Maybe I’m just cranky this morning, but doesn’t it seem like the NY Times columnists are getting creepier and creepier. I’m not talking about the new addition, Bill Kristol, although he certainly adds a creepy dimension to the line up since his main goal in life seems to be dreaming up new countries to invade. Or, dreaming up new reasons to invade countries already deemed worthy of invasion. On a good day I imagine he could come up with a reason to invade Canada. It goes without saying that those who would dare oppose his Canadian Liberation are cowards and fools.
No, Kristol is in a league by himself. I’m thinking more of people like Tom Friedman. In his latest column Friedman, as usual, sets things up by telling us that he has been traveling all over the place and talking to all kinds of people and from that experience he’s formed some grand conclusions. The formula has been so successful for him that he recently expanded it into book-length when traveled the world and discovered that It’s Flat.
The formula continues in the most recent column in which Friedman tells us he’s been traveling America, and Americans, he informs us, want to rebuild their country. But that takes leadership, he says, and that’s been lacking: Thus the title of his column, “Who Will Tell the People?”, and thus the grand conclusion:
“We need a president who is tough enough to tell the truth to the American people. Any one of the candidates can answer the Red Phone at 3 a.m. in the White House bedroom. I’m voting for the one who can talk straight to the American people on national TV — at 8 p.m. — from the White House East Room.
Who will tell the people? We are not who we think we are. We are living on borrowed time and borrowed dimes. We still have all the potential for greatness, but only if we get back to work on our country.”
I wouldn’t argue with the sentiment, I guess, although it’s not totally clear what he wants us to work on. The problem is how cliched and hackneyed the writing is. He sounds like a high school sophomore running for class president: “people need to get involved”.
Then we have Maureen Dowd whose columns read like the the spiteful musings of the girl who never got to be a cheerleader—and never got over it. Forty years ago she directed her petulant malice toward classmates. These days she directs it toward candidates for president of the United States. It’s embarrassing to read. In fact I didn’t read here latest column. The mere title, “Butterflies Aren’t Free”, is cringe inducing.
This is what passes for political commentary at the NY Times. Frickin’ A.