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This is why I reacted so strongly to the news when I began reading it in earnest in college, 'cause that's all it seemed to be, esp. among the D.C. press corps: people getting outraged and calling each other out over trivial, minor offenses. "Who cares?" I thought. "There are much more important things to occupy ourselves with."

But outrage makes careers these days. And it's a habituating drug—the more you read, the more it takes to create the same high. I can often tell when someone's been paying too much attention to the news by his or her overall agitation level.

This is also (one of the reasons) why editorial cartoonists are difficult to date.

9:14 pm, July 15, 2009 :: right on

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