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Panagiotis "Taki" Theodoracopulos is a Greek-born journalist of extremely right-wing and occasionally racist opinions. Since 1977 he has written the long-running High Life column for The Spectator magazine, which may be intended to be a light-hearted diary but is full of score-settling, name-dropping, and bile. More recently he is known for Taki's Magazine which has become a house journal for the alt-right, while Taki has been called a "pioneer" of the reactionary and misogynistic movement. He styles himself a "playboy" although he sold his yacht Bushido in 2012.
He was born in Greece on August 11, 1936, the son of a shipping magnate.
His High Life column began in the Spectator in 1977, and still continues as of 2020. It has included bilious comments on many public figures, including calling Tony Blair's wife Cherie "not good-looking enough to be a whore" and senior British politician Jack Straw a "leftwing prick". In the 1970s he was involved in the same raffish but wealthy social circle as businessman and wannabe politician James Goldsmith and eccentric zookeeper John Aspinall (a man of extremely right-wing politics).
He founded the American Conservative magazine in 2002 with Pat Buchanan and Buchanan-supporter Scott McConnell.
He has squabbled with many people in the media. The staff of satirical news magazine Private Eye are not fans, frequently referring to his cocaine use and playboy reputation, while Taki called editor Ian Hislop a "dwarf". He used the Spectator to attack Eye columnist Craig Brown when Brown parodied Taki's diary; according to Miles Kington, Taki lambasted the parodist in 1994 "as an unbearably ugly, jealous, socially undistinguished literary thug who was so undesirable a person that he was actually barred from eating at Annabel's.". Taki's friendship with James Goldsmith, another enemy of the Eye, probably contributed to the feud.
Taki supported Neil Hamilton in his failed lawsuit against Egyptian businessman and conspiracy theorist Mohammed Al-Fayed, and fell out with right-wing press baron Conrad Black who had the misjudgement to marry a Jewish woman, journalist Barbara Amiel.
In 2003, he and the then Spectator editor Boris Johnson were investigated by the Metropolitan Police in London after publishing an allegedly racist article attacking black lawyer and political activist Peter Herbert, which led to death threats against Herbert. In the article he also expressed his fondness for anti-immigration politician Enoch Powell, criticising West Indian immigration to the UK and complaining "The rivers of blood speech by Enoch was prophetic as well as true and look what the bullshitters of the time did to the great man."
His latest venture is the online publication Taki's Magazine, which was originally called Taki's Top Drawer but renamed to Taki's Magazine (Takimag for short) in 2008. It was a spin-off from the original "Taki's Top Drawer" column in the New York Press, a failed right-wing rival to the Village Voice in New York.
It's a magazine for erudite and witty racists to write against a background of tasteful graphic design. Its only good point is that its writers generally can in fact write well and have senses of humor, if exclusively in the direction of punching down. (Neoreactionaries showed up in the comments - until commenting was, thankfully, switched off - but the editors have the good sense not to put them to work on articles.)
As of 31 October 2016 its most popular articles are "Martin Luther King, Pussy Grabber" by Kathy Shaidle and "Whiteness: The Original Sin" by Jim Goad, which give a good idea of the content. Other articles include "A Woman Should Vote With Her Husband" by Gavin McInnes, and an article by Steve Sailer on how Democrats are attempting to rig every future election by encouraging immigration to the USA.
Former managing editor Richard Spencer is a white nationalist who is credited with coining the name "alt-right" for the movement he supports, whose members (in the words of The New Yorker) "wrap together the vicious misogyny and plaintive victimhood of GamerGate with Prussia-venerating neo-reactionaries".
It successfully trolled liberal America in 2012 when National Review columnist John Derbyshire told Takimag's (white and Asian-American) readers to stop their children from socialising with African Americans and stay away from black politicans. Gawker (an object of Taki's hatred) was not pleased, headlining a piece "Racist John Derbyshire Writes Most Racist Article Possible".
It is currently edited by Taki's daughter Mandolyna Theodoracopulos. Its regular contributors include:
- Pat Buchanan, serial Presidential candidate of questionable views on race
- Kathy Shaidle, whose profile boasts "She has been called 'a purveyor of some of the most offensive racial stereotypes I have ever read' by Bernie Farber of the Canadian Jewish Congress."
- Jim Goad, who served more than 2 years in jail for kidnapping his ex-wife, but is also something of a cult humorist
- Gavin McInnes, hipster supremo at Vice and a regular on Fox News and Glenn Beck's TheBlaze.
- Bunky Mortimer, an upper class buffoon who wrote mainly on alcoholic topics
- Allan Massie, a right-wing Scottish journalist with a fondness for the Roman Empire who called Britain's equivalent "on the whole a good thing"
- Theodore Dalrymple, an atheist skeptic and anti-liberal pessimist
- "Paul Kersey" (get it?), a rabid white supremacist who’s evidently too chickenshit to give his real name.
- See the Wikipedia article on Taki Theodoracopulos.
- Browned off: teased Taki, peeved Perry, harangued Harry, Miles Kington, The Independent, 1994
- Is the Alt-Right for real?, Benjamin Wallace Wells, The New Yorker, May 5, 2016
- The Playboy's Last Hurrah, Tanya Gold, The Guardian, 16 May 2011
- Where gossip turns to bile, Matt Wells, The Guardian, 28 Feb 2003
- The Strange Death of Tory England, Geoffrey Wheatcroft
- I'm not surprised that my friend Donald Trump is leading in the polls, Taki, The Spectator, Oct 2015
- The Donald vs the Greek shipping heir, The Daily Mail, 26 July 2011
- Spectator and its Tory MP editor may face charges over Taki race rant, Nick Hopkins, The Guardian, 28 Feb 2003
- See the Wikipedia article on Taki's Magazine.
- Rigging Elections, Steve Sailer, Taki's Mag
- National Review writer ignites firestorm over 'disgusting rant' on race, The Guardian, 6 April 2012
- Racist John Derbyshire Writes Most Racist Article Possible, Pegged to Trayvon Martin Case, Gawker, Maureen O'Connor, 04/06/12
- Contributors: Kathy Shaidle, Taki's Mag
- See the Wikipedia article on Jim Goad.
- See the Wikipedia article on Gavin McInnes.
- To Hell with Safe Spaces, Allan Massie, Taki's Mag
- Contributors: Paul Kersey, Taki's Mag