Tim Blair – Indymedia Stooge? Look whose articles are showing up on Palestine’s Indymedia page….
3/30/2002 05:00:28 PM
Hey! I’m Somebody’s ‘Favorite Lefty’! That somebody is Martin Devon, who has a fine weblog called Patio Pundit. Of course, this will come as a surprise to the Metafilter kids who think I’m a “right-wing jingoist,” but one shouldn’t get caught up in others’ need for categorization. Martin also lists me under his “quirky” column of links, which is funny, though I still probably prefer “artificial flavors and preservatives.” Thanks Martin!
3/30/2002 04:56:41 PM
Nader on the Mideast Crisis, Circa 2000: For what it’s worth, here’s an article I wrote during the Nader campaign about the Green Party candidate’s views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He found Gore’s pro-Israel stance to be “cowardly.”
3/30/2002 04:26:20 PM
Light Weekend: Won't be much from me in the next 48 hours; I've nothing useful to say about the Mideast war, and am spending my time tidying up various personal/professional loose ends. Also, will be attending the first baseball game of the season on Sunday.
3/30/2002 11:06:59 AM
The Layne Retrospective: Speaking of my barbudo neighbor, Eric Olsen of the estimable Tres Producers weblog does a real nice survey of Ken’s site and career today. Though Olsen seems impressed by Layne’s, ah, varied track record, he leaves out the drunk-raccoon comic strip, and the late-‘80s country punk band The Outriders, who appeared on Bandit Records before the hillbilly lead singer/songwriter went solo. Some day soon, our tech genius/nuke tourist pal Barney will convert Layne’s deeply mad “Monkey Cup” into an MP3 format; until then you’ll just have to trust me that the man had a brief streak of out-Becking Beck before Beck was Beck.
3/29/2002 03:04:52 PM
Layne Update: A lot of people seem to be having trouble accessing my pal Ken’s website. Turns out, it’s because he let his domain name expire, due to inattention and the reflexive habit of not opening mail because it usually contains bills. Don’t worry – he was able to buy the extension, and the site should come back up in the next day or two (weirdly, I can see it just fine, and read his happy posts about spending yesterday shooting guns with Eugene Volokh, Cathy Seipp, Roman Genn and Laura). Anyways, this is as good a time as any to urge you to GIVE KEN MONEY, since the more money he has, the more I can come over and steal from him while he’s “sleeping.”
3/29/2002 01:36:57 PM
Who Is ‘Reflexively’ Pro-Israel? Alterman Names Names: Media critic Eric Alterman divides dozens of U.S. columnists, commentators and publications into four categories: 1) "Columnists and commentators who can be counted upon to support Israel reflexively and without qualification,” 2) “Publications that, for reasons of owner or editorship can be counted upon to support Israel reflexively and without qualification,” 3) “Columnists likely to criticize both Israel and the Palestinians, but view themselves to be critically supporters of Israel, and ultimately, would support Israeli security over Palestinian rights,” (he includes himself in this category), and 4) “Columnists likely to be reflexively anti-Israel and/or pro-Palestinian regardless of circumstance.”
I’ll be curious to see how the listees respond.
3/28/2002 07:25:05 PM
Nationality, Patriotism and War: Charming blogger John Weidner has an intriguing post about European underestimation of American fighting resolve during WWI (scroll down to the Salvation Army picture).
Strange as it seems, the British, French and German leaders did not think the United States was a nation. They seem to have viewed us as a mass of European refugees milling about in confusion. (Now they say we're a bunch of cowboys.) This is from a German report on prisoners taken from 2d div. at Belleau Wood: "... Only a few of the men are genuine Americans by ancestry, the majority is of German, Dutch or Italian parentage; but these half-Americans, who with few exceptions were born in America ... consider themselves unhesitatingly as genuine sons of America." Surprise! My great-great-great grandfather, Peter Joseph Osterhaus, was born in Germany, participated as a young man in the 1848 uprisings, and then fled to the Midwest, where he, like tens of thousands of ‘48ers, enthusiastically joined the army of the North, because they fervently believed Lincoln and his supporters were on the noble side of human rights. In other words, he became not just an American, but an American soldier, willing to die for his new country and its ideals within a dozen years of arriving. (Here are some photos of the old coot.) He ended up becoming one of four German-born major generals for the North, marching with Sherman through Georgia, and laying siege on Layne's uppity forebears in Vicksburg. After the war, he served as U.S. consul in my wife’s native Lyon, and in Mannheim, Germany. His son Hugo was a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy just prior to WWI, and even though his old man tried to talk him out of fighting against the Kaiser, he served in the war with honor.
