November 4th, 2017
(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ames also had a column called “Whore-R stories,” in which he claims he slept with sex workers and wrote about his experiences, presented as non-fictional accounts. The column was sometimes accompanied by photos of the women, details about their bodies, their performances, and their personalities. (The column is a favorite among some Men’s Rights Activists). The paper also ran club reviews written by a fictional misogynistic character, Johnny Chen, that ranked clubs based on three criteria, including how likely an American expat was to get laid. (Taibbi recently revealed in a Facebook post that Chen was written by Ames.)
Here’s one passage from a “Johnny Chen” review in which he describes what seems like raping a drunk teen who was “bleeding and crying” and contemplating throwing her off his balcony:
Literally within four minutes of arriving, some teenager with a face like Muttley’s from Laff-A-Lympics fell off the bar and onto my shoulders. I carried her almost straight out to the coat check, then hurried her down to a taxi, ran her home, up my stairs, and into my apartment. The whole time she was begging me to take her back, to be careful, she was drunk, bla-bla-blah… After we were through, I had no idea what to do with her. She was bleeding and crying. As for me, I was depressed. I’d just shot a load large enough to repopulate North Korea. So I walked her over to my balcony, and held her in my arm, leaning her over the ledge.
“Throw her over,” Johnny Jr. advised me.
“You know you want to,” he said. “Just pick her up and throw her over. You’ll feel better, I promise.”
But I didn’t have the energy. Instead, I passed out on the floor, and woke up the next morning, with Muttley beside me. It took me a long time to get rid of her, but I did. You know how that is. It always works out that you have horrible poo cramps the morning after, and all you want to do is dump a huge shit, but you’ve got this humiliated, skanky bitch tagging around. Girls, if I can give you one piece of advice to win a man’s heart, it’s to get up bright and early the morning after, and leave before he even wakes up. Because despite what the song says, There Ain’t No Morning After.
Until perhaps now—as a tidal wave of survivors of sexual harassment and assault have come forward against producer Harvey Weinstein, director James Toback, journalist Mark Halperin, actor Kevin Spacey, and others—neither Taibbi nor Ames have been forced to reckon with the fact that they ascended to journalistic stardom, at least in part, by writing, often in the first-person and often proudly about sexual harassment and assault. In fact, for years, some of their peers in the media celebrated this sexism. In the Moscow Times, book reviewer Owen Mathews calls the passage above, in which Chen rapes a girl, “hilarious.” When Publisher’s Weekly reviewed the book, they glossed over the depictions of rape and sexual harassment, writing, “Only those with a National Lampoon mentality will enjoy the descriptions of the editors’ sexual conquests and their comparisons of Russian and American women. Like much of the paper itself, the book, which recounts the newspaper’s history, is tasteless.” The book even earned high praise from infamous men’s rights activist and pick-up artist Roosh V, who wrote in 2010, “I highly recommend The Exile, one of those rare books that makes me want to be a part of the story,” and wrote that the book convinced him, “I have no choice but to visit, sooner than later.” And, while the tabloid was billed as satire, the book’s back cover described it as “the inside story of how the tabloid came to be.” Publisher’s Weekly categorized the book as non-fiction, as did a note at the beginning of the book that read, in part, “This is a work of nonfiction.”