If you've been wondering about the unique magic of a Frank Rich column, Mark Goldblatt sums it up for you, as part of a larger, tongue-in-cheek article about what makes liberals tick:
To consider the question of what makes a liberal a liberal, I’ll need to slide on my special soul-searching goggles and peer deeply into the mental lives of people with whom I disagree, to indulge in amateur psychologizing, to treat wild supposition as fact, to disregard evidentiary standards and analytical decency—in other words, I’ll need to write a Frank Rich column. This is no easy task. Maybe if I were a film critic peter-principled into the realm of political discourse, I’d be more comfortable with foreshortening the argumentative process to a series of thumbs-up/thumbs-down rhetorical moments; instead, I’ve developed the inconvenient habit of substantiating what I say, of grounding inference in specific observation, of keeping broad generalizations to a minimum.
That's pretty much sums up Rich's writing. I was almost completely ready to laugh at the fact that he's a "film critic peter-principled in the realm of political discourse" until I remembered that most of us bloggers are that too (not film critics, iI mean, but certainly not people with political and public service careers behind us). However, I guess the distinction is that we're not paid a huge salary and advertised by the world's most powerful newspaper as brilliant political analysts. Again, it goes back to my rant about the newspapers' self-presentation: they pretend that their reporters are both qualified and objective. They'd do much better, and significantly enhance their credibility, if they'd admit their, and their reporters', own biases.Email This Post To A Friend
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