At some point, not long ago, someone told jet-setting New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to stop quoting cab drivers in his columns, and he largely has. But sometimes, the urge to explain big, complicated events in faraway lands by going directly to a service industry employee-on-the-street who sounds suspiciously like a fictional character drawn up to introduce a columnist's argument is too great. And so we we get this, the first paragraph of today's Friedman column:When I was in Cairo during the Egyptian uprising, I wanted to change hotels one day to be closer to the action and called the Marriott to see if it had any openings. The young-sounding Egyptian woman who spoke with me from the reservations department offered me a room and then asked: "Do you have a corporate rate?" I said, "I don’t know. I work for The New York Times." There was a silence on the phone for a few moments, and then she said: "Can I ask you something?" Sure. "Are we going to be O.K.? I’m worried."
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
And juggling is hard in a hot, flat, crowded luxury hotel suite during a revolution: