Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Denby Syndrome

There’s a new book called "American Sucker," by a guy who lost nearly all his savings in the stock market. Normally, I’d feel only sympathy for him. But I can’t think of David Denby without remembering how he trashed that great movie The China Syndrome.

The nuclear industry had put out a packet of propaganda saying that a meltdown was impossible and the filmmakers were trying to scare us, out of pure greed. And that’s exactly what Denby wrote in New York Magazine, and George Will in his column -- during the week of Three Mile Island.

I don’t believe either of them ever apologized or changed his ways.

Denby became movie critic at the New Yorker and according to his book went hog wild -- drinking, sleeping around, and playing the market all day long, following the advice of such ugly characters as George Gilder. Then the bubble burst. You'd think Denby would have learned his lesson, calling himself a sucker and mentioning the scandals in the market -- but no, he’s still gambling with what’s left, on some other system he’s glad to share with us. He also spices up his book with stuff about his former wife that I’d rather not know.

Ever since his assault on The China Syndrome, Denby has been symbolic of the moral standards of the gang that’s been dragging the world toward armageddon. But the movie was proved to be true, the brokers were proved to be crooks, the warmakers were proved to be liars and today -- their own polls have begun to find Bush running second to a Democrat. Of course he did that last time. Now we must make the verdict stick.