In Defense of Twinkies

Amid all the sturm und drang over corporate media and bloggers, and their relative contributions toward creating an enlightened society, there occasionally are moments when print journalism rises to the fore and shows its stuff.

We’re not totally sure this is one of those moments, but the corporate media today has run circles around the blogosphere on a cultural milestone: The 75th anniversary this month of the Twinkie.

Washington Post’s appropriately-named Candy Sagon today writes:

We joke that they’re made from so many chemicals that they’ll last forever. We sneer about how college students dropped one from a six-story building and it was barely dented. We shake our heads at how one guy used them as a defense in a famous murder trial.

And yet despite it all, Hostess makes 500 million of them every year.

Sagon gives us a thousand-word plus treatise on the history of the little banana-cream-filled spongecake, a staple of Boomers’ lunch boxes back in the days when trans-fat was as big a worry as global warming.

This is not the kind of information you get from bloggers (or at least any we read routinely). Piffle, you say? Well, Sagon’s Twinkie birthday story was one of the five most-emailed stories in today’s Post, as of late morning, according to the paper’s tally on its Web site.

And the Post isn’t the only member of the corporate media to wax eloquent on the snack. Hey, even the Muscatine, Iowa, Journal delivered its own testament to the Twinkie, tracking down people who can remember almost to the moment when they took their first bite of the little yellow cakes.

So, bloggers, go ahead with your discussions of the nuclear option, estate taxes, and illegal immigration. Today, thanks to the MSM, we’re just going to wallow in our memories of noontime in the school cafeteria licking the cream filling out of Twinkies.

Susan Q. Stranahan

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Susan Q. Stranahan wrote for CJR.