Full disclosure: I went to college with Frank Rich. He gave me a rave review for a performance once. When he turned into the vicious, biased, hateful jerk he reveals himself to be in his not merely progressive but irrationally hostile to conservatism op-ed columns and, prior to that, his vitriolic and hyper-critical theater reviews for the Times, I don’t know. Maybe if I had befriended him back then, he would not be the bitter misanthrope his is today. Maybe just an outstretched hand, a kind word, or a sharp, “Why don’t you stop being such a dick?” would have turned the tide of his life around. Alas, we shall never know.
Here is what Rich tweeted yesterday, upon learning of the guilty verdict handed down against former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell and his wife:
Isn’t that classy? A prison rape joke. At least Rich had his political correctness alarms set to sufficient levels of sensitivity that he didn’t make the equivalent “joke” about McDonnell’s wife, who is also, absent a successful appeal, headed to prison. Joking about a woman’s rape, even when the butt, so to speak, of the barb—although come to think of it, I’m not sure about this:I need to ask Debby Wasserman Schultz—is a conservative Republican woman, is a career-ender, but joking about the hilarious, light-hearted phenomenon of prison rape involving men is just good fun.
Naturally, Rich has never made a similar crack about convicted Democrats, like Jesse Jackson, Jr., or Eliot Spitzer, because the outpouring of outrage from Rich’s fans, patrons and allies, Democrats and their “base,” would force New York Magazine to punt him out on the street to earn his meals reviewing puppet shows. But he knew he was on secure ground, because he recalls how his equally hateful and biased former colleague when Rich was being a vicious, partisan creep in the pages of the New York Times, Charles M. Blow, repeatedly made anti-Mormon comments to slime Mitt Romney, and was never even required to apologize.
Let’s see, what is the standard that is emerging for respected pundits in the left-slanted news media? You can call Republicans cunts and twats (HBO’s Bill Maher’s specialty), you can ridicule their religious beliefs, you can joke about them being anally raped, just don’t say you want them to be force-fed shit, and your job is secure. This makes no sense to me, particularly with pundits like Rich. Once you have revealed this level of personal hatred and disrespect based on nothing but ideological animus, what reason is there for anyone to believe that a columnist’s views are based on reason rather than pure, wretched, emotion? Readers can’t possibly trust him to be objective; they can only trust him to deliver biased conclusions that bolster their own. What good is that?
I’m really, really sorry, Frank, if I had any part in making you this way when we were in school together.
But, boy, you are such an asshole!