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I was going to look at that issue of Newsweek, since we have a subscription for some reason (my wife likes it), but she spirited it away to some other room of the house than the breakfast table, which is the only place I read magazines. So I haven't taken a look; apparently it's not worth it, but now I do have a morbid curiosity.

You think Fareed Zakaria is dopey? I've never been less than impressed with him when he appears on the Daily Show, and the articles I've read seem pretty good. Perhaps my lack of knowledge about actual news and discussion of world events is the problem. You should change the title of the column to Economist vs. Idiot (who is still smarter than Matt Brady).

In other Newsweek commentary, it amused me greatly when my grandmother, upon spotting an issue of the magazine, declared it to be very, very liberal. I guess that's what you think when you're a Sean Hannity fan.

Work gets Newsweek, so its something I skim thru on Tuesday nights. I can't say I liked the new format much, but I didn't take a close enough look to spot all the flaws you did. Though I'm with Brady, could you expand on that Zakaria = Dopey?

Following on Matt's comment, I think it's funny the Idiot can read the Economist in a week and I...don't fare so well. I'm managing one full issue each month and the commentaries and Leaders for the other weeks. I think your comment about their bend it over and take it on the financial buyouts is spot on, but that's the take in *every* financially minded publication. I mean, it's their paycheck. Back in 2001, when the computer industry was dying, I was up in arms and yelling about how exporting all the programming gigs out of the MidWest was the worst thing ever - basically sounding like every financial journalist right now. So, I give them a pass on that stuff.

Oh yeah, earlier Economist vs Idiot features would be awesome!

O think Advance Common Sense misses the boat by not having Just Dropped In by Kenny Rogers as your theme song. If you're going to do the whole backwards guitar riff thing, might as well go with the classic, nawmean?

Eating that comic looks painful.

I don't recommend eating them. I bet it would have been easier to use an old comic, or maybe to have soaked it in water. Either way, i sliced open both sides of my mouth and food tasted shitty for the next couple of days. Lesson learned!

Zakaria: I'll be honest: i like him fine on talk shows, i think he's well-spoken and I find him generally agreeable on the standard political/social type things. But the same could be said of a shitload of columnists, and that's mostly why I don't pay much attention to columnists. I've never found anything he's written to be remotely challenging--it's just comfortable back-pat writing, more of "well, this guy agrees with me on things, isn't that nice, how smart of him to do so."

I guess it comes down to what you look to these people for--the only piece I really liked in this issue of Newsweek was one about how spending your time within a culture of agreement makes one more likely to fall further on the extremist line. If you're a leftist who only reads Huffington, watches Jon Stewart, spends all your time hating on the Fox news channel, doesn't know anybody who voted for Bush, you start to become a bit of a lunatic in the same way that people like Sean Hannity or Ann Coulter are. You lose your perspective, and you lose the ability to actually debate and learn from people who disagree with you. I don't have anything against watching or reading people I agree with on principle--i'm not anti-Zakaria--but I don't find it benefits me much to read him on a regular basis, because I usually just nod along with his general premise and walk away thinking how smart I am. But that's bullshit: I'm not that smart. I'm not that educated. I'm a news-junkie, but I certainly don't know enough to get cocky about it. And the guys I disagree with--those are the ones who get me working to figure out why. I want to have an actual, factual reason why I don't agree with the Economist on a bail-out issue, I don't want to just parrot something I read in Reason. For me, reading guys like Zakaria, guys whose main goal strikes me as a sort of "dumbing down" the news cycle--they make me lazy.

Matt/Lurker: Just to be clear with you two, since you asked: you see how I'm using "i" and "me"? That's because I want to be abundantly clear that this is a totally personal method, it isn't one that I think anybody else SHOULD be doing, I don't think it's the "right" way. This isn't something Nina does, it isn't what my brother does (my brother knows this shit better than me, by far). It's just the way my dad did it, and while that sounds cheesy, it's true: find the smartest motherfucker you don't agree with, and figure out why they're wrong. Do it on your own. Does it prove beneficial to me? I couldn't tell you. I hope so.

That was incredibly well-said, Stoney. More proof that you're not the idiot you claim to be. Your secret is out!

Ooh, sorry about the mouth. You have suffered for your art!

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