You may have heard of John Ziegler. A former right-wing talk radio host turned right-wing documentarian, he was once the subject of a well-known David Foster Wallace essay about conservative talk radio.
Ziegler later gained some notoriety by slamming Wallace heartlessly
after the author committed suicide, calling him an overrated writer and criticizing the press for its coverage of his death. Now, Ziegler has once again made waves by going nuclear in an interview
with pollster-watcher Nate Silver over the legitimacy of a commissioned Zogby poll. Silver questions the value of the poll, which contains leading questions, and which Ziegler plans on using in his upcoming documentary
to "numerically prove" that Obama supporters are grossly misinformed idiots.
An excerpt from the end of the Nate Silver interview:
NS: Well, since you’re running a website calling people misinformed, I’d like to see if -- there are certain things you’ve said that I would consider misinformed.
JZ: Misinformed? You're a piece of work! You are never going to have the guts to post a representative transcript on your website! I thought you actually ran a legitimate website!
NS: Thank you, have a good day.
JZ: Go fuck yourself.
And here is an excerpt from the David Foster Wallace essay (Wallace sort of hammers Ziegler in the essay over Ziegler's obsession with OJ Simpson and his determined and frequent use of the n-word on the many radio shows he's been fired from):
The trouble starts when Tiger Woods wins the 1997 Masters. As part of his commentary on the tournament, Mr. Z. posits on-air that Tiger constitutes living proof of the fact that "not all white people are racists." His supporting argument is that "no white person would ever think of Tiger as a nigger," because whites draw a mental distinction "between people who just happen to be black and people who act like niggers." His reason for broadcasting the actual word "nigger"? "This all goes back to O.J. I hated the fact that the media treated viewers and listeners like children by saying 'Mark Fuhrman used the N-word.' I despised that, and I think it gives the word too much power. Plus there's the whole hypocrisy of how black people can use it and white people can't. I was young and naive and thought I could stand on principle." As part of that principled stand, Mr. Z. soon redeploys the argument and the word in a discussion of boxer Mike Tyson, whereupon he is fired, "even though there was very little listener reaction." As Mr. Z. understands it, the reason for his dismissal is that "a single black employee complained," and WWTN's parent, "a lily-white company," feared that it was "very vulnerable" to a discrimination lawsuit.