I do respect very much the elephant, but would you give him the chair of Zoology?
And in 2006, I mentioned a snippy remark that The New Republic's Martin Peretz made about Garrison Keillor, who had panned Bernard-Henri Lévy's American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville in The New York Times Book Review:
So maybe Keillor was actually an inspired choice. Why shouldn't a bird review an ornithologist?
Now the political historian Garry Wills provides another zoological analogy in his new memoir, Outside Looking In: Adventures of an Observer.
This is from the Philadelphia Inquirer review:
Although the book has its share of fine political reportage, Wills, the ultimate outsider, never felt comfortable actually joining a campaign press corps. Explaining why, he recounts an invitation from James Fallows, then a speechwriter for Carter, to join the 1976 campaign for awhile: "I answered that one can be an entomologist without becoming a bug."
[Update: Wills repeated the analogy on "The Colbert Report" last night. The relevant bit is at about 1:10 in the video.]