City Desk

Weekend In Review: Nadal Loses!

Who knows what Andy Alexander was up to this week when he wrote his column as ombudsman of the Washington Post. As a vet with decades in the news biz, Alexander might be expected to, like, peg his column to a news event within, say, the past several years. But check this out—-he writes about the Post's policies on demands from people not to publish certain stuff, yet cites no recent cases in point.

Here's the lede:

In the 1952 movie classic "Deadline-U.S.A.," a crusading editor played by Humphrey Bogart is on the phone with a gangster who warns him: "Print that story, and you're a dead man."

Sure, Alexander goes on to discuss instances more recent than that, but what prompted this whole riff? Slow news week, perhaps.

Then again, tough to focus on whether your local ombudsman is following journalistic convention when the pathway just got cleared for Roger Federer to claim his 14th grand slam championship. Yes, Rafa Nadal got bested over in Paris. How, I have no idea. Bleacher Report has the skinny on it, saying it's one of sports' great upsets. "The tennis world momentarily stopped. The clay court world as one knew it ended," says BR.

Yeah, this is so hard to fathom. Consider how Nadal won the Australian—that is, he beat Federer not long after enduring a massive semifinal that would've drained every last drop of life out of any other player on the tour. So to lose in the fourth round to a player—Robin Soderling, and, yes, that translates into "a player"—boggles the mind and the hypothalamus while it's at it. Now it's time for Federer to rule, and to follow in the glorious slipstream of the Sports Illustrated jinx.

Key factoid from Amanda Hesser's takedown on Michelle Obama's lax attitude toward cooking: "Research by the NPD Group showed that Americans ate takeout meals an average of 125 times a year in 2008, up from 72 a year in 1983. And a recent U.C.L.A. study of 32 working families found that the subjects viewed cooking from scratch as a kind of rarefied hobby." Hesser's right: We as a country suck so bad when it comes to cooking and doing our own thing in the kitchen.

Washington Times has the scoop on the latest moralizing about Sonia Sotomayor's quip about having a leg up on white males by virtue of being latina. How many news cycles you think it'll take to kill this "story"?

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