The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Thursday, July 17, 2003  

Hell, She’s Just Pathetic

I used to consider Norah Vincent, the libeling Los Angeles Times columnist, my adversary. (See “Norah Vincent Cannot Have It Both Ways,” December 19.)

That’s changed. Now I just think she’s pathetic.

Imagine having a weekly column in the L.A. Times, what with its massive circulation and readership, and not being able to do a damned thing with it? That’s Vincent’s conundrum.

Week after week, each Thursday, in fact, readers of the Los Angeles Times are subject to the random musings of the Yardley, Pa.-based “pro-life libertarian lesbian.” Except, of course, for those Thursdays when Vincent’s column is so bad the Times just won’t put up with the shame of publishing her tripe, and Vincent’s incompetent and slothful editor, Mary Arno, stops for a moment to think, “What the hell is this crap?” and then, with no remorse whatsoever, drops Vincent’s purple prose to the floor.

You know what, though? It doesn’t matter. I finally realized it doesn’t matter.

Vincent is so terrible a writer and so laughable a columnist that I need not bother dissecting her school-girlish prose, her entirely unoriginal and insipid observations on the popular culture, to say nothing of our national security.

Better yet, the best revenge is not mine: It comes from Vincent’s readers. It’s clear that nobody is paying any attention to Vincent. In the immortal words of Tina Brown, a former friend of Vincent’s most vociferous ally, amateur blogger Andrew Sullivan, there’s just “no buzz” there.

The question remains, though. How long will readers of the Los Angeles Times suffer the almost-weekly assault of Vincent’s platitudes? They deserve much better. Will they demand it?

If I were a betting man, and I’m really not, I would give Vincent’s column another six months, tops.

(Note to self: If history is any guide, prepare for a hate-filled, thoroughly juvenile, and completely unprofessional e-mail from Vincent’s girlfriend and devoted Rittenhouse reader, Lisa McNulty. Hmmm . . . I wonder if she calls her “Ms. Vincent” at home. You know, like: “Ms. Vincent, I must disagree with ‘your work’ here. I realize you are an ‘accomplished’ and ‘visible’ writer, Ms. Vincent, but I must disagree. Again. You know how we do that. So often. Oh, listen, Ms. Vincent, are we out of toilet paper again?”)

[Post-publication addendum (July 18): See also Uggabugga. So much for the much-vaunted fact-checkers at the Los Angeles Times.]

[Post-publication addendum (July 25): In case you’re keeping score at home . . . Yet again this week Vincent’s doodlings didn’t make it into the Times. Strange, because the Times published, on the same page and on the same day where we normally are treated to Vincent’s droppings, two pieces by those wacky Cockburn brothers. I mean, having your column squashed to make room for the Cockburns? How embarrassing is that? That’s like ceding your space to Mark Steyn or something.]

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