Don’t miss this wonderful little WSJ piece about the cottage industry of former white-collar felons consulting with incoming white-collar felons on how to survive prison.
The piece is worth reading on its own merits, but what’s really great is that it highlights the chasm between the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. You can tell, pretty easily, how just about every line in this piece would have been written by a Times reporter: ponderous, diligent, hectoring.
Instead, the Journal’s Michael Rothfeld is sly, cheeky, and fun. Look at the way he slips “courtesy flush” in there–it’s not just hysterical, it’s artfully done. He’s got such a great punchline that he knows he doesn’t have to do cartwheels around it. He just pulls the pin on the grenade, drops it, and slips out the back door.
I’ve never been quite able to understand why the NYT–outside the precincts of the Sunday Magazine–is so hostile to good writing. Maybe it comes with the burdens of being the paper of record.