Sunday, August 10, 2008

Jeff Goldstein, genius

That Jeff Goldstein is a genius is as irrefutable a fact as that James Wolcott is a fraud.

Somehow, Goldstein's adventures in blogging have attracted the attention of Wolcott -- perhaps a homoerotic fascination with Goldstein's legendary buffness, perhaps a thick-skulled inability to grasp Goldstein's multilayered self-referential satire.

I met Goldstein in November at the Young America's Foundation West Coast student conference in Santa Barbara (where Little Miss Atilla stunned the online world by revealing that "bloggers like the drinkey"). Goldstein was hilarious, once you understood he was joking. He does an Andy Kaufmanesque performance-art type of comedy in which he purposely pushes a practical joke beyond the point where any sane person would stop and say, "Wait, man, I was just kidding."

I make that observation not merely as a shameless name-dropper flaunting my brief acquaintance with the famed Jeff G., but also to add perspective to the back-and-forth at Protein Wisdom that inspired Wolcott's lame post at Vanity Fair. (Seriously, do they pay him by the word for that crap?) Whatever serious disagreement might have bubbled up between Karl and Thor and Dan and Jeff, I don't for a minute think that Jeff's "dramatic leave-takings" are part of a "psychodrama," as Wolcott would have it.

Unlike being paid preposterously large sums by Graydon Carter for overlong columns that involve no reporting, independent current-events blogging is not a sufficiently lucrative career to support a family.

Jeff has other employment that pays his bills, and a family that requires his attention, and these other commitments have prevented him from blogging regularly in recent months. He turned Protein Wisdom over to guest-bloggers, a dispute ultimately ensued, and Jeff settled the dispute by ending the guest-blogger situation.

No psychodrama; a business decision. Wolcott's characterization of this as an example of Goldstein's "attention-sucking antics," is further proof -- as if it were needed -- of Wolcott's fundamental fraudulence as a journalist.


  1. Amen.

    No hard feelings here. I posted there two years hoping that Jeff would come back and reclaim his blog.

    He is, as I've noted recently, The Left's Indispensable Blogger.

  2. Vanity Fair? Is that still actually being published?

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