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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  • The Desperate Mrs. Clinton

    By kyle | October 11, 2015

    “Did I mention I’m a woman?” is her primary sales pitch. More in my Sunday column.

    Topics: Hillary Clinton | 9 Comments »

    Tina Fey Makes Debut as Sarah Palin

    By kyle | September 14, 2008

    And Amy Poehler makes a hilarious Hillary.

    Topics: Hillary Clinton, Politics, Sarah Palin, TV | 19 Comments »

    Keep It Up with the Condescending, Charlie Gibson

    By kyle | September 12, 2008

    With even Alessandra Stanley calling out ABC’s Charlie Gibson for looking rude, impatient and condescending in his Sarah Palin interview, one has to wonder whether the women of the swing states in the middle of the country–the people who will decide the election–will be even more vocal about it, especially since the idea of sexism vis a vis Hillary Clinton is already a much-discussed topic. Says Stanley:

    Gibson, who sat back in his chair and wriggled his foot impatiently, had the skeptical, annoyed tone of a university president who agrees to interview the daughter of a trustee, but doesn’t believe she merits admission.

    Topics: Hillary Clinton, Politics, Sarah Palin, TV | 38 Comments »

    Harriet Tubman Never Said Those Things

    By kyle | August 27, 2008

    According to the New York Times, Harriet Tubman didn’t say all the things attributed to her by Hillary Clinton last night. Hillary apparently got them from fictionalized children’s books. Oops. I’m still watching the recording of tonight’s events. Biden was a complete bore, and even the delegates sensed it. Does a single line of his speech stand out? I do enjoy the use of “The Rising” by Bruce Springsteen as a campaign theme song, but alas for the Democrats, who don’t seem to ever mention Sept. 11, that is exactly what “The Rising” is about.

    Topics: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Music, Politics, TV | 1 Comment »

    Bill Kristol “Shocked” by Hillary Clinton’s Speech

    By kyle | August 26, 2008

    On Fox News Channel, William Kristol: “She said not a word about Obama as a person.” Kristol says Hillary mentioned Obama ten times and everything she said about him could have been said about any generic Democrat who received the nomination. He calls it a “shockingly minimal” endorsement, or words to that effect. He points out that she offered not a single warm behind the scenes anecdote about how much she learned from him or came to admire him while spending 18 months on the campaign trail with him or while serving in the Senate with him. There was no personal touch. He also says her attacks on McCain were fairly brief. “I really am a little bit shocked, actually,” Kristol concludes.

    Kristol makes a good point: You would think Hillary and Obama would actually know each other by now. She did not say anything about him that you or I couldn’t say based on the impression we’ve gotten from the newspapers.

    Fred Barnes says she cast herself very much as the female candidate, that her candidacy was a great advance for women. He says that when she started out on the trail she was making the point that she was a great candidate for all of America, de-emphasizing being a woman.

    Morton Kondracke on the convention so far: “cliche after cliche after cliche.” But “Somehow she made them more vivid.”

    Deadpan Brit Hume on the negativity of the Democrats: “You would think we were living in Belarus or something like that.” Funny.

    CNN is saying the opposite, that Hillary belted it out of the park.
    CNN’s David Gergen: “Her finest hour in politics. It was so unselfish. It was not about her. This was such a generous act. It was so clear. She didn’t hold anything back in her endorsement.”

    MSNBC is with CNN. N.M. Gov. Bill Richardson is saying she held nothing back and healed the rift in the party. David Gregory is praising her. “She did it with a sharp knife but with a smile as well.” Keith Olbermann praises her also: “remarkable” speech.

    David Brooks on PBS: “Pretty mediocre night,” partially salvaged by Hillary Clinton. “She could have praised Obama more specifically.”

    Mark Shields: “a better night than last night. And tomorrow’d better be better.”

    Back on Fox: Chris Wallace says he is a “Yaysayer” and calls it “a very generous speech.” “I think that she for the first time in this convention talked about how Barack Obama will, she believes, improve the lives of middle and working-class people who are hurting now.” What better way, he adds, to transfer her votes than to say I fought for X and so will Barack Obama?

    Topics: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Politics, TV | 5 Comments »

    Is She Now Hillary Rodham Clinton Again?

    By kyle | August 26, 2008

    I can’t remember the last time I heard Hillary referred to as “Hillary Rodham Clinton,” as her daughter Chelsea just did. This was her handle early in the 1992 campaign, but she quickly dropped it when it seemed to mark her as a feminist career woman instead of a devoted wife. Chelsea seemed to make a great point of pronouncing the “Rodham.” I wonder if there is some additional layer of meaning to that. Like when John Cougar became John Cougar Mellencamp became John Mellencamp?

    Topics: Hillary Clinton, Politics, TV | No Comments »

    Hillary Clinton Digs Van Halen?

    By kyle | August 26, 2008

    Liveblogging the Democratic Convention:

    Hillary Clinton’s (well-produced, thoroughly professional) campaign video was backed with a soundtrack of the Van Halen cover of the Kinks “You Really Got Me.” Whoa. Later came Tom Petty’s “American Girl.” Better, but isn’t a Yale-trained feminist like Hillary exactly the kind of person who, when “American Girl” came out, would go around correcting you if you referred to her as a girl? When I was at Yale in the 1980s, you referred to a 19-year-old liberal female as a “girl” at your peril.

    Topics: Hillary Clinton, Music, Politics, TV | No Comments »

    The Democrats, Night One: Whiff

    By kyle | August 26, 2008

    I was going to write about the convention last night (instead, I wound up going to a double feature of two upcoming fall films, “Appaloosa” and “Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist”) but didn’t. My impression: you get four shots to sock the pinata, Monday through Thursday, and last night was a clear miss.

    The only two things that will remain in anyone’s memory are a) Ted Kennedy carrying on despite terminal illness, which may be brave and uplifting but has nothing to do with whether we should vote for Obama; and b) Sasha Obama ordering off the political menu and cutting up a la Rudy Giuliani’s kid during his 1994 inauguration as the finest leader this city has ever had.

    People like cute kids (if I may indulge in a stereotype I daresay women voters especially like the idea of having small children in the White House). Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Politics, Rudy Giuliani, TV | 3 Comments »

    Hillary Clinton and Misogyny

    By kyle | June 7, 2008

    I wrote on April 20 that with Hillary’s defeat would come lots of people blaming misogyny. Bt is hating Hillary the same thing as hating women? Read the rest of this entry »

    Topics: Comedy, Hillary Clinton, Politics | 4 Comments »

    Hillary Clinton Channeling Eminem

    By kyle | May 9, 2008

    When Hillary Clinton said yesterday in a USA Today interview that people should vote for her based on her support from “white Americans,” I naturally envisioned her taking the logical next step and rapping out the idea in a duet with Eminem, who memorably informed us in “White America,” the opening track from the album of the decade, “The Eminem Show”:

    I never would’ve dreamed in a million years I’d see,
    So many motherf***in’ people who feel like me
    Who share the same views
    And the same exact beliefs,
    It’s like a f***in’ army marchin’ in back of me!

    “Desperate HillBillies Threaten to Break Up Party,” says Post columnist Charles Hurt. Break it up? Nah. Hillary Rodham Clinton, I say: burn that bad boy down!

    Topics: Hillary Clinton, Music, Politics | 2 Comments »

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