Saturday, June 04, 2005

Now I know why the New York Times doesn't have Sunday funnies! 

They've got David "I'm Writing as Bad as I Can" Brooks!

I turned to the Times editorial page just to see if Brooks could write a whole column about Watergate without using the words "crime" or "criminal." Do you think he passed the test? Take all the time you need. That's enough, right? Of course.

But Brooks does emit this little crotte of snark ("Life Lessons From Watergate"):

Places like Washington and New York attract large numbers of ambitious young people who have spent their short lives engaged in highly structured striving: getting good grades, getting into college. Suddenly they are spit out into the vast, anarchic world of adulthood, surrounded by a teeming horde of scrambling peers, and a chaos of possibilities and pitfalls.
Entering the world of the Higher Shamelessness, they begin networking like mad, cultivating the fine art of false modesty and calculated friendships. The most nakedly ambitious - the blogging Junior Lippmanns - rarely win in the long run, but that doesn't mean you can't mass e-mail your essays for obscure online sites with little "Thought you might be interested" notes.

They create informal mutual promotion societies, weighing who will be the crucial members of their cohort, engaging in the dangerous game of lateral kissing up, hunting for the spouse who will look handsomely supportive during some future confirmation hearing, nurturing a dislike for the person who will be the chief rival when the New Yorker editing job opens up in 2027.

And of course they are always mentor-hunting, looking for that wise old Moses who will lead them through the wilderness and end their uncertainty. They discover that it's socially acceptable to flatter your bosses by day so long as you are blasphemously derisive about them while drinking with your buddies at night.

This is now a normal stage of life. And if Bob Woodward could get through something like it, perhaps they will too.

For that is the purpose of Watergate in today's culture. It isn't about Nixon and the cover-up anymore. It's about Woodward and Bernstein. Watergate has become a modern Horatio Alger story, a real-life fairy tale, an inspiring ode for mediacentric college types - about the two young men who found exciting and challenging jobs, who slew the dragon, who became rich and famous by doing good and who were played by Redford and Hoffman in the movie version.

Woodward was nervous once, like you.
(via NY Times)

Ready for your closeup, Mr. Brooks?

Just because Josh Marshall has John Edwards opening for him at TPM cafe, and Kos and Atrios have millions of readers, many of them "diggers" doing actual research, instead of regurgitating talking points from the Republican Noise Machine... Well, that's no reason for Brooks to feel he's losing his place at the top of the greasy pole, is it?

Or maybe it is.

"Nervous," eh? I'd say this is a classic case of WPS (Winger Projection Syndrome).

Poor, poor David Brooks. He's a shop-soiled, aging diva, long past his sell-by date. Maybe if he lost some weight ....

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