It must suck to be handed by your editor an assignment to write a gratuitously provocative argument that just blatantly doesn’t stand the laugh test. You’ll be branded as a troll in exchange for your employer getting a few page views from people who, like slow motion car wreck video enthusiasts, just can’t deflect their eyes from the impending carnage.
The worst offender is of course Slate, the online daily magazine associated with that most mediocre of major ‘Merican newspapers, The Washington Post. A bastion of corporate center-left neoliberal ideology, the editors at Slate love nothing more than to have their long-suffering staff construct (in vain, always in vain) the best argument possible for some of the most ludicrous positions imaginable.
There’s even a tongue-in-cheek hashtag for it on Twitter: #slatepitches.
Whether it’s Slate or the contrived adversarial banter on mindless ESPN panel discussions, participating in naked trolling of your readership/viewership just can’t be much fun. Your correspondent wouldn’t know, because he is as much a “journalist” as he is a winged unicorn from Candy Land. HOWEVAH, the state of the industry is evidently such that even the most highly regarded writers can be railroaded by overbearing management into defending the silliest propositions on the internet.