The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Monday, December 15, 2003


A particularly noxious sort of opinion piece is one in which the author uses some momentous event to push for a completely unrelated pet idea. Here is today's San Jose Mercury News editorial:


An opportunity: Bush administration can use new momentum to gain broader international support
Mercury News Editorial

A window opened when American troops pulled Saddam Hussein out of his hidey-hole Saturday. The Bush administration eliminated the nightmare scenario of Saddam's return to power and, in the process, created the potential for the international cooperation that has been lacking in Iraq.

...

But with Saddam behind bars, the world knows today that the Baathists won't be returning to power. That could give Germany, France and Russia a reason to believe that significant progress is being made and that they should seize the opportunity to play a role.


The article is a continuing insult to one's intelligence. Germany, France, and Russia are not "the world." Those countries exerted considerable effort to keep Saddam in power. It is not credible to imagine that Baathists would return to power before or after Saddam's capture.

I imagine that there are two reasons why this drivel gets written and published. First, the author believes that his ideas are so important that any important event is a validation of them. "It's like angels are sounding their trumpets for my genius!" Second, the author works 9 to 5 for a monopoly newspaper and gets paid as long as he can generate a sufficient number of words.

This sort of nonsense is why I like to read opinion pieces in the blogosphere. There's no reason to pick up a tired old newspaper when you can get fresh views from smart and motivated bloggers. It would be like living in a state with 10 million Hispanics and getting your Mexican food at Taco Bell.


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