Simplify Then Exaggerate

by F.

The Economist formula applied to foreign policy:

I do not come across as some sort of self-hating journalist. The best opinion journalism has a clarity and readability that far surpasses most academic papers or diplomatic telegrams. But opinion journalism also has its characteristic vices. An editor of The Economist in the 1950s once advised his journalists to “simplify, then exaggerate”. This formula is almost second nature for newspaper columnists and can make for excellent reading. But it is a lousy guide to the making of foreign policy.

From Gideon Rachman’s FT column a couple weeks ago.