"Too wierd to live, too rare to die" - HST
Representative Tim Walz (D-MN) visited the high school where he taught before becoming the first public servant in the United States Congress. His visit was chronicled locally and nationally, setting the stage for today's battle. The arena is a "series of tubes" called "internets." The cage is the fence around the fourth estate. It's about to get biblical as David, played by Dan Linehan, weighing in as a 2005 graduate of St. Thomas University and representing the Mankato Free Press, takes on Goliath, evinced by Columbia University journalism professor Samuel Freedman and representing the New York Times. Officiating tonight's bout is perennial University of Minnesota senior Andrew Eggenberger. "Protect yer subjunctives boys, cuz i'm gonna let this one go 'til acute Carpal Tunnel gives one of y'all apoplexy. Let's get ready to journaaaaaaaaaaal!"
As the bell rings, it's clear that both scribes will be journaling in the vaunted "Wall Street Journal" style. Linehan posts up in a classroom, adopting a student's-eye perspective. Freedman, who seems to have been part of the congressman's entourage, benefits from his subject-oriented posture, capturing the bounding janitor in all his corn pone flyover country glory. For the moment, it seems Freedman is out-localing this yokel. Result: Freedman
Round 2: "We'll never make the nut unless we have unlimited credit" - HST
The respective nut graphs are very similar. Freedman's required more context due to his divergent audience but was artfully composed nonetheless. Linehan wields brevity to impressive effect, forcing a stalemate. Result: draw.
Round 3: "It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place" - LC
Linehan looks tired. He sputters and repeats his opening paragraphs with more detail. (very academic) Meanwhile, Freedman manages to tease themes of international import from Walz's Q and A with students. Result: Freedman
From a journalistic standpoint, Freedman wins easily. He had a big job to do, profiling this political aberration for the benefit of k-streeters who must either learn to woo Walz or isolate him. For Linehan, the stakes were lower. His writing didn't make lobbyists and the Washington cognoscenti stand up and take notice, but it did draw 834 forum posts as of this writing. And it probably made Nathaniel Wolfe's grandmother smile.