I hold no grudge against Steve Luxenberg, editor of the Outlook section in Sunday’s Washington Post, even if he has never accepted a submission of mine (both of them) and today mischaracterized by insinuation the timing of Richard Clarke’s book, Against All Enemies. I actually liked most of what Luxenberg wrote in one of his rare columns.
But it’s in his role as Outlook editor that I have a major complaint. I’m losing valuable time on Sunday mornings.
I grab Outlook before any other section – and before my wife can get. And I usually don’t give it up until I’m finished. Fortunately, I get an hour or so jump on her Sunday mornings. But still, she waits.
The problem: Outlook is too good. Even when I disagree with an article, such as today’s major B1 cover piece from a Joel Kotkin, who I think has parsed one too many numbers and is exhibiting “behind-the-times-thinking” (inside joke) regarding media bias, I find arguments in Outlook at least intriguing enough (as opposed to most of what George Will writes) to read them.
Kotkin doesn’t try to hide his bias: “The mainstream media, the universities and the cultural establishment, including most of Hollywood, are the voices of [liberals], whose elites, like many of England’s Cavaliers and Charles I’s French wife before them, are most concerned with winning over continental opinion and mimicking the European way of life.”
Anybody who thinks the mainstream media is liberal is probably “mimicking the European way of life” in a remote Tuscany village with no access to U.S. media.
I certainly don’t agree with Melanie Scarborough’s philosophies, which can be summed up: What’s mine is mine, and what’s ours is mine, but I don’t want to pay for it. But today she raised questions about some programs that Democrats would be wise to answer.
Two articles (one here) in Outlook about college admissions were perfectly timed, especially for our family. Our oldest daughter is in the midst of “the wait.” Author Patricia Dalton sums up perfectly the imperfect sense those of us living in the Washington suburbs have about education and the pursuit of happiness.
The article on the upcoming Supreme Court case about when we must identify ourselves to authorities raised intriguing questions.
And then there’s the Op-ed and editorial pages, which are not edited by Luxenberg and therefore he is blameless.
I especially love reading editorials like today’s slamming Bush. You can almost hear the editors lament, “Man, were we hoodwinked or what. Please, sir, make us proud that we supported your silly war.”
I didn’t agree totally with Jim Hoagland’s op-ed column today, but he’s provocative. One might say “stunning.”
And Ombudsman Michael Getler summed up my feelings about whatever problems beset the journalism profession: Editors should share the blame. Well done.
So, Mr. Luxenberg, please get together with the editorial page editors and put out at least the occasional lousy Outlook. Then I’d have better things to do with my Sunday morning.