Shocking decline in literacy among moralizing newspaper columnists

Bad writing is everywhere, of course, but when it shows up in a piece bemoaning the death of reading, it's particularly enjoyable. The piece in question, by one Kathleen Parker, is from the Orlando Sentinel's website. The opening sentences have already been mocked by Bookslut, but they're worth mocking again here:

People who read books are different from other people. They're smarter for one thing. They're more sensual for another. They like to hold, touch and smell what they read.
That's funny for two reasons. (a) It's not true, or at least it's completely speculative. You can maybe infer that book-readers are smarter than average (although then you get into semantics about the word smarter), but you'd have to bring some data to substantiate the "more sensual" claim. (b) It's entirely off-point. If reading books is a good thing, that has nothing to do with what books feel like or smell like.

Then there's this funny thing Parker keeps doing where she uses hyperbole -- a legitimate linguistic device with a long pedigree -- and then turns around and apologizes for using it.
Soon, who knows? Maybe we'll be burning books in the town square chanting: We don't need no dadgum books. We got Innernet porn 'n' satellite TeeVee! OK, so maybe the end of civilization isn't nigh, but the systematic gutting of culture from newspapers is symptomatic of a broadening illiteracy that bodes ill for the republic. [Italics mine]
If you think a book-burning riff will help make your point, go for it. If you think it's a bit far-fetched and might undercut the seriousness of your argument, leave it out. (I'm with option B -- people don't burn things that they don't give a shit about -- but it's your call.) But why on earth would you include it and then dismiss it as unrealistic? Parker does something similar in the last graf:
The loss of yet another book editor and the homogenization (or possible loss) of another review section may not cause the Earth to shift on its axis, but it is symbolic of the devaluing of American letters.
Why raise the possibility of the Earth shifting on its axis only to dismiss it?

Parker's main point is that newspapers that are eliminating book-review sections are "apparent signatories to a suicide pact."
From a practical standpoint, [such cuts make] no sense. Clue: People who read newspapers are also likely book readers. So why do newspaper editors and publishers think that killing one of the few features that readers might -- big word here -- READ is a smart move in an era of newspaper decline?
Because the people who run newspapers have never thought about any of this even once in their lives, and they need Kathleen Parker to tell them which side their bread is buttered on.

Listen, Kathleen: I'm as anxious about the decline in book-reading as you are. (I am, after all, writing a book, and I'm hoping there will be people to buy it when I'm done.) I like book reviews too, maybe more than you do: when you say that Florence King, of the National Review's Misanthrope's Corner, "elevated book reviewing to a literary art form," it makes me wonder if a voracious reader like yourself has gotten around to Virginia Woolf or Edmund Wilson. But if there's one thing book-reading in America doesn't need, it's an illiterate newspaper columnist for a champion.