Monday, August 20, 2007

Tom Friedman's latest column begins:

Is the surge in Iraq working? That is the question that Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker will answer for us next month. I, alas, am not interested in their opinions.

It is not because I don’t hold both men in very high regard. I do. But I’m still not interested in their opinions. I’m only interested in yours. Yes, you — the person reading this column. You know more than you think.

Well, actually, Petraeus and Crocker won't answer --- the report issued over their names will actually be written with their "input" by White House political hacks, and if Friedman doesn't know that, he needs to read more blogs.

But, never mind that. We finally know why this double-Pulitzer winner, with access on tap to CEOs and heads of state the world over, keeps quoting taxi drivers: ordinary people know more.

Which suggests a modest proposal. If the Times wants to keep printing this stuff, great. But rather than let the wisdom of the taxi drivers get filtered through a millionaire stenographer, they should go to the source. They should hire a taxi driver. There are thousands of taxi drivers right in New York who could provide analysis of world events every bit as astute as what they've been getting from Friedman all these years. Heck, whether it's the hotspots of the Middle East, the worrisome developments in Russia, the newly burgeoning economy of India, or political crises in Pakistan, it doesn't take much digging at all to find a New York cabbie that actually speaks the language.


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