A pundit of very few words: Charles Blow’s role at the New York Times? It's nice work—if you can get it.
The fellow composes one column per week. In Saturday’s newspaper, this was—no edits!—the good doctor’s latest:
BLOW (4/18/12): Young People’s PrioritiesThe doctor was IN—and we left nothing out! Blow’s piece ran 103 words—106, if you add in the headline. His prose was accompanied by a large, semi-bewildering graphic, which he basically cut-and-pasted from the appendix of this Harvard report.
Judging by this week’s debate, you would think that student loans are young people’s only priority. They’re not. In fact, a cleverly designed survey released this week by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics asked respondents ages 18 to 29 to choose between pairings of issues to determine which ones they felt were more important. Among domestic issues, creating jobs almost always won, while combating climate change almost never did. Immigration is also a losing issue (except when paired with climate change), while access to affordable health care is a winner. I found the results so interesting that I wanted to share them. Enjoy.
“Enjoy!” Blow instructed as he closed, sampling a generation of underemployed young wait-persons.
Enjoy! It would be easy to do with a job like Blow's!
We were struck by Blow’s pithy work product as we perused last Saturday's Times. But then, we had a similar reaction to the latest Gail Collins column, which appeared right next to Blow’s on that day's op-ed page.
Collins discussed, or seemed to discuss, a lengthy list of serious topics, not excluding the privatization of education, the worth and value of charter schools, the current state of high-stakes testing and the fate of a bunny who didn’t get strapped to the roof of anyone’s car. She received a long stream of complimentary comments from grateful liberal readers.
Today, we’re returning to our sprawling campus, leaving behind twelve first-week geese. Full services resume tomorrow.
As the week proceeds, we’ll look at Collins’ piece—and at the hundreds of comments which praised her work. We’ll also finish our delayed ruminations on David Carr’s Potemkin press coverage from last Monday’s Times.
We were very much struck by the Collins piece—and by the polymorphous praise it received from those grateful readers. In our view, the full package fully captures the age.
Our pensees will spill as the week proceeds. But for now, just click here! And enjoy!