I Say Papadopoulos, You Say Stephanopoulos. Let’s Call The Whole Thing Off.

Yesterday, Wolf Blizter had perhaps the best gaffe of the day when introducing a segment on the guilty plea of former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos:

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. gVOR08 says:

    Rachel Maddow mentioned last night that one of the issues in Watergate was whether Nixon had received money from the Greek junta then in power (that pesky receiving anything of value from a foreign government thing). And the head of the junta was….Georgios Papadopolous.

    Yesterday the VOX Sentence headline was, “Documents, Pompousness, Incompetence, Papadopopous.”

  2. @gVOR08:

    And let’s not forget about the other George Papadopolous.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    I just finished writing a book where one of the villains was named Panagopoulos.

  4. MarkedMan says:

    @michael reynolds: How would you pronounce that?

  5. Franklin says:

    @michael reynolds: Speaking of which, it’s time to make my biennial query about what my 13-year-old should be reading. He’s been through some Animorphs and I think all the Gone series, what’s the next step? He likes Rick Riordan stuff but I’m not necessarily looking for fantasy stuff. He loved Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six book, probably because it was related to his favorite video game, but I don’t think he even finished Red October.

    Really, I should be asking you for advice on dealing with annoying teenagers, too, since I think you just got through those years? He’s already acting like a typical one, obsessed with brands and unwilling to separate from his herd. He’s fairly smart and well-behaved, just not ambitious. Do I just grin and bear it, or keep pushing him towards the light?

  6. MarkedMan says:

    @Franklin: Thing that has kept me sane so far (daughter, 20; son, 18) is my unbreakable belief that while a really bad parent can horrendously screw up a kid, the difference between a mediocre parent and a fantastic one is not nearly so significant. I have therefore strived for mediocrity for 20 years.

    It helps that both my kids naturally turned out to be much better people, students and sportsmen than I ever was.

  7. michael reynolds says:

    I pronounce it Stef-an-op-o-lus.

    Hmmm. First of all, you are barking up the wrong tree re: raising teenagers. There is no winning that game. Just settle in, try to keep a mild buzz going, don’t take it personally that they hate you despite you being one of the ‘cool’ dads. They will win, you will lose. It’s easier once you accept that. You’re welcome to push them toward the light, but like MarkedMan says, strive for a sustainable mediocrity.

    As for reading, it depends on what the kid likes, I suppose. Something challenging and cool is Grasshopper Jungle, an amazing YA book full of. . . I can’t even tell you. Andrew Smith is a book tour buddy of mine and crazy talented and original. If they like dark, there’s Rotters by Daniel Kraus. Or if body horror and OCD-triggering is okay, try BZRK, by me, Michael Grant.

    Also, BTW, the spin-off of the GONE series, MONSTER is out now.

    And when your kid turns into a psychopath blame, um, Andrew, not me.

  8. DrDaveT says:


    my biennial query about what my 13-year-old should be reading

    Don’t overlook the classics.

    When I was 13, I was reading
    * John Christopher (Tripods trilogy)
    * Watership Down
    * Heinlein juveniles and The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
    * John D. MacDonald “Travis McGee” series (sneaked from parents’ shelf)
    * The Lord of the Rings (again)
    * Gregory McDonald “Fletch” and “Flynn” series
    * Sherlock Holmes novels and stories
    * Edgar Allan Poe short stories
    * Dune (but for God’s sake stop after the first book)
    * Theodore Sturgeon story collections
    * Isaac Asimov — stories, The Gods Themselves
    * Jack Vance — anything really

    (Yeah, I was a nerd, but a happy one for the most part.)

    Apart from Asimov, I think those have aged pretty well

  9. grumpy realist says:

    @Franklin: Terry Pratchett?!

  10. Franklin says:

    Thanks for the book suggestions and moral support as I attempt to traverse these years. BTW, my wife and I spaced out our three kids in such a way that we’ll have at least one teenager for 16 years straight. Prayers, well wishes, and money accepted.

    Doug, sorry to hijack the thread. I did enjoy its headline!

