About Me

Kyle Smith (Twitter: @rkylesmith) is critic-at-large for National Review, theater critic for The New Criterion and the author of the novels Love Monkey and A Christmas Caroline. Type a title in the box above to locate a review.

Buy Love Monkey for $4! "Hilarious"--Maslin, NY Times. "Exceedingly readable and wickedly funny romantic comedy"--S.F. Chronicle. "Loud and brash, a helluva lot of fun"--Entertainment Weekly. "Engaging romp, laugh-out-loud funny"-CNN. "Shrewd, self-deprecating, oh-so-witty. Smith's ruthless humor knows no bounds"--NPR

Buy A Christmas Caroline for $10! "for those who prefer their sentimentality seasoned with a dash of cynical wit. A quick, enjoyable read...straight out of Devil Wears Prada"--The Wall Street Journal

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  • Hate Mail of the Week

    By kyle | April 25, 2014

    Lots of excited commentary on my satiric piece about Chelsea Clinton’s baby.

    A sampling:
    Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: News, Newspapers | 9 Comments »


    By kyle | May 30, 2012

    I didn’t realize that Media Research Center had a pretty robust web page devoted entirely to, er, polite differences of opinion with the New York Times (and has me featured at the moment). Check it out.

    Topics: Newspapers | No Comments »

    The Times, They Are A…Pretty Much the Same As Ever

    By kyle | August 15, 2011

    Mickey Kaus dissects how the New York Times works (of course they launder their lefty views through “critics say,” “analysts say,” “a report says,” or “liberal academics say,” then promote such opinion pieces on page one, often with an additional suggestion that differing viewpoints are unpopular or even marginal) and how it is becoming more like MSNBC every day. Below his post, take note of the commenters who claim they are being censored when they try to append conservative remarks to Times stories. I’ve noticed how all Times commenters seem to be sitting in the same Au Bon Pain in Cambridge. It’s almost as if…how would the headline read? “Paper of Record on Defense in Silencing Dissenting Voices.”

    The Wall Street Journal has lots of liberal employees too but it does not resort to such cheap chicanery, which is why I read it every day.

    Topics: New York City, Newspapers | 2 Comments »

    On Wielding History’s Airbrush

    By kyle | June 4, 2011

    On Thursday, the New York Times quoted its new top editor Jill Abramson as saying the paper had been a substitute for religion to her. Among the tens of thousands of words published on the paper’s website that day, these were the most interesting. Yet they subsequently disappeared from the site, apparently permanently, to be replaced by far more anodyne remarks by Abramson about how she is grateful to women colleagues and previous executive editors and wants to master this whole digital revolution thingy. What gives? I have an op-ed in the Post today on the matter.

    Topics: Newspapers | 1 Comment »

    Tony Hendra Launches New York Times Parody

    By kyle | May 10, 2011

    I’m not sure it’s all that funny to watch an image of the New York Times building in flames. 9/11 wasn’t that long ago. As for why Hendra, who played the manager in “Spinal Tap” and once edited National Lampoon, might fantasize about burning down the HQ of the Times, maybe it has something to do with this.

    Topics: New York City, Newspapers | 1 Comment »

    On That NY Times “Vows” Column

    By kyle | December 23, 2010

    Okay, it’s a little bit gross. Two cheating hearts meet, and before long they’re dumping their spouses for each other. Life is indeed complicated, but I don’t see anything much to boast about when you’re forced to mark down your marriage as a big fail. Best bet is to keep quiet about it.

    But you know what was even a little bit more gross? The RNC video of John McCain that played before his acceptance speech in St. Paul in 2008. The one that celebrated, from Cindy McCain’s point of view, her fateful first meeting with this dashing naval officer, who strode across the room to her at a party, all resplendent in his dress whites or whatever. Very “An Officer and a Gentleman”! McCain was married at the time.

    Topics: John McCain, Newspapers | 4 Comments »

    I Thought That Was the Name of the Former Tenant

    By kyle | December 23, 2010

    Daffy’s moves into old New York Times space. Dizzy thinking will continue at the current New York Times space.

