Lazy boy

class=img_thumbleft> Joe Soucheray has long set the standard among local newspaper columnists for least amount of toil per inch of copy. The Garage Logic host rarely manages to even make a phone call for his column. When Souch does actually pick up the receiver he documents the process in agonizing detail, as if we're supposed to be impressed by the suffering that he has endured in order to enlighten readers.

But today's column sets a new benchmark for lazy, ignorant punditry. The topic is a recent story in The New York Times analyzing the current state of the economy. Soucheray is appalled that the article apparently painted a less than Pangloss-ian view of the country's fiscal state.

I say "apparently" because Soucheray provides absolutely no specifics about the contents of the article. Owing to the supposed ethnic complexity of the reporter's name, he was incapable of locating the offending piece of prose. So readers are supposed to simply take it on good faith that the article is offensively pessimistic.

Now I can't be 100 percent certain (and am too lazy to call Soucheray and check), but chances are pretty darn good that this is the piece, by Vikas Bajaj (sounds like a terrorist!), that so pained him. Read it and make your own assessment of the story's merits. I'd say it's a hell of a lot more interesting and well reported than anything Soucheray's written in at least five years.

(Note to Private Capital Management: If you're looking to cut costs and increase profit margins at Knight Ridder, downsizing incompetent columnists might be a wise place to start.)

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