April 27, 2004

Earth to Oliphant: So What?

Eyewitness to Prisstory

Thomas Oliphant, one of the Democrats most prissy pecksniff's came to the party today to say "ON THE WAY to the fence where he threw some of his military decorations 33 years ago, I was 4 or 5 feet behind John Kerry."

While this sort of supercilious commentary is Oliphant's stock and trade, it still sets my teeth on fire. It's an item whose sole functin is to pump up the vanity of the commentator. It's neither news nor "views" when an incident has been recorded on film, audio tape, and in dozens of reporters' notebooks. You will recall that Kerry's medal moment was not a secret ritual, but a staged media event which the media duly attended en masse.

All Oliphant's little memoir amounts to is vain primping in front of the mirror: "Can you hear me, History? It's me, Tom."

We mourn the passing of a perfectly good question out of the media's playbook: SO WHAT?

As the pablum of this political season proliferates, it seems to me good way to reduce it to a bowl that any sensible person would consider eating, is to first and foremostthrow our the useless carbs. When confronted with what I shall term an "Oliphantism" (That which seems like a story but is really an advertisement for the self) a wise editor should apply the question: SO WHAT?

The mere application of such a question carries the answer: SO NOTHING.

Do editors really want their readers' teeth to burst into flame? Too many Oliphantisms and readers of the Boston Globe may find themselves saying: "The Boston Globe? SO WHAT?"

Posted by Vanderleun at April 27, 2004 8:30 AM
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