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Columnist About Nothing

[ 0 ] February 27, 2007 |

You know what’s worse than giving op-ed space to people who write empty-headed fluff about things vaguely related to politics? Giving op-ed space to people who explain how they write empty-headed fluff about things vaguely related to politics in other media:

Because I had the longtime habit, inherited from my grandfather, of reading out loud whatever little things in the newspaper happened to catch my attention, I said: “Hmm. ‘Little known fact: at 59, Wesley Clark has only 5% body fat.’ “

My son Christopher, who was used to finding himself on the receiving end of this habit, came back with: “Should it be: ‘Wesley Clark is 5% body fat?’ “

That cracked me up, and, instantly making the transition from old family habit to new blogging habit, I posted our little interchange on my blog.

And her posts about how fictitious requests attributed to Nancy Pelosi prove that Pelosi’s a chardonnay-sipping elitist who hates the troops are totally nonpartisan don’t you know, and then somebody made an atypically dumb comment vaguely discussing some centralized blog committee and…Good God, who gives a shit? What could this possibly be doing in a serious newspaper? It makes Bobo’s rants about apocryphal parents who make their kids listen to TV on the Radio look like Gunnar Myrdal.

As an antidote, yesterday the Times published this:

Six years ago a man unsuited both by intellect and by temperament for high office somehow ended up running the country.

How did that happen? First, he got the Republican nomination by locking up the big money early.

Then, he got within chad-and-butterfly range of the White House because the public, enthusiastically encouraged by many in the news media, treated the presidential election like a high school popularity contest. The successful candidate received kid-gloves treatment — and a free pass on the fuzzy math of his policy proposals — because he seemed like a fun guy to hang out with, while the unsuccessful candidate was subjected to sniggering mockery over his clothing and his mannerisms.

Today, with thousands of Americans and tens of thousands of Iraqis dead thanks to presidential folly, with Al Qaeda resurgent and Afghanistan on the brink, you’d think we would have learned a lesson. But the early signs aren’t encouraging.

Yeah, and one person who seems to have learned nothing is Gail Collins Andrew Rosenthal. Frankly, it’s amazing that Krugman keeps his job.

…my bet on the Times’ next columnist: Tom Maguire. (Edroso: “I understand nearly 40 million people in the U.S. watched the Oscars last night. And from what I see on the blogs, 20 million of them were right-wing dorks looking for something to bitch about.” Indeed.)

…Corrected the name of the responsible party at the Times–thanks to TS.

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