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What’s Weingarten Writing?

This week’s column by Gene Weingarten is filled with more lies than any other piece of writing you will read today. Thankfully, he admitted right up front that he was going to be lying in the story. It’s another attempt at comedy by WaPo‘s Pulitzer Prize-winining “humorist.” Gene tries to make the point that, in this political season, politicians can just make up whatever facts they want. The truth doesn’t matter.

To illustrate his point, Weingarten does what he does best: Relies on someone else to fill his column with content. This week, he turns to a reliable friend and fellow humorist, Gina Barreca. Gene tries to pull a fast one on Gina and springs stories on her that cited research that was completely made up. This opens the door for Barreca to generate all the punchlines in the piece. Once again, Gene plays the straight man while someone else writes the comedy in his humor column. In one exchange, Gene cites a story that shows that male bonobos monkeys handle stress better than females. When introduced to stress, the males sought refuge while the females did nothing. Here’s an example of Gene’s comedy genius:

Gene: Well, one of the stressors was a taxidermized crocodile. The male bonobos intelligently tried to seek higher ground. The females just shrieked at it.

Gina: Believe me, every woman on Earth has met that taxidermized crocodile. He is at every party and lurking behind every fifth personal ad. If you seek higher ground, he’ll just look up your skirt. Shrieking is usually more effective.

Boy, isn’t journalism great? Just bring in someone else to write all your good lines and – JACKPOT – you get a Pulitzer.


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