Friday, June 11, 2004

freedom from friedman

What is India's obsession with New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman? His column, with its weekly dose of homespun homilies and facile analysis, is syndicated in nearly all the national dailies. Perhaps India likes him because he took a late interest in outsourcing, expressing his admiration for the way desis have built that business? Maybe it's his begrudging support--sometimes--for the Palestinians, at least in the aftermath of Sharon's infamous security perimeter (the new Berlin Wall)? Those stances were admirable, but he always seems to be one step behind the news cycle, making a living out of translating news into conversational prose.

I don't get it. But something about this guy bugs me. Maybe I don't like him because his "plain speaking" reminds me of George W's attempt at folksiness--with his "die-hard" and "evil" "bad guys" he's compiling a dictionary of contemporary propaganda. Or maybe I don't like him because he's one of the many American journalists who've started referring to the United States as we and us, instead of plain old U.S. More than likely, though, I'm just getting tired of his unerring ability to point out the obvious, as in this week's column, in which he explains why Iraq won't be anything like D-Day.

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