HE ONLY BITES IN PRINT
(FORTUNE Magazine) – Bring on the presidential campaign. However serious, or silly, it may get, Fortune enters the fray particularly well armed this time, because of the brace of opinion columnists we've added to the front of the magazine over the last year.
To wit: Rob Norton, who directs our economics coverage in addition to penning his often provocative Reality Check column, weighs in in this issue on the two worst economic ideas of the campaign ("Dumb--and Dumber," page 63). Hint: one comes from the editor-in-chief of a rival magazine.
Meanwhile, our newest columnist, David Shribman, reminds us in the latest installment of O Democracy! how absurd it is to have a primary process in which two of our most anomalous states, New Hampshire and Iowa, play outsized roles ("Get Set to Do the Primary Warp," page 48).
Speaking of anomalies, both Norton and Shribman are not your typical columnists. They're relatively sober, genuinely nice family men, for starters. Both truly believe the subjects they write about are more important than they are. And both represent an increasingly rare breed of journalistic artist, those requiring virtually no editing.
Brooklyn-born Norton, who toiled as a guitar player in professional rock & roll bands before finding his true calling, now chats up economic theory with, among others, Alan Greenspan, also of Brooklyn--though the one conversation I overheard between the two seemed to be more about the old Dodgers than about the discount rate.
Shribman, raised in Swampscott, Massachusetts and winner of last year's Pulitzer Prize for beat reporting at the Boston Globe, had one unusual demand when we signed him up for duty last September: He wanted a framed print of one of our Archive photos--the New Ocean House Hotel in Swampscott. David vividly remembered the day that grand edifice burned down, and wanted his dad to have a picture of it for his wall.
In one of our best negotiating gambits ever, we gave in and supplied the photo. In return, we received a columnist to prize. A great deal, we think, for our readers.