Friday, March 11, 2005

Great News! - Nah, Just Kidding...

From today's NY Times:

"In his time at The Times," Mr. Keller and Ms. Collins said in a note to the staff, "Frank Rich has repeatedly set milestones in the world of critical journalism. As a theater critic, he took his assignment beyond play-reviewing to become a ferocious and influential champion of what is good and original in the art form. As an Op-Ed columnist he pioneered a longer form of essay, which he performed while simultaneously writing in even greater depth for the magazine. "At Arts & Leisure he developed his own brand of social criticism, in a column that combined intensive reporting, immersion in the popular culture and a unique gift for seeing connections between culture and public life."

Yes, Rich has a unique gift (actually, one he shares with Maureen Dowd) - he can take any conceivable play, film, tv show, or event, and turn it into a denunciation of the the Bush administration and the stupid red state hicks who support it. A true renaissance man (did you realize before you read the above that he had pioneered that longer form of writing known as - I hope I get this right - the 'essay'?), Rich can write reviews, op-eds, and magazine articles that all make essentially the same point over and over.

Mr. Rich's column will be essay length, about twice the wordage of a typical Op-Ed column. It will "continue to mine the fertile field of popular culture, but with Op-Ed's greater license" for opinion writing, The Times said. In addition to his column, the expanded opinion pages will now include two other regular columnists each Sunday, as well as a guest columnist and the Public Editor column, moving from Page 2 of the Week in Review.

'...with Op-Ed's greater license for opinion writing' - please. Rich's columns have been nothing but Krugman Lite or Industrial-Strength Dowd for as long as I can remember.

Mr. Keller and Ms. Collins said Mr. Rich would have offices in both the Op-Ed department and the arts section, where he will be the senior adviser to the culture editor. As he has for the last two years, they said, he will monitor trends in the cultural worlds and recruit and develop talent. Mr. Rich's final Arts & Leisure column will appear on March 27. His Op-Ed column will begin on April 10.

So, look what we have to look forward to - an even wider audience for Rich's 'talent', as exemplified by this week's entry, a pointless, meandering take on Rich's favorite straw man, the incredibly repressive everyman conservative who is stifling the ability of people that Rich likes from telling dirty jokes and displaying full frontal nudity during Saturday morning TV hour, in pursuit of their art. How tiresome - another liberal crying out that he is being muzzled from that most prominent of platforms, the New York Times. Irony, it seems, is in short supply in the Big Apple these days.

No comments: