February 25, 2002
Szamuely Update

Someone has now started a very amusing and instructive Slobo-Google website. In this garden of idiotic delights, Dale Drummond provides links to a selection of George Szamuely's recent work, two articles from Antiwar.Com and two from the New York Press. In the right-hand margin of the first-linked article, we find the following capsule biography (or perhaps autobiography):

George Szamuely was born in Budapest, Hungary, educated in England, and has worked as an editorial writer for The Times (London), The Spectator (London), and the Times Literary Supplement (London). In America, he has been equally busy: as an associate at the Manhattan Institute, editor at Freedom House, film critic for Insight, research consultant at the Hudson Institute, and as a weekly columnist for the New York Press. Szamuely has contributed to innumerable publications including Commentary, American Spectator, National Review, the Wall Street Journal, National Interest, American Scholar, Orbis, Daily Telegraph, the Times of London, the Sunday Telegraph, and The New Criterion.

That's a lot of respectable periodicals for one man, though the tenses are a bit of a giveaway: he "has worked", "has been . . . busy", and "has contributed" to various newspapers and journals, with no clear distinction between recent and far-in-the-past work. I did a little checking in journals with searchable on-line archives, starting with two that have complete indices on-line. His one and only review in nearly twenty years of The New Criterion is dated February 1988. There are six articles in Commentary (indexed back to 1945), dating from August 1987 to December 1989. I can't find anything on the National Review or Spectator (U.K.) websites, though it's not clear how far back their archives go.

I may be wrong, but it certainly appears that Szamuely is a formerly-successful journalist who has had to move 'down-market' because of the offensive idiocy of his current views. He certainly doesn't seem to have been in any first-rate middle-of-the-road (or even not-mowing-down-pedestrians-on-the-sidewalk) journals lately. I doubt that any of the periodicals listed have anything so crude as a blacklist, but I suspect that few other than the New York Press are particularly eager for more verbiage from George Szamuely. In short, those perfect tenses should for the most part be imperfects: he "used to work", "used to be . . . busy", and "used to contribute".

On the other hand, he can plausibly claim an international reputation for his recent work. For some reason, he does not list Pravda among his outlets. Perhaps his ineptly-titled article "Happy Days, Here Again" (February 21, 2002) is too recent to have made the Antiwar.Com list.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at February 25, 2002 10:20 PM