Snide. David Brooks seems to attract a lot of callow young guys eager to pile on criticism over discrepancies that don’t really invalidate what he’s doing, which is staying abreast of and reporting on emerging trends in scientific and social culture. I don’t think he makes any pretense of being comprehensive or infallible, unlike some of these budding young pedants with their own web pages.
Snide, indeed. I agree that what Brooks is doing is important, but he made plenty of substantive and controversial claims that went beyond mere “reporting”. Heaven forbid that a budding young pedant should call attention to his fallibility.
Ha, good points John. I guess I would say that some brash young writers could do worse than emulate David Brooks’ humility, whatever they think of his ideas. Some of the higher-profile names in the blogosphere are really very poor role models, whether or not one agrees with their arguments.