So last night I watched Charlie Rose (for like the first time ever), because I saw that New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman (who just won the Pulitzer Prize for commentary) was on. I’ve been impressed by Friedman’s columns since I became aware of them, and I was even more impressed by him in the interviews. Friedman has an incredible grasp on what’s going on in the Middle East, and holds a nuanced and balanced view of all of the parties involved. He has some specific criticisms of both Ariel Sharon and Yasser Arafat that are spot on, I think, and explains quite well why the peace processes of the past have failed.

On aother note, Friedman made a great point about columnists in general. He said that columnists generally either deal in heat or light, and that most of the time, he tries to deal in light. When I was younger, I much preferred commentary that veered more toward the heat side of things. It was easier to let someone tell me how to think or appeal to my emotions rather than trying to collect and comprehend as many facts as possible to develop a refined view of a given situation. These days, people who try to sell me heat rather than light set off alarm bells in my brain instantly, regardless of where they come from on the ideological spectrum.