February 22, 2002
Great Minds Think Alike

Matt Welch has invented the art of Slobo-Googling: tracking down the various people who have signed a petition defending Slobodan Milosevic (most notably #2, Ramsey Clark and #12, Harold Pinter) to see what other idiotic things they may have said or done.

Here's an obvious one: George Szamuely (#14) writes for the New York Press and was also once arrested for being in possession of huge heaps of long-overdue library books. Here's the story (dated October 11, 1999) from the American Library Association website. They naturally takes a hard line on this sort of thing:

NYC Man Arrested for 570 Overdue Books

New York City police arrested a 44-year-old former New York University student at his gym October 4 on charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property after he failed to return 570 overdue political-science and history books to the campus libraries. In addition, George Szamuely, who had ignored dozens of calls and letters asking for the books’ return, owes $31,000 in fines, the New York Daily News reported October 6.

The newspaper said that Szamuely, a freelance writer for the weekly New York Press, borrowed the books when he was a continuing-education student from 1993 to 1997. Szamuely’s visibility in the weekly newspaper was a continual annoyance to the library. “A staff member said, ‘Why can’t they find this guy, he’s writing for the New York Press,’” NYU head of user services Albert Neal told the Daily News.

Although police recovered the books from Szamuely’s apartment, they won’t be returned to the library until the case goes to trial, the October 7 Daily News said.

Maybe it's just the bibliophilia talking, but this sort of behavior strikes me as even worse than signing a Free Slobo petition. I can't find anything on the web about his sentence, though I seem to recall that he spent a week or two in jail before (I suppose) coming up with bail money. Szamuely's articles for the New York Press are about what you'd expect from a Slobophile book-thief.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at February 22, 2002 10:00 PM