Most Asinine Article Ever

My favorite section of The Washington Post is the Style section. I know it's not hard news, but it's usually the only section I read cover to cover. So imagine my disappointment when today's Style section featured this gargantuan picture:


Oh my. Yes, The Washington Post, one of the premier newspapers the United States has to offer, has decided to devote a feature article on wingmen.

My first reaction was "Whaaa?" Sure, there was the Coors Light wingman commercial that everyone seemed to like. But didn't that come out, like, three years ago? Has there been a new development in wingman strategy? Why did the Post feel the need to devote precious copy space on this subject?

I was hoping that the article would be a sarcastic dismissal of college culture. It doesn't appear to be. It appears woefully serious. That being said, I think we can have some fun with this. The article is long, so I won't be copy and pasting the entire thing. Just some choice excerpts.

In the back of the club, on a bench built for two, a short college guy with a baby face is putting the moves on a miniskirted beauty whose shapely legs, crossed just so, rival Katie Couric's. The only thing between him and his destiny is her girlfriend, squished between the two of them, large lips in a pout...

And we're off! Solid opening paragraph. Katie Couric. Good work. Topical. Also, the girl with the pouty lips is later dismissed as someone who "wouldn't win any beauty contests." Good to know that we have a compassionate author on our hands.

...He's [the wingman's] like the fighter pilot flying beside and slightly behind the lead pilot in a hostile environment -- thus the term. You saw the prototype in the 1986 flick "Top Gun": Anthony Edwards's Goose (who was married!) to Tom Cruise's Maverick.

Moral of the story: wingmen are often killed when they eject themselves out of crashing fighter jets.

I also love the "(who was married!)" aside. All it does is show the limitations of the wingman metaphor. It's also amusing because it reads like Goose married Maverick, which would have been pretty sexy if you ask me.

"A mutual back-and-forth man love" is how Tony Moniello describes wingman camaraderie. Moniello, 22, and two buddies, Jay Jentz, 22, and Philipp Waclawiczek, 21, have been wingmanning for each other from the first week of freshman year at GW four years ago. They're sitting in Moniello's apartment, talking over plans for the party that night on U Street. Grey Goose, Southern Comfort and Everclear bottles line the bookshelves.

Jesus Christ, here we go. These three people are why girls would have to be retarded to go to places like Madhatter. Two of these three imbeciles are pictured on page C8 of the paper. You can almost smell their cologne and desperation.

Exams are over, graduation is approaching and each of them has several young women on his year-end wish list. (Some senior women, by the way, keep similar lists.) Once they start work in the real world, clubbing will become an occasional thing as opposed to a four-night-a-week addiction. They may actually have to ask women out on dates, take them to dinner. Wingman skills will still be needed, but not as often. Bummer.

God forbid you guys develop some maturity. Dating? Non-casual sex? Total bummer. And anyone who has a "clubbing addiction" deserves a debilitating stroke.

At college, a good wingman has been as important as a popped-collar shirt. This is a generation that, in large part, dismisses the idea of courtship. Many move fast through relationships: face-booking, instant-messaging, text-messaging...

Thank you, author (Laura Sessions Stepp), for describing my generation in such hilarious generalities. These are nothing but embarassing stereotypes. Not embarassing to me personally, but embarassing to the author for resorting to such bullshit.

I won't even address the popped collar simile. Suffice to say it makes me blind with rage.

...The wingman delivers the introduction, knowing that his job is to make his buddy look cool.

Good fucking luck.

"Hey, you only have a couple of minutes to make an impression," Moniello continues. "So if you have to save a baby seal from an oil spill in Alaska, you have to save a baby seal."

Jentz picks up: "Sometimes you're a lawyer. You may only have taken one law class, but what the heck? It adds flavor, gets people excited."...

"...The girl I'm after will say something like 'I hear he's a player' and he'll [the wingman'll] convince her I'm really in love with her."

No comment.

Well, one comment: This is sick. If I were the parent of one of these kids, I would hang myself. A parent's job is to give your child some sense of right and wrong. Some sense of decency. These parents failed. If I did this shit and it ended up in the Post, my mom would cry for days.

Jentz was Waclawiczek's wingman in just such a situation a few weeks ago. They were at a bar that was about to close. Waclawiczek decided to hit on a freshman and see if he could get her to go home with him. He did fine until it came to the going-home part, and then it became clear she wasn't leaving without her girlfriend. Jentz knew his role: Not only did he bring the girlfriend along, he also kept her occupied once they got to Waclawiczek's place. Both guys were happy at the end of the night.

Again, let me remind you, this is The Washington Fucking Post. How hook-up stories belong in this paper is beyond me.

Well done, guys. You lied your way into getting orgasms courtesy of naive freshmen. You deserve fucking medals.

