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September 02, 2006




Lisa Hunter

Seems like there's another art critic getting fired every day. At least this one wasn't because of a corporate restructuring.


I felt disinclined to comment because I wasn't reading the man's work in the first place. There are writers with whom I will gladly disagreee, and LS wasn't one of them - his writings seemed damp with fundamental confusions about art that would be no pleasure to refute. Ditto with the whole blogofascism debacle - stuff so wrong ought not be put right so much as paraded around to the obvious discredit of the perpetrator. The computer sciences offer a useful corrective: what they call a Clue By Four. Perhaps his firing will be a sufficiently forceful wallop to knock a bit of self-awareness into him, but I only wonder as an intellectual exercise. He's not sufficiently interesting to monitor the outcome.


Well, not too disinclined, obviously! But actually, I largely agree: I stopped reading Siegel quite a while ago--the prospect of some easy pickings for posts wasn't worth dealing with the sheer badness of his work. I couldn't help but read the blogofascism stuff, of course--it was everywhere--and his recent overheated pedophilia accusations against some academic guy also got on my radar, though not to the same degree. His problem was that, with his blog he moved into a much wider pool than arts criticism--hysterical screeds against sites like Daily Kos coming from a TNR writer are going to get noticed. Once Siegel's blood was in that pool of water, his work was "paraded around to the obvious discredit of the perpetrator"--that's why he got fired. He was embarrassing the magazine.

It's also just an interesting story. The guy won a National Magazine Award just a few years ago. That doesn't mean he walks on water, but they don't give them out to just anybody, either. To go from that level of regard to ranting online about people wearing baseball caps to fired because no one wants to be associated with you is a pretty steep fall.


> Siegel isn't even the first TNR blogger to flame out, though his slow-motion self-immolation may be the more spectacular.

Don't look now... Easterbrook does the NFL for Page 2.


Yeah, I saw he was back with ESPN after his exile, if it can be called that, at nfl.com. I actually like Tuesday Morning Quarterback, though it would be better if he'd cut back on the length and the repetitive features. I don't mind that he has certain hobbyhorses, especially when they're right (i.e., don't blitz on third and long), but it just makes pads the thing out way too much. I find myself scrolling through it, looking for the good tidbits.

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