The first rule of cabs is when you’re in one, ask your driver about foreign policy. When you’re in five, take an admittedly unscientific poll:
In an admittedly unscientific poll of the last five taxi rides I took with South Asian drivers, Abdullah and Mohamed claimed that the U.S. is ruining Afghanistan and making matters worse in Pakistan with drone strikes that are killing more civilians than terrorists. Najeeb and Ibrahim said it’s a travesty that the U.S. is considering reducing its commitment to Afghanistan after all the pledges to rebuild. They are convinced the Taliban will regain power in double time if the U.S doesn’t change things up soon. Ahmed wholeheartedly endorsed the McChrystal report and claimed he heard about it even before it was leaked.
Well in another unscientific poll I asked my Iranian prof, and he said Afghanistan isn’t Iraq.
Dayum. She’s working the wrong gig. If only she could have waited for the New York Times to run a similar contest she could’ve been a full time hire to ghost write for the Moustache of Understanding.
Please let her be spoofing.
Oh, Jesus Christ.
Because nothing says “nuance” like political talk radio!
Fuck this, I’m going to bed.
In an admittedly unscientific poll of my last visit to my local Quickie Mart, Raheem said it’s a travesty that they no longer carry the teriyaki-flavored jerky.
Surely this is a bit of skillful trolling of the WAPO editors?
Amen, sister. I’m with you. Night-night, everyone.
Oh for fuck’s sake.
Has someone emailed taibbi about this?
Idiot punditry at its finest. Good for a day pass to the Village.
OK, I had to respond. Here’s what I left in the comments there.
Seriously, someone needs to fix the block quoting problem on Balloon Juice. That paragraph after my block quote above should’ve been part of the block quote.
If it’s a spoof, its perhaps the most thoroughly brilliant infiltration of a periodical that prides itself on deliberate obtuseness and pedantry since the Sokal Hoax. It satisfies virtually every single ideological fetish of Hiatt and his crew.
Which leads me to believe that it’s the real deal.
Hope she’s cool with the inevitable photoshops granting her a Moustache Of Understanding.
In a sane world, an Expert on the Middle East at the CFR would present ideas without this sockpuppet bullshit.
In an admittedly unscientific poll, I found that taxi drivers will tell you anything in order to increase their tips.
kommrade reproductive vigor
Well you can’t expect her to write anything that might threaten the other fucktards who pundit for the Post.
Still, I bet Krauthammer is plotting to steal that piece the minute her back is turned.
@kommrade reproductive vigor
Somehow I can’t see that supercilious sneer Krauthammer ever demeaning himself to take a taxi, let alone engaging the driver in conversation. Private limo and nice quiet knows-his-place chauffeur for Germantool, I betcha.
Really, there’s no need to search any further. She’ll get the Friedman seal of approval for cabbie wisdom.
I would have also taken unscientific polls of Mexican migrant workers, Korean store owners, black pimps, and Jewish bankers just to round things out.
Oh, and maybe some Romanian fortunetellers.
@marc: Koreans own stores that don’t sell liquor? Mind=blown.
In an admittedly unscientific poll of african -taxi -drivers- driving -me -to -various- friend’s -church- weddings- when- I was -young- and -cute one hundred percent would ask me out on a date. These findings are robust because they occurred more than three times. Was unable to test their determination to marry me, however, because of my experimental protocol which did not include listening to things taxi drivers say.
Hey, why were those strike outs instead of hyphens?
Now I understand. I thought that was just some cryptic wording. Or possibly wingnut punctuation.
Chad N Freude
And the experts are just as divided as the so-called cabbies.
In fairness, she isn’t using the admittedly unscientific poll as evidence of anything. It’s just a cutesy way to launch an opinion piece that contains a number of Concern Clichés that appear constantly in columns all across the Beltway and no insight WHATSOEVER!. I would giver a zero in the blogging contest, and no taxi fare to get home.
I’ll buy this as an opener.
It tosses out a rage of opinions, adds a human element and draws in the reader.
If this was a much beefier article that went onto a much more fact-based analysis. Something that continued with “And that’s a good summary of the opinions on the subject, here’s what’s being put out by the Obama administration” or “… and here is out history that has let up to these opinions”.
Instead it just piles on more opinion. Which means that this “non-scientific polls” was superfluous, or the writers own opinion was.
Basically it looks like that was tossed in to cover the fact the author was just BSing out something off the top of their head.
Omigod…when I was a true cub reporter, first job, writing under the table features for the Reuters bureau in Manila, my bureau chief took me aside and told me that if I ever quoted a taxi driver on a story not actually about taxi driving, he’d fire me.*
This is the classic Fail modality for clueless (and usually — though not in this case — language challenged) American journalists abroad. The killer here is that the opinion editor, whilst damning the piece w. very faint praise, still commended its author for coming up the with the juxtaposition of experts and proles that was, in her view, “an intriguing notion”
That, my friends, is your modern-day Washington Post.
*The kicker: my first story was to report on a traffic engineering proposal for Manila that would have directly affected the way jeepneys moved through town. Ie — a story about taxi driving….;)
Meanwhile, my deepest thanks for the link to that Taibbi post. What a joy.
The competition has been fierce, but I believe Wapo has found the next great taxi dispatcher.
Personally, I love the fact that she just threw out Arabic/Muslim names just to make her article sound more, “authentic.”
About a third of my cab drivers and I end up discussing US Foreign policy. Another Third spends the whole time on their phone talking in a foreign language. (And I can never tell when they are actually addressing me.) The rest are split between friendly banter and trying to pick me up (usually the drivers who seem to be from somewhere in Africa do the latter.)
They do seem to listen to an awful lot of NPR.
They do seem to listen to an awful lot of NPR.
Here in Rochester, most of my cabbies (on those rare occasions when I use a cab) are East African. And they all seem to listen to public radio 24-7, not just the NPR/BBC stuff but the classical music too.
Maybe I should be polling them about foreign policy in Somalia.
If the WaPo is looking for a Friedman, they’ve found her. I can’t tell if that’s a spoof or not. Brilliant.
That sounds exactly like a line from “30 Rock”.
licensed to kill time
Well, wait ’til the taxi drivers catch up to South Korea, where they can watch TV in their cabs!
That’ll exponentially increase the level of foreign policy debate.
In an unscientific poll of five “South Asian” taxi drivers they had the five most common muslim names.
I call bullshit.