Skip to comments.The Watchdog of Ocean Parkway (Lefty "Right-Wing Controls-the-Media" Loon Gigglefest Alert!)
Posted on 03/19/2002 2:26:11 PM PST by Timesink
It was question-and-answer time at the Barnes & Noble on Broadway at Eighty-second Street on a recent Friday night. Frank Bruni, a reporter for the Times, had just finished reading from "Ambling Into History," his account of George W. Bush's Presidential campaign and first year in the White House. A pale woman in the third row spoke up: "Many media outlets, including the Village Voice, Salon, and The New Republic, have accused you, for lack of a better word, of being a major suckup," she said, her voice reflecting a half century's tenure in Brooklyn. As the woman spoke, Bruni's eyes widened behind his green-rimmed glasses. "Are you Reba Shimansky?" he asked, cutting her off. "From Ocean Parkway?"
Indeed she was. Bruni's guess wasn't as wild as it might sound; Shimansky spends a couple of hours each night at the computer in her kitchen, reading articles and writing angry letters to political reporters around the country. "I started writing letters in the early part of the Clinton Administration," she said the other day, sitting in her living room. "I felt there was a right-wing spin machine that protects Republicans. And I just wanted to try and correct that." Shimansky, who describes herself as a "single woman who happens to have time on her hands," said that she spent two and a half hours travelling to Bruni's reading - she works in Staten Island - but that she'd never waste her time reading his book. "What for?"
"There's a lot of things that anger me," she said. "I can't help it. This is a hobby, a passion. But I don't want people to feel my life is dominated by this. I guess I would call myself more of a party Democrat than an issues person. They always say there's a liberal bias out there. I don't see it. I think the Democrats can be wimps. We don't have a Rush Limbaugh."
Shimansky is a sturdy woman who favors outfits that are almost monochromatic, like a crimson turtleneck with a red sweater and a maroon skirt. She has lived her whole life in the apartment she was born in; she shared it with her parents until they died, and she still sleeps in a bed in the living room. She reads six newspapers a day - the Times, the New York Post, the News, Newsday, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today - and as many magazines each week. She has worked for the state's Office of Mental Health for more than three decades, and hopes to retire to the Upper West Side.
Until then, she goes to Broadway shows with her friends, watches her share of movies, and writes a lot of letters. Shimansky keeps a pile of black-paged scrapbooks. Two are filled with letters she's written that have appeared in different publications - Newsweek, the New York Observer, Newsday. Six more are filled with journalists' letters to her.
"You like to think that in a certain way maybe you can shape the media coverage," Shimansky said. She noted that after frequent letters to Martin Peretz, the editor-in-chief of The New Republic, complaining about the former editor Michael Kelly and the former colum- nist Andrew Sullivan, both men moved on. "I assume that you know that Andrew Sullivan is no longer writing TRB," Peretz wrote to Shimansky last September, "and I assume that pleases you, as it does many others."
Most of the replies are not so kind. David Broder, a Washington Post political columnist, chided Shimansky for her "ill-tempered missive." The News editor, Ed Kosner, scribbled in the margin of one of her notes, "Enough already, Reba." And an unsuspecting Leonard Lopate sent a typed reply to a letter Shiman- sky had written haranguing the "New York & Co." host for what she perceived as excessive criticism of Bill Clinton. "Have you written similar complaints to others who have been critical of him?" Lopate asked. "Since there are so many, both right and left, it would have to take up a lot of your time."
"He has no idea," she said, flipping past Lopate's letter.
"Reba's like the cream of the crop when it comes to angry writers," says John Dickerson, who used to cover terrorism for Time. "I'd get letters with crayon in the margins, letters from the conspiracy theorists who write backward so you can only read them in the mirror. But Reba's were more impressive than anyone's. She's incredibly angry, but she's pretty clever. She even figured out my e-mail address."
Shimansky acknowledged that she's been on something of a roll recently, but she's still in pursuit of the letter writer's Holy Grail: an appearance in the Times. "I've gotten answers from people there," she said. "But never something in print. I think I know why I've never appeared there. My letters are a little too emotional. They want something a little more cerebral." For now, her encounter with Bruni will have to suffice. "He seemed very nice," she said afterward. "And smart, too. I have no idea why he likes that worthless, dim-witted, ne'er-do-well bum."
Liberalism in a nutshell.
By the way...
"She even figured out my e-mail address." -- John Dickerson
It's email@example.com. Anyone who bothered to spend 90 seconds on Google could have figured that out. His arrogant assumptions about the stupidity of his readers are almost as bad as Shimansky's nutty beliefs about the right controlling the news media.
It's good to mourn...but at some point it's useful to throw out some of their stuff and move into the master bedroom.
Get the feeling that she would've brought the corpses breakfast in bed until the neighbors noticed the smell and called the cops?
Retire to someplace more expensive than Brooklyn? Dearie, when you retire, you'll be on a fixed income. Check out Florida.
On the other hand, stay in a Blue State.
Ok lets find hers now. I will begin a bit of my own sluething...this whack case needs a dose of Freeper Fire.
Probably lives with six cats.
Her comments on a "board" as found in GOOGLE.....
reba shimansky 188.8.131.52 September 18, 2001 02:12 AM
Barbara Olson was a hateful horrible person-she got what she deserved
We could feed her all kinds of stories of a VRWC and really get her worked up. She'll be running through the streets screaming about how the world is going to end. She'd really go over the edge.
It could be fun.
" I'm sorry, Ms.Reba Shimansky, that you've discovered us and our evil plan to........"
I would really be emphatically against a Freeping of this woman. Her life seems sad enough as is, and to start harassing her would be beyond the pale. I didn't post the article in order to get Freepers to start bothering her; I just thought it was another example of how weird the far left can be. That's all.
Besides, she's just a citizen freeping the people that DO deserve it - the journalists - just like we do. She merely does it from an alternate universe.
I think it would be mean. See response 12.
To each their own.
Personally, she doesn't sound weak to me. She sounds like a radical liberal.
I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
And they have DU idiots instead of FReepers. Pathetic, aren't they?