The New Republic: An Apology to Our Readers
After an investigation, The New Republic has determined that the comments in our Talkback section defending Lee Siegel's articles and blog under the username "sprezzatura" were produced with Siegel's participation. We deeply regret misleading our readers. Lee Siegel's blog will no longer be published by TNR, and he has been suspended from writing for the magazine.
He is not apologizing for some of the things he should be apologizing for.
He really ought to be apologizing for things like--well, look at We-Love-Ann-Coulter Weekly's description of this:
The New Republic: Uma and me. By: Siegel, Lee: 3/15/1999: Deliberates on the reality of love and sex through interpolating with the fact that the author never felt sexually attracted to a beautiful woman like Uma Thurman, an actress. Experience while he worked as her tutor; Information that she began to flirt with him but he himself could not feel aroused; Discussion on the disinterest in love of the protagonist of Molière's theatrical production "The Misanthrope"; Inability of the author to get sexually aroused while seeing Uma's performance in "The Misanthrope."
But while we are waiting for Foer to apologize for the loads of excrement, we can laugh some more at the wit and wisdom of Lee Siegel:
I'm not Lee Siegel, you imbecile. If you knew who I was you and your n + 1 buddies would crap in your pants. - Lee Siegel
How angry people get when a powerful critic says he doesn't like their favorite show! Like little babies. Such fragile egos. Siegel accuses Stewart of a "pandering puerility" and he gets an onslaught of puerile responses from the insecure herd of independent minds. I'm well within Stewart's target group, and I think he's about as funny as a wet towel in a locker room. Siegel is brave, brilliant, and wittier than Stewart will ever be. Take that, you bunch of immature, abusive sheep. - Lee Siegel
Groupthink from a mob of bullies cowering behind their user-name aliases. Groupthink! Groupthink! Naaa naaa naaa-naaa naaa! - Lee Siegel
Such anger. Such apparent unhappiness. Such inability to withstand a difference in taste without resorting to personal insult. You would think Siegel insulted the Prophet Muhammad in a Muslim magazine with Muslim readers. Toxic thin-skinnedness rising from a fragile sense of self must be a universal condition. I despair. - Lee Siegel
You have quite an obsession with Siegel! Sounds to me like you’re an envious young writer. I mean, first you have a wife and two kids, and now you’re a poor young lawyer with time to write extended tirades against Siegel. Men with two children don’t take time out to defend obscure academics from charges of pedophilia, their defense replete with (pretentious) references to ancient Greek categories of desire! If I had to guess, you’re this person Mark Greif himself. Or someone in his circle. Every young write [sic] in NYC has it in for poor Siegel it seems. They all write like middle-aged hacks. He has the fire and guts of a young man (I assume he’s middle-aged himself, or somewhere near there.) Who am I? Someone who knows who you are. - Lee Siegel
I just googled Grief and n + 1. Seems the magazine has its own obsession with Siegel and TNR. And Leon Wieseltier. Hello, n + 1. I guess if you can't get into TNR's pages, writing envious, obsessive screeds in response to a TNR blog is the next best thing. - Lee Siegel
You're a fraud, and a liar. And a wincingly pretentious writer. You couldn't tie Siegel's shoelaces. - Lee Siegel
I'm a huge fan of Siegel, been reading him since he started writing for TNR almost ten years ago. (Full disclosure: I'm an editor at a magazine in NYC and he's written for me too.) I watch the goings-on and have to scratch my head. The people who hate him the most are all in their twenties and early thirties. There's this awful suck-up named Ezra Klein--his "writing" is sweaty with panting obsequious ambition--who keeps distorting everything Siegel writes--the only way this no-talent can get him. And I ask myself: why is it the young guys who go after Siegel? Must be because he writes the way young guys should be writing: angry, independent, not afraid of offending powerful people. They on the other hand write like aging careerists: timid, ingratiating, careful not to offend people who are powerful. They hate him because they want to write like him but can't. Maybe if they'd let themselves go and write truthfully, they'd get Leon Wieseltier to notice them too. - Lee Siegel