February 12, 2005

Column 2005-2-12 Commentary

Today's commentary will be short, because today's column is not really worth talking about. Brooks intends for it to be a humorously satirical look at the foibles of Washington's political and journalistic elites. Unfortunately, it's not particularly funny. And the particular foible which Brooks attempts to skewer is the strange tendency of Washington's elites to discriminate on the basis of careers. I'm just shocked. Of course, in a column like this, one can never be sure to what extent Brooks is serious because of the tendency of his jokes to not be funny. It's possible that he doesn't intend any of it to be taken seriously and simply lacks the ability to write humorous pieces. Regardless of the amount of humor he is attempting, he comes off as a consummate (and rather pompous) insider. Frankly, who cares how season tickets for the Washington Nationals are distributed? Does the fact that VIP's in Washington are taken care of first actually surprise anybody? I won't even go into the question of its relevance to anything outside of Washington. The most objectionable sentence in the piece is "Doesn't [Washington Nationals president] Tavares know that in the city of Washington the number of self-defined Very Important People surpasses the actual population by 150,000 percent?" Doesn't Brooks know that there are people living in DC who can't afford to buy season tickets to the Nationals? It sounds to me like Brooks might be a member of those very East Coast media elites that he and the Republican party are always condemning. Strange how these things work out, isn't it?

Frankly, if this, coming on top of his recent run of lunacy, doesn't get him fired, I fear that nothing will. I even think that Brooks is having a bad effect on Friedman and Kristof. If the Times doesn't watch out, the whole editorial page may be going down the tubes.