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Wednesday, January 03, 2007
(11:26 PM) | Stephen:
Joel Stein is a Funny, Funny Man

Via Ezra, we see Brad DeLong point out a particularly glaring error that Joel Stein made in the pages of the LA Times. Ezra considers it "quite the smackdown." Read Joel Stein's column and DeLong's post. Really. You don't even have to register to read Joel Stein's column.

Now that you're back, let me say that DeLong went easy on Joel Stein. He didn't mention that Joel Stein was actually comparing himself to Philip Roth, Tom Hanks and Martin Luther. He didn't point out that Stein's glaring error was in a column in which he talked about doing "a tiny bit of research, so [he's] already familiar with your brilliant argument."

Perhaps someone should also point out that Philip Roth's books are subject to reviews, as are all of Tom Hanks' movies. Increasingly, the people whose reviews count are not the self-appointed arbiters of what constitutes "good" or "bad," but the rabble itself as it posts its comments on whatever message board makes itself available.

I know that being a curmudgeonly columnist is a particular genre. I just don't remember it being one in which the columnist tells the readers that they are, essentially, useless irritants to him - an unusual position to take since most newspapers would like more readers, not less.

Mr. Stein, since you have that handy RSS feed, let me encourage you to do a tiny bit more research, or perhaps a bit more thinking examples through before writing your column. It would be nice if your editor caught these things, but good help is hard to find, I suppose. Above all else, when declaring that your opinions and thoughts matter more than the rest of us, please try to not get things so laughably wrong. It might cut down on all the responses calling you an idiot.

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