Pushed up against the ropes, we’re so busy self-justifying that we sometimes forget to self-examine. And there are aspects of how we work — and how we come across — that definitely warrant adjustment.
We indulge too often in snark for snark’s sake, using it not in the service of an essential point but because it’s fun and gets attention.
I worry, for example, about a 2016 column about Trump that I had an especially good time with. It posited that his trademark tresses were a mood ring, their color changing from lemon to orange to grapefruit. “He basically has a whole Whole Foods citrus section atop his head,” I said. My headline: “The Citrusy Mystery of Trump’s Hair.”
I was trying to cast his coiffure as a metaphor for his inconstancy and obsession with surfaces. But still. I played into a caricature of journalists as smart alecks taking cheap shots from the cheap seats. We have to watch our tone. We really do.