Sunday, January 26, 2014

Write What You Know

In Variety, TV writer Brian Lowry announces "The Seven Most Tired Media Trends Of 2013."  The fifth is "Political columnists writing about pop culture." For instance, he complains about Ross Douthat commenting on 12 Years A Slave. As Lowry puts it:

Look, we all know newspapers are trying to reach a slightly younger audience, but that’s a poor excuse for dabbling in something about which most of these columnists [...] appear to know very little.

So I checked out the column.  Douthat is actually complaining about how liberal journalists, like Frank Rich and Jonathan Chait, are using 12 Years A Slave to prop up their own political viewpoints. They apparently hope conservatives will look at the horrors of slavery as depicted in the movie and be more likely to think it's wrong to oppose affirmative action or make a condescending statement toward President Obama.  Douthat, far from drawing any lessons from the movie, is merely noting these kinds of arguments are not persuasive--not even serious.

If anything, then, he's on Lowry's side when it comes to political columnists writing about pop culture.  And my guess is Brian Lowry would know that if he'd actually read the piece.


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