    Topics: New York City, Newspapers | No Comments »

    Newspaper Wars!

    By kyle | April 26, 2010

    For those myriad New Yorkers and residents of surrounding suburbs who have ached for a true alternative to the New York Times — a broadsheet treatment of the same ground — that day is finally come. The Wall Street Journal, whose circulation is already double the Times’, launches its new greater New York section today. Gawker has a post on it and is snarky (mainly) towards…the Times, which is so alarmed it put out a typically humor-challenged but would-be jokey press release advising the Journal about basic New York facts, as if the Journal were not a New York newspaper. The Times has been paring back costs drastically while the Journal has been beefing up. The Times is frightened.

    The Times’ cluelessness is summed up by a press release headed: The Times’ Readers: Loyal, Engaged, Female. Obviously, Journal readers are even more engaged (and even richer, and even more loyal: look at the way the Journal has successfully gotten large numbers of its readers to pay for Web access) But to restate the even more obvious: female audiences are a lot easier to reach than male ones, and well-off adult males are by far the biggest game hunted by advertisers. This is because men (sorry, it’s true) have much less time to spend on media consumption than women. Men gravitate toward higher-paying, higher-risk professions in private industry where the boss will work you till you drop, whereas women choose more meaningful (to them) careers like education and government work where your hours tend to be fixed. There are vast numbers of educated women who simply choose not to work outside the home. And consider that virtually every TV network is aimed at women, whereas the male audience is essentially confined to the sports and news channels. There are literally dozens of successful women’s magazines — seemingly neutral magazines like People and Entertainment Weekly, you will quickly note by glancing at the ads, are among them — but only a few for men. Moreover, in the last couple of years I’ve spotted more and more women reading the Wall Street Journal on the subway. A few years ago this was a rare occurrence.

    The Times is a bit like a terrier or an infant who just can’t be distracted from a handful of drool-covered squeaky toys. I use the word in both senses when I say their “issues” — they are exactly the same ones that were endlessly shouted about on Ivy League campuses in the 1980s — not only shadow the way the paper is edited, reported and written (see, most famously, the feminist sports section, with its boring indignation about men-only private country clubs), they subtract valuable resources from other interesting stories — exactly the kinds of stories the Journal covers so brilliantly. It will be interesting to see how crazy-making the Journal will henceforth be to the Times. I might even start reading the Times every day again, and this is something I have not done since approximately 2004, the year you couldn’t make your way through an article in the Times that didn’t contain a plug for “Fahrenheit 9/11,” an attack on the Bush administration, or both.

    Topics: New York City, Newspapers | 2 Comments »

    NYT Health Care Blogger Sits on Health Boards

    By kyle | April 16, 2010

    You have to love the NYT Picker, the unofficial New York Times watchdog site. Today they expose how a key Times writer on health-care issues earns more than $500,000 a year from the industry and holds more than $5 million in stock. He even sits on health-company boards.

    Topics: Business, New York City, Newspapers | 1 Comment »

    Criticism Is Dying! (So What?)

    By kyle | April 3, 2010

    John Nolte has an insightful post about how critics are forever writing about the death of criticism. Nolte points out that he never goes to a movie because some critic liked it but he did enjoy listening to Siskel & Ebert argue because they were sharp, interesting guys. I was thinking much the same thing the other day when I (finally) read Anthony Lane’s review of “Shutter Island.” I thought Lane was “wrong” (i.e. I had a different opinion, so neither of us is really right or wrong) on the merits but his writing is so spirited, funny and entertaining that it’s a great review. Critics should, I think, place a higher premium on the quality of their writing because their “expert” opinions don’t matter. As Nolte points out, critics’ opinions actually matter less than ordinary people’s — because critics see so many films that they come to have different values than the rest of the audience. I’ve noticed that in music criticism, the critics seem to write exclusively for other critics, and to the extent that is true, or becomes true, of film critics, it will reduce our readership and relevance.

    Topics: Movies, Newspapers | 18 Comments »

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