for them.

    It hurts Denby. It really hurts.

  13. you guys should edit this post. everyone (intelligent) knows that when you do point=for-point rebuttals when you’re not in the course of an actual debate you sound like an unsocializable jackass (and i’m not even british), no matter how righty you are. DUH, you already knew that. So how about you just take to teasing david denby like you do Bill Kristol and Peggy Noonan? He’s almost as stupid. STUPID. really, very very bsd

  14. There can be a downside to working for The New Yorker: an intellectual version of Self-made Man Syndrome. I remember when Gill walked out on Steve Wade’s very entertaining “Banjo Dancing” because “The banjo is not a valid musical instrument.” Thanks, Brendan. Whining about snark could be golden in the hands of a master curmudgeon like Thurber, or even a sometimes slacker like Martin Amis — but this Denby dufus is too Davidcentric to milk it for much.

  15. Deconstructing Denby?

    Slow news day, a Friday in late January, without a Bush administration to dump its flotsam and jetsam down the media memory hole…

    Compounded by the fact we now live in a republic whose new pater familias-in-chief asserts we put away childish things, like trucknuts, whore diamonds, and HEHNGHH?

    What if it was Chelsea who had teh Gehirnkrebs? Let’s put on our snarking caps and give Denby something really tangentially referential to stage and screen (or Chappaquiddick), to chew on.

  16. Right after my son was born, I tacked up a photo in my office of me holding him with a cutout Elvis head pasted over mine. A coworker guy came by. I said, “That’s a picture of Elvis holding my son.” He said, seriously, “No it’s not. Elvis is dead.” I said, “Yes it is.” He said “No it’s not.” Rinse, repeat. I don’t remember his name. Maybe it was Denby.

  17. Sorry about your $15.95, Jim, but that is what libraries are for. I’ll let you know when I’ve returned my copy. I’m looking forward to spotting the lies and slander he smears on my beloved Maureen.

  18. Snark is a pretty reasonable response to a country run by know-nothings and self-righteous conservative hypocrites. Particularly when they have guns and believe in torture and the indefinite detention of their enemies.

  19. Oh my. Not living in any sort of real world at all, I had no idea this fellow even HAD a book till you brought it up. Then I find he was a member of the “Paulettes”, a groupie of Pauline Kael – or did you plant that in Wiki? So now I’m wondering about his vagina issues. But really, when all is said and done, he “just doesn’t get it.”

  20. Wow, those are really bad errors. Errors that could have been corrected by just simply reading the posts. And the “jealous female cat fight” thing is just stupidly, blatantly sexist. I’m not even some Jezebel girl and that shit is dumb.
    It is funny how he makes these errors, on a book that we assume was researched and came after many drafts, and he thought that–HEY!–people won’t go look up these posts on the internet, which is pretty much accessible to everyone, at least more than some liberal snob’s book. Did he think people wouldn’t be able to catch his faults?

    Anyways, weird. AND SHAME ON YOU DAVID DENBY!!

  21. You cannot fight the snark. You will run out of words to show how mean the snark is, but the snark by its very nature cannot be defeated. The snark always wins.

  22. Also, maybe sell your copy on Amazon, but sign it first, and then list it as ‘collectible’, with a description like ‘signed by the esteemed Jim Newell of the highbrow literary journal Wonkette, libeled in this dime store pamphlet’ and then price it at $2499 so it stays up forever.

  23. What world-class sack-huffer Denby doesn’t understand is irreverence. He simply can’t distinguish stupidity (a la Palin) from satire (a la the whore diamond exchange) because he deems both as being unworthy of the “great work” that he does to change the world. He reminds me of Rick from The Young Ones when he dreams of being the people’s poet and takes on the “pigs” in his dreams (How’s that for an arcane reference?). He is as delusional and he is worthless. Sorry to rant but this guy is a huge douche.

  24. Yikes, what a scold. I think Mr Denby was my school teacher circa 1983: “I wouldn’t mind, young man, but it’s not even funny . . . ”

    By the way, what is “three-dimensional opportunism”? How does it differ from the flat plane kind?

  25. Gee, that’s rigorous intellectual thinking. Choose a conclusion, then bend facts like an old paper clip to fit your hypothesis.

    Denby was always a second tier critic. He’s got more problems than talent.

  26. [re=233444]Origami[/re]: That’s what I’m wondering about….he must have had some very bad, poorly paid, fact checkers…if he had any at all. And what about his editor? Did the editor just take it as fact that everything was correct? Where’s all this nitpicky New Yorker fact checking that made them so famous? Was that all a lie, too? My world is turned upside-down.

  27. Hrmmm, looks like it won’t post something with an Amazon link, so I’ll just repost that I’ve fired my first shot over at Amazon with a one-star book review. You don’t mess with My Wonkette. Let’s take this motherfucker down.

  28. [re=233466]WagTehGod[/re]: Sadly he might find a way to finagle that to sell more books. I’m gonna call the FBI and grumble something about David Denby and NAMBLA.

