Brooks Unapologetically Gives Another Sidney to The Weekly Standard’s Labash

By Betsy Rothstein 

matt-9.jpegThe New York Times’s David Brooks has announced the first round of his Sidney Awards. These awards go to stories he deems the best magazine essays of the year.

Brooks says he tries not to have repeat award winners, but with The Weekly Standard’s Matt Labash he can’t help himself. “The fact is, talent is not randomly distributed. Some people … just know how to write.”

LaBash was awarded for his piece, “A Rake’s Progress”, a profile of Marion Barry, the former Washington, D.C., “mayor, crack-smoker and recent girlfriend-stalker.”

Other winners are David Grann, for his story, “Trial By Fire”, published in The New Yorker, Jonathan Rauch, for “Fasten Your Seatbelts — It’s Going to Be a Bumpy Flight,” in The National Journal, David Goldhill for “How American Health Care Killed My Father,” in The Atlantic and Atul Gawande for “The Cost Conundrum”, also in The New Yorker.

Stay tuned. Tomorrow Brooks releases another batch of Sidney winners.