The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

No Argument Here

Posted on | November 24, 2010 | 1 Comment

Whatever else you want to argue with on Alex Pareene’s list of America’s worst hacks — my original criticisms here — no one can possibly disagree with his choice for No. 1:

The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen has been a columnist since 1976. He’s good friends with Ben Bradlee and Sally Quinn. He works one day a week. At a certain point, in that exceptionally privileged and cushy position, his brain disintegrated. . . .
That’s how we get work like “leave Roman Polanski alone!” and sending me mean e-mails is “digital lynching” and affirmative action punishes all white people and you stupid snot-nosed bloggers don’t get that Cheney was probably right to torture people and Barack Obama should read a newspaper instead of a BlackBerry because a BlackBerry is full of lies. All in the singularly smug, grating prose style of a man who knows he’s an immovable object in one of the most comfortable positions in all of journalism.

The real journalistic tragedy is that, in an age of shrinking newspapers, Cohen — a sloppy thinker and a worse writer — is permitted to waste 18 precious column-inches on one of the most valuable pages in America.

When I think of Richard Cohen, I have to repress a tear.

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EDITORIAL NOTE: I’ve just added to the sidebar two useful features — Archives and Search — that previously had been omitted. Some readers had complained about the absence of these features. When Smitty switched us over to WordPress, there was concern about the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Stupid) and we didn’t have anything to archive yet, so that got left off. Now we’ve got a full 11 months of stuff, the archives make more sense. Ditto the search function. We’ve managed to sling more than 2,500 posts so far this year, which makes for lots of stuff to search through.


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