  29. [re=233462]Colander[/re]: win.

    Good retort Jim. Echo the pathetic nature of Denby’s stuckness in Boomer fail.

    Mr. Denby, it’s about unchecked power and arrogance sir. It’s about access, authenticity, communication, and yes, rage. But also an enormous amount of joy. Snark is not merely “cynicism.” As a primer I assign you to watch Keith-O, Rachel M, or even Bill-O to comprehend the forces at work here.

    Decorum exists in Snarkworld, just not the kind that make you feel comfortable. If you were more exacting in your reading and analysis you’d be able to discern it. In fact all your reviews are thrown into new doubt by your utter misunderstanding of what is going on. Also.

  30. Wonkette has to sue! Can you imagine the “Liveblogging day one of the Trial.” Followed by “Liveblogging day two hungover.” And the “Trial liveblogging drinking games!” It would provide more entertainment than GOP bathroom/pedophilia scandals.

    Or picture the court reporter having to transcribe Wonkette posts into the record and lawyers questioning witnesses about assfucking.

  31. Ya know, it’s probably better that people who only read about the internets in books think that Wonkette is a terrible vagina comparing poo-breathing monster of “snark”. It’s like when Geraldo and O’Reilly gave eachother on-air handjobs over the “fact” that the Daily Show was about “watching little old ladies fall down” (maybe they’d only caught clips on YouTube and then thought Comedy Central was responsible for all the content) and that The Factor was so much more relevant to current events. The modulation in tone is what makes it clear this blog is run by humans, and not faulty search engine spiders who might mistake male writers for female writers in their quest to “remain” relevant.

    Much love!

    HMS Nerd

  32. This man writes without putting care into his research, without understanding the satirical form about which he writes, without the context of his times or the technological forms with which we as a people…

    Oh, fuck it. TRUCK NUTZ!!!

  33. In Denby’s Wikipedia entry, Wonkette is mentioned. In Wonkette’s Wikipedia entry, Denby is not mentioned.


    He graduated from college in 1965, which means he is closer to death than 50.

  34. See, I figure it all goes back to Pancho Gonzales! Everything does. Panco would appear at tennis camps and tell his stoonts, “Always hit with someone better than you. It’s how you improve.” Then he’d go to another camp, and two weeks later he’d come back to the first ones, and he’d be all disappointed because nobody was improved, nobody had been practicing.

    In celebrity, same rules. I know what Lush Rimbaud and that OhReally? clown say because Olbermann forces me to listen to the first few words of it, at least, before I cut away to Cash Cab. These duds would forever be isolated with their limited yokel audience of cretins otherwise. They break out of the double digit IQ audience only because they’re attacked on Countdown.

    I also remember when someone whose name I cannot recall because the tactic didn’t work tried to pick a fight with Jane Fonda and the Beverly Hilton. Neither responded, so she lost.

    But it’s a solid premise. You want a name, pick on somebody bigger’n you. All print media will eventually be trying to start fights with bloggers. Even as a commentor I may be attacked by News Corpse clones as we go merrily along.

    “A man is known by his enemies, and all yours work in the Post Office.” – Gloria Steinem, to Hugh Hefner.

  35. He’s conflating “snark” with “irony.” Ugh. Seems like a majority of his editors jumped ship and just said “sure; we’ll print whatever you come up with because we hate the book-killing internet, too.”

  36. This mo fo Denby doesn’t know snark until he’s seen the, er, erudition that will manifest itself re l’affaire Daschle in three, two, ….

  37. Simon and Schuster have published such other literary classics as “Life with My Sister Madonna” and “He’s Just Not That Into You.”


  38. [re=233477]Bowdoin[/re]: Examples of this premise: Bob “Dirty Little Coward” Ford, Pat Garrett, Brokenose Jack McCall, Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, Osama bin Laden, and Hamas.

  39. I personally believe this will send lots more people to and after just the first read of any of the articles or posts; will prove to anyone just how big of an asshole this loser really is.

  40. So this poor Denby fellow is apparently a fact-averse, whining serial failure who’s still traumatized by his circumcision. Shouldn’t he be living in his new home in Dallas now?

  41. Pfft, Denby. The man’s a painful, flatulent bore; I long ago stopped reading his flaccid vaporings in the New Yorker. Anthony Lane, on the other hand …

  42. [re=233499]TimeCubist[/re]: You are so right. Anthony Lane’s movie reviews are sheer heaven. Why doesn’t the New Yorker just get rid of Denby?

  43. This is my problem with many — though not all — political-types and journalists. They don’t know what language is (meaning they think they can control it), and consequently, they have no sense of humor (meaning hyperbole, sarcasm, etc. are completely lost on them). When you add shoddy work on top of that…well, I’m no book-burner, but goddamn, I’d like to see 100 copies set ablaze! I’m sure this fuck’s book will restore political discourse in this country, the arrogant ass.

