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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 05:42 PM ET, 01/05/2012

Michael Wolff uses too many commas, Part II

Wolff, the essayist, the pundit, the comma man. (Bloomberg)
Michael Wolff is a master self-promoter. His biography of Rupert Murdoch is now more than three years old. Yet today he publishes a piece in British GQ that both flogs his book and — surprise! — feels about as old as its 2008 pub date.

More unattributed analysis of Rupert Murdoch and his inner circle. More recounting of lunches past. More speculation. Not a bad read, either.

Except for the commas. I warned Wolff back in July about his overreliance on these punctuational crutches (“Fanfare for the comma man”) and pointed to a parenthetical that had appeared in the highly promoted biography. Here it is:

(Petronella Wyatt would, like Murdoch’s daughter Elisabeth, become, in a generation’s time, the talk of London.)

That warning had little impact, as Wolff has managed to get all his little curlicues past his editors at British GQ. Have at this excerpt from the story.

Once, he offered to hire me as a Fox business-news commentator, if that’s what I wanted, but counselled that, if I worked for Fox News, I was never likely to be hired by the liberal outlets to which I was more naturally suited.

Oh, this is even better:

Murdoch, at some turning point, began to represent the past, and Ailes, I would argue, the future.

The sensation, if you can call it that, is that of riding in the back seat of a car, expecting a smooth ride, as the driver slams on the brakes every couple of seconds, I would argue.

By  |  05:42 PM ET, 01/05/2012

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