...Lauren Faust, who is finishing up at GW this summer, agrees that on one level, women know when they're being scammed. "But in context it's harder to spot. I'm sure I've been wingmanned and not picked up on it. I can be completely self-absorbed."

DC college students are sometimes self-absorbed? Color me surprised! You don't have to be self-absorbed to fall for this shit; you merely have to be a total imbecile. Women who fall for lines about baby seals are the scum of the earth. These girls kind of deserve being nothing but a warm place for guys to come if they are impressed by Grey Goose, baby-seal rescue lies, and other such dastardly wingman tricks.

Ok, that's about it. The article ends, praise the Lord, with the boys going home empty-handed. This article left me with one unanswered question:


Worst article ever. I truly believe that someone at the Post needs to get fired for this. All it accomplished was making college students look like lecherous assholes.

And who wants to bet that Lauren Sessions Stepp is a Post intern from GW who considers this her big break? Well, it's not. It's a journalism abortion. Fuck you, Lauren Sessions Stepp. I hope you drop off the face of the Earth.

UPDATE: It turns out the author is middle-aged. Lauren Sessions Stepp is not an inexperienced writer. Just a condescending one.


  1. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    It's the Style section for Chirst's sake! Teh same section that includes news of the Brangelina baby and Miss Manners.

    get a grip.

  2. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    I don't think anyone (other than you, of course, Rusty) considers the Style section to be "precious copy space."

  3. As a GW student, I just have to say I agree completely with your article and not all of us are dirty club going greaseballs...

  4. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    And you're merely a "righteously bad writer."

    Hey, did you hear the ad section is full of nothing but ADVERTISEMENTS lately? It's f-ing ridiculous! The crossword section is filled with nothing but squares and arcane questions. That's not JOURNALISM!

    You silly goose.

  5. You're right, "condescendingly bad writer" doesn't make sense. I changed it.

    Comparing advertisements to a feature article is pretty ridiculous though.

  6. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    Yo Rusty,

    Are you for fucking real? You piss and moan about this article, but in the end, you know what?

    YOU FUCKING READ IT. Mission accomplished, Washington Post.

  7. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    And comparing a random feature article on a slow news day to the Post's history of stellar news reporting is just as ridiculous, you idiot.

  8. It's a poorly written condescending article about the people in DC I hate the most. Kind of a perfect storm for me.

    For all the Style haters, it won a Pulitizer this year. It features one of the top TV critics in the country (Shales) and, in my opinion, the best entertainment writer in the world (de Moraes).

    So, yeah, I expect better from the Post Style section.

    Heywood Jablowmee, you read my post. So, my mission is accomplished too.

  9. Argh, Im so annoyed by chauvinist crap. Doesn't it ever get old?

  10. It doesn't get old as long as girls fall for it.

  11. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    what happened to whyihatewhyihatedc?

    good article rusty. that stuffs belongs in a college newspaper.

  12. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    Maybe I'm remembering Top Gun incorrectly (its been a few years since I've seen it), but isn't Iceman (Val Kilmer) the wingman to Tom Cruise's Maverick? Goose was just the co-pilot/gunner/worry-wart. Or am I confusing things even more because Goose was his "wingman" on the ground? Dammit, I can't believe a Style Section article is making me feel stupid.

    You know what, fuck them. They're the idiots that are using a movie containing both the real and social definitions of wingman to help illustrate the story.

  13. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    Did you hear the Post is coming out with an entire new section?

    After Sports and between Style and Automotive, it's called Crap.

    from the Washington Post.

  14. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    Yes, but I'm not pissing and moaning about your blog. I actually enjoy it. That's why I read it.

  15. Oh. Um, well, my bad.

    Sorry, formerly anonymous has me on red alert for people who are "hatin'."

  16. That Phillip guy is hot though:


  17. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    rusty is very concerned about his blog "cred." He tries to keep the criticism down to a minimum. Deflect and dodge, kinda like Scott McLellan.

  18. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    Good post. Funny critique. Good asides.


  19. Sounds like you have an cool mom if she would cry out of shame for having raised you wrong, R. Seriously. what the hell is wrong with men today? All the gentlemen are gone. I know first hand. Believe me.

  20. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    I have to side with Rusty on this one. The Post's Style section is (supposed to be) one of the best in the country. Katharine Graham must be rolling over in her grave.

  21. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    brilliant post. I concur completely. I was just reading this pile of shit when about halfway through I thought, why am I reading this pile of shit and why are there 3 pages devoted to this pile of shit?

  22. Also, why is post.com highlighting it as such a feature on their home page?! I love the post, but was horrified that they published this dreck.

  23. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    Woodward and Bernstein turnin over. In graves.

  24. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    on facebook: tony is a "teacher at roosevelt high school" and is also a "peer counselor and mentor".

    so cut the guy a break!! or his balls, whatever.

  25. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    I always only read the comics...and hoenstly...there's probably only half a page of good strips!

