IRONY ENDED ON 9/11 YOU IDIOT  11:24 am February 26, 2010

by Jim Newell

More better ironyYOU KNOW YOU’RE IN FOR A JUICY FOLLOW-UP ARTICLE WHEN IT BEGINS: “Regular readers of are probably aware that sometimes we deploy sarcasm or irony to make points.” Oh god. [Newsweek]

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Ruhe February 26, 2010 at 11:28 am

To make points with people who think they’re smart enough to appreciate irony and sarcasm? So Newsweek is published for wonketeers?

Lucidamente February 26, 2010 at 11:29 am

Wait, Newsweek has regular readers?

Tommmcatt February 26, 2010 at 11:31 am

…And you know you are in for some egregious hackery when the writer uses words like “fulminate”.

rocktonsammy February 26, 2010 at 11:32 am

That article made my headache worse.

FMA February 26, 2010 at 11:37 am

You know, when the severely humor-impaired try to employ humor to make some point or other, it’s not funny. It’s fucking hilarious.

JMP February 26, 2010 at 11:37 am

Wah wah that meanie Greenwald should’ve realized that we were only kidding, even though there was no indication that that was the case. Besides, it should have been obvious that Newsweek was using “we” to talk about other people; why would he assume Newsweek staffers used “we” to refer to themselves?

queeraselvis v 2.0 February 26, 2010 at 11:38 am

Well, “We” think that Newsweek hasn’t had any credibility since, oh, ever.

SayItWithWookies February 26, 2010 at 11:38 am

But given that Stone’s comment would, if taken literally, trigger outrage across the Internet, and did not, I think it’s safe to assume that Greenwald’s confusion is his fault, not ours.

It might also be safe to assume that nobody reads Newsweek. But on the irony point — beneath that explanatory article is a teaser for a piece called “The Quiet Dignity of Rielle Hunter,” so really it’s hardly surprising that Greenwald doesn’t give Newsweek editors credit for understanding irony.

JMP February 26, 2010 at 11:41 am

[re=520661]FMA[/re]: The Newsweek staff all have great senses of humor, just like Richard Cohen.

Jim Newell February 26, 2010 at 11:43 am

[re=520664]SayItWithWookies[/re]: They each had points. Greenwald had one of his insane self-righteous over-freakouts, sure. He does these things. But it’s pretty terrifying that no one from Newsweek was able to realize that in their weird, “ironic” back and forth, they were just making dumb half-jokes about the very terrible and evil news practices that they’re famous for, and probably won’t change any time soon.

S.Luggo February 26, 2010 at 11:45 am

I love the smell of internecine monkey-poop flung in the morning.

Lucidamente February 26, 2010 at 11:46 am

[re=520662]JMP[/re]: An understandable slip-up: everybody there refers to Jon Meacham as “wee.”

Cape Clod February 26, 2010 at 11:47 am

[re=520661]FMA[/re]: Tell that to Dana Millbank.

Jumping Jim February 26, 2010 at 11:47 am

So if I say “Bloggers work in their pj’s and live in their parents’ basement” am I making an ironic comment or sarcastic or what?

And I’m sure that when Rielle Hunter was making the beast with two backs with John Edwards she was not exhibiting quiet dignity.

Well maybe Alanis Morrisette would say it was ironic but few others would.

freakishlystrong February 26, 2010 at 11:49 am

Yeah, I always think of Newsweek when I want a little irony or sarcasm.

proudgrampa February 26, 2010 at 11:54 am


JMP February 26, 2010 at 11:55 am

[re=520672]Jumping Jim[/re]: Well, we think that Rielle has shown a lot of dignity. And by “we”, I mean “Newsweek’s editors”, not any group that includes myself.

McDuff February 26, 2010 at 11:56 am

[re=520667]S.Luggo[/re]: “internecine monkey-poop”

I was thinking this is more along the lines of that “inside baseball” stuff that no normal person cares about — like the fact that Gonzales has a hanging curve ball that left-handed batters over 6’2″ can hit for extra bases 34.56% of the time on Sunday afternoons if the sun is shining the wind is belowing in from right field at less than 12 mph — but you win with brevity and a better visual metaphor.

artpepper February 26, 2010 at 12:00 pm

The very idea that Newsweek Magazine for Dentistry Patients deploys “irony” is the gravest Beckettsian form of irony I can imagine.

artpepper February 26, 2010 at 12:01 pm

Also, don’t they know this will just provoke another 3000-word screed on the subject from Greenwald?

F*T*S* February 26, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Poor Newsweek. It’s like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife.

SayItWithWookies February 26, 2010 at 12:02 pm

[re=520666]Jim Newell[/re]: The best thing about Greenwald’s rants is that they’re usually so long and detailed, that if his subject for the day is pretty banal I usually stop caring about two paragraphs into it. That said, even his (infrequently) misplaced outrage is head and shoulders above the usual swill that Newsweek publishes.

