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BEST COLUMNIST Minneapolis 2004 - Brian Lambert

We're not sure how Brian Lambert summons the courage to crawl out of bed each morning. Covering the local media, particularly the broadcast version, is true car-wreck reporting. Run, kids! It's Trish Van Pilsum! And she's got a microphone! And then there's the really ugly part of Lambert's job: critiquing the dreck on TV other than the news. We have a feeling that Pioneer Press editor Vicki Gowler has to pump Lambert full of Vicodin and push him on an L.A.-bound plane each summer to preview the next round of tragic fare that the TV networks are about to foist on us. Yet somehow Lambert manages to maintain a caustic sense of humor about the whole ordeal. Occasionally he even locates a program worth recommending without more than a half-dozen caveats. Whether analyzing the continuous ratings freefall of KSTP-TV's 10:00 p.m. broadcast or illuminating the shortcomings of My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiancé, Lambert manages to write columns that are always sharp, enlightening, and funny--unlike so much of what shows up on our television screens.

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