The Man Who Will Go Unnamed, and His Little Friend

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Sometimes we have to make decisions behind the scenes at NPQ about what to cover and how, that you cannot see. For instance, just before he died, Rick Cohen and I decided that we should go easy on what we called “insider crankiness”—the misdeeds of groups that no one but an elite few really cares about, anyway. And many of you will remember that Rick decided at a certain point to refrain from using the racist name of a certain NFL team, although he covered the team and its owner quite extensively.

About a month and a half ago we made the decision not to give a certain person any more space in our pages. We had been giving him a lot of negative attention, and it is clear that he is just as happy with that as with the positive attention, and he seems immune to being shamed. It’s like with a three-year-old who has figured out that one good way to get your focus is to yell curse words and stomp on the cat’s tail.

Of course, this Man Who Will Go Unnamed had a friend come to play a few days ago who is not making things any better. She is prettier than him, but the pretty face hides (only for a sec) a loud and proud ignorance. The New York Daily News got it right with its “I’m with stupid” front-page headline.

Part of the UK Parliament deemed the Man Who Will Go Unnamed so abhorrently behaved that they tried to get a vote banning him from their country, but finally settled for simply calling him a “wazzock”—a word previously unknown to me but which seems to fit well.

So, we cover the issues, and not the individual. We are, of course, not alone, but we would love to hear your thoughts on the editorial decision we have made.