BEST NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST

Howard Troxler, St. Petersburg Times

If we told you that Howard Troxler and his Times compatriot Lane DeGregory were both finalists for 2004 American Society of Newspaper Editors awards, some of you would probably ask, ¨Who in God´s name is Lane DeGregory?¨ We´re not saying that to dis DeGregory (hey, props to both of ´em), but to acknowledge the obvious: Troxler needs no introduction. He does what few policy wonks and pundits even attempt: He makes politics not only interesting, but also entertaining. What´s more, he does it without resorting to low blows, grandstanding and sucking up to the peanut gallery. Lots of media critics have pointed out how patently unfair and unbalanced the news coverage is on a certain network chaired by Roger Ailes (former adviser to Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush), but how many of them have done it in verse? Here´s Troxler´s Fox: ¨F is for Fox,/ Where facts don´t much matter,/ Them Frenchies are weenies,/ And the Democrats sadder.¨ Don´t be too quick to paint Troxler as just another partisan bomb thrower, though. Consider his column on Fahrenheit 9/11, where he basically called Michael Moore simplistic and complained: ¨I am afraid some of his movie is almost unfair enough to unpersuade.¨ He´s an equal opportunity admonisher, and it´s a quality that lots of Bay area Troxler fans appreciate.

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