At the EWA conference last week I told someone I would send them the link to my favorite piece of journalism ever. Of course I have forgotten who. So, whoever you were—and even if you are not them—read this piece, “The Peekaboo Paradox,” by Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post. It is about a children’s birthday party entertainer. Here is where one is tempted to say, “Yet it is about so much more.” Except that it’s not. I mean, this particular children’s entertainer has a gambling problem, an organization problem and some lingering ghosts, which unspool over the course of Gene’s reporting. Gene’s particular genius is that he usually makes his reporting transparent, part of the piece and moving.
The Great Zucchini story is not one of the articles that won him the Pulitzer. That’s okay—Martin Scorcese’s Oscar did not come for his best work either. (Though Gene’s two winning pieces were better than “The Departed.”)