Pie in the Sky

screengrabThomas Friedman got creamed by two more pies, this time on Earth Day at Brown University. A duo from an environmental group called Greenwash Guerillas pre-empted the Pulitzer Prize-winning author from presenting his ruminations on emerald-hued global capitalism. Dripping green whipped cream, Friedman didn't give his planned speech, "Green Is the New Red, White and Blue."

Pies are among the kindest criticisms that have come Friedman's way lately. Ever the free-market hawk, he's long been pilloried by intellectuals and progressives, but now he's drawn the ire of environmental radicals. Peering through his eternally rose-colored glasses, TF interpreted Bush's Iraq plan as "a beautiful carved mahogany table - a big, bold, gutsy vision." Who needed Ari Fleischer with liberal lapdogs like Friedman aping the company line? This is the optimism that critics see as naïve at best, fatuous at worst. Did this guy really believe that Bush and his cabinet of oil execs and defense contractors were spreading "hope and progress?"

It's tempting to feel sorry for Friedman, who is, if nothing else, an eternal optimist. After all, what spoils the party worse than a Debbie Downer saying the keg's rotten? Wide-eyed optimism has a place, but not when you're in Row 1 of a Vegas-bound jet, and 10 minutes before liftoff the pilot staggers into the cockpit piss-to-pants drunk with hookers on his arm. You have to think the hope lies in the guy in Row 1 screaming, "The pilot's drunk! Everybody get the hell out!" If he mulls over what he saw, then leans toward his neighbor and says, "I think it's risky, but I really want to go to Vegas," he gets hit with green pies.
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