Selling Maureen Dowd's writing to a 17-year-old

Maureen Dowd's column is a showcase of great writing
Stephen Baker

I wish I could link to Maureen Dowd's column about Judy Miller. (Here are some excerpts.)It's an example of sharp writing being wielded as a cutting instrument. The fact that she's eviscerating her colleague makes it all the more noteworthy. She leads with a classic misdirection. "I've always liked Judy Miller." Then she tells why so many others hate her, but notes generously that Miller, for all her faults, added a touch of opera to the operation.

I'm going to show that column to my 17-year-old blogging son when he gets up this morning. (Could be a while.) Learn to write like that, I'll tell him, and you'll find somewhere to roost in this world, no matter who's running the information business.

A half hour later: He's reading it between bites of pancakes. His comment: "Alright." When pressed, he concedes, "The last paragraph is good." He's a tough sell.

For more analysis on Dowd's column, check out Jeff Jarvis.

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