On the Opinion Page: March 6, 2008


In which The Gay Recluse scores selected opinion pieces in The Times.

Gail Collins/Hillary’s Edge

The Short Version: Pennsylvania is the new Ohio.

In her words: “Then comes the kind of convention political reporters have dreamed about since we were little nerds in the third grade writing essays on the electoral college.”

Score: A-(Amusing)
We like this column because — even if it is nerdy — it’s both humorous and self-aware.

Nicholas Kristof/Good News: Karlo Will Live

The Short Version: Foreign aid can work: here’s the evidence.

In his words: “Yet this is a ‘good news’ column. Karlo will live.”

The Score: D (Depressing)
Although we are obviously happy for Karlo and his family, we are depressed by Kristoff’s world view and — most of all — his prose, in which he breaks things down into “good news” and “bad news,” as if we were three-year olds incapable of digesting a piece of real analysis.

Roger Cohen/The Obamas of the World

The Short Version: Obama’s half-sister lives in Kenya–omg!

In his words: “[U]nder the mango trees and beside the chickens poking around, sits Auma Obama, the senator’s older half-sister. She’s the key.”

The Score: D (Draining)
Ugh. Cohen tries to get literary and instead delivers an “animal-in-the-zoo” treatment that resonates with nothing but cheap mysticism and stereotype. Truly embarrassing.

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