Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The genius of Thomas Friedman

Tom Friedman was on Charlie Rose tonight. One of my favorite journalists, Matt Taibbi, wrote this hilarious review of The World is Flat a while back, in which he points out that
It's not that he occasionally screws up and fails to make his metaphors and images agree. It's that he always screws it up. He has an anti-ear, and it's absolutely infallible; he is a Joyce or a Flaubert in reverse, incapable of rendering even the smallest details without genius. The difference between Friedman and an ordinary bad writer is that an ordinary bad writer will, say, call some businessman a shark and have him say some tired, uninspired piece of dialogue: Friedman will have him spout it. And that's guaranteed, every single time. He never misses.

I was reminded of this while watching Charlie Rose. The man could not stop speaking in post-Bushian soundbites. Poor Charlie looked delirious by the end of it. Here's a random sample:

"If I have advice to parents, it's to get their kids into green industries. Green is the new red, white and blue. Green is what it means to be a new patriot!"

"Are you turning this into a book or something?" asks a palpably weary Charlie Rose.

"Yes, I'm putting it together now. I call it geo-green, because green isn't wimpy tree-huggers. Green is the new red, white and blue!"

Did you get that, everyone? Green is the new red state! Green is red and war is peace. Rawr!

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  • At 12:18 AM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Stupid NY Press for firing him. I love that article.

    Recent Rolling Stone article of his on Bush's Iraq speeches:

  • At 10:51 AM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Ha I love Matt Taibbi. I'm bookmarking rollingstone.com now.

    I asked him a question at some televised book reading last summer, and it was the first time I'd gotten uncontrollably nervous meeting a celebrity since the time I met my other hero, River Phoenix.

    Matt Taibbi, btw, is very masculine (though of the wiseass variety, not macho) in person and looks like a former college rower (i.e., ripped). For some reason I was expecting him to be scrawny and unintimidating.


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