William Safire has died

The NY Times is syaing that William Safire has died at age 79, but there is no story up yet.

ETA: Story is up now: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/28/us/28safire.html?_r=1&hp

Shit!!! I had him on my Death Pool list the last two years, but apparently took him off.

Aw, man. :frowning:

He was the one Time editorialist I liked.

From the obit:


I shall eat a pair of Whoppers Junior in his memory.

Safire was the reason I stopped reading the op-ed page of the local fish wrapper. He cited (again) the meeting between hijacker Atta and Iraqi intelligence in Prague, long after it had been debunked.

No retraction, no dispute, nothing in the paper itself pointing out that it was a well known lie.

I don’t understand how so many people can get away with so much nonsense for so many years.

A shame. Every sunday, growing up, I’d dive into the NYTimes Magazine first, to read what he had to say that week. I may not have always agreed with him, but man, was he educational.

I disagree. First place his columns generally used examples that that put liberals in a bad light or conservatives in a good one. A language and usage column should be not be used to make partisan points. Second, when he did usage columns he was often plainly wrong. I don’t have examples offhand, unfortunately.

I enjoyed his political dictionary.

How about a couple of Big Beef Burritos Supreme?

William Safire, in addition to his other accomplishments, probably wrote the best novel about Abraham Lincoln I’ve read.

… You misunderstand what I said about educational. Nothing is better than a good fight, or a good disagreement. Makes you think about what you think about things.
He was wrong, biased, or improperly correct many, many times. But by god, he wrote persuasively and well, and he gave me a taste for going ‘Huh. No, that’s not right. I disagree here. Okay, why?’

koeeoaddi, thanks for the link to the Safire column on independent bookstores. I don’t know how I managed to forget that the Rushdie book went unsupported by so many chains such as Waldenbooks. Very good to be reminded.

I’m glad that people like you catch these things and keep them. I think I miss a lot by not being a regular NYT reader. Safire has been one of them.

Safire used to piss me off mightily, but what I regret about his passing is that he is one of the last of the conservative opinion-makers who respected erudition (like Buckley, Will, etc.). The current conservative commentators wear their ignorance like a badge of honor. Can you really see any of the current crop (Beck, Limbaugh, etc.) writing a column like “On Language”?

nationalreview.com normally has a few posts when a conservative luminary dies, but as far as I can tell they have nothing about Safire. Any reason why he might have been considered a persona non grata?