Buzz Feedback February 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Britney gots a big forehead. Does all that Jack in the Box do that to you?

slithytoves February 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Maybe it’s a Friday thing, but I had real trouble reading that article, not to mention understanding it.

WIDTAP February 26, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Well, if you have to explain the joke, then….

weejee February 26, 2010 at 12:12 pm

[re=520679]McDuff[/re]: Is that a way of sayin’ to Braves opponents “Charlie, here comes the deuce”?

Sparky McGruff February 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm

[re=520672]Jumping Jim[/re]: It’s just like ten thousand spoons, when all you need is a knife, and your dad was a mill worker.

Terry February 26, 2010 at 12:16 pm

[re=520666]Jim Newell[/re]:
“Greenwald had one of his insane self-righteous over-freakouts, sure.”

One in particular comes to mind. The Fort Detrick anthrax expert who is thought to have been the one sending those envelopes, trying to kill people. Greenwald was saying that the Ft Detrick guy couldn’t be the one. He was scandalized that a counselor running a support group in which the Ft Detrick guy was in had had her own personal problems in the past. Imagine that. Someone who overcomes issues and becomes a counselor. Certainly that’s proof that the FBI case is flawed and the Ft Detrick guy was innocent.

snideinplainsight February 26, 2010 at 12:20 pm

It does in fact come out once a week, so it’s probably just the “News” part that’s meant ironically.

snideinplainsight February 26, 2010 at 12:24 pm

And while there’s lots to make fun of in Greenwald’s columns, I have to say that he really is The Hammer Of Witches when it comes to topics like sanctioned torture, habeus corpus, privacy, all that stuff.

FMA February 26, 2010 at 12:29 pm

I see what the confusion is all about now. They forgot to put quotes around “sarcasm” and “irony.”

Snarkalicious February 26, 2010 at 12:36 pm

[re=520683]artpepper[/re]: Too bad we can’t count on them to be clever enough to play that as an angle.

FlownOver February 26, 2010 at 12:37 pm

Was this a suicide note from Newsweek? It’s having “server problems” now.

Snarkalicious February 26, 2010 at 12:39 pm

[re=520686]F*T*S*[/re]: Alanis has never been to prison, obvs.

eclecticbrotha February 26, 2010 at 12:47 pm

So you would think that a well-read blogger with a law degree at a prestigious publication would not fulminate about statements belonging to either of those categories as “stunningly revealing” and “propagandistic.” But, if the blogger in question is Salon’s Glenn Greenwald, you would be wrong. Greenwald obtusely misreads our roundtable discussion on why the media was covering Joseph Stack’s suicide plane mission in Austin, Texas, less than the attempted Christmas Day airplane bombing, and why the media was more reluctant to label Stack a terrorist.

Who says Newsweek can’t do humor?

slavojzizek February 26, 2010 at 1:01 pm

“Regular readers of are probably aware that sometimes we deploy sarcasm or irony to make points.”

Oh sure. is right up there on everyone’s list of favorite political humor sites, along with the Onion and Wonkette.

TGY February 26, 2010 at 1:18 pm

This is all a non-issue of spectacular unimportance.

norbizness February 26, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Although Newsweek is about as funny as a puppy dissection, Greenwald does have a tendency to surround a pithy observation or out-of-context quote with about 2500 words worth of redundant, humorless boilerplate.

donner_froh February 26, 2010 at 1:23 pm

“blogger with a law degree at a prestigious publication”

What prestigious publication gives law degrees?

Extemporanus February 26, 2010 at 1:24 pm

[re=520750]slavojzizek[/re]: Ironically, if they should change their name to the satirical Onionewsetteweek.

Min February 26, 2010 at 1:25 pm

They still publish Newsweek?!?

Magnus Maximus February 26, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Regular readers of are probably aware that we sometimes deploy sarcasm or irony to make points. We like to make jokes, that are funny. For example, Glen Greenwald, his pants are full of poop. Just kidding, that’s irony.

liquiddaddy February 26, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Their cartoons are sometimes amusing. Other then that, I think they should just stop using irony and sarcasm and just go with the basics, like whoopie cushions, and flaming bags of dog poop.

GOPCrusher February 26, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I only read it for the centerfold.

DP February 26, 2010 at 4:51 pm

Can’t understand why more of the readers don’t enjoy some good sarcasm or irony when it’s deployed right there in front of them….

Beanball February 26, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Is it irony when you use the word “prestigious” in conjunction with ‘’ (the “publication” in question)?

(Hope I got the quote thingies right. Is there a punctuation referee in the house?)

Beanball February 26, 2010 at 11:39 pm

Oh shit. Wrong “prestigious publication.”



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