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Curmudgeing Through Paradise
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Fred Reed, who has referred to Oprah Winfrey as looking "like five hundred pounds of bear liver in a plastic bag," takes a jaundiced and highly irreverent view of all things sacred-journalism, marriage, affirmative action, federal scams, governmental uselessness, women, men, fellow reporters, and popular culture. On the other hand, he has a kind word for drunks, bar girls, and children.

Neither a liberal nor a conservative-he describes these as "twin halves of the national lobotomy"-he is just Fred. He figures it is enough. Anything more would be multiple-personality disorder.

Fred has spent many years doing things your mother wouldn't want you to do, such as living in alleys in Taipei, Bangkok, and Saigon, with some of the strangest people ever to crawl this weary earth. Once a war correspondent in Viet Nam and Cambodia, then for years a police reporter in places the media don't admit exist, he spent most of a decade writing a syndicated column on matters military. While he tends to write with wit, he has seen, he says, a lot of ugly things, and doesn't like the people responsible. He says so. Fred may charm or offend, but he'll keep your attention.

"Funny, sharply observant and often deeply poignant, Fred Reed writes what a hell of a lot of Americans are thinking, but are afraid these days to say. He is delightfully beyond category for anyone with an open mind, which is probably why he lives in Mexico, far enough away that the politically correct of both camps cannot strangle him."

--Joe Bageant, author of "Deer Hunting with Jesus "

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