The Osterhaus branch is about the only recent-immigrant blood in my family, aside from a few filthy Welshmen from the 19th century, and probably the only significant non-British Isles bunch. We are mostly stocked with old-timey Americans, including Plymouth settler Phineas Pratt, yet it was the new Krauts on the block who fought with great distinction for American ideals. So no, stories about the potentially divided loyalties of recent immigrants don’t really move me.
3/28/2002 04:57:39 PM
Thanks, Weekly Standard! Richard Starr writes a nice column about the Chronicle/Wolfowitz flap & what that might say about DIY media criticism, in which he links to my bit on the Chron’s dishonest non-apology. Starr’s comment:
The whole episode raises a couple of interesting questions. How would the Chronicle have reacted had the Pentagon merely asserted that Wolfowitz's views were misrepresented, without having already made available to the public its own transcript of the interview? I think we can make an informed guess: It would have conceded nothing. Indeed, four days after its exchange with Clarke, the Chronicle published another letter to the editor, from a reader urging the paper not to Of course, you can always find the best Chronicle letters over at William Quick’s site.
"roll over for Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. … The minor liberties taken in paraphrasing Wolfowitz's exchange with The Chronicle (Editorial, 'Soft cry of a hard hawk,' March 1) did not distort his well-publicized hawkishness. There is plenty of corroborative evidence that appears regularly in all media coverage." Not to belabor the obvious, but a paper chooses the letters it prints. That doesn't mean the editors agree with the content of the letters. But a paper embarrassed by its own distortions and self-confessed failure to meet standards would not have published this letter. After all, its message amounts to thanking the paper for lying to its readers in the service of a good cause.
3/28/2002 02:44:57 PM
A Quick Note on Conspiracy Theories: Conspiracy theories are popular among people who A) lack access to power, B) are obsessed by a particular issue, or narrow set of issues, C) tend to let ideology trump facts and rationalism, D) have a pessimistic and/or paranoid view about human nature and power, E) believe their fellow citizens to be foolish, malleable sheep. If you are an ardent Palestinian sympathizer and self-described anti-Zionist, with a pessimistic view about the U.S.’ role in the world, and if the recent suicidal slaughter has only hardened your previous beliefs, you probably need to invent a theory of why people don’t agree with you. Enter the Jewish-Controlled Media. That the most famously Jewish elite newspaper in the States is perhaps the most sympathetic to the Palestinian cause does nothing to shake your view. That a reporter like Thomas L. Friedman can be Jewish, yet write fair and critical journalism from Beruit and Jerusalem (down to exposing the vile Sabra and Shatila massacre), is no reason to call him anything but Zionist. But what of this grass-roots, non-profitable media, these blog thingies? We’ve seen a lot of outrage about Palestinian actions, and sympathy for Israel, in a prominent corner of the blogosphere. Are these all Jews? If not, are they just taking orders from the Jewish media? But wait, they’re not very kind to the elite media (especially the Jew York Times) … well, I guess they just must be foolish, malleable sheep.
3/28/2002 02:17:02 PM
Complete Guide to Hollywood Walk of Fame Stars: In case you were, say, a radio reporter, and you were driving in Hollywood when the news broke that Billy Wilder died.
3/28/2002 02:15:32 PM
Why Heather Havrilesky is my Favorite Advice Columnist:
3/28/2002 01:08:14 PM
Four Things Missing From the NYT’s ‘Web Is Dead’ Story: 1) The total number, and rate of increase, of individual humans connected to the Internet, in the U.S. and the rest of the world. 2) The total number, and rate of increase, of individual Web pages on the Internet, here and abroad. 3) The total number, and rate of increase, of sites using Blogger, Moveable Type and other blogging technologies. 4) The total number, and rate of decline, of consumers of network television and daily newspapers. I wonder what year it will be – 2010? 2028? – when the Fate of Online Media won’t be determined by what might happen to Salon, Suck and Slate. (Via Layne) UPDATE: Ben Sullivan has a nice take on this (third item down).
3/28/2002 12:33:26 PM
‘The Cole Porter of Punk’: That’s what they’re calling Dr. Frank, one of my favorite bloggers, in the latest issue of the East Bay Express. It’s a real nice profile of the “cofounder of the East Bay punk scene,” with a cute picture to boot. Here’s a description of Frank’s “cluttered Oakland apartment.”
