Here's how it
works: Mainstream America is heavily conditioned to believe that Fox News
represents the far right of the political spectrum while The New York Times is lefter
than left . . . and anyone with opinions off this limited chart is ignored,
mocked, or, if all else fails, arrested and/or eliminated with extreme
prejudice. Thus, the parameters of debate in the land of the free are narrower
than Ann Coulter's mind.
New York Times, we're led to believe, is edited by an unwashed band of granola
chomping tree huggers. However, those same pinko publishers chose, this summer,
to publish an essay -- essentially a 2,400-word assault -- by restaurant critic
Frank Bruni, entitled "Life in the Fast-Food Lane."
Food snob Bruni, it
seems, had taken to the road "to size up and single out the best fast food
from familiar national chains, relatively unfamiliar regional chains and tiny
local chains I had never encountered." Calling this the "culinary
road less traveled," Bruni is quick to remind us that despite this jaunt,
he's more accustomed to consuming "veal sweetbreads and duck liver
Let's stop there.
If there were even a shred of truth in the Times' liberal reputation, any
discussion of veal and duck liver p�t� would serve to expose the unspeakable
cruelty behind such alleged delicacies. Instead, we have the pretentious Bruni
slumming, in order to discover enduring truths like this: "Flame, or at
least a suggestion of grilling or broiling, matters. That's a principal reason
a Whopper bested a Big Mac, cooked on a griddle. It's why the new roster of
one-third-pound charbroiled Thickburgers at Hardee's tasted better than the
steamed slivers at Krystal, a White Castle analogue in the South."
To him, McDonald's
hash browns are "sculptured by unseen Michelangelos of fast food."
Culver's, he opines, offers "an inspired creation that layers coleslaw
atop the chili atop a meaty, smoky hot dog, producing a riot of textures and
hot-cool sensations that I'm determined to experience at least once again in
this life." Of KFC's "Original Recipe" chicken, Bruni cooed:
"The battered skin wasn't too peppery, the frequent sin of much fried chicken
to come. The flesh was positively juicy. And the Colonel, in my book, deserved
a promotion to commander in chief."
The lesson for
Bruni: "On the right road, with the right company, there may well be as
much satisfaction at the low end of dining as there is at the high end."
The lesson for the
rest of us: The media is as liberal or conservative as the corporations that
Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at www.mickeyz.net.