  44. I instinctively rise, ready to defend Mr. Denby for the high quality of his film reviews in The New Yorker, and quickly gathering up some back issues to extract gobbets of insight, humor and, yes, wisdom in said reviews, come to the crushing realization that all of the good New Yorker film reviews are in fact written by Anthony Lane. (BTW, Mr. Denby, this is called “research,” and it helps one argue one’s thesis more persuasively, and helps one avoid embarrassing gaffes such as calling Jim a chick.)

    Chastened, I reflect that someday, if I live healthy and take care, I will be as old and out of touch as David Denby.

    And I weep.

  45. Jesus fucking Christ.
    There is a fucking important point that must be made to Denby, which makes his book not only intolerable, but lame. You people here on Wonkette, you mother fuckers. The reason I have read your little “blog” thing for the last 4 years has nothing to do with being “rude” or “nasty” er “insensitive” or something. It is funny. “Idiotic?” Well at times. But for fuck sake, it’s not like your trying to cover the MOST IMPORTANT POLITICAL ISSUES EVER (although the Edwards affair thing was pretty damn funny, and right on), what Denby fails to assert or understand (because he is a latent retard) is that hopefully the commenter people, and definitely the writer/post people understand is that THERE IS NOTHING TO UNDERSTAND. It is when you know politics, you love politics, you breathe politics, that you say “fuck politics.” It’s a fucking beautiful thing. You don’t just fucking give it away.

    A lot of people (my friends included, at least a few of the dumb ones) look at Wonkette and say “OH NOOS, THEY ARE BEING RACIST/INSENSITIVE/SECKSIST/ELITIST/MASOCHIST/CHANGIST/GAY” or some other form of dumb. Denby is representing this demographic in every form. He is their representative. He is possibly their saviour, and if he doesn’t give you the $15.95 back that you obviously spent in order to feel better about yourselves (because who doesn’t like a little attention here and there), then fuck that guy. This (and Rumproast, recently) is the only blog I give a shit about, because it is not only a WAR BLAWG!!11!!~!!, but it gives a voice to the crazies who understand the real crazies, who are everywhere, all the time, forever. For that you fuckers deserve a Peabody. Fuck the media (although we watch it), fuck Denby (although no publicity is bad publicity) and fuck you for making me so inclined to write this.

  46. I hope Denby chooses to respond in kind to Jimmy’s polemic. Although at this point I don’t have the sense that Denby has the ammunition or will to last many rounds against the young whippersnapper.

    Still, one can dream, can’t one? We could be witnessing in real time the budding phase of a literary feud for the ages. Could this be the next Capote vs. Tynan? The next Buckley(Sr.) vs. Vidal? Possibly the next Buckley(Jr.) vs. Clancy? Oprah vs. Letterman?

    Dare I hope? Perhaps even the next Konstantin von Höfler vs. František Palacký?

    Oh, be still my beating heart!

  47. [re=233398]BobLoblawLawBlog[/re]: “Think he knew this was Jim’s post? And Ken’s the editor? And this is, threfore, some kind of locker-room-style put-down (a la “Wonkette’s staff is full of Mary’s who couldn’t hit the water if they fell out of a boat, literarily speaking.”)”

    Nah, I’ll bet that he just read the “-ette” suffix and concluded (“logically”) that only females are allowed to write for the blog. It is entirely possible that this guy is such a dingus that any use of metaphor or misleading language confuses and enrages him…

  48. All you nitwits out there that think Wonkette should bring suit against Denby, should just STFU. In the eyes of the law, all he’s done here voice an opinion and backed it up with shoddy or (no research). A suit against an amateurish extended Op-Ed with no provable damage done would not get it’s day in any court I know of. To win a suit like this you have to prove that he’s not just wrong, but also had malicious intent, caused actual damage, or somesuch.

    Also, lawsuits are the antithesis of good snark; they are by nature earnest and unfunny. Unless there’s lots buttsecks or TruckNutz abuse involved in the proceedings. Also.

  49. I remember when Wonkette made a post about Chelsea Clinton having dinner with a guy to get him to endorse Hillary, and then he endorsed Barack, so Wonkette made a post with jokes like “next time no teeth sweetheart!” and “practice on a banana!”, and I laughed, but then David Denby’s book destroyed Wonkette, and we all laugh at According To Jim now, before that, Wonkette was fun.

  50. but the gas of snark enters the air around us as a corrosive sense that cynicism is hip and everyone is vulnerable.

    I love sniffing Wonkette’s farts of cynicism.

  51. Tomorrow night Denby will be at Book Passage in Corte Madera in Marin (7pm). Should I go? Since I blog about Marin and participate on Wonkette, I can ask why he hates me so much. Anyone in the area interested? I may be too tired and consume too much watching the Super Bowl I am not interested in to actually go, but can be persuaded if others go.

  52. Hahahaha I guess I got carried away there. TIME TO GO OUTSIDE. HAVE A NICE DAY. BIKE RIDE TIME (because I live in a better place than most of you).

  53. [re=233533]Naked Bunny with a Whip[/re]: I think he just takes himself too seriously. Ann is more of a one-trick pony. Or stallion.

