It’s safe to say there are mixed feelings about Thomas Friedman among this blog’s contributors.
His advocacy on the Iraq War was and is risible. His cheerleaderly, monochrome enthusiasm for globalization maddens (how come pundits never talk about outsourcing punditry?). And his chipper, un-self conscious cheesiness can occasionally cause even a pacifist like me to want to physically strike him.
Watch this video, where he explains the green thing to Tim Russert:
That, friends, is a state-of-the-art piece of 21st century communicating. It may not be as thoughtful and nuanced as wonks like me would like. But it is absolutely, exquisitely suited to our current media environment. He picks the right talking points — security, competitiveness, strength — and reels off a perfectly composed raft of fine-tuned soundbites for each.
It can sound false and programmed to some ears, but it is effective. It speaks directly to mainstream ears in a mainstream voice.
In short, despite his irksome flaws, it is a blessing for greens that Friedman is on our side. His mustache fu is strong.