Friday, August 10, 2007

On Stu 'Oops, I've Done It Again' Bykofsky

Stu Bykofsky, a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News (note to copy editors: only Daily News is italicized) has set off a sh*tstorm by writing that he is hoping for another 9/11 terrorist attack because it would bring Americans together again.

Before I address the particulars of Stu’s column, which of course is beyond the pale, I would like to note that Stu and Shaun are on a first-name basis. This is because we worked in the same newsroom – although very seldom on the same stuff – for the 21 years that I was a reporter and editor at the Daily News.

Putting things in the most charitable context, Stu is an acquired taste and not the brightest bulb in the chandelier. More to the point, he is an asshole whose ability to upset people far exceeds his abilities.

Stu also is, as they say, a complex person. He can write about ill-treated puppy dogs one day (a favorite topic) and blow minds the next with excrement like his 9/11 redux wet dream.

I made my personal peace with Stu because he had gone through some personal travails and I felt bad for him. As well as the fact that actively disliking someone takes far more energy than I can muster over the long haul. It's just easier to hope you don't end up taking a leak next to a guy like him in the staff lavatory and have to strike up a conservation.

Let me be clear. There’s nothing wrong with being an asshole if you're good at what you do. As a former Daily News editor once told me half jokingly, "Mullen, you’re an asshole. But you're the asshole that everyone wants to work for."

Stu has been famously wrong about a lot of things, but there's nothing wrong with being famously wrong once in a while if you get it famously right the rest of the time. On this, Stu's record is . . . um, mixed.

He has railed against newspapers' embrace of the Internet, which is beyond stoopid as the 'Net is the biggest reason he may be still be drawing a paycheck a few years from now, but he did lay bare a truth or two in writing that:

"Like dinosaurs, newspapers have massive bodies and brains the size of walnuts.

"They give away their product for free on the Internet, then run in circles squawking like chickens when circulation goes down like the Titanic.

"Even the dimmest hooker knows to get paid upfront.

" 'Put the money on the dresser, honey.' "

This brings me back to Stu's longing for another 9/11 attack in which he also lays bare a truth or two:

"What kind of a sick bastard would write such a thing?

"A bastard so sick of how splintered we are politically - thanks mainly to our ineptitude in Iraq - that we have forgotten who the enemy is.

" . . . Iraq has fractured the U.S. into jigsaw pieces of competing interests that encourage our enemies. We are deeply divided and division is weakness.

"Most Americans today believe Iraq was a mistake. Why?

"Not because Americans are 'anti-war.' "

And so on and so forth, until he concludes by gloriously pissing on his own shoes:

"What would sew us back together?

"Another 9/11 attack.

"The Golden Gate Bridge. Mount Rushmore. Chicago's Wrigley Field. The Philadelphia subway system. The U.S. is a target-rich environment for al Qaeda.

"Is there any doubt they are planning to hit us again?

"If it is to be, then let it be. It will take another attack on the homeland to quell the chattering of chipmunks and to restore America's righteous rage and singular purpose to prevail.

"The unity brought by such an attack sadly won't last forever.

"The first 9/11 proved that."

Classic Stu. Shortsighted by a mile, deeply hurtful and ultimately self-defeating in acknowledging that if his brain fart is realized it will fuel a rage that will be merely transitory and result in exponentially more bad than good.


PSoTD said...

Let me be clear. There’s nothing wrong with being an asshole if you’re good at what you do. As a former Daily News editor once told me half jokingly, "Mullen, you’re an asshole. But you're the asshole that everyone wants to work for."

Let me be clear. If you can do what you do well without being an asshole - and frankly, that can be achieved in any job other than the job of being an asshole - then there's something wrong about being an asshole. It's called a personality defect.

728 said...

Another terrible column from a terrible columnist. The Daily Snooze has to be one of the worst rags around.

Anonymous said...

THIS WAS MY REPLY (too polite in retrospect):
Dear Stu,
I have been a lifelong Philly resident and have always been a fan of your columns. But I can not believe the trash you just wrote. What is wrong with you? Has the chip in your head activated or something?

What I take from your article is that we've cooled down enough to rationally examine our foreign policy and our "alliances" and the fact there hasn't been another attack on US soil since 9/11. We've had some time to think about the string of lies that we've been forced to swallow.
These lies spewed forth from the Administration and their lackies (well with a little help from Larry Franklin and the Office Of Special Plans in the articles about that?) and were parroted by the mainstream media. Hey Stu, where was YOUR critical examination of the Iraq-9/11 linkage or WMD's? It seems from your article that these don't matter a bit. What matters is that we get our butts over into the middle east and start killing some Arabs. Your message seems pretty simple, Stu. I actually admire that you didn't bother to obfuscate your agenda. It is a refreshing change.

Gee, all we need is another attack to put us into a panic so we can't think straight and we can expand our "evildoers" list. That's all we need to start bombing Iran, right Stu? I know they are not technically Arabs but they're close enough, right? If I believe my trustworthy talking heads on TV then President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler (thus making him Hitler VIII) and he wants to do a lot of map wiping (which he doesn't, I had his statements translated directly from Farsi myself).

No Stu, what we need is a couple of impeachments, less foreign involvement in our congressional lobbying process, more internet grass roots campaigning for president and less irrational screeching from war mongering journalists such as yourself.

Infinite Machine said...

That was a great post, Mr. Mullen. You seem to be level headed person. You've made another fan.

doubting thomas said...

With so many great writers out there who are much more talented and write with a more substantive voice than this obviously hysterical and disturbed wacko, Bykofsky, why does the Daily News even employ him?

Someone at the Daily News should give him a pink slip and a paper bag into which to breathe. Then give they should give his valuable space on that rag to someone who has something important to say instead of insane babblings like this.