August 8, 2013

Jim S. is right, I need more nominees for Most Embarrassing Sentence in Major Media, 2013.

He says:
I think if you're looking for the most embarrassing quote in major media, you can do no better than this description of Huma Abedin that Instapundit draws attention to:
She wore bright-red lipstick, which gave her lips a 3-D look, her brown eyes were pools of empathy evolved through a thousand generations of what was good and decent in the history of the human race.
Ultra-close readers of this blog with great memories know that I defended that sentence — and some sentences around it — as "so gloriously absurd, that they must be intentional satire and not a new level of good press."

So prod me toward some other nominees.


Brent said...

I will begin by saying that ANY New York Times article regarding President Obama will contain such a treasure trove of toadyism and puppy love remarks that it will make this a difficult challenge to choose the first quote.

Back to you shortly . . .

southcentralpa said...

"He was my professor at Harvard, actually" was pretty bad, more as an indictment of the system than per se.

bpm4532 said...

Your own version of The Bulwer-Lytton Contest. The 2013 Winner:

She strutted into my office wearing a dress that clung to her like Saran Wrap to a sloppily butchered pork knuckle, bone and sinew jutting and lurching asymmetrically beneath its folds, the tightness exaggerating the granularity of the suet and causing what little palatable meat there was to sweat, its transparency the thief of imagination. — Chris Wieloch, Brookfield, WI

ddh said...

I think that sentence would make an outstanding entry in the Bulwer-Lytton contest.

Coldstream said...

I'd say this line by WaPo columnist Ruth Marcus (although there's plenty to pick from in the piece):

Don Graham’s decision to sell The Washington Post was his reverse Sophie’s Choice moment.

Nothing better sums up the insular, hyperbolic and narcissistic sense fo self-importance that our modern media has.

Linked here:

From Inwood said...

Lithwick on Virginia’s Cert Petition in Moose v. MacDonald

You can’t really stagger around swinging a huge, unwieldy legal mallet and claiming it’s the only tool you have against pedophilia. Not when you opted to turn down the offer of a scalpel.

. . . It’s hard to tell whether Cuccinelli is now begging federal courts to legislate from the bench because he needs a campaign boost, or because he really does want them to police—on an ongoing, “trust me”—basis, the private sex lives of all Virginians and the sexual conduct of all its teenagers. The first scenario is an example of the sad state of Virginia politics. The second is just plain scary. Either way, begging out-of-touch, elitist, liberal federal courts to make ad hoc decisions about which private sex acts are “unnatural” could not be a less conservative goal.

K. Walsh, as quoted by Kerr on Volokh. He explains why this is my awards candidate:

It is, of course, fair to criticize a discretionary choice to seek discretionary review, and reasonable people may disagree about whether Virginia should have sought certiorari. But Lithwick’s characterization of the arguments advanced by Virginia in its petition for certiorari is inaccurate and misleading.

Virginia is not asking the Supreme Court to “interpret [Virginia's] terrifyingly broad sodomy law to apply only to sex involving 16- and 17-year-olds,” as Lithwick puts it. Rather, Virginia is asking the Supreme Court to hold that Lawrence v. Texas invalidated Virginia’s statute only insofar as the statute is applied to criminalize consensual, private, non-commercial, adult conduct of the sort at issue Lawrence. According to Virginia’s petition, that is the view of Lawrence adopted by virtually every other court in the country. And asking the Supreme Court to rein in the Fourth Circuit’s outlier reading hardly amounts to “begging out-of-touch, elitist, liberal federal courts to make ad hoc decisions about which private sex acts are ‘unnatural’.”

I realize that there can be many legitimate ways of characterizing legal arguments. But in this piece, Lithwick trades precision for sensationalism.

Jay Vogt said...

OK, I’ll bite.

First, let me concede that Jim S. has probably got the winner, with the Huma lips (in 3D!) and eyes homage.

That said and playing for second place, let me submit the following for your consideration. This is the consistently blithe and myopic John Cassidy of "The New Yorker" in the August 5th issue.

He observes,

If you were to visit the Detroit Institute of Arts, home of Diego Rivera’s magnificent murals depicting scenes at the Ford Motor Company in the early nineteen-thirties, and then take a stroll through the surrounding streets, you might be surprised at what you find: coffee shops frequented by young hipsters; old warehouses being converted to lofts; bike racks; houses undergoing renovation; a new Whole Foods supermarket. After decades of white flight, black flight, and urban decay, Detroit is being spoken of, in some circles, as “the new Portland” or “the new Brooklyn.”

Bolded emphasis mine

tim maguire said...

Her lips had a 3-D look?

So in reality her lips are...what? 2-D? 4-D?

Absurd is right. Not just adolescently over written, but logically incoherent.

sojerofgod said...

I think you have a winner for the Prosaic Plum award here. Purple prose that's so, well, purple that it practically bakes itself into a pudding.

Kane Rogers said...

“But resist, we much… we must… and we will much… about… that… be committed.” – Al Sharpton, August 9, 2011

From Inwood said...

BTW, this Huma paean reminds me of something from Mickey Spillane

(Her thumbs hooked in the fragile silk of the panties and pulled them down. She stepped out of them as delicately as one coming from a bathtub. She was completely naked now. A suntanned goddess giving herself to her lover. With arms outstretched she walked toward me. Lightly, her tongue ran over her lips, making them glisten with passion. The smell of her was like an exhilarating perfume. Slowly, a sigh escaped her, making the hemispheres of her breasts quiver. She leaned forward to kiss me, her arms going out to encircle my neck.)

Closing lines of I, The Jury

Nah, Mickey was better.

From Inwood said...

prof A

OOPS, I left out Spillane's next paragraph:
The roar of the .45 shook the room. Charlotte staggered back a step. Her eyes were a symphony of incredulity, an unbelieving witness to truth. Slowly, she looked down at the ugly swelling in her naked belly where the bullet went in. A thin trickle of blood welled out.