Writing II

As long as we’re doing tributes to good writing, try Somerby:

BUZZ, SPIN AND NARRATIVE: It will take a while for spin to form. But we did emit dark chuckles when Aaron Brown asked the Boston Globe’s Nina Easton about last night’s just-concluded debate. The great gods Buzz and Spin weren’t yet active. So Easton bowed low to her cohort’s third great god—Narrative:

EASTON (9/30/00): I think very much tonight you saw—you saw clearly two different men. You saw a thinker and a believer.

You saw in John Kerry—if you want, nuance and complexity, this was your guy. If you. if you want boldness, clarity and so forth, George Bush was your guy. And I do agree with Terry [Neal]. I think it was more of a draw than the initial polls we’re seeing.

If you want nuance, your guy was Kerry. If you want clarity, your guy was Bush. And if you want Narrative, just call for Nina Easton! Would anyone have described the debate this way except in fealty to this great god? Brilliantly mouthing these familiar old spins, Easton reminded us how her tribe works. In time, their great god Buzz will send new Spin to earth. But while they wait for Spin to appear, some pundits bow low to Narrative.