Kind of off-topic, but since I came up with a plan to save journalism and America I thought I should share it: fire all the political writers and replace them with advice columnists. Let me explain.
As a case study, let’s take Chicago native Jacob Weisberg, editor of Slate. He was in the news awhile back because he wrote a book called The Bush Tragedy. In his essay “The Bush Who Got Away,” he explains that Bush wasn’t the moderate he sometimes said he would be, and that sucks. I guess we all learned something?
Not, it would seem, Weisberg. In 2006, when one would assume his thesis was becoming clear, he wrote “McCain’s not really a conservative,” which is all about how McCain is the “Teddy Roosevelt progressive” he says he is sometimes, and when he says he’s not, he’s not lying exactly, he’s:
“a politician in genuine flux”; “uncharacteristically calculating”; “temporarily turned into a performing elephant”; “choosing his battles far more selectively”; “pandering to the Republican base in a way that is politically shrewd”; “Discount his repositioning a bit”; “smoke signals”; “if you watch closely, you still catch plenty of signals”; “the old new McCain isn’t dead, just hiding out”; ” “lapses”; “a stratagem”; “a mandatory position he no longer believes in, if he ever really did”; “a conservative before he was a liberal before he became a conservative again”; “searching phase”;
and my favorite, written without apparent irony: “Despite his professions of fidelity, the pro-life lobby knows better than to trust him.” Oh, you think so, doctor? (All of those are phrases from one short essay.)
In other words, he’s not lying to you, he’s lying to them. Honest, baby. I’m totally different from the last guy who burned you, come back, baby, I swear.
I don’t think I have to tell you that Ask Amy wouldn’t stand for that B.S. Or Dan Savage, or Cary Tennis, or Ann Landers. They have various phrases ready for that scenario: “he’s just not that into you,” “DTMFA,” etc.
So let’s do it: think-tank dudes out, advice columnists in, for a funnier, more profane, more engaging, and more rational editorial section. Boredom? You’ll be begging for the primaries to continue.