    [re=233536]marinmaven[/re]: Do go. And ask him if David Brooks or Maureen Dowd are snarky. If so, why. And have him give examples. Tell him we Wonketterati who inquiring minds.

  54. [re=233526]OReillysVibrator[/re]: Denby probably finds “According to Jim” to be highly witty and cerebral. He must chuckle to himself at the cleverness of the writing as the macaroni and cheese dribbles into his beard.

  55. [re=233517]shortsshortsshorts[/re]: You said what I would have said had I thought about it. Except I didn’t. And you did. Whatever.

    Denby is a needle-prick bug-fucker. Must be a Republicking. Also.

  56. This anusclown “Denby” got bumped off of Charlie Rose last night, ha-ha. He’s really sinking fast to the bottom of the barrel!



  57. If I go to Book Passage to see Denby, should I ask him for the $15.95?

    “Wonkette bought your book and wants its $15.95. As far as I know, they are not asking the hour of their time back spent reading your book.”

  58. I think it’s flattering to get some recognition for your signature style. All publicity is good publicity, just make sure they spell your name right.

  59. “it seems to be goosing false piety of some sort”

    And the 2009 Wonkette Wedgie Award goes to… Denby!

    If this slanderous poodle can write a book and become rich and famous (whose best literary rim-shot splattered thesis is to accuse Jim of writing like a “jealous” girl) so can our Wonkette. Time to dust off the favorites (including the commenters – the Chelsea post commenters on that one and others of the day had some “snarky” legs.)

    Suspicious that he left out the family jewels of all Wonkette history, the Pulitzer, infinite Whore Diamond rated 24/7 coverage of the LARRY “Bathroom Lothario” CRAIG. Hmph. “Free-floating contempt” as he (Denby) voids…

  60. Might I just add that we tried to RSVP for a luncheon Denby was holding in Washington this week, and his publicist never responded.

    “Angrily typing from his mother’s basement…”

  61. [re=233499]TimeCubist[/re]: I hear you. I canceled my NY sub last year just for the general irrelevance of the magazine in my life. I grew up with that rag when Mr Shawn was still the editor and my folks always had it on the coffee table or were reading it instead of watching the tube with us kids. New Yorker jumped the shark permanently when they let Tina Davis take over back in the early 90’s and turn it into her own special sleaze machine which subsequently hemorrhaged subscribers by the thousands. Even when Remnick wrenched it back from her incompetent hands and it started sounding and looking like the ‘zine from my formative years it was pretty much too late. Even the Roz Chast cartoons became lame, not to mention the sadly asexual R Crumb pieces. It got to the point that the only reason I read it anymore was for the occasional smartassed Anthony Lane film critique. Getting one with a Denby usually meant no jokes, serious, snoresville content coverage. I’d like to hear Lane’s (private no doubt) review of ‘Snark’; wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a regular Wonkette commenter. Heh.

  62. [re=233555]marinmaven[/re]: Oh please do! Because it’s likely that on this book tour, he’s used the wonkette part as an example, telling people “This one blog, Wonkette, likes to make fun of people for getting cancer,” when it’s only *certain* people.

  63. Damn, we’ve gone from a bunch of frat bois to a gaggle of vaginas in a matter of weeks. Even the University of Minnesota can’t pop out trannies that fast.

  64. [re=233515]Lascauxcaveman[/re]: yeah and not only is anthony lane better (brilliant in my humble opinion) he is — as i noted a while back — a master of snark.

    i guess mr. denby doesn’t read the new yorker.

  65. [re=233576]chascates[/re]: What level of belle epoque justified a 20+ page article on the final (aka worst since ABC first tried to meddle) season of Roseanne is what I want to know.

    btw, this (according to Wikipedia) is the title of Denby’s memoir:

    * American Sucker (2004)

    Can’t someone **cough**Jim**cough** insert an appropriate word in that title as ‘guest editor’? After all, ‘This article about a United States writer of non-fiction is a stub.’ Not unlike Denby’s dingus I’m sure.

  66. Reading these excerpts, Denby’s book sounds just like those bullshit essays I used to write for English class when I really didn’t care much either way and just wanted an easy grade. None of my teachers ever told me I could make real cash money doing that. Thanks for nothing, guys.

  67. My preference is to taunt DD mercilessly perhaps ala “santorum.”

    denby, n. 1. a person with a small penis who is utterly unaware of it’s minute stature. 2. a person out of touch with cultural norms and practices. 3. late 20th century movie critic David Denby. e.g. Don’t be such a know-nothing denby you jerk.

  68. Here’s David Denby on Crash and Kill Bill, pt. 1:

    “Crash is hyper-articulate and often breathtakingly intelligent and always brazenly alive. I think it’s easily the strongest American film since Clint Eastwood’s Mystic River, though it is not for the fainthearted.”

    “Kill Bill is what’s formally known as decadence and commonly known as crap.”