The flat is crammed with hundreds of novels, political science and philosophy tracts (which he actually reads); old songbooks by Noel Coward, the Gershwins, and Frank Loesser; votive candles and Catholic tchotchkes, and an impressive collection of plastic toys that stands like a small army poised to do his bidding. A makeshift recording studio dominates his bedroom, with guitars, keyboards, four-tracks, mixers, and a microphone shielded by a nylon stocking. Toward the bottom of the piece, they get around to Frank’s blogging, and quote from this perfectly reasonable bit of his writing about the punk/blog connection:
In many ways the weblog phenomenon is a lot like the often unrealized ideal of punk rock, which is that everyone has a band, and all the members of all the bands are in the audience when they don't happen to be on the stage. There is an absolute equality of opportunity, yet it's also a true meritocracy, since the ones with the most appealing or interesting content get the most attention; there's very little subversion of this meritocracy, very little incentive for people to pander to the lowest common denominator to increase "market share," since the financial angle, if it's there at all, is minimal at best. At least, that's the ideal. Rock on, Frank!
3/28/2002 11:56:03 AM
More Cockburn Stuff: Care of RiShawn Biddle, who helpfully points out I’m a little late in noticing Cockburn’s innuendos, and directs us to some of Alex’s latest writings about the Israeli spy ring.
3/28/2002 11:29:41 AM
What the Fuck? Alexander Cockburn, the far-leftist who usually mixes a fair amount of reporting with his invective, tosses off some astonishing lines about The Jews in this March 12 column (italics mine):
It's supposedly the third rail in journalism even to have a discussion of how much the Jews do control the media. Since three of the prime founders of Hollywood, were Polish Jews who grew up within fifty miles of each other in Galicia, it's reckoned as not so utterly beyond the bounds of propriety to talk about Jewish power in Hollywood, though people still stir uneasily. The economic and political commentator Jude Wanniski remarked last week in his web newsletter that even if the Jews don't control the media overall, it is certainly true to say that they control discussion of Israel in the media here. Unless about 12 conspiracies line up perfectly for the old Marxist lecher, this will go down in history as one of his most irresponsible and hateful pieces of writing yet. I'm speechless. (Via Gary Farber)
Certainly, there are a number of stories sloshing around the news now that have raised discussion of Israel and of the posture of American Jews to an acrid level. The purveyor of anthrax may have been a former government scientist, Jewish, with a record of baiting a colleague of Arab origins, and with the intent to blame the anthrax on Muslim terrorists. Rocketing around the web and spilling into the press are many stories about Israeli spies in America at the time of 9/11. On various accounts, they were trailing Atta and his associates, knew what was going to happen but did nothing about it, or were simply spying on US facilities. Some, posing as art students have been expelled, according to AP. Finally, there's Sharon's bloody repression of the Palestinians, and Israel's apparently powerful role in Bush's foreign policy, urging him into action against at least two of the axes of evil, Iraq and Iran.
3/27/2002 11:30:14 PM
Yeah, But What About That Guy Who Gets 2.5% of the Vote? Layne seems disappointed that I chose to criticize a tasteless James Taranto post about the recent French massacre, rather than the French presidential candidate who called the tragedy an “American-style byproduct.” Fair enough. Let’s talk about Alain Madelin, the offending frog politician in question. What jumps out at you, besides his silly quote? Maybe it’s the fact that he’s polling at 2.5%, behind not only Jacques Chirac (23%) and Lionel Jospin (21%), but also National Front freakazoid Jean-Marie Le Pen (12%), left-wing nationalist Jean-Pierre Chevenement (9%), Trotskyite Arlette Laguiller (8%), Communist Robert Hue (5%), Green candidate Noel Mamere (5%), somebody named Francois Bayrou (4%), and Anti-EU Nationalist Charles Pasqua (3%), according to the March 25 Times of London. Heck, 2.5% is less than even Ralph Nader got, which is funny, because I seem to recall a certain rejoinder from a certain friend, oh, roundabout 3 in the morning on election night 2000, about “bending over backward” to give a certain candidate “legitimacy by writing about him EVERY DAY, instead of IGNORING his BULLSHIT!!” And Ralph was in third place, not tenth. The truly noteworthy and sad aspect to Madelin’s dumb comment is not that it is representative of France, or that he has a larger audience than James Taranto, but rather that he is the only out-and-out free marketer in the running. And he’s getting beaten like a gong, while lunging foolishly for media attention.
