Now, I know that The Stranger is a weekly, which makes it harder to be timely with the "news"—such as it ever is in this collection of piddling announcements and picayune insights. But this week's feature by ELI SANDERS, coming nearly four months after the events it purports to explore, really does break remarkable new ground in packaging extreme lateness as alacrity. The murder that created the possibility for this tardy, tawdry story occurred on New Year's Eve. Meaning: It didn't even really happen this year. The man whom Mr. Sanders writes about—not, if you can believe this, the murderer, but rather a nonmurderer of unclear import—this man was cleared of any suspicion in connection with the case in late January. And here we are in April, apparently the cruelest month for those of us still hoping against hope for something timely and informative to accidentally trip into these pages.
But this kind of delay is par for the course for Mr. Sanders, whose "writing process" seems to begin with a story that is already old news and then proceed to at least a month of thumb sucking (suck thumb down to bone, let skin and muscle reconstitute itself, suck some more), followed by another month of navel lint examination (accompanied by a retreat into the mountains for better "perspective" no doubt), followed by yet another month for transcribing court documents and court records (read: documents every other journalist in town has already written about), followed by the insertion of said document transcription directly into the story as if it were actual "writing," and then, finally, the inevitable pronouncement by the author that he has created a profound "pastiche." Mr. Sanders, I am neither moved nor amused, nor am I, to paraphrase the good Gipper himself, better informed than I was four months ago. What's next? A groundbreaking look into the life of the person who didn't assassinate Abraham Lincoln? I regret even suggesting this, as I'm sure it will now appear in these pages in late August.
Speaking of demises, this week also marks the final issue with JOSH FEIT at the helm of the news section—a tenure much akin to Edward Smith's stint trying to cross the Atlantic. Still, having sparred both verbally and in print with Mr. Feit over the years, I would be lying if I claimed a part of me would not miss his presence, if for no other reason than I shudder at the thought of just which halfwit the powers that be will choose to replace him. Mr. Feit's reporting often flirted with the tragic, yes, and his opinions are specious at best, but he was at least man enough to defend those specious opinions when confronted. And really, who else among this pack of spoiled children can one say that about? Farewell, Feit. Journalism as a whole may be better off, but The Stranger will suffer in your absence.