Last week, Pittsburgher Suzy Weiss had a satirical open letter in the Wall Street Journal, “To (All) the Colleges That Rejected Me.” It is a fun read. It has also upset many fiendish people, and that is reason enough for me to praise the piece.
I have read several articles critical of Miss Weiss that share the common opinion journalism fault of reacting in ignorance to a story for the sake of making a point. Instead of actually absorbing information that is inconvenient to their argument, writers tend to ignore relevant facts and rather use the story as an opportunity to sermonize on a particular topic. For instance, dozens of articles dismiss Weiss as an entitled brat who blames others for her lack of accomplishment, but Weiss is in fact pretty impressive for a high school senior. They take her snarky self-deprecation of “underachieving selfish teenager” as their launching pad, though they end up criticizing a straw girl instead of addressing her legitimate criticism of the contemporary college admissions process—criticism mixed with delightful cynicism. In fairness to Weiss’ detractors, one must read other sources or watch interviews such as her appearance on the Today show to get the fuller picture, though writers—especially those in “real papers”—should take a little extra time to research the object of their potential scorn.
Anyway, cheers to Miss Weiss for giving us a laugh at the expense of the elite’s phony piety!