I have written critically of eight presidents and four D.C. mayors, but only during the Clinton years has such normal and essential journalistic activity been described as hate literature. This phenomenon is due in part to increasingly skillful government agitprop, but more importantly to a rising class of servile and gullible media Monicas willing to service power whenever they get the chance. As a result, it has become a radical act to speak the truth, and papers such as yours—while pretending to be clever, diverse, and hip—help to enforce a conformity of thought in this town unmatched by anything since the ’50s.
One of the new rules of this new journalistic class is that attitude and arrogance trump the facts, so it was not surprising to find Loosey lacing his ad hominem amphigory (Loose Lips, “Mayor Haters,” 6/4) with sloppy distortions of my work. For example, consider the photo caption reading, “Carpetbagger mayors aren’t welcome in Sam Smith’s D.C.” A quick check of everything I’ve written about the mayor in the past year finds less than 500 words on the subject of his unfamiliarity with the city. I imagine that every paper in New York has already written far more than that about H.R. Clinton. I guess I must have missed the meeting at which the D.C. media agreed to ignore Williams’ provenance. In any case, 500 words do not constitute a genre.
Similarly, Loosey gooses me for blaming Williams for the demographic trends of the city. He apparently doesn’t even read the quotes in his own column, because he has me saying in the next paragraph, “These stark figures help explain why the Williams administration caters so extensively to the interests of a small percentage…” which is hardly the same thing. If you’re going to knife someone, Loosey, at least wipe the handle before you leave the room.
Adrienne [Washington] and I attempt to follow Albert Camus’ dictum that writers should serve not those who make history, but those who are subject to it. You ought to try it some time.