I’m a big fan of Gene Weingarten, The Washington Post‘s
humor writer. Not just because he has won two Pulitzers, which qualifies
him for journalist deification (careful how you type that …), or even
because his name includes my favorite beverage, but because he makes me
laugh every Sunday. Weingarten combines a canny understanding of human
foibles with a clear knowledge of what makes something funny, and then
tosses in the occasional potty joke for good measure.
is one I will keep and reread often. The folks at the Post Food section
have been bedeviled for years by a particularly misanthropic and
mean-spirited reader who posts snarky and well, downright false and
nasty comments on articles, blog posts and live chats. (He has also
pestered Todd Kliman over at Washingtonian, but lately seems rather
friendly toward Todd.) Last Thursday, this creep, using the alias
“sheepherder,” posted two particularly dyspeptic comments on my All You Can Eat blog post
about local wines (I ran the post here Friday, without the comments).
It seems that I never write about local wines, despite all the evidence
to the contrary.
So anyway, in Sunday’s column, Gene discusses how
the newspaper biz has changed in the digital age. He lauds “citizen
journalists” who post comments on articles, keeping journalists on their
I basically like “comments,” though they can seem a little jarring:
spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries
for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It’s as though when you order a
sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots.
Bless you, Gene. Thanks for the laugh, and for putting “sheepsh –” excuse me, “sheepherder” in his proper perspective.