Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Employment For the Chronically Demented

Many big-city newspapers seem to go out of their way to provide jobs for borderline mentally ill folks who would be unable to collect a paycheck outside the field of journalism. I am of course referring to those who write opinion pieces for major leftist dailies. What, did you think I was talking about the guys who bundle papers before tossing them on the truck?

This morning's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has three glaring examples of the kind of thing that I am talking about. First off is a column by Tony Norman on the subject of Jesse Helms's new autobiography. Tony starts off with a cynical reference to the Senate's odd apology for not passing anti-lynching bills in years long past (as if an institutional apology actually means anything), but quickly turns his piece into a Helms-bashing fest. Alongside some very valid criticism of Helms's past pro-segregation stance as well as of recent recollections thereof, Tony tosses in some strange, unverifiable and potentially slanderous intimations that Helms is/was a KKKer, a
Neanderthal (i.e. "knuckle-dragger"), and a lyncher, or at least that he condoned those who were. He also spends a significant portion of the column slamming the old man for having faulty and conflicting recollections of events that occurred when he was five years old. Unlike the blogs, newspapers are supposed to have editors, right? As newspaper columns go, this rates as an average blog post.

Then there is an attempt at humor by someone named Reg Henry. I can never tell if this guy is a political commentator trying to be a humorist, or a humorist trying to be a political commentator. Either way, he just comes off as cynical -- which is also more typical of a blog writer than someone over whom editorial control is supposed to be exercised. In this piece, Reg Henry sets up what I can only describe as a Strawman Shooting Gallery populated by future Bush judicial appointees. By the time I finished reading this, I couldn't figure out if the columnist was on drugs when he wrote it, or if he was in need of drugs.

Finally, we come to the PG's editorial page, where those who have crossed that borderline into full bore loon status put their questionable talents on display. Does anyone not think that DNC chair Howard Dean has proven himself to be an embarrassment and a laughing stock? Well, the Post-Gazette doesn't. In fact, they want more of the same. I won't even try to fisk this thing. I can just sum it (and the rest of the PG's opinion pieces) up in one word:


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