Here’s Henry Alford writing in Friday’s New York Times: “The hurt feelings and the culture of psychological entrapment. The long-dormant resentments that seem to redouble like fingernails on a corpse. Like you, I have often wondered, ‘How might a hostage negotiator help the average American family get through Thanksgiving?’”
Those quibbles aside, however, the invocation of holiday-season hostage negotiators isn’t as crazy as you might think. Despite decades of well-bred warnings not to discuss religion or politics at the dinner table, many Americans seem to approach Thanksgiving as their own private “Crossfire”—and many in the media, much like the prepubescent, hormone-crazed audience at a World Wrestling Entertainment showdown, are wildly cheering them on.