Ian Parker's New Yorker profile of Thomas Friedman paints the Times op-ed columnist as a driven, hyper-competitive workaholic. But, like, a useful one. The full text of the article can be viewed in The New Yorker's new digital reader, where you can get the full details on Friedman's crazy operation: his manic work habits, his everlasting love of buzzwords, and the hate he holds in his heart for fellow Times columnist Paul Krugman's Nobel win.This anecdote about Friedman's massive ego is joke fodder at the Times' D.C. office:
Immodesty occasionally shows; and, when Paul Krugman, his Op-Ed colleague, won the Nobel Prize in Economics, a few weeks ago, I was told that the reaction heard most often at the Times was "How's Tom going to take that?"
Wait until Krugman becomes Secretary of the Treasury! Friedman's really going to be steamed he endorsed the Iraq War! That's just part of the hypersensitive columnist's overall insanity. The profile opens with Friedman in Greenland near the Arctic Circle, where he is blissfully whaling away on his laptop at all times of day while his wife watches on. We had always wondered why a woman would copulate with the putzy Friedman:
"My dad worked every night," [Friedman's wife Ann] said. "I'm sure that's why I was attracted to Tom, because my dad went back to the office my whole life. That's how I grew up." She reads her husband's columns before they are submitted, and a few times a year she causes him to start from scratch.
The ensuing depiction of the overly repetitive columnist is none too flattering, describing him witlessly coming up with a book idea after a short conversation with Bill Gates and characterizing his golf game: "a fine striker of the ball." That no doubt means exactly what you think it means.