How to enjoy bad punditry

David Brooks1It’s always fun when another David Brooks column pops up at nytimes.com, because literally within minutes, a torrent of wonderfully articulate reader criticism begins gushing in. Yesterday Mr. Brooks ventured to write about inequality, probably a poor choice for a pundit who is himself part of the 1%, but you know, it’s been in the news, and it’s by no means the first time he’s stepped on a rake.

This promptly generated over a thousand mercilessly critical reader comments. Well, to be fair, maybe they weren’t all critical. We just looked at the first 25 or so. Who’s got time for a thousand comments? Fortunately, the Times makes it easy to show the comments most recommended by other readers, and that allows a thousand comments to be workable and fun.

Frankly, THIS is the way the public dialog is supposed to work. Does anything like it happen in the US Senate? No. On TV? No. On cable? Hell, no. At least it’s occurring somewhere that matters at least a little bit.

We’ve heard that Mr. Brooks never reads the comments, and we’ve certainly never noticed that he benefits from the criticism, so we suppose it’s probably true that he does, as a matter of personal policy, hide from this withering (yet by internet standards, reasonably well-mannered) bombardment of correction from his readership. Brooks may hide, but everyone else should feel free to enjoy.