She always sounds like this, no matter the subject. Noonan never conveys any actual content. Instead, she communicates a feeling. It’s a droning ambiance, the promise that no matter what happens, everything’s gonna be okay. If whatever issue were really and truly dire, then of course Noonan wouldn’t even be there, because her very presence demonstrates that we’re not taking it seriously. She is simply incompatible with relevance and urgency.
There is certainly a lot for a prospective journalist or political writer to learn from Peggy Noonan. She is a case study on insubstantial journalism and on how to build a successful career as a political flack pretending to be a journalist. But I really can’t figure out what Harvard’s IOP was thinking bringing her on as a teaching fellow. With print journalism in free fall and cable TV news degenerating into a cannibalistic exercise in gimmicky brinksmanship, graduate programs need to think long and hard about how they train incoming generations of journalists. Professor Noonan is not going to cut it.
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