I just said, to Meade, after he misread the title of the last post as something I'd written, when it was a quote from a Wall Street Journal editorial. (Not that the Wall Street Journal was calling anybody a genius. It was characterizing what other people were saying about John Roberts, and, in my view overstating it.)
I decided to check my impulsive assertion. Have I ever called anybody a "genius" (without sarcasm)?
On February 15, 2008, I called Jane Fonda "some kind of media genius... a media genius — a media whore." And I called Eve Ensler "genius" for thinking up a play — "The Vagina Monogues" — that's so completely easy to produce and perform — "3 women sit on stools and get to read their lines off index cards."
On June 28, 2001, Howard Kurtz had called Mitt Romney a "boring genius," and I restated that as "a genius at being boring."
On March 14, 2012, I called Rush Limbaugh a "media genius," but not "enough of a genius" to have deliberately set off the Sandra Fluke flap for publicity purposes.
On December 30, 2011, I said "The guy's a genius!" about James Franco, but that was complete sarcasm.
October 14, 2011, I say this about Steve Jobs: "Here we are, mourning our loss of a genius, and the genius (apparently) fell for the monumental stupidity of 'alternative' medicine." I'm only referring to his reputation as a genius, and I'm calling him stupid.
June 14, 2011: I say "The idiot is a genius!" about Sarah Palin.
January 24, 2008: I refer to Dolly Parton as a "pop culture genius."
I see I need to amend my original quote: I don't think I've ever called anybody a genius, except sarcastically or in the specific category of genius: media genius.
ADDED: Contemplate the possibility that John Roberts is a genius — a media genius.