  26. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    as a gw student (and after reviewing facebook profiles) i will let you know that these guys all belong to a frat known for being dirtbags. this frat makes other frats on campus look like charity organizations.

  27. Please dish (by e-mail if you'd like; anonymity guaranteed)!

  28. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    Breaking!! Frat boys are twats!! The Style section is full of dreck!!

  29. You're right, it IS the Most Asinine Article Ever. You can always tell what's fretting the Post folk, because it ends up in the Style section. LSS also wrote the seminal (ahem) piece on middle-school oral sex, which happened to be taking place at Williamsburg Middle School in Alexandria. Previously the school was best known for the phenomenal quantity of MY CHILD IS AN HONOR STUDENT AT WILLIAMSBURG MIDDLE SCHOOL bumper stickers.

  30. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    I love this blog and I love this post. Frat boys in DC sound even worse than hipsters in NYC. Still, any girl that gives a frat boy five seconds of her time deserves to be written about in the Washington Post Style section. I half expected the author to quote Tom Wolfe's ridiculous novel I Am Charlotte Simmons.

  31. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    Wretched article, badly written, about jerks and, hey, sadly out of date. Any guy with brains has a wingWOMAN with him these days--women are smarter at picking out good possibilities and better at working the hook up for their buddy.

  32. AnonymousMay 31, 2006

    Can I point out that Goose was NOT Maverick's wingman? he was the RCO, or Radio Control Officer. In the movie, Maverick is Iceman's wingman at the end, and Maverick saves his butt. Wingman is ANOTHER PLANE, not the guy sitting behing you. Jeez. Nice journalism. At least get the references right.

  33. AnonymousJune 01, 2006

    Sorry, but Goose was a Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) aka backseater.

    And if you don't like the article, you could write the editor of the style section, who I think is still Roxanne Roberts. However, it's called the "style" section, and this was clearly about "style", albiet "bad Style", so maybe you'd want to think about exactly what you're going to criticize...

  34. AnonymousJune 01, 2006

    This kind of foolishness keeps the Style section light years behind the purple section of the USA Today.

  35. I blog about the crappy Style section articles all the time. If an article is gay themed I immediately check if the writer is Hank Stuever. They have some sort of weird set of segregated human interest beats over there. I guess LSS drew the sleazy scumbags straw.

  36. AnonymousJune 01, 2006

    The GREATEST irony is that these three guys wont be getting any (decent) dates for years to come. Am I the only person who remembers Jerry O'Connell's character in Can't Hardly Wait? Maybe these yo-yos are too young for that movie. Maybe in order to be in that horrible frat (I was a GDubber too) they should be required to watch that scene on the bench in the back yard and be told DO NOT BE A MORON.

  37. AnonymousJune 01, 2006

    a sampling of these guys' facebook groups: I Have No More Friends at Gw, Because they Got Kicked Out or Transferred • My phone is dead and I lost your number. Would you mind giving it to me? • I'd do me • Advocates for Making 'FUCK BUDDIES' & 'HOOKING UP WITH' Relationship Status •

  38. AnonymousJune 01, 2006

    As a journalist with 25 years in the business, this article is a huge black mark on the profession. It is insipid, juvenile, unprofessional and, overall, dumb. It does not belong in the Post. And you know what it really is? It's a overly-long, forced story on a thing that some dumb guys do every now and then in bars. That's it: a story on what some dumb guys to every now and then in bars. That's journalism? No, it's not. It's ridiculous. Oh, and this suggestion to any guys who pretend to be so-called "wingmen:" GROW UP AND GET A LIFE! Thank you.

  39. AnonymousJune 03, 2006

    A couple of comments...You claim these freshmen girls are naive??? Ha! Now that's a laugh. Many of these promiscuous, aggressive sluts have been giving blow jobs since Middle School. As to the whole wingman game in D.C. -- what's the big deal? These guys (and girls) are doing what every generation has been doing since time began. The difference here is that all those soccer games these boys played when they were young have instilled a bit more 'team cooperation'! Frankly I just wish one of those wingmen would help my now-graduated son score a good job while he's at it!

  40. AnonymousJune 03, 2006

    You say these freshman girls are naive??? Ha! Now that's a laugh. You mean the same sexually aggressive sluts who have been giving blow jobs since Middle School? It takes two to tango and as far as I'm concerned these guys and girls aren't doing anything much different than generations before. The 'wingman' concept is perhaps unique but can be credited to the team cooperation these guys learned playing soccer when they were younger. Frankly, I just wish one of these wingman would help my just-graduated son score a good job while he's at it...

  41. if i had the time, i'd look this up, because my hand to god, this is plagerized from somewhere.
    the updated references are new, but there is so much there that's making my brain go "wait a sec...."
    also, i love your blog.
    i hate the word blog.
    but i likey yours.