In writing about the Helen Thomas affair, The Australian's Caroline Overington had this to say about opinion columnists:
"It's worth noting that Thomas's remarks about the Jews weren't said at a White House briefing, yet the White House Correspondents Association couldn't have seized more eagerly on the opportunity to 'revive the issue of whether it is appropriate for an opinion columnist [that is, a person whose stock in trade is snark and bile, who isn't there on a fact-finding mission but to giggle and snort] to have a front-row seat in the White House briefing room'. The answer, then and now, and here as well as there, is no." (Thomas goes from White House to the dog house, 10/6/10)
Talk about the emperor's clothes! You now have it from an insider that opinion columnists are all snark & bile, snort & giggle. And, absent a credible statement to the contrary by Overington, presumably that applies to the most opinionated of them all, The Australian's foreign editor Greg (Jerusalem Prize) Sheridan.
And speaking of snort & giggle, consider this little gem, again inspired by Thomas, from another snark & bile merchant, this time over at the Herald:
"There is no easy option here. Israel either allows Hamas to bomb it into oblivion or it keeps the blockade and hopes Gazans eventually become disillusioned with Hamas." (Acid tongue sinks the scribe who swam with anti-Israel sentiment, Miranda Devine, 10/6/10)
Snort & giggle? I nearly cacked myself!
PS: I couldn't help but notice this particular sentence in Devine's serving of s & b: "Reuters news agency has been criticised for cropping two photographs to remove knives shown in the hands of activists surrounding bloodied Israeli commandos." However, as one who, by definition, isn't on a fact-finding mission, I doubt she'd be interested in the story behind the (cropped) photo of the bearded, knife-wielding Muslim 'fanatic' which turned up in Haaretz with the label: 'An activist on board the Gaza flotilla holding a knife after Israel Navy commandos boarded their ship on May 31, 2010. Photo by: Provided by IDF Spokesperson's Office'. Check out (Updated) nailed again: IDF description of suspicious photo it distributed is retracted, 8/6/10, maxblumenthal.com)