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John Cloud: Please kill yourself

For your own sake, man--death before dishonor and all that. The usually loathsome Eric Alterman (via the never loathsome Atrios) pegs Cloud's Time magazine puff piece on Ann Coulter (nee Jeremy Levinsohn) for what it is-- a disgrace:

Time’s cover story/whitewash of Ann Coulter ... will make it impossible for serious people to accept what the magazine reports at face-value ever again. ...

This is a profoundly depressing realization as its managing editor Jim Kelly is a friend of mine and I respect both his intelligence and integrity and to be perfectly honest, I cannot find a way to reconcile my high opinion of Jim and the journalism he has produced, together with my respect for many of the professional reporters and editors at Time, with this moral, professional, and intellectual abomination. The fact that the system could produce a story like this one ... is a moral and intellectual scandal and a permanent stain on the reputations of everyone associated with it, most particularly its author, John Cloud. ...

Cloud has accepted the role of an unpaid PR flack for a woman who frequently jokes about the mass-murder of journalists—--including presumably, himself--and he professes to find this charming. And let us pause for a moment to note that today is the anniversary of the day that Timothy McVeigh did his horrid deed—the mass murder of men, women and children. Ms. Coulter ... thought it was so cute to joke about wishing he had accomplished at The New York Times. (I suppose it’s too much to worry about her calling for the mass murder of Arabs.) With the resources of Time’s legions of researchers and fact-checkers, he relies on a casual Google search to determine that she can be “occasionally coarse” and that her work is “mostly accurate.” I spoke to one of those researchers and I’m quoted in the article. But more to the point, I pointed the researcher in the direction of many easily available sources that easily undermine Cloud’s lazy and credulous reporting. The entire package is a statement of contempt for the values for which Time professes to stand; another notch in the belt for the far-right’s forty-year campaign to destroy journalists’ role in assuring democratic accountability in our society.

Alterman makes note, as do most reporters writing about Coulter, of the fact that she expressed a desire to see people who work for the New York Times murdered. And this is awful, of course, but let's not forget that Coulter has also expressed her approval of genocide (as Alterman does indeed mention) and recently remarked that it would be "fun" to launch a nuclear attack on North Korea.

But according to John Cloud, this is just an instance of Ann's "charming" sense of humor (has she ever said anything funny?).

John, if you're a real man, you will fall on your sword tonight. Now, I have no illusions: I doubt he will actually have the integrity to do this. He is the same person, after all, who wrote the article in the first place. Therefore, I beseech anyone who knows John Cloud, his friends or his family members, or anyone who happens to run into him, to punch him in the face.

As soon as you see him, don't say a word, just walk up to him and punch him in the goddamn face. It is your moral duty as a human being. You see him, you punch him right in his face. Nothing more; don't beat him up, don't kill him. Just a single punch in the face, then walk away.

This is how every decent person should interact with Cloud from now on.

... incidentally, if you follow the link above to the Time piece, you will be able to read only the first paragraph; to read the rest, you have to be a subscriber. However, if you go here, to Time's Canadian site, you can read the whole thing for free. Weird.

... something I hadn't thought of: Tom Tomorrow points out the additional crassitude of the fact that Time put Coulter on the cover just in time for the tenth anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

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