  69. [re=233601]ryang[/re]: thank you for that. one of those i hated beyond beyond the telling, the other is on my short list for all time favorites.


  70. I have it on good authority that David (a.k.a., Davey-Gravy or Namby-Pamby-Denby) is the Daddy-in-the-Bottle to that precious litter dropped in California. That is the ONE THING that Wonkette has ever disappointed me about: not enough opportunity to snark on the right-to-litter.

  71. [re=233517]shortsshortsshorts[/re]: Utterly fucking brilliant. Couldn’t agree more, except for the “latent retard” part–Denby is manifestly retarded in the worst kind of way.

  72. I hate to point it out, but Wonkette DOES link to the plane crash post (with the snarky {and genuinely hilarious} artery clogging liquor bottle joke intro) in the otherwise respectful June 2nd post. So that particular error borders on semantic, if you consider links to previous posts from the same domain as part of the parent post. If.

    Also, it looks like the Blockquoting should be fixed on the first Kennedy quote paragraph. Between (‘resting.’” This).

  73. Is this guy some kind of glutton for punishment or something? The whole premise of his book is akin to saying something like, “I truly, genuinely, hate flaming bags of dog poop on my porch. Nothing in the world so infuriates me as when the local children light bags of canine feces aflame, and I must stomp them out, ruining my loafers” in front of the local eighth grade classroom.

    What happens after you write that? Duh. You should expect a conflagration of dog doo on your porch every day until you enter the witness protection program and move to Utah.

    So, ok, paint a snark bullseye on your forehead. But at least come correct! Denby, your incompetence makes this like kicking a baby. Fun, but really too easy to be satisfying.

  74. [re=233614]operation limey[/re]: If Palin can get a book deal, Tunses the Driving Cat can probably get one too. If you write a book trying to “snark on snark,” you deserve to be shot, maimed, tarred, feathered, and run out of town on a rail.

  75. [re=233547]stopmebeforeitypeagain[/re]: Hey man, give credit where credit is due. I woke up this morning, saw this post, and became immediately indignant. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME/US/TRIG?

  76. Magazine and newspaper writers simply hate the internet, with a white hot blinding hatred like something out of White Light/White Heat. They hate it for only one reason: fear of losing money. They worry that “bloggers” and others are guilty of “giving the milk away for free,” or some such shit.

    Problems come when it is time to rationalize this hatred into the form of an argument against the cyber-visigoths. Even haughty writers for esteemed publications don’t have the freedom to say outright: “Fuckers be stealin’ my MONEY!” So they have to attempt to hide the essential nature of their problem behind platitudes and head feints. Some of them think they are quite clever at this concealment. Going on at length, in the manner Denby seems to have done, is a sure sign that he thinks he’s real cute at throwing up smoke so the reader won’t suspect he’s really pissing his pants over potential loss of income.

    I agree that a lawsuit should be forthcoming seeking damages from Denby for liable. He should also have his online porn privileges taken away for six months. For community service he should be forced to play the Helen Keller character in a local high school production of Miracle Worker, whereupon he should be remanded back to police custody for trying to entice underage boys at the cast party to view the porn stash on his laptop. I also heard he once fucked a chicken.

  77. [re=233624]shortsshortsshorts[/re]: Shorts, U R My Hero.

    I’ve been doing out-there politics since before your Grampy started trying to get it on with your Grammy. AND U R DAM FUKKING NR THE ONLY ONE I EBBBER SAW WHO REALLY GETS IT: POLITICS MATTERS, IT TOTALLY SUXXX — except for maybe Blago, or Trig; don’t tell either one of them I said that — AND WE HAVE TO TELL FUCKING FLAMING FETUS FART FUNNIES TO BE ABLE TO STAND IT.

    Honest Injun, dude, I gave you any more credit, I’d need a fucking backhoe to move it into your living room.

    Meanwhile, Denby is so full of shit his eyes are brown:

    Discuss, using examples.

    Be brief.

    Neatness counts.
    I will close with an impression of “Turkey in the Saw”, as sung by the Guv. Also.

  78. Snark does not equal snide.
    Snark calls “bullshit” where bullshit is due.
    Snide is immature wannabe snark that fails.
    Snarkers are intelligent and do their homework.
    Sniders have brains 10,000 times smaller than a pubic lice.

    Somebody, give Denby a peanut butter samwich.

  79. I note with some glee but also fear and awe that on, the price of Denby’s book has dropped in proportion to its gradual loss of stars/whore diamonds. I think it’s down to average 2.5 stars now, and fell from $12.something to $10.something in the space of one day. Hmm!

  80. [re=233657]stopmebeforeitypeagain[/re]: Liver disease fucks up the eyes. Give him credit, also. And also. Be a mentor to Denby. Also. And also. That fucking hack can use a few pointers. May they come from these comments, also.

  81. I was looking for some websites of his we could target. Ideas?

    I see someone’s already updated his Wiki entry to site this page & say his book contains major factual errors. (couldn’t it be updated with something more extreme? Or you don’t want to attract attention?)