  11. grumpy realist says:

    @grumpy realist: Heck when I was 13 I was reading OBSESSIVELY the following:

    1) The Illiad and the Odyssey.
    2) Edith Hamilton’s “The Greek Gods”
    3) Robert. Ardrey’s “African Genesis”
    4) Anything I could get my hands on by Andre Norton and Arthur C. Clarke. Oh, and of course Pratchett….(I still pride myself on being one of the few people who knew about Pratchett even before Discworld.)

  12. Kylopod says:

    This brought back memories of an article from 1998 noting the astonishing proliferation of Polish names in headlines at the time: Lewinsky, Lipinski, Lebowski….


  13. michael reynolds says:

    @DrDaveT: @grumpy realist:

    Yeah, but all of that was before we invented the Young Adult genre. Can’t really have kids reading dead authors who don’t even stand to profit from the sales, now can we? Who the hell’s going to finance my vices?

  14. Mister Bluster says:

    People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.
    Isaac Asimov

    Azimov’s Guide to the Bible

  15. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Franklin: Anything he want’s to read. The research has been showing that more reading is better than less reading since I was 10 years old. And I will start collecting my Social Security pension next August. (Regular retirement)

  16. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @grumpy realist: Me, too, on mythology, and don’t forget Norse myth or Native American (popular after I got really old–grad school after 15 years in business). Andre Norton I liked. I don’t think I would have liked Terry Pratchett when I was young, but a decent read. Never warmed up to Clarke.

    By high school, I was reading Chekov, Tolstoy, and Pushkin. Mostly short fiction.

  17. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @michael reynolds: Point taken, but kids need a whole lot of stuff to read, so I think the market driven sector is safe enough. Besides, most of the kids I see in school are clearly not being raised in families with large disposable income for book purchases.

    Why do you think the Republicans are so against library bonds?

  18. Lynn says:

    @MarkedMan: the difference between a mediocre parent and a fantastic one is not nearly so significant. I have therefore strived for mediocrity for 20 years.

    When I was in grad school, some of the the analytic literature used the term “good enough” parenting. I still like it.

  19. de stijl says:

    Hey! I dated a young woman named Papadopoulos in college. Hi, G!

    As to reading recommendations for a 13 yo, @Franklin: The Passage series by Justin Cronin has a lot going for it.

    Cracker-jack story, moving, good plotting, action. Plus it sneaks in actual literary value. I challenge anyone 12-100 to read the first opening chapters and not be genuinely moved. Think a contemporary version of King’s The Stand larded with more rumination on what was lost. And it’s a long book – when I was that age I loved big and Big books because you could lose yourself for a good, long time.

  20. Monala says:

    @michael reynolds: Oh come on, YA is nothing new. I am middle aged, and as a 13 year old I was reading YA authors like Judy Blume and S.E. Hinton.

  21. michael reynolds says:

    And there were the Nancy Drews, Tom Swifts and Hardy Boys. But YA as a defined market segment – ie: a regular piece of real estate in bookstores and on bestseller lists – had not yet arrived.

    YA as a ‘thing’ started in the late 80’s, early 90’s as best I can tell. That’s when you started seeing series aimed specifically at teen readers but also drawing in numbers of adult readers – Freshman Dorm was one, our own Boyfriends/Girlfriends was another example.

    Then it blew up with Harry Potter, and again with Hunger Games. My GONE series came in more-or-less simultaneously with Hunger Games.

    Now YA is in a steep decline. The last mega-hit was Divergent. There are still people selling a lot of books – Marie Lu for example – but the shelf space is shrinking and the money flow as well. Hollywood was burned on a number of YA efforts, so that didn’t help. There’s a reason I’m switching to writing adult books.

  22. de stijl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    There’s a reason I’m switching to writing adult books.

    Are you a story guy or a character guy?

  23. Monala says:

    @michael reynolds:

    But YA as a defined market segment – ie: a regular piece of real estate in bookstores and on bestseller lists – had not yet arrived.

    YA as a ‘thing’ started in the late 80’s, early 90’s as best I can tell.

    There were sections of the library and bookstores labeled YA when I was growing up. If you were a teenager in the ’80s, like I was, you’re now between the ages of 41 and 55. If you were a teenager in the ’90s, you are now between the ages of 31 and 45. YA as something adults might also read might be relatively new (and even then, not so much – Harry Potter emerged in the mid-’90s), but YA as a thing is not new.