That’d be Thomas L. Friedman — New York Times columnist and author of Hot, Flat and Crowded, not free market Monchichi “Uncle Milty” Friedman.
Anyway, T. Friedman gets savagely burned in this New York Press article by Hunter S. Thompson counterfeit Matt Taibbi. Choice bits:
Where does a man who needs his own offshore drilling platform just to keep the east wing of his house heated get the balls to write a book chiding America for driving energy inefficient automobiles? Where does a guy whose family bulldozed 2.1 million square feet of pristine Hawaiian wilderness to put a Gap, an Old Navy, a Sears, an Abercrombie and even a motherfucking Foot Locker in paradise get off preaching to the rest of us about the need for a “Green Revolution”? Well, he’ll explain it all to you in 438 crisply written pages for just $27.95, $30.95 if you have the misfortune to be Canadian.
I think Friedman is doing his somewhat hypocritical part to prep Middle America for a shift in thinking regarding consumption and productivity. But Taibbi totally wins this round:
Remember Friedman’s take on Bush’s Iraq policy? “It’s OK to throw out your steering wheel,” he wrote, “as long as you remember you’re driving without one.” Picture that for a minute. Or how about Friedman’s analysis of America’s foreign policy outlook last May:
The first rule of holes is when you’re in one, stop digging.When you’re in three, bring a lot of shovels.”
First of all, how can any single person be in three holes at once? Secondly, what the fuck is he talking about? If you’re supposed to stop digging when you’re in one hole, why should you dig more in three? How does that even begin to make sense? It’s stuff like this that makes me wonder if the editors over at the New York Times editorial page spend their afternoons dropping acid or drinking rubbing alcohol. Sending a line like that into print is the journalism equivalent of a security guard at a nuke plant waving a pair of mullahs in explosive vests through the front gate. It should never, ever happen.
Perhaps they should settle this in a pay-per-view cage match, with proceeds going to the never-ending Wall Street bailout. We can let those bastards bet on the victor, too — but the losers will be exiled to Iceland where they’ll no doubt “fix” that country’s ravaged economy by selling Bjork to foreign multinationals.
[Hat tip to Josh]