Brow Beat

It’s So Cold in the Midwest You Can Use a Banana as a Hammer

A banana being used as a hammer.
When all you have is a frozen banana, every problem looks like climate change.
Comedy Central

The polar vortex continues vortexing up the country, as the cold weather makes Midwesterners miserable, Southern Californians insufferable, and the President even dumber than usual. But there’s one aspect of the cold snap that the national media has shamefully ignored, as The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah points out: whether or not it’s so cold that you can use a banana as a hammer. It turns out it is!

In many ways, the news media has no one but itself to blame for the industry’s embarrassing showing here, the inevitable final stop in a collapse decades in the making. The pursuit of high profit margins meant that most local papers had eliminated their banana hammer desks by the 1990s, even before the internet got people out of the habit of paying for banana hammer news in the first place. And although it’s true that a few national brands like the New York Times can still eke enough from their paywalls to fund banana hammer reporting, without a robust pipeline of local newspapers to provide experience for up-and-coming banana hammer reporters, it’s hard to see how we can ever return to the midcentury levels of banana hammer scrutiny which fueled the country’s longest period of sustained economic growth across every industry except non-banana-based hammer manufacturing. Kudos to Trevor Noah for pulling back the peel on this tough issue: It’s going to take a lot of hard work to hammer out all the problems protruding from the once-smooth surface of the fourth estate, but we have all the right tools. As long as we get it done before these bananas thaw.

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