Peter King has embarked on his annual four-week vacation. That may seem like a lot of time off to anyone who isn’t European, but then most people don’t realize how much it takes out of a person to aggressively resist fact-checking as hard as PK does.
Serving in his stead this week is Steve Gleason, the former Saints player diagnosed with ALS. Gleason gives an affecting, nuanced account of his experience living with limited faculties, his adventure traveling and his foundation’s work to improve access to technology for other ALS patients. He even takes a jab at PK at the end. Lofty effort.
In fact, it’s far more engaging than the column ever deserves to be. Which is why I’m gonna pass on the usual fisking and instead use another tack for our weekly dose of PK mockery.
Save for the fact that they write about different subject matter and one of them is Jewish, while the other worships some sort of nugget deity, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and Peter King are essentially the same person. Grossly overpaid, alarmingly lazy, bizarrely influential, obsequious to those in power, incredibly obtuse and consistently able to be amazed by everything. The resemblance in writing style is uncanny. To the point that, if you remove some context, it’s actually difficult to tell them apart.
And so, let’s try a little exercise in which I cull a section at random from each of their work and see if people have trouble discerning who wrote what.
A month ago I was in San Francisco and went for a walk. I was standing at an intersection waiting to cross the street when a man jogging and wearing his iPod came up next to me. As soon as the light turned green he sprinted into the crosswalk. But a woman driving a car — running a yellow light — almost hit him before she hit the brakes. The woman was holding a cellphone in her right ear and driving with her left hand. I thought to myself, I’ve just witnessed the first postmodern local news story, and I crafted the lead in my head: “A woman driving her car while speaking on her cellphone ran over a man jogging across the street while listening to his iPod. See page 6.”
Friday, 9:40 a.m., dog-walking near the corner of 56th Street and Second Avenue, on the east side of Manhattan, and I encountered several 40-ish women walking off the property of the High School of Art & Design. One was sobbing. I stopped for a second. A few other people stopped. One of the women looked at me and said, “Just had the moment of silence for Newtown.” We all understood.
Veteran masochists who regularly read one or (shudder) both of their work may recognize these passages, but for most, it might prove quite challenging. And mind-numbing.