With the government shutdown over (for now), it was time for the media to do one of the things it does best: distill complicated, nuanced situations down to easily digestible, overly simplistic conclusions. And there's no greater way to arbitrarily assign success or failure than the "Winners and Losers" column.
So of course, with the government back open for business, we've seen a slew of "Winners and Losers" columns today. But which "Winners and Losers" column are the...winners and losers? Let's find out!
Column: Newsweek - "Winners and Losers in the Shutdown Battle"
Pros: Solid layout, inclusion of "Pandas" in the winners category, clear-cut designations.
Cons: Putting "everyone" in the loser column (which just doesn't make sense), Obamacare = winner?
Column: The Guardian - "Winners and losers in the shutdown and debt ceiling battle"
Pros: Grouping all winners and losers together make for easier reading, pictures for each winner/loser, more "Pandas" as winners.
Cons: National parks = winners?, complicated "losers" selections like "'false equivalence' reporting."
Column: CNN - "Why is this man smiling? 15 winners and losers from the shutdown crisis"
Pros: Headline that doesn't feel like every other winner/loser column, Susan Collins as a winner was rare.
Cons: Ted Cruz as a winner and a loser? Pick one, All of the U.S. as a loser?
(Disclosure - I used to work at CNN.)
Column: Newser - "The 7 Biggest Shutdown Losers"
Pros: It's very short, bold decision to do no winners.
Cons: Only losers = boring, rounds up other people's winners/losers lists
Column: Washington Post - "Winners and losers of the government shutdown"
Pros: Giving "National Review" a winner nod, shouting out to Twitter, Barry Black reference.
Cons: Only GOP'ers on the "loser" list, putting Cruz on "losers" list but also saying he's a winner, URL has "shutdown" spelled wrong.
Column: The Hill - "Winners and losers of the debt-limit fight"
Pros: Adding a "mixed" category, Steve Israel/Michael Bennet were rare picks, "trust in goverment" a good "loser" choice.
Cons: Vincent Gray = winner?, more winners than losers doesn't make sense, "mixed" is fun but pick a side for these arbitrary lists!
Column: USA Today - "Winners and losers? The early line after an epic battle"
Pros: Fun infographic, short and to the point, using the word "epic" in the headline.
Cons: Just five picks?, grouping all "women in the Senate" into one category.