October 16, 2008

Serious journalism

If you're looking for some serious analysis of Sarah Palin's recent debate performance, well, you probably shouldn't be reading the Los Angeles Times:

She's a winker. She winks on rope lines and at rallies. She winked at least six times at 70 million viewers on the vice presidential debate platform opposite her rival, Sen. Joe Biden, who weighed in on the nonverbal communication scale by grinning like a nutcracker.

But it was the wink that ricocheted like a bullet across America, leaving some voters smitten, some confused and others nauseated.

A honking sound from her armpit might have generated less buzz. That would have been just weird. The wink is ambiguous, one of those rich, laden, intriguing signals of unspoken human messaging that is difficult to decipher but impossible to ignore.
It goes on in that vein for another 898 words, discussing the origins of the wink, other cultures' interpretations of the gesture, actors who have winked on television and in the movies, interpretations of winking discussed on the internets, several professors professing their thoughts on winking, mentions of other candidates who have winked in the recent past, and a Seinfeld episode where George Costanza gets squirted by a grapefruit and ends up winking a lot.

All of this "serious journalism," it should be noted, is not in the entertainment section of the paper. No, it's in the Washington section. Yeah.

(h/t)

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