What Kind of Person Would … ? (dog’s eye view)

Gene Weingarten Wins 2010 Pulitzer for Feature Writing

Weingarten, of the Washington Post magazine, is known more for his humorous takes.  This article, exquisitely reported, on a father’s tragic mistake, will haunt you.

Congratulations Mr. Weingarten.  Richly deserved.  And this Pulitzer’s bringing your story anew to national attention may save some lives as the weather warms. 

(I will leave aside any snark on the Post’s tragic editorial page, or Kathleen Parker’s win for opinion writing, for today.  Only.)

Fatal Distraction: Forgetting a Child in the Backseat of a Car Is a Horrifying Mistake. Is It a Crime?

" … "Death by hyperthermia" is the official designation. When it happens to young children, the facts are often the same: An otherwise loving and attentive parent one day gets busy, or distracted, or upset, or confused by a change in his or her daily routine, and just… forgets a child is in the car. It happens that way somewhere in the United States 15 to 25 times a year, parceled out through the spring, summer and early fall. The season is almost upon us.

Two decades ago, this was relatively rare. But in the early 1990s, car-safety experts declared that passenger-side front airbags could kill children, and they recommended that child seats be moved to the back of the car; then, for even more safety for the very young, that the baby seats be pivoted to face the rear. If few foresaw the tragic consequence of the lessened visibility of the child . . . well, who can blame them? What kind of person forgets a baby?"


WaPost readers’ chat transcript:   Gene Weingarten about his win.


Here’s an earlier Weingarten piece that’s been linked previously on Backchannel, on the pleasure of old dogs.

Something about Harry

Old Dogs are the Best Dogs


And I really loved this profile of children’s magician, The Great Zucchini, as much for what it does not say.

The Peekaboo Paradox
The strange secrets of humor, fear and a guy who makes big money making little people laugh


Do Backchannelers (and you lurkers) have any favorite feature stories to share?  Link away!



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18 responses to “What Kind of Person Would … ? (dog’s eye view)

  1. Stewart Hammers Fox News For Comparing Nuclear Summit Logo To Muslim Flags (VIDEO)


  2. Make Our Day! Democrats Giddy Over GOP Opposition To Financial Reform

    “This is not going to be a repetition of the health care [debate],” Dodd said last night. “That was one of the biggest mistakes ever made, in my view–people waiting around, praying and hoping, day to day, that someone might show up and be supportive of the view.”

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will ultimately decide when to move ahead, and aides say he’ll likely try to take up Dodd’s bill after next week, during which he hopes to confirm some of President Obama’s pending nominees.


  3. Andy Borowitz BorowitzReport

    If so many Teabaggers didn’t pay taxes, what are they protesting today? Oh, right, black president.

  4. Apparently being a socialist is very profitable!

    Today, the President released his 2009 federal income and gift tax returns. He and the First Lady filed their income tax return jointly and reported an adjusted gross income of $ 5,505,409. The vast majority of the family’s 2009 income is the proceeds from the sale of the President’s books. The Obamas paid $1,792,414 in federal income tax. The President and First Lady also reported donating $329,100 to 40 different charities. The largest reported gifts to charity were $50,000 contributions to CARE and the United Negro College Fund. In addition, the President donated his $1.4 million Nobel Prize funds to 10 charities. The President and First Lady also released their Illinois income tax return and reported paying $163,303 in state income taxes.


  5. nannymm

    This is despicable. This is most definitely not what I expect from Obama and his DOJ.

    “…the Obama Justice Department is seeking to obtain from Yahoo “all emails” sent and received by multiple Yahoo email accounts, despite the fact that DOJ has never sought, let alone obtained, a search warrant, and despite there being no notice of any kind to the email account holders:”

  6. TempeBev

    To those who had to pay and those who received refunds here’s to April 16, tomorrow, when we start worrying about it again.

  7. In case any of you missed this yesterday:

  8. nannymm

    Obama orders hospitals to grant same-sex couples visitation rights

    President Obama on Thursday signed a memorandum requiring hospitals to allow gays and lesbians to have non-family visitors and to grant their partners medical power of attorney.

    The president ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to prohibit discrimination in hospital visitation.

  9. TempeBev

    Just read about Obama ordering hospitals to grant same sex couples visitation rights.

    Hallelujah! It’s about time a baby step was taken toward their civil rights. Can’t wait to see who makes waves about this.

    I wear my rainbow pride bracelet with joy!

  10. nannymm

    Yep, Bev, that news was the only bright spot in my day. It’s a baby step, as you say. But, finally, there is some small progress towards the advancement of equal rights for the LGBT community. Now we need to thank Obama for this and keep working for full equality.

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