  82. [re=233448]slavojzizek[/re]: Agreed. Jim, if you put this up on eBay signed by you, you will easily recoup your the Hobo Food Stamp you spent on this thing. Even better, I expect you to make more $ than the original author’s royalty check last month

  83. According to my math, 10 more 1-star reviews on Amazon, he’s down to an average of 2.

    23 more 1-star reviews, he’s down to 1.5 stars.

    Get cracking…

  84. David Dickby is RIGHT! We need more female writers with vaginal issues, more making fun of nearly dead politicians and people like Chelsea Clinton and Caroline Kennedy, who have almost the same initials.

  85. [re=233679]shortsshortsshorts[/re]: Be a mentor to Denby. Also. And also. That fucking hack can use a few pointers.

    Denby: the dude needs a major clue transplant. I can’t do anything for him on my medical plan. He’s beyond help, his age. Also.

    Somebody peed in his gene pool — whaddya gonna do?


  86. I wouldn’t think the New Yorker would hire a sexist man to write film reviews for them. But I guess they do. Maybe I should read more than just the Gahan Wilson cartoons next time.

  87. Let’s get Denby the way Dan Savage has his readers fight bad guys – with a contest to find a fitting sex act named “The Denby”.

    I suggest locker room assholes who lie about fucking someone, then make up salacious details to support the false hook-up.

    Used in a sentence. “Mike claims that I gave him a rim job underneath the football bleachers. That’s a total Denby. I was home with mono the whole week!”

  88. Where’s the offense at the lampooning of RightWingNutNeoConFascists? C’mon Denby, let’s at least be evenhanded in our wrongheadedness, you know, like having a large, puss-filled sebaceous cyst like you on BOTH ass-cheeks…

  89. Fuck everybody. And I mean it. Everybody should die, no matter how nice they are, and for no apparent reason. Die, everybody. I’m just one of those people. So write a book about me.

    – US First Circuit court
    – pretrial hearing – June 12, 2009

    (Here’s a transcript of the pre-trial hearing, where the judge decides whether Wonkette has enough goods on Denby for an actual trial, or whether it’s just one of those seeking-a-fat-settlement kinda thingees. Sara decided she was too much of a grown up to participate. Jim and Ken are representing themselves in court, Denby sends a $50/hour lawyer. )

    BAILIFF: The next case for consideration is Wonkette vs. Denby alleging the defendent did knowingly and maliciously print defamation causing loss of professional reputation and severe emotional distress to the plaintiffs, the writers and editors of Wonkette.

    JUDGE: Sooo, Wonkette, huh? Isn’t that the funny potty-mouth political website that’s always calling calling the president a half-breed Muslin terrorist? Says Dick Cheney eats live babies for breakfast each day?

    KEN: Yessir.

    JUDGE: That is some funny shit guys. My daughter, she’s in college? She’s always sending me links to your stuff. (chuckles) Brightens up my day every time. Heh heh, TruckNutz!

    KEN: Well, um…? Thank you, sir.

    JUDGE: Now then, can you summarize your grievances against Mr. Denby?

    JIM: Well sir, he said we published mean things about Ted Kennedy when he got teh brain cancer? And he said that was really, totally mean of us to do it. Only thing is – we actually said nice things about Kennedy when he got the cancer. The mean stuff we said was waaay back when he just had a blood clot or something. Also.

    KEN: See? Totally different.

    JIM: Yeah, and in this thing I wrote about Chelsea Clinton overcoming her handicap; about not being able to talk and all, which was a joke, because she wasn’t saying much while campaigning for her mom, so anyway, ha-ha, joke? This Denby guy called me a girl!

    JUDGE: And this damaged your professional reputations, or caused you severe emotional distress?

    JIM: Totally!

    KEN: Yeah, both.

    JUDGE: Ahhhmmm. Um, case dimissed.


    JUDGE: Case dismissed. Bailiff? What’s next on the docket?

  91. [re=233477]Bowdoin[/re]: The of “playing with someone better than you” originated, if memory serves, with Stendhal’s “The Red and The Black.”

    The plebian hero, Sorel, is trying to rise in French society. He is advised to challenge an aristocrat to a duel, because “one only duels with equals,” etc.

    In constrast, one deals with annoying social inferiors — e.q., the Denbys of the world — by having them horsewhipped by your valet.

    [re=233569]1am_america[/re]: Tina Davis? I thought it was Tina Brown who ruined the New Yorker. Either way, a perfect candidate for a horsewhipping. And then a dunk in a pond.

  92. I, too, have just Joined The Good Fight to do to Denby’s rating what the 20th Air Force did to Tokyo between March-May, 1945.

    :::Waving flag:::

    To paraphase Adm. Bull Halsey: When this war is over, “Denby” will be a language spoken only in HELL.

  93. [re=233757]Neilist[/re]: I have to admit, I bailed early on “The Red and the Black.” But I have to guess, Pancho Gonzales never read him no Stendhal neither!

