Thursday, May 26, 2005

A Critique

Let's be up front: we're not big fans of Betty Stein's work.

Betty is a regular guest columnist for the N-S (her stuff appears under the heading "By the Way," a column by Betty Stein).

Stein is clearly old and also likely very nice, but her columns are not great reading. Nor are they good reading.

Take today's column, the second half of a two-parter in which Betty asks readers to write in with who they think are the "most inflential people of 2005." Mind you, she's asking this question before we've even reached the halfway point of the year.

This question-and-answer thing is Betty's favorite thing to do it seems, and why not? She gets two columns out of a single idea. First, the column talking about influential people and asking readers to share their picks. Then, the follow-up, in which she records a few of their responses.

It all makes for thrilling, persuasive and exciting columns -- okay, actually it doesn't. It's stale, it's staid, and it's not serving the readership.

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