Suddenly, They Don’t Want Us To ‘Snark’:Video .
Over the last eight years, when the MSM was engaged in one, long Chimpy-Bush-Hitler-Darth Vader of a sneer, do you recall any liberal media member writing to complain of the coarsening of dialogue? Neither do I.
But now that Barack Obama is occupying the White House, David Denby of the New Yorker has written “Snark.” Suddenly, it’s a shame we’re so sarcastic. Denby appeared on Tavis Smiley’s PBS show last night to lament the decline of civility. But the only politicians he cited as victims of over-the-top snarkiness were Democrats: Barack Obama, Hillary and Al Gore.
At one point, it seemed as if Smiley was seeking to bring some balance, lamenting that Dick Cheney was constantly portrayed as Darth Vader. But as it turned out, Smiley could care less about the former veep being insulted that way. His concern was only that such mocking might unintentionally elicit sympathy for Cheney. Even that was too much for Denby, who said he couldn’t be friends with someone who wouldn’t mock the former VP over the shooting incident. A chastened Smiley acknowledged “touché.”
So does Denby really care about elevating civil discourse–or is he just trying to lay down a Maginot line for Barack Obama and Co.?
David Denby (film critic)
Denby began writing film criticism while a graduate student at Stanford University's Department of Communication. He began his professional life in the early 1970s as an adherent of the film critic Pauline Kael—one of a group of film writers informally, and sometimes derisively, known as "the Paulettes."Denby wrote for The Atlantic and New York magazine before arriving at The New Yorker in the middle 1990s; at present, Denby splits his film duties with Anthony Lane, trading off week-by-week. The schedule allows both writers to explore a broad range of critical topics in the body of the magazine.
Denby's Great Books (1996), is a non-fiction account of the Western canon-oriented Core Curriculum at his alma mater, Columbia University. Denby reenrolled after three decades, and the book operates as a kind of double portrait, as well as a sort of great-thinkers brush-up. In The New York Times, the writer Joyce Carol Oates called the book "a lively adventure of the mind," filled with "unqualified enthusiasm."Great Books was a New York Times bestseller. In "The Modern Mind: An Intellectual History of the 20th Century," Peter Watson called "Great Books," the "most original response to the culture wars." The book has been published in 13 foreign editions.
In 2004, Denby published American Sucker, a sort of "Great Shocks" book: the memoirs details his investment misadventures in the stock market of the silicon boom, along with his own bust years as fledgling divorcée from the writer Cathleen Schine, which had had led to a major reassessment of his life. Allan Sloan in the New York Times called the author "formidably smart," while noting this paradox: "Mr. Denby is even smart enough to realize how paradoxical it is that he not only has a good, prestigious job, but that he is also in a position to make money by relating how he lost money in the stock market."