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By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 25, 2005

I've had occasion previously to call attention to New York Times religion reporter Ian Fisher's curious habit of silently helping himself to the work of other journalists. During the World Youth Day in August, he pasted two chunks of John Allen's reportage into his own stories, with only minor and trivial adjustments. Of course, it's been known for some time that the Times plays by a unique set of rules.

Last Tuesday, in anticipation of the Vatican's Instruction, Andrew Sullivan delivered himself of this bit of fashion-mag tittering:

THE POPE AND PRADA: Have you seen those fabulous Prada red shoes? He looks like Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz. And his ditching of the historical tailors that have historically dressed popes? The pontiff has even taken to wearing Gucci sunglasses, and padded quilt jackets.

No comment necessary. But check out Brother Ian's take on the papal wardrobe in this morning's article:

This being Italy, and the papacy being an Italian institution, fashion should not go unmentioned: a somewhat dowdy, professorish man has taken to stylish sunglasses and bright red shoes made by Prada.

I'd never heard the name Prada before Sullivan's mention of it, but apparently it rings bells in the circles to which he wants to communicate his malice. And Ian Fisher's too.

Memo to Fisher: If you can't kick the habit, stick with John Allen. He'll take you farther in the long run.

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  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Nov. 26, 2005 9:49 PM ET USA

    talk about petty...I guess it's been a slow news month for Sullivan, Fisher, et al. am sure the Holy Father is not reading GQ or looking through upscale catalogs. If I were a Catholic business man I'd be happy to supply the Pope with the best of products & services! If I were only concerned with the marketing aspect, I'd do the same.

  • Posted by: Meg Q - Nov. 26, 2005 4:20 PM ET USA

    Re: Prada, they're one of the few leather goods manufacturers whose prices are (almost) justified (Ferragamo and Gucci are two others - those Italians!). Their goods are very well-made and seriously durable, and are fashionable for being "anti-fashion" (seriously) . . . perfect "fashion" for an "old professor" like His Holiness. Not to worry, all heterosexual men in Italy, and many outside, are aware of these houses and their goods. Not that Fisher and Sullivan aren't being snarky though.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 26, 2005 1:12 AM ET USA

    The Pope's shoes were a subject of various press reports earlier this month, so it's not a lead-pipe cinch that Fisher was taking his cues from Sullivan. CNN's Jeanne Moos and Delia Gallagher did a tongue-in-cheek piece about the shoes that aired on 11/22.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 25, 2005 3:26 PM ET USA

    I think Amy Welborn mentioned wanting a Prada purse once, so perhaps this is some peculiar inside joke amongst the set that has transcended outmoded models of masculinity while simultaneously signaling their disapproval of Amy's views. Whatever. I confess to Almighty God and to you my brothers and sisters that I find Sullivan & Co painfully uninteresting and screechably predictable, painfully irrelevant and irrepressibly repressed.