Wednesday, April 02, 2008
pablo picasso never got called an asshole:
Doug Feith -- he of the Office of Special Plans, holder of the title "fucking stupidest guy on the face of the earth" (given to him by the second-stupidest) -- has this to say about those concerned about torturing dudes. Via Paul Kiel, when Feith was asked by a Vanity Fair reporter if he was concerned that denying Geneva Conventions protections to suspected terrorists in U.S. custody would harm America's moral authority, he sagely replied:
"The problem with moral authority," he said, was "people who should know better, like yourself, siding with the assholes, to put it crudely."
OK, show of hands. Who wants me to violate ground rules and tell you all about my off-the-record lunch at TNR with Doug Feith in 2003?
--Spencer Ackerman
Admitting that you ate lunch with Doug Feith is shaming enough that you've already done sufficient penance in advance -- therefore you should definitely go ahead and pass on the good word.
Blogger Zed | 3:35 PM

If it was off the record, so it stays. Your reputation is all you've got, man.
Blogger Clarke | 3:59 PM

It was lunch with the *New Republic.* You're not the *New Republic* anymore. If they wanted you to keep their secrets, they should have handled your "termination" more politely.

I say spill!

Or at least email me with the juicy details...

Brad DeLong
Blogger brad | 4:37 PM

Ok, can you just say if the lunch was not as bad as, just as bad as, or worse than the Vanity Fair quote?
Blogger Cameron | 4:43 PM

I thought your profession had a roundabout way of dealing with this. You know, you tell Matt or Ezra, and then he does a blind item like, "One Surger told another Surger ...," and us six cool kids figure out the rest.
Blogger Chris | 4:45 PM

Spill it!
Blogger Brian | 4:46 PM

You can leak to me! "An anonymous source with knowledge of the event stated..."

We want to know. But Clarke is also right. Unless it demonstrates that Feith is lying -- the he doesn't deserve your discretion.
Blogger James F. Elliott | 4:48 PM

It's so tempting. So, so, so tempting. But your audience's hunger for further validation that Douglas Feith is, in fact, a total douchenozzle, isn't worth the violation of journalistic ethics.
Blogger Ned | 6:49 PM

Could you just say, "In 2003 administration sources said ...," and be in the clear? Isn't that what Woodward does with Colin Powell?
Blogger Chris | 7:51 PM

the problem with journalistic ethics is people who should know better, like yourself, siding with the assholes.

i say side with the assholes. let's hear it, dude.
Blogger Max | 8:01 PM

Damn, Spencer -- you just reminded me that I wanted to use the title of this post on my own blog, in my post about height issues.
Blogger Kathy G. | 8:30 PM

And yes, by all means spill about your off the record lunch. You know I'm a total gossip hound for any and all TNR and Bush admin-related dirt.
Blogger Kathy G. | 8:33 PM

As much as I'm sure I'd enjoy reading you laying into Doug Feith, just because he would deserve such a thing doesn't mean you should give up your own word. A man's gotta have a code.
Blogger Matt | 9:44 PM

Really, having someone breach OTR on him is the fucking least that monster deserves. In a just world a well-funded secret service would be tasked to pursue him to the ends of the earth and bring about due process; it's been done.
Blogger Alex | 4:01 AM

Oh, definitely spill.

To assuage your conscience, conclude your reminiscence with one additional sentence: "Not."
Blogger grumpy | 7:41 AM

Wow, I want to know the details. But you shouldn't violate off the record.

Now, hypothetically, if a certain reporter were to make statements –– off the record of course! –– to, say, certain bloggers and if those certain bloggers were then to share some of those statements with their readers...
Blogger Jacob | 4:39 PM

Oh my goodness, yes!

Feith is one of those loathsome creatures that needs a stake driven through his heart (in the metaphorical Bram Stoker/Buffy sense, of course) once and for all. Even though nothing Feith says is worth a ball of spit, anything to accomplish his complete erasure from our political scene would be worth it...
Blogger Eric | 3:46 PM