Dec 182008

It’s a good thing the WSJ buried this story on page A13: “France Credits Deregulation for Cushioning its Economy.”

It’s a sacrilege. It’s heresy. Will the reporters (Sebastian Moffett and David Gauthier-Villars) ever get any of those awards that journalists give each other if anyone finds out what they’ve done?

Speaking of the incestuous system of journalistic awards, here‘s from the latest issue of The Weekly Standard:

We mention this not so much because of our admiration for Leonard Downie Jr.-more about him in a minute-but by virtue of our interest in the ancient journalistic practice of logrolling, back-scratching, mutual admiration, or whatever it is you want to call the business of news insiders shamelessly awarding prizes to each other. Downie, as we mentioned, was editor of the Washington Post from 1991 until this year; his predecessor at the Post (as readers might have guessed) was the same Benjamin C. Bradlee for whom the Benjamin C. Bradlee Award is named. Which, of course, was just awarded to Leonard Downie Jr.

THE SCRAPBOOK infers a couple of things from this. First, it explains why, year after year, Pulitzer prizes in journalism are equitably divided among deserving recipients at, oh, the Washington Post and the New York Times.

Second, it gives THE SCRAPBOOK some measure of hope. If this year’s Benjamin C. Bradlee Award goes to Benjamin C. Bradlee’s successor as editor at the Post, it stands to reason that, somewhere down the line, the coveted William Kristol Award might go to THE SCRAPBOOK! Of course, the fact that there is, at the moment, no William Kristol Award is not an obstacle: We’ll just establish something called the Scrapbook Foundation, and make its principal business the yearly presentation of the William Kristol Award, complete with a thousand-dollar-per-table banquet, C-SPAN coverage, and celebrity comedian/speaker.