Richard Grenier (newspaper columnist)

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Richard Grenier
Richard Grenier.jpeg
Born(1933-12-30)December 30, 1933
DiedJanuary 29, 2002(2002-01-29) (aged 68)
OccupationNewspaper columnist

Richard Grenier (December 30, 1933 – January 29, 2002) was a neoconservative cultural columnist for The Washington Times and a film critic for Commentary and The New York Times. The Forbes Media Guide Five Hundred, 1994 stated:

Grenier's maniac, often barbed style is an acquired taste, not recommended to those who prefer polite commentary. He scores against both the administration and Hollywood, two of his preferred topics.... He takes no prisoners;[1]


Grenier was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts.[2]


He graduated from the United States Naval Academy where he obtained a degree in engineering, studied at the Institut des Sciences Politiques in Paris as a Fulbright scholar, and did graduate work at Harvard.[2]


Grenier started his career as a reporter for Agence France-Presse in Paris. He reported from Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Far East, and the Caribbean. While living in New York City, he worked as a broadcaster on cultural issues for PBS and later worked as a correspondent for The New York Times.[2]

He is particularly known for his review of the critically acclaimed film Gandhi, involving scathing attacks on Gandhi and India.[3][4] Grenier later expanded his review into a book, The Gandhi Nobody Knows, which Grenier dedicated to Norman Podhoretz and Midge Decter.[4] Grenier's book was itself criticized by Jason DeParle in a successive issue of The Washington Monthly.[4] Grenier served as a columnist at The Washington Times from 1985–1999 where he wrote about foreign affairs, national politics and culture.[2] Grenier worked as a film critic for Commentary magazine where he wrote columns that were published by[2] Grenier was strongly negative towards films and television programs which he saw as promoting disrespect towards authority, religion, and the United States.[5]

Grenier also wrote a long attack on the Oliver Stone film JFK for The Times Literary Supplement, describing it as "bludgeoning" the viewer in support of a conspiracy theory.[3]

Grenier was also strongly antagonistic towards the United Nations, criticising what he claimed was the "odd concentration of UN activity around the organization's two pariah states, South Africa and Israel as if they were the only trouble spots on the globe."[6] Grenier also accused the organisation of hypocrisy for granting observer status to SWAPO and the PLO but not the anti-Soviet forces in Afghanistan: "I have no idea why the Afghans struggling desperately to free their country from Soviet occupation do not qualify as a national liberation movement, but I have never heard them mentioned once in the corridors of the U.N., except by the United States".[6]


Grenier was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Harvard Club.


Grenier wrote two novels, Yes and Back Again (1967) and The Marrakesh One-Two (1983), and a collection of essays, Capturing the Culture: Film, Art and Politics (1991).[2] Capturing the Culture carried an introduction by Robert H. Bork, who praised Grenier for "exposing and then skewering the Cultural Left".[3]


Grenier was married to Cynthia Grenier. He was the brother of Robert Grenier and Barbara Applebaum.[7]


Grenier died on January 29, 2002, from a heart attack at the age of 68 at his home in Washington.[2]


  1. ^ Terry Eastland, ed. Forbes Media Guide Five Hundred, 1994: A Critical Review of the Media (1994) p 288
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Richard Grenier, Lieutenant, United States Navy". Arlington Cemetery. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
  3. ^ a b c James Michael Welsh, Donald M. Whaley, The Oliver Stone Encyclopedia. Rowman & Littlefield, 2013 ISBN 081088352X, (pp. 88–89).
  4. ^ a b c Jason DeParle, "Why Gandhi Drives The Neoconservatives Crazy", The Washington Monthly, September 1983, (pp. 46–50)
  5. ^ Todd Gitlin. "Flat and Happy." The Wilson Quarterly (1993): 47–55.
  6. ^ a b "Yanqui, Si! UN, No!" Richard Grenier, Harper's Magazine, January 1984.
  7. ^ "Richard Grenier Obituary: View Richard Grenier's Obituary by The Washington Post". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 23, 2013.

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