The Washington Post’s Assistant Editor, The New Service Bob Mitchell took a stab at critiquing his paper today, and opened with a humorous cover of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”
The Night Before the Critique
(with apologies to W. Clement Moore and Rep. John Dingell)
Five days before Christmas, the critique writer sighed.
So much has been written, so many things tried!
He searched and he pondered and he looked all around
In hopes of composing a treatise profound.
As the holiday neared with its calm mellow mood
And reporters awaited a quiet interlude,
The critique writer hoped for some interesting matter
Some issue or scandal about which to chatter.
But as Akridge migrated to the fourth floor
The muse was not with him; the prose did not soar.
The occasional spark of insight was fleeting,
Gone long before the 7 p.m. meeting.
He considered the standards of writers of yore
And wondered if he could contribute much more.
The critics type madly and are sometimes quite lyrical
Concerning production of “the daily miracle.”
The fine daily essays are crafted with care
Especially now that they’re read everywhere.
A cartoonist skewers our panda obsession
And deep thinkers denounce editorial regression.
On story length, bias, and Charles Darwin too
Reviewers weigh in with their point of view.
From Stuever! From Pearlstein! From Kaiser the Yalie!
From Hoffman! From Boltax! From David Von Drehle!
So after much meditation and thought
The critique writer’s essay would come to nought.
He’d focus instead on the real task at hand
To see how The Post covered news of the land.
But he knew he would be most grievously wrong
If he did not conclude this doggerel too long
With heartfelt wishes to all in the loop
For a great holiday and many a scoop.