A Good Story

I am a regular reader of Newsweek magazine. Most of the time, I don’t like what I read in there. I find its journalism often sloppy, if not downright dishonest. The fact is, I read it through gritted teeth most of the time.

For instance, I think they’re highly tilted toward John McCain in this election. He was their preferred candidate during the Republican primaries. Although they’re intrigued by Sen. Barack Obama’s candidacy, especially now that he’s the Democratic Party nominee, McCain remains their man.

They’ll do anything, including shred any credibility the magazine has left to get him elected.

But, I am writing today to praise Newsweek, not to bash it. At least praise Christopher Dickey, its longtime foreign correspondent, for a superb piece on the magazine’s cover this week.

Southern Discomfort is a special piece of journalism, well written. As a writer, one of the things I struggle with is the pronoun “I.” Dickey wielded it judiciously in this piece to great effect. He did not get in the way of telling this story, which is quite an achievement.

I could try to quote from it but there’s so much that’s good in the piece that you, dear readers, would be better off buying the magazine at the newsstand, or reading the piece here:

I cannot resist one quote from the article, which got me:

“I think if there were a better economy more people would take a risk on Obama,” said Patricia Murtaugh Wise, a lawyer from Nashville sightseeing with her kids at Atlanta’s landmark Varsity Drive-In restaurant. Her friends are blaming Bush more than his party, she said. “I’m not sure people are saying, ‘Because Bush got us into this, let’s vote for a Democrat.’ I think people are saying, ‘Let’s get a new person in there’.”

Her name notwithstanding, the quote and the reasoning behind it are patently stupid. If, as the woman said, times are good, her excuse not to vote for Obama would be that he’d ruin the good thing she had going.