Eat The Press

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The New Yorker

In this week's New Yorker, Larissa MacFarquhar has done a goodly bit of fine sifting, identifying the ingredients to Barack Obama's approach to communicating with voters: "He tends to underplay his knowledge, acting less informed than he is. He rarely accuses, preferring to talk about problems in the passive voice, as things that are amiss with us rather than as wrongs that have been perpetrated by them. And the solutions he offers generally sound small and local rather than deep-reaching and systemic." Her conclusion? Obama is "The Conciliator." Matt Taibbi fans will be tickled by how quickly someone pulls out the ol' "Adlai Stevenson" label. We're just tickled that New Yorker readers will have to do something they rarely do: sit through about nine grafs on the ins and outs of ethanol farming.

Elsewhere, in this week's New Yorker:

  • "Don't Drive, He Said"

    Mayor Bloomberg committed a tree genocide in putting his one hundred and twenty seven point plan for a greener New York on paper. "Just one of them--congestion pricing--got almost all the attention."
  • "David Halberstam"

    George Packer's encomium to the late, great Halberstam offers: "Halberstam's wartime work will last not just because of its quality and its importance but because it established a new mode of journalism, one with which Americans are now so familiar that it's difficult to remember that someone had to invent it."
  • "What I Am"

    Ian Frazier attempts to use a dishwasher, which, naturally, leads to a massive identity crisis.
  • "Army Of Two"

    Sasha Frere-Jones divides his attention between two otherworldly chanteuses, finding Bjork to be full of "fearless curiosity" yet "eclectic to a fault" and Tori Amos to be "agressive and, occasionally overstated." Isn't this what people have been saying about those two for years?

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