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Friday, August 28, 2020

Peter Baker - perhaps the worst reporter of his generation!

 I have a special affection for Peter Baker. He is, perhaps, the worst reporter of his generation. It is a much coveted title, and so many others have struggled for the fool's gold, but Baker always carries it away by his delightful blend of sycophancy and an inability to analyse that would make a brick proud. His portrait of Trump, in the NYT, is full of Bakerisms, too many to count! It starts out with promise, and just gets better: "For a man on the edge of history, President Trump sounded calm and relaxed." This is a lesson to all reporters - you begin portentiously, and proceed to produce, oh, the prose equivalent of earwax. The edge of history? Well, it is a wonder someone on the edge of history sounds calm and relaxed - not just calm, and not just relaxed, but a twofer! and that's your lead. The lead could have been - for a man with a nineinch dick (as has been the case of all our great presidents!), President Trump has the most awesome voice, and I shivered to hear it over the phone talking to little me! Sure, Baker considered it, fact checked it on Google (do all preznits has 9 incher?) but then - cause he's a reporter and a writer - he scratched it out. It might seem too intimate. How about the edge of history? Ah, that's the spirit!

The wonders of Bakery are here for the fans. For instance, this paragraph, after the one where Baker asks: how have you changed? A question his teacher gave him points for in the eighth grade - and which he has treasured ever since. The man on the edge of history, calmly and relaxedly, replied:
“I think I really am a little bit more circumspect.”
Which brings about this incredibly amazing analysis (which his eighth grade teacher might have frowned about - how to encourage Pete while discouraging, uh, his tendency to truism?)
"By that he seemed to mean that he had hardened after the many investigations and political attacks that have characterized his presidency. But he is not one for introspection. How would he be different in a second term? Really not much at all. “I think I’d be similar,” he said. Which is exactly what his supporters want and his opponents fear."
You can write this way forever! And get the big bucks from the NYT, which is nice. Especially as the man on the edge of history has been nice to people in Pete and Susan's income bracket.

1 comment:

Bruce said...

Shhhh. We don't talk about money here.