Thomas Friedman = Captain Obvious

It’s become something of a sport for pundits to kick NYT columnist Thomas Friedman for his increasingly bizarre columns. He recently, for example, had the realisation that maybe the financial crisis would disrupt other policy initiatives. And before that he surmised that the solution to our woes was that we didn’t have enough venture capital — an idea roundly dismissed by VCs themselves.

Anyway, Jon Friedman, the awesome media critic at MarketWatch has a great takedown of Thomas Friedman (no relation). Here’s a sample:

Friedman often irritates me. When he is at his weakest, I might as well rename his column “Stating the Obvious.” Let’s examine passages from three pieces published last month:

  • March 17: “Obama’s Real Test” — “Will it work? We can only hope. But I know this for sure: unless the banks are healed, the economy can’t lift off, and that bank healing is not going to happen without another big, broad taxpayer safety net.”
  • March 10: “This Is Not a Test. This Is Not a Test.” — “Friends, this is not a test. Economically, this is the big one. This is August 1914. This is the morning after Pearl Harbor. This is 9/12. Yet, in too many ways, we seem to be playing politics as usual.”
  • March 3: “Obama’s Ball and Chain” — “Our banking system is in so much trouble that everyone is searching for the silver-bullet solution — and the person who can describe it. Alas, there is no silver bullet.”

You know what? If someone with less notoriety than Friedman had written that stuff, he or she might have been accused of pontificating — at the very least.
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