Shawn Macomber’s American Spectator review of Christopher Hitchens’ fine collection Love, Poverty, and War called my attention to a great quotation from the introduction that I’d missed when reading it the first time:
I did not, I wish to state, become a journalist because there was no other ‘profession’ that would have me. I became a journalist because I did not want to rely on newspapers for information.
I promptly scrawled that second sentence on a legal pad with a Sharpie and taped it above my desk. There’s surely a place for what Jonathan Chait calls “ass-welt reporting,” it’s probably a little too tempting for a magazine writer, especially one who arrived there by way of blogging rather than, you know, actual beat reporting.