Sunday, September 25, 2005

THE LAZY COLUMNIST AWARD GOES TO ...

Mr. Brian Lewis, assistant editorial page editor for the Springfield News-Leader!

Sunday's newspaper includes Lewis' winning column, "What is the mission of the News-Leader?" With such a headline, you might think the column would be about the newspaper's mission. But that's far too obvious for Lewis.

Instead, Lewis explores a request from the National Conference of Editorial Writers to find "philosophies, missions, statements of principle, lofty language of any kind that you communicate to readers on what you aim for in your opinion pages."

(To his credit, Lewis admits this peg is just an excuse for a column.)

He then lists mission statements and/or wise words from more than a half-dozen other newspapers, before finally typing:
All of this got me to thinking. If you were to create a mission statement to put on the News-Leader's masthead, what would it be? Send me something short and I'll include it in a future column.

I'd also be interested to know what the phrase "'Tis a Privilege to live in the Ozarks" means to you. I suppose it's something different for everybody.
Can't get anything past this guy, can you?

3 comments:

General Tonic said...

Wow. Reads a bit like something you might find in a high school newspaper.

Anonymous said...

Brian Lewis is as lame in person as he is in print. Trust me on this...

Anonymous said...

Ron,

Even if Mr. Lewis weren't a better writer, sentence by sentence, than you are--and he certainly is--(reversing "all well and good" to "all good and well" doesn't make it not a cliche, Ron--and how much trouble is it to italicize the name of the paper?), his main claim over you as a writer is his heart for the greater good. What you've got, by contrast, is a hard-on for Ron Davis.

No amount of effort, and you certainly have put in some effort here, can overcome your profound absence of soul. Understanding that, I can see why you'd key on what you perceive as a writer's "laziness." You must be frustrated to see so much of your hard work come to no more than it has.

I remember the column you reference. In it, Mr. Lewis was trying to invite dialogue--asking questions, valuing the opinions of others, trying to make the paper more responsive to the community. I can see how the value of this gesture, and of Mr. Lewis's self-deprecating humor, would fly right by the man who helped bring us Springfield's vanity magazine, and who now self-publishes a blog where he gets to pretend he's a syndicated columnist.

Anonymous, unless you're cultivating a bitchy-head-cheerleader vibe, I wouldn't take your personability cues from Ron, whose idea of being a good person is being seen at Bijan's, sneering knowingly and wearing something hip.

Ron, here's hoping you can come to something better. Come to think of it, a spell of laziness on your part might do us all some good.