Home/Daniel Larison/A Simple Guide To Writing Horrible Op-Eds

A Simple Guide To Writing Horrible Op-Eds

Naturally, Jamie Kirchick offers us an example of just how to do this. The most important thing in writing horrible op-eds on Obama’s foreign policy is to misrepresent absolutely everything that he has said and done over the last three months, deliberately ignore any information that would allow a fair and intelligent assessment of his statements (e.g., when Obama referred to European anti-Americanism as “insidious”), and then to use a series of words–feckless, embolden, decline–in almost any way you like to show that you have no understanding of diplomacy or international affairs. If at all possible, in order to write one of the worst pieces one can, one should frequently complain about criticisms of the previous administration’s foreign policy that Obama has never made while in office. It is also useful to take every acknowledgment of the concerns and perceptions of Obama’s audience (e.g., the fear that America is at war with Islam) as character assassination directed against Bush, as if Bush’s own statements to this effect were some sort of coy attack on his predecessor. Above all, it helps to be extremely dense and ideologically-motivated.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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