In a stunning display of craftsmanship, Observer writers Samuel Jacobs and Jonathan Liu today provide an anatomy of the trend piece, "a journalistic form in crisis." Jacobs and Liu do such a thorough job that we're not going to bother to restate any of their findings here; you must read the entire article. (We will offer a warning to the two intrepid Observerites: Be careful who you offend. Daniel Radosh wrote a brave and honest takedown of the trend piece years ago; now he's the blogger who does those caption contests.) In any event, as amplification to the article, we've provided a quick chart that graphs the decline in the fortunes of the trend piece. You can find it below.

The End of the Trend

The End of the Trend


"Metrosexuals Come Out." Warren St. John writes the platonic ideal of trend piece; ensuing controversy forces him to prove his manliness by watching shitloads of football.

The End of the Trend


George Gurley's infamous "floppy woo" piece uncovers disturbing trend of large-twatted women.

The End of the Trend


David Amsden breaks "guys jerking off to Internet" story.

The End of the Trend


Ralph Gardner, Jr., discovers wives who earn more than their husbands and withhold blowjobs.

The End of the Trend


Republicans: Hip and edgy! (Warren St. John continues to atone.)

The End of the Trend


Jennifer 8. Lee writes "The Man Date." Irrevocable decline of trend piece can be traced directly to this moment.

The End of the Trend


A couple of women Louise Story knew in college "put aside their careers in favor of raising children." Made front page of NYT. Was entirely anecdotal.

The End of the Trend


Nick Sylvester found guilty of crime every other trend-piece writer commits: making shit up.

The End of the Trend


Women fuck their contractors
People like skulls.
Rose-fucking-ay.

Now, Less Than Ever: The Decline of The Trend Piece [NYO]