    Pat Garrett must’ve, though. He was asked why he didn’t give The Kid a chance. Just plunked him in the dark. Is that sporting? “I might have,” alibied Pat, “Had he been the same social status as me.”

    There you have it. A low-grade bushwhacker, himself suffering eventually the same fate, affecting lordly airs.

  94. [re=233759]Bowdoin[/re]: You didn’t miss much not finishing “Red & Black.” About the only good thijng to come out of it is that they used the same phrase (“Rouge et Noir”) for the name of a good French cheese company in Northern Marin County, CA. But I’ll let ShortsShortsShorts tell you about that.

    But I have never put the Pat Garrett comment in that context. To me, Pat was just elaborating on the concept: “If you were in a fair fight, you didn’t plan properly.”

  95. If Denby didn’t lack the mellifluous, wistful prose of Our Lady of the Noonie Sorrows, I would say, “Get out the claws, bitches. It‘s face scratching time.”

  96. [re=233703]Bruno[/re]: Might work if the Wonkette fem editors would speak instead of typing out their words using a mouth-wand aimed at a computer keyboard a la Stephen Hawkings. Not that they are mutes. They just like the moist, yet rigid, texture of the flesh-colored wand.

  97. David who? Never heard of him, don’t care what he has to say. Jim, you shouldn’t let this guy piss you off so much, really, let it go, he’s nothing. Do you need a vacation? I am worried about you.

  98. Why does it feel like Denby is one of those people that reads a “Ziggy” cartoon and chuckles about how delightfully it zings modern life.
    And then logs onto the intranets to see some hardcore porn.

  99. HAHA. I used to think that wonkette was written by teh wimminz, too. You know, because of the name. And then I read it, and I was all “Oh, hey, it’s a bunch of funny people, and one of them is a woman but it’s also sort of irrelevant, when it comes to satire. Such as.”

  100. [re=233590]DoctorCulturae[/re]: THIS IS BRILLIANT. i am going to start using the word “denby” in this way. someone must add this to wiktionary, link to it in his wikipedia entry. also, add it to those urban slang sites too.

  101. also, someone wrote this annoying book already, it’s called “for common things” (when really, what do people have in common more than irony and snark?)

  102. It’s true that Wonkette is obsessed with giraffe porn. You can clearly find people talking about it with serious zest on the site. In at least one post. (See what I did there?) And no, you may not have my copy of Deep Deep Deep Throat.

  103. Who the hell is David Denby?

    Who the hell is Bill Kristol?

    No offense to our fine neighbors to the north in that particular place known as “New York City,” which we all tend to visit once or twice a year for two-day breaks, but everyone south of the northern neck of the New Jersey Turnpike, and everyone west of Philadelphia, and everyone north of Westchester County, N.Y., does not really care about these snotty Manhattan writers like Denby and Kristol. Village Voice guys? Yes. Rolling Stone writers? Some of them. Alternative weekly writers? Of course.

    People like Denby and Kristol?

    We just don’t care.

    Oh, and if you’re writing a book? GET THE FACTS STRAIGHT FIRST. THEN PUBLISH IT.

    –Most of the United States.

  104. Yes, and Denby really should be out getting Anthony Lane’s double soy latte. But he would probably screw that up too, coming back with a iced tea and a bowl of edamame.

  105. [re=233398]BobLoblawLawBlog[/re]: “Wonkette is written by young women…” I guess that explains why Newell gets pissy once in a while–PMS is hell in adolescence.

    I once went to a Seattle Mgt. Assoc lunch/speaker event and got stuck beside some people from King Co Engineering. Iran had just decided that they hated us, so as an ice breaker, I quipped: “I passed the Hallmark shop on the way here and did some browsing, but they don’t have any suggestions for Death to America Day. I don’t even what colors to use!”

    Said one of engineers, “I don’t think I’d celebrate it.”

    When you have to say, “I’m joking” you pretty much know it’s either you, or them, who has a problem.

    Poor, boring Denby has the problem. Why does he bother, if he just doesn’t get it?

  106. Denby doesn’t arrive in LA until Thursday, so I’ll be checking in again to see if someone (anyone) confronts him at a book signing before I do.

    The dude sounds like my Mom complaining about all the “Rap Crap” I listened to in high school. You’re old, old man!

  107. [re=233411]lumpenprole[/re]: “Someone should mail that guy some balls.”

    I’m assuming by that you mean truck nutz. BTW–Does the book mention the gigantic we gave truck nutz commerce? Does he acknowledge the wonkeratties insanely high scores on eco driving? huh, hih, HUH? Mr. Wiseguy.

    I’ll contribute $10 to the wonkette legal defense fund (since Hopey hasn’t hit me up for money this week).

    By Legal Defenst Fund I mean, of course, ordering several cases of truck nutz and having them delivered to Denby’s address.

  108. [re=233400]El Pinche[/re]: Does DC Boomer mean this guy’s a Baby Boomer? WTF! I am so ashamed.

