Gene Weingarten

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About
is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist known for both his serious and humorous work.

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GeneWeingarten16 karma

One thing I have noted about reddit is that it seems to be a home for pointless, knee-jerk cynicism from persons too young to really be that cynical. Now I will get bitterly denounced.

GeneWeingarten10 karma

Whoa. WE CAN.

Shaved women freak me out, too. Thankfully there are signs that the shameful, paedophilia-feeling trend is on the way out.

I've actually said this before. What I have not been allowed to do is question readers, in a poll, about their personal grooming and preferences. This was deemed too invasive. I still don't know why.

GeneWeingarten9 karma

My default mode is: Stay out of the story unless you have no choice. Sometimes, you cannot really tell it truthfully unless you put yourself in it. So much of the Great Zucchini involved telling interplay between me and him, and trying to get around that would have been awkward at best, and dishonest at worst. (It's like the Heisenberg principal: Sometimes the presence of a writer changes the dynamics of what happens. If that's the case, you have no choice but to tell the reader you were there.

GeneWeingarten7 karma

Okay, well thank you all. The comments have slowed to a trickle, so it's probably time to end this thing. Those who are storing up their Dec. 28, 1986 stories, please send em to [email protected]

See you in the funny papers!

GeneWeingarten7 karma

Tragically, copy editors are becoming extinct. I am a huge fan of copyeditors. Note I spelled the word two different ways. A copy editor could have fixed that.

The main rule is for writers: Don't treat copy editors like hired help. Don't expect them to clean up messes you made. Don't rely on them to be your fact checkers. And when someone raises an issue, don't be an asshole. Don't get defensive; they're doing their job. You know what happens to writers who mistreat copy editors? They don't get as good copy editing in the future, because no one wants the hassle of dealing with a prima donna.

I love copy editors. Pat Myers taught me how good and valuable they can be.

GeneWeingarten7 karma

Dave Barry is coming in to Washington late in January, and that's when he and I and Tom The Butcher start planning. The event is in June.

We've had so many near disasters, I can't really anoint one.

GeneWeingarten7 karma

Does anyone here think Jeffrey MacDonald is innocent of killing his family? Happy to discuss it with you reasonably and respectfully, you pathetic bozo.

GeneWeingarten7 karma

Well, it's a new name on an old term, sure. But the great joy and surprise is that it still lives, and is thriving. For a while it looked like the web might kill it, but it turns out that bandwidth is a great thing. "Newspapers" no longer need to worry about "space." Stories can go on and on. The key is restraint: Only let them go on and on if they deserve to.

GeneWeingarten6 karma

One of them would definitely be to avoid the damn heroin. Not good for you. Almost killed me, 30 years later.

GeneWeingarten6 karma

It's the only story I've ever written where at every juncture, the facts assembled themselves exactly as I would have assembled them if I were making it up. The best example is that the meaning of the story -- the most immediate meaning -- is that we use humor as a way of coping with our existential fears about life. And at the one moment when I got to confront Eric (spoiler alert) with the central awful fact of his life -- that he'd basically witnessed the murder of a child -- he wound up stopping the conversation by using humor. That didn't HAVE to happen, it just DID happen.