I posted this item up and down social media channels last week, but I wanted to make sure visitors here also saw this fantastically ignorant piece of trash passing for journalism, in which Brinkley apparently has Vietnam all figured out: Joel Brinkley: Despite increasing prosperity, Vietnam's appetites remain unique.
The column alleges that Vietnam's "aggressive tendencies" (the f%ck?) can be traced to its people's penchant for eating meat of all shapes and varieties -- particularly rats, birds and dogs. How did he come to this brilliant theory? It sounds like he visited Vietnam and saw some different-ass shit, which somehow gave him the insight to assess the soul of a nation. Based on its eating habits:
Vietnam has always been an aggressive country. It has fought 17 wars with China since winning independence more than 1,000 years ago and has invaded Cambodia numerous times, most recently in 1979. Meantime, the nations to its west have largely been passive in recent centuries.Of course. Meat. That explains everything. This is coming from an actual professor of journalism, and a Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for the New York Times. This means he actually got paid to go to other countries and report. And then apparently, at some point, received an award for it.
Many anthropologists and historians attribute the difference to the state's origins. Vietnam was born of China, while India heavily influenced the other countries -- two nations with drastically different personalities, even today.
Well, certainly that played a part. But I would argue that because Vietnamese have regularly eaten meat through the ages, adding significant protein to their diet, that also helps explain the state's aggressive tendencies -- and the sharp contrast with its neighbors.
As you can imagine, the column has drawn fervent criticism from all around. Tribune Media Services' standards editor has since issued a statement in response to controversy over the article. But Brinkley stands by what he wrote: Joel Brinkley defends his Vietnamese diets article.