    Whatever happened to the fucking Age of Aquarius, anyway?

  109. [re=233472]NotAnEvilLobbyist[/re]: “lawyers questioning witnesses about assfucking”

    This post is making me laugh in that insane way I won’t describe because it irritates Sara.

    Court Reporter: Excuse me, how to spell butseks?

  110. Read the fine print on your License to Commit Humor, Wonkette. No “fun at the expense of others”, and no tearing down without building up. Ever.

  111. I just glanced up at how old this thread is and realize hardly anyone (present company excepted, cupahope) is reading it, so I’m just going to say this, and get it off my chest.

    Fuck that mofo. I’m eating a bagel with a little low fat cream cheese and low sugar marmalade because, you know, I’m old have the fucking metabolism of a sea turtle. Most of my joints are so arthritic I have bone rubbing against bone when I move. And, currently, I have Bells’ Palsy and I’ve had it for two months. AND I live in snark-free rural Oklahoma that loves McCain more than Utah does.

    Hanging out on wonkette is the most fun I have most days, because everyone lets everything fly and no one takes it seriously. (Except when I get carried away and get in trouble with Ken ‘cuz I don’t know stuff).

    How the fuck could anyone have survived the past eight years without

    Maybe I don’t get all the references the kids make but who the fuck cares? Unlike Denby, I know it’s all a joke and that in a world that is either liberal and pc obsessed or viciously right wing (lookin’ at you, Xian fundies) people with a sense of humor need someplace to go blow off snark and obscenities where you’re always glad you came and nobody knows your name.

    And as the kids say, Also. (Which I totally don’t get).

    The above is the Dust Bowl Manifesto for the New Century. Send me your address, and I’ll autograph a copy for your bulletin board.

  112. [re=234179]DustBowlBlues[/re]: Ms. Palin,also.
    I’m laying here getting over my own cancer and other people’s cancer makes me feel kinda happy and elitist until my eyes wear out and my incision starts hurting from laughing.I think I will in fact be okay for quite awhile in a few months but I am living proof that cancer doesn’t necessarily make you a nice person. Even flat on my ass for most of my day I have no desire to call fucking boring NPR and hope to give my two cents on this incompetent prick Denby.
    Going to amazon is going to be very tempting though.

  113. [re=234205]102415[/re]: “Going to amazon is going to be very tempting though.”

    I believe it is an urge that those of us who suffer daily deserve to completely give in to. I mean, arthritic and old or cancerous and ailing, why the hell not? And Barnes and Noble, too. Evidently Denby had no idea he was fucking with war blog.

  114. First, I must eat a little. Then I will ask someone to steal me a review copy. Then I will place the book where I can get a good look at it. Then I will fall asleep and my dog will tell me in a dream that the book is “no good”. I think it’s only fair to use the same technique that he used to write the book to do my review.

  115. if it wasn’t for snark, we’d actually let this retarded political failure we call “American-Style Democracy” get us down.
    If something is going to self-implode and take you with it, you may as well laugh at it while you can.
    Lack of snark is what makes bitters so damn…well…bitter.

  116. [re=234179]DustBowlBlues[/re]: “Also” is a snarkity snark snark at the obnoxious way Palin would over-misuse the word “also” at the end of every sentence.
    Kind of like “desu” but not as cute.

  117. [re=233652]Mr Blifil[/re]: “I also heard he once fucked a chicken.”

    I was following a reasoned (for a wonkeratti) discussion of the print opinion media being threatened by the cyborg op-ed’ers.
    I was starting to think that Denby had shamed someone into this kind of logical discourse until I got to the last line.

    Ah, yes. That wonkette obscenity-buzz. My only concern is that Ken might take such umbrage at Denby’s error-filled diatribe that the esteemed senior editor would insist everyone start posting shit that sounds like it comes out of the minds of responsible citizens. [re=234466]Czn939[/re]:

  118. [re=233652]Mr Blifil[/re]: “I also heard he once fucked a chicken.”

    I was following a reasoned (for a wonkeratti) discussion of the print opinion media being threatened by the cyborg op-ed’ers.
    I was starting to think that Denby had shamed someone into this kind of logical discourse until I got to the last line.

    Ah, yes. That wonkette obscenity-buzz. My only concern is that Ken might take such umbrage at Denby’s error-filled diatribe that the esteemed senior editor would insist everyone start posting shit that sounds like it comes out of the minds of responsible citizens.

  119. David Denby has chronic halitosis, according to his ex-wife. She also claims that he masturbates all day to pictures of sheep tied up to bedposts. “Really disgust ya to see,” she offered to some mainstream publication or another, the name and date of which totally escapes me.

    I don’t happen to have sources handy, but in 1989, he was arrested for flashing a nun on Sunday morning.

    The man reeks like a compost heap. That I happen to know myself. You can quote me!

  120. Just the place for a snark. All set for a good hunt and all we got is a loser dude whinning about a website. How silly, so just take the Captain and the Bellman and sail on til you do find just the place for a snark.

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