In response to the frenzied anticipation for David Frum’s debut novel Patriots (available in paperback May 7, so start pitching your tents outside Borders!) the Huffington Post has been serializing Frum’s cheeky Washington satire online. Today HuffPo features, on its exclusive left-hand column, part 5 of Mr. Frum’s entry into the arts and letters, and one of the characters seems surprisingly familiar. While devoted Frum-philes obsess over the similarities between the artist and his central literary creation “Walter” (a moderate Republican opinion blogger for mainstream news sites, or something) a colorful supporting character named “Freddy Catesby” caught my eye:
“So you are probably wondering: Why has Freddy Catesby invited me to lunch? Freddy Catesby, the founder of the Constitutional Review, Patriot News guest host, and bestselling author! Freddy Catesby: who has known U.S. presidents, who has entertained a British prime minister in his home, and who — people say — once dated the Princess of Wales. And it’s this same Freddy Catesby who is taking me out to lunch. Why? It’s the most natural question in the world! It’s exactly what I’d be wondering if I were sitting in your chair.”
The waiter filled Catesby’s wine glass, then looked questioningly at me. What the hell. I nodded yes.
“To understand why I invited you, you have to understand me. I’m not only the founder of Constitutional Review, although I’m proud of my role in launching the magazine. You know that Time magazine called us the most influential political magazine in the country on our 10th anniversary? I’ll put you on the list for our 30th anniversary dinner next month as my guest, I’ll put you at my table.
No, no, don’t thank me — it’s my pleasure.
“All those things I’ve accomplished, all the awards and accolades — they mean nothing to me. I live for my principles, not for recognition. What I care about is fighting the Kultursmog. You know I coined the term?”
Quite the honor. As the late Dorothy Kilgallen once quipped, “You’re nobody in this town until you’ve been skewered by Frum!”