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The Watchdog of Ocean Parkway (Lefty "Right-Wing Controls-the-Media" Loon Gigglefest Alert!)
The New Yorker ^ | March 18, 2002 | Seth Mnookin

Posted on 03/19/2002 2:26:11 PM PST by Timesink




THE WATCHDOG OF OCEAN PARKWAY

Issue of 2002-03-25
Posted 2002-03-18

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."



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Front Page News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: annoyingjournalists; crackpots; leftwingers; loons; mediabias; thenewyorker; unintentionalhumor
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?"

Liberalism in a nutshell.

By the way...

"She even figured out my e-mail address." -- John Dickerson

It's john_dickerson@timeinc.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.

1 posted on 03/19/2002 2:26:11 PM PST by Timesink
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To: Timesink
She has worked for the state's Office of Mental Health for more than three decades

Says a lot.
2 posted on 03/19/2002 2:36:40 PM PST by JennysCool
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To: Timesink
Reba the Commie suck up. A government job!!!! Small wonder that she has so much time to constantly call talk radio defending her idol Bubba.....she has the most annoying voice (worse than Lynn Samuels, who adores her) she makes me cringe. I turn off the volumn when she's on.
3 posted on 03/19/2002 2:47:01 PM PST by ThePoetsRaven
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To: Timesink
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.

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?

4 posted on 03/19/2002 2:48:35 PM PST by Oschisms
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To: Timesink
and hopes to retire to the Upper West Side.

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.

5 posted on 03/19/2002 2:51:38 PM PST by Oschisms
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To: Timesink
"She even figured out my e-mail address." -- John Dickerson

Ok lets find hers now. I will begin a bit of my own sluething...this whack case needs a dose of Freeper Fire.

6 posted on 03/19/2002 2:58:55 PM PST by antaresequity
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To: Timesink
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.

Probably lives with six cats.

7 posted on 03/19/2002 2:59:15 PM PST by Doomonyou
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To: Oschisms
Tee Hee, you're evil!
8 posted on 03/19/2002 3:05:52 PM PST by Black Agnes
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To: Timesink
This Reba?

Her comments on a "board" as found in GOOGLE.....

reba shimansky 64.12.102.168 September 18, 2001 02:12 AM

Barbara Olson was a hateful horrible person-she got what she deserved

9 posted on 03/19/2002 3:06:04 PM PST by goodnesswins
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To: Timesink
The description of this woman and the way she lives pretty much tells it all.
Her letters aren't intellectual, but very emotional. Is that typical liberalism or what?
This article should be front page news around the country. It could use a good laugh once in awhile.
Clinton and the VRWC??? Hahhaha. Still suffering future shock in her mismatched outfits ?What a loon.
10 posted on 03/19/2002 3:06:58 PM PST by concerned about politics
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To: antaresequity
Ok lets find hers now. I will begin a bit of my own sluething...this whack case needs a dose of Freeper Fire.

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........"

11 posted on 03/19/2002 3:16:00 PM PST by concerned about politics
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To: antaresequity
Ok lets find hers now. I will begin a bit of my own sluething...this whack case needs a dose of Freeper Fire.

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.

12 posted on 03/19/2002 3:27:57 PM PST by Timesink
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To: concerned about politics
It could be fun.

I think it would be mean. See response 12.

13 posted on 03/19/2002 3:28:54 PM PST by Timesink
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To: Timesink
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.

14 posted on 03/19/2002 3:31:46 PM PST by concerned about politics
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To: countrydummy
Looks like you've got competition!
15 posted on 03/19/2002 3:35:42 PM PST by sauropod
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To: Timesink
FReeping with this woman would be like wrestling with a pig in the mud. After a while you figure out that the only thing you are getting is dirty and the pig is enjoying it!
16 posted on 03/19/2002 3:36:05 PM PST by gridlock
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To: Oschisms
Needs a good healthy FReeping. Whaddya say?
17 posted on 03/19/2002 3:37:08 PM PST by sauropod
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To: Timesink
"...I think the Democrats can be wimps. We don't have a Rush Limbaugh."

