I Gotta Be Honest

By Preet Bharara

Dear Reader, 

This is my last note of 2021. As the CAFE team well knows, these notes don’t come easy for me. I am better at conversation than soliloquy. I sometimes feel that my take may not be different enough from the many you may find out there — or that on any given Thursday I can’t summon the right combination of words to convey what is in my mind or heart. I have always had a suspicion about opinion writers generally, at least the ones who are obligated to produce pieces on a regular schedule. How can they be truly wise twice a week, like clockwork, because the editorial page requires it, rather than because they have something smart and new to say? Can you really train insight to obey the calendar? I won’t name names, but I think many a crappy column is born of this dynamic, though perhaps there are true pros whose minds are so ablaze with ideas that no column is a chore or whose synapses have long been trained to fire extra hot and fast when a deadline looms.