The Unpunkables

by Ted on April 6, 2004

A few weeks ago, I was angry at National Review for publishing anonymous, unverifiable smears of prominent Democrats. In response, I ran a contest to “Punk the National Review“.

The deadline has passed, and to the best of my knowledge, National Review has not printed any more anonymous smear emails. That’s exactly what I was hoping for. I’m not a great admirer of National Review – I’ve got a post on this subject on the back burner – but I’m glad about how it worked out.

I was prepared to give out to $50 in prize money, if anyone had succeeded. Instead, I’ll be giving $50 in Jonah Goldberg’s name to Habitat for Humanity. If you’re reading, folks, congratulations and thank you.



John Quiggin 04.06.04 at 8:16 am

Ted, I’ve been known to fiddle with posting times myself, but June 1 seems a long way in the future.

Congratulations on the success of your contest. I’m sure Jonah will be pleased.


Chris Bertram 04.06.04 at 8:52 am

I’ve fixed the posting date: hope that’s ok.


digamma 04.06.04 at 2:21 pm

I thought this guy won the contest.


Ted Barlow 04.06.04 at 2:44 pm

Doh! Thanks, Chris.

Digamma, I don’t know who that guy is; he didn’t email me.


Carlos 04.06.04 at 3:37 pm

I’m amused by the comment below the successful entry, Derbyshire saying, “I practically **AM** Arthur C. Clarke.”


jdw 04.06.04 at 4:35 pm

What’s the proper etiquette for making a charitable donation in somebody else’s name? Shouldn’t you give to a charity that that person might approve of? I’m sure the Jimmy Carter connection alone would be enough to make Goldberg bristle. And letting somebody else build you a house seems an awful lot like freeloading. The only way those damn Hondurans are ever going to get off welfare and start working for a living is if people like Jimmy Carter stop giving them houses.

If anyone’s unaware, btw, Goldberg’s writing a book about how Fascism is leftist. I assume the Clintons are involved, somehow.


Ted Barlow 04.06.04 at 5:02 pm

I emailed Jonah (and the general “The Corner” address) last week to gave them a chance to pick a charity. They didn’t respond, so I just went with Habitat. I know what you mean, though; I didn’t donate the money to Kerry or something because I thought that Jonah would (reasonably) see that as a slap in the face.


Seth Gordon 04.08.04 at 6:22 pm

It’s interesting that the original “Punk the NR” message attracted dozens of comments from conservatives who insisted that you were holding the NR to an unfairly high standard, because of course everybody understands that when they read an anonymous smear in the Corner it may or may not be true, so shame on you for trying to flood them with untrue anonymous smears, and liberals have cooties.

And yet the NR itself responded to your challenge by … well … raising their standards, if only by a few inches, for what they’re willing to print on their site.

Is this what the economists call a “revealed preference”?

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