John Ziegler

Here's a transcript of an interview between Nate Silver and right wing kook John Ziegler about a Zogby poll that Ziegler commissioned. Ziegler uses a lot of foul language, a lot of it daring Silver to post the transcript. So Silver did.

Ziegler was the subject of a David Foster Wallace essay that ran in The Atlantic and that was anthologized in Consider the Lobster: And Other Essays. On hearing that DFW had committed suicide, Ziegler posted an entry at his website that confirms the sunny personality that comes through in the Silver transcript.

I know that it is considered bad form, or worse, to speak ill of the newly dead, but to me all bets are off when one commits suicide, especially when that person is a husband and a father (speaking of bad form, when did the news media change their rule about not reporting extensively on the suicides of marginally famous people?). I strongly believe that a large ingredient of the toxic mix that ended up forming Wallace’s self-inflicted poison was the pressure he felt of living up to the hype surrounding his writing and the guilt he must have felt for not really having the true talent to back up his formidable reputation.

While I have absolutely no evidence to back up this assertion, I also think it is quite possible that he knew that killing himself in his “prime