With most of the country’s top political journalists in town for the RNC — in addition to the outstanding home grown talent already here — it’s all but impossible to judge who is offering the best writing during the convention.
But it’s not too difficult to determine whose work is the worst.
Enter Chris Ingram, the Republican analyst for local station Bay News 9. Ingram once fashioned himself a political consultant, but that is hard to do when you have no actual paying clients, so that description has been quietly dropped.
Inexplicably, Ingram also is writing a daily column for the Tampa Tribune about the “’behind the scenes’ goings on at the convention with VIPs and the delegate experience.” I don’t know why Ingram decided to put “behind the scenes” in quotes. I guess Ingram is one of those douchey people who employs air quotes when speaking.
Unfortunately, I pretty much read everything written by the local newspapers, including Ingram’s column. But reading Ingram, I am genuinely struck by just how bad his writing is. Not in form and function, per se. I am not a grammar teacher and don’t pretend to be. Hence, I will end the occasional sentence in a preposition.
No, what’s so bad about Ingram’s writing is his cheesiness.
Consider Ingram’s analysis of Charlie Crist’s decision to endorse Barack Obama:
“Among the Florida delegation, the buzz is all about ”Toucan” Charlie Crist’s announcement of what we already know: he loves Barack Obama. Yesterday, Too Tan Charlie announced he was endorsing Barack Obama — duh! That was followed by a DNC announcement that the tan man would speak at the Democrats’ convention next week, which they should be calling Chuckles’ homecoming.”
Who talks like that?
I discuss the myriad issues surrounding Charlie Crist’s political ambitions probably more than anyone not named Steve Bousquet. And I’ve never heard anyone refer to him as “Chuckles” or “Toucan.” Nor do these nicknames really make any sense. They’re just Ingram trying rrreeeaaalllyyy hard to be funny. An effort which quickly falls flat.
Also, there is a subtle cultural discrimination in Ingram’s monikers “Too Tan Charlie” and “tan man.” Crist is too tanned, whatever that means, because of his Greek heritage, not because of any lifestyle choice. Ingram should knock this off.
Ingram’s cheesiness continued today with his not-at-all-insightful story about how a “delegate from Charleston who jokingly described herself as an ‘attractive homemaker’ … “kept putting her hand on my knee at breakfast and told me she’s ‘touchy feely.'”
In case you are keeping score, that’s two sets of air quotes in just one paragraph and a whole lot of creepiness. After all, it’s just too difficult to believe anyone would put their hand on Ingram’s knee.
This reminds me, Ingram is also writing a pathetic restaurant guide serving up a lot of “this place is really delicious” (yeah, no shit) and even more air quotes. If you’ve ever wanted to get dining advice from someone you’d never want to have dinner with, be sure to read Ingram’s column.