One of the great pleasures of Spy was the binary phraseology with which they torpedoed their regular targets: “short-fingered vulgarian” and “churlish dwarf billionaire” among them. This last mauvais mot of a zinger was applied to Laurence Tisch, then the chairman of CBS.
“Graydon got a call from P.R. man John Scanlon, who was then working for Tisch: ‘Look, Graydon, you’ve really gone too far this time. To begin with, Larry is not technically a dwarf.’ Graydon jotted that down, and in the next issue Spy ran a clarification in which a CBS spokesman pointed out that Tisch was not ‘technically’ a dwarf.” Mr. Scanlon, it’s Mr. Tisch on Line 2 and he’s hopping mad.
I hope that Carrie will eventually blog about this, as she was on the staff of Spy during "the funny years" and knows all the players; author George Kalogerakis even interviewed her for the book.
I love Chris Buckley, by the way, and I think he's one of the funniest writers working today, but I can't let this snippet go by without comment:
They were also literate lads — Andersen went on to write a superb novel called “Turn of the Century” — who brought to the table antic, well-stocked minds.Literate lads with fine minds they might have been, but I've read "Turn of the Century," and its only resemblance to a superb novel is that they are both vaguely book-shaped and between covers.
Logrolling in our time, indeed.
Bonfire Of The Inanities (Christopher Buckley, New York Times, December 3, 2006)