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Guys, David Brooks Is So Much More Than David Brooks



You would not know it from reading any of the +1,300 columns that Mr. David Brooks he has written for The New York Time over the past 15 years (which are, for the most part, +1,300 slight variations of the same column) but Mr. David Brooks is so much more than just a man who has gotten wealthy repeating the same bullshit over and over again long past the point where it stopped being funny and started being a cult.

Mr. Brooks is, in fact, a fascinating social experiment:  a social experiment that has gone drastically wrong.  Specifically, an experiment in just how far the Sulzberger family is willing to go and how much they are willing to spend to prop up a mediocrity whose only job is to repeat the same stupefying fairy tale, twice a week, every week, forever.

It should have lasted a year.  Like when the Times hired Mr. Brooks' former boss, Bloody Bill Kristol, to immunize themselves against the angry emails and blog posts of berserk, pro-Bush chicken-hawks.  And then cashiered Kristol after a year because he was a shitty writer and wrong about everything

A year, it should have lasted.  Maybe two, for a goof, or to settle some weird, rich-guy bet.

But 15 years and many editors and mass layoffs later, it is too late to pretend that Mr. Brooks is anything but the true voice of The New York Times.  Its institutional soul.  Which got me wondering how exactly Mr. Brooks landed the easiest job in all of American journalism?  What was it about his initial offerings -- his first efforts as a guest columnist -- that so completely wowed the Sulzberger family that they took stock of this senior editor and Liberal-hit-piece hack from The Weekly Standard and said, "Hell, I like you!  You can come over to my house and fuck my sister!"

Well that is a question we will answer right now because here, kiddies, are a few snips from Mr. Brooks second outing as a New York Times guest columnist.  His inaugural piece from January of 1999 was on the topic of Clinton/Lewinsky thing, and so he was invited back three months later to lend his keen insight into...


If you are not inclined to read it, let me summarize:  basically, Mr. Brooks believed that Monica Lewinski was a trollop who was getting what was coming to her, but none of it matters because of our "trash culture".    Which, for some reason, had something to do with organic vegetables and hiking boots.
Prime-Time Monica 
By DAVID BROOKS
MARCH 5, 1999

Didn't Monica Lewinsky glow the other night? Didn't she look oddly happy during her interview on ABC? And no wonder. Here is a young woman who's been consuming glossy culture all her life: following the soaps, reading the women's magazines, watching Barbara Walters ask the celebrities how they feeeeel.

And then it's her turn! Barbara Walters is asking her how she feels. This is the grand moment! No wonder she was such a fabulous performer. This is her milieu. And it's striking how seamlessly she blends into the prime-time publicity machine.

On Wednesday night with Ms. Walters she started talking about her undergarments, and in a few minutes, ABC broke for a Victoria's Secret commercial showing a bunch of women hanging around a castle in tiny underwear...

So Monica Lewinsky isn't some challenge to the moral order, or the amoral temptress some have made her out to be. She's a figure altogether more familiar to our age, a media-savvy victim. Bill Clinton didn't love her, but the camera does...

And along with her fine qualities -- her intelligence and vivacity -- she's also something else that's quintessentially of our age. She's almost beyond shame and embarrassment...

So of course she told her posse of friends all the intimate details. Of course she told Mr. Clinton she was bedding another man over at the Pentagon....

And in keeping with the glossy culture that is her home, everything in this world has to be overhyped. Everything has to be inflated into something grander than it is...

Later, Ms. Lewinsky described Bill Clinton as her sensual soulmate. She used the word sensual constantly and proudly Wednesday night. I counted eight uses of the word in a five-minute span. But it is hard to fathom what was sensual about their hallway and telephone trysts...

But in using the word soulmate, Ms. Lewinsky again displays her ear for the argot of the media age. These days you can scarcely turn around in a bookstore without stumbling across a book with the word soul in the title, and everything from organic vegetables to hiking boots comes enveloped in the thick fog of market-savvy pseudo-spirituality.

...Everybody else in our trash culture appropriates profound concepts for shallow ends. Why should Monica Lewinsky be any different?

The Lewinsky affair and the whole mountain of media output it has produced leave us in this bewildering lukewarm world...

A couple of times on Wednesday night Ms. Walters tried to get Ms. Lewinsky to talk about the morality of her behavior. But asking her to reflect on right and wrong was like asking her to use the language of another universe...

The world we've been peering into is somehow beyond good and evil. It's a world of sentimentality, of makeovers, of people who tear up just before the commercial breaks...

...The Greeks got terrifying and grand tragedies. We're more forgiving, more comfortable and more bourgeois. And so we get, in the perils of Monica Lewinsky, a night of pretty engaging television, which we'll probably all have forgotten by next week.

This year marks Mr. Brooks' 15th year as The New York Times' senior conservative brain wizard and America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual.

So maybe he wasn't so wrong about our "trash culture" after all.


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