And they have DU idiots instead of FReepers. Pathetic, aren't they?

18 posted on 03/19/2002 3:38:01 PM PST by gridlock
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To: Timesink
I think she should be mercilessly freeped and tormented. I think her and her ilk should either be interned or deported. But thats just me. I am a crual demented tyrant, who would rather intern abortion doctors, export anyone with any hint of Islamic radical connection, and force every citizen to under go firearms training....and blast any regime off the face of the planet that screws with a freemarket of oil, and/or the oppression of Western Judeo Christian Values...
19 posted on 03/19/2002 3:45:09 PM PST by antaresequity
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To: antaresequity
Actually what these people hate most is being ignored. Harassing media types is what gives their lives meaning. If they react in any way other than bored indifference, she wins. What would be more fun would be to try to talk to her about sports or other manifestations of popular culture. After first admitting to being an eeeeeevil conservative, just start talking to her like she was an old-time acquaintance , and you wanted to know how things were going, blah,blah,blah. Now that would drive her over the edge. Or shut her up-----but I doubt that. She's just another lonely leftist lunatic who has found a reason to exist.
20 posted on 03/19/2002 5:26:15 PM PST by driftless
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To: sauropod; driftless; antaresequity
Actually, I'm with the folks who think she'd either love the attention or is just too sad to FReep...Plus, she's about to snap and I don't want to be around when it happens...But I do empathize with antaresequity's feelings, too.
21 posted on 03/19/2002 6:05:19 PM PST by Oschisms
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To: Black Agnes
I prefer to be described as depraved. Don't lump me in with Iraq, Iran and North Korea. :)
22 posted on 03/19/2002 6:07:23 PM PST by Oschisms
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To: Timesink
Meant to address #17 to you, as well.
23 posted on 03/19/2002 6:08:06 PM PST by Oschisms
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To: JennysCool
Ocean Parkway used to be such a lovely neighborhood
24 posted on 03/19/2002 6:14:30 PM PST by catonsville
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To: goodnesswins

reba shimansky 64.12.102.168 September 18, 2001 02:12 AM
Barbara Olson was a hateful horrible person-she got what she deserved

Yeah, sounds like a Clinton LibDemFem suck-up - that comment went too far. She needs to take those meds for her anger ...

25 posted on 03/19/2002 6:16:50 PM PST by WOSG
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To: WOSG
In the cached google version, it appears that she started the thread. Get a load of the folks who told her off:

Trisha 128.205.111.88 September 18, 2001 09:25 AM No one deserved that.

mike david 205.188.199.26 September 18, 2001 10:29 AM Reba, Perhaps You should leave This Great Nation and take Yourself to a country where women are to be seen and not heard. You are a cruel, pathetic and ignorant individual if You feel that anyone deserves to die. In fact, you Yourself would make a very good ambassador for Bin Laden.

TrixieToo 216.73.6.77 September 18, 2001 11:55 AM Hmmm. Reba, did you know her personally?

saddened 205.188.196.27 September 18, 2001 12:11 PM Reba, that was truly a "hateful horrible" thing to say, did all of the other victims deserve it too? What are you basing your opinion on?

Well then Reba.... 207.225.85.68 September 18, 2001 01:55 PM I guess the only appropriate reply to your post would be that maybe the same agonizing tragedy will visit you and YOUR family.

juliann123 152.163.206.182 September 18, 2001 02:24 PM To Reba, I think you need a brain enma.

juliann123 152.163.206.182 September 18, 2001 02:26 PM Sorry, I mean enema

MIKE DAVID 64.12.102.179 September 20, 2001 10:15 AM I think Reba having an enema of any sort would most likely rid this earth of Her. So perhaps We should be somewhat more humane to Her than an enema. Lets start by asking Her if Her parents were cousins or brother and sister before they were married. Lets don't be so hard on Her, I am sure there is a reason she is an in-bread idiot.

Lmend 216.105.197.104 September 21, 2001 09:27 PM That statement you made was disgusting....statements like that just show how small minded and dim witted you really are. who the hell are you to say who deserves what?

26 posted on 03/19/2002 6:31:53 PM PST by Oschisms
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