- Current Issue
SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
During the Dog Days of the Cold War, the Soviet Union used to send “Youth Delegations” to international diplomatic events composed almost entirely of doddering 60-year-old-plus hacks. That’s pretty much what the Washington Post editorial page looks like nowadays, though in fairness to the Soviets, they were a far more lively, interesting bunch.
It’s hard to say which of the Post’s writers produces the greatest quantity of drivel, but Richard Cohen is a strong contender for the crown. Cohen, of course, has been awful for years, but today’s column, “President Obama’s enigmatic intellectualism,” marks a breakthrough in terms of pure idiocy. Cohen writes:
What these people were seeking was not an eruption of anger, not a tantrum and not a full-scale denunciation of an oil company. What they wanted instead was a sign that this catastrophe meant something to Obama, that it was not merely another problem that had crossed his desk — and this time just wouldn’t budge. He showed not the slightest sign in the idiom that really counts in a media age — body language — that he gave a damn.
So the president should be judged not on the basis of his policies, but on “body language.” And who better to interpret this than Richard Cohen.
Based on Obama’s body language, Cohen concludes that Obama’s foreign policy “has no heart at all” (which is true, but that’s no different than foreign policy under past presidents), and that Obama is emotionally shut down because his “father deserted the family and afterward visited his son only once.” Oh, and Cohen also has determined that Obama has no “pudding.”
I’m not a big fan of Obama’s but this is almost as embarrassing as the column that cost Sally Quinn her job.
Does the biggest threat to quality media come from bloggers in pajamas? The far bigger menace is posed by op-ed writers in Depends®.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Percentage of African countries in which it is illegal to practice homosexuality:
Scientists in Taiwan created transgenic pigs that glow in the dark.
In Norfolk six black-tipped reef sharks, a bonnethead shark, a bowmouth guitar shark, six penguins, and a green sea turtle were evacuated from the Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary because of flooding.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
Notes on South Africa’s failed revolution
“I will never know what goes on in your mind, or what that shield of a smile behind which we try to advance should tell us.”