This image was lost some time after publication.

Today's Jon Friedman column concerns Illinois Senator Barack Obama, who appeared at this week's American Magazine Conference. It's the platonic ideal of a Friedman column, regurgitating the conventional wisdom while offering the meaningless on-the-one-hand, on-the-other-hand assessments (he actually uses the phrase "on the one hand") that have become his stock-in-trade. Our favorite part, though, comes when Friedman meets the man himself at a dinner:

I have to admit it: I gaped and gawked at him along with the other 20 hard-bitten journalists at the table.

There are a lot of things we would call Jon Friedman, but "hard-bitten" is not one of them. Nor, for that matter, "journalist." Who was he dining with, the "Life in These United States" editor from Reader's Digest and the guy who reviews litter boxes for Cat Fancy?

Obama fails to wow a magazine conference [Marketwatch]