3/27/2002 10:50:04 PM
Say, Let’s Turn a Mass Murder Into a Joke, and a Nationalist Smear! That’s what James Taranto does today over at Opinion Journal, in an item entitled “The French Are So Uncivilized.” After making some tasteful jokes about the Green Party platform (the French city-hall shooter may or may not have been a Green), Taranto ticks off a couple of the usual anti-France complaints (such as the lack of a Death Penalty), and concludes:
In a country whose culture is so indifferent to innocent life, it's no wonder they have things like massacres at town-hall meetings. It’s always unseemly to watch people play petty politics with mass murder, whether in Columbine, the World Trade Center, or a Parisian suburb. To go the extra mile, and make both a joke and a national insult, borders on the disgusting. UPDATE: Peter Pribik, the great new blogger who needs to learn the magic of the “blockquote” command, objected to the same Taranto item three hours ago:
It is a venerable tradition to poke fun at the frogs, and as I was subjected to French folly firsthand in high school (ehem, that's lycee for you), I'm all for it. But this blurb is sanctimonius, stupid, and rabid. Further, it is in bad taste. Finally, one should labor to choose one's enemies more wisely than that. How is Taranto better than Hubba the Vedrine?
3/27/2002 05:18:43 PM
He May Be Right About Some Things, But He’s a Liar: Sharp and valuable piece from Slate’s Timothy Noah today about David Brock’s specific lies, and those who would believe them. You can use reaction to Brock’s latest confessional as a fairly accurate litmus test of journalists’ preference for ideology over truth. (Via Andrew Sullivan)
3/27/2002 01:13:10 PM
The Nasty Nexus of Democrat Fundraising, Web Strategy and Hollywood Courtship: Good column today on this topic by Glenn Reynolds, who is banging the drum nicely on that wretched-sounding CBDTPA bill. Reminded me of one of my favorite columns for NewsForChange, written about then-Democratic Party national chairman Joe Andrew, an appalling money-grubbing dot-com twit who specialized in insulting voters’ intelligence when he wasn’t greasing the wheels for FDA permits. Here are some excerpts that contain Andrew’s insulting ideas about “what it means to be a Democrat.”
"How do you know if you're a Democrat? If you've ever met someone down on his or her luck, and you wanted to help, then you're a Democrat. ... If you have ever seen the look in a child's eyes of fear, of hunger, or of aspiration, and wanted to help, then you're a Democrat. ... If you believe that we are better off working together than apart, then you're a Democrat. If you believe in community, opportunity, and responsibility, then you are a Democrat." […] Andrew, as I mentioned in a follow-up column about the Democratic ticket’s will to censorship, was the author of a truly gruesome spy novel called “The Disciples,” which kicks off with a charming rape scene where a 300-pound black woman with “melon-wide lips” forces herself upon an American spook named, uh, Tommy Wood.
"I am a Democrat because we welcome you whether you're black or white or brown or red or a nice shade of purple. ... We welcome you whether you're young or old or just don't want to tell your age. We welcome you regardless of what gender you are or what gender you want to hold hands with."
3/27/2002 12:51:55 PM
The Next Threat to National Security – ‘Acoustic Terrorism’: This one might just take the cake for post-9/11 hyperbole. Ted Reuter, executive director for – I’m not making this up – a “national lobby group” called Noise Free America, contributes a column to the L.A. Times today entitled “Today’s Boom Cars Are Nothing If Not Acoustic Terrorism.” An excerpt:
The acoustic terrorism fostered by boom cars runs counter to the desire of most Americans for peace and quiet. […] I guess it takes a little rhetorical screaming to get your voice heard above the din, eh? So, if those Armenian teens blasting turbo-folk under my window are Acoustic Terrorists, what do we call Marc Bolan?
Peace-loving citizens need to reclaim the streets. […]
Besides petitioning their local officials to enact similar laws, there are other things that people can do to save their hearing and their sanity. Auto stereo manufacturers should be pressured to stop glorifying audio violence. Companies that gloat about disturbing the peace should hear from angry consumers. Police carrying decibel meters and driving with their windows down should be on the lookout for noise violators. And the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should place restrictions on how much noise can be generated by car stereo equipment.
It's time, in other words, for a little peace on Earth.
3/27/2002 12:13:39 PM
Guess Who’s Behind the Rumor About the Secret Bin Laden Family Flight When all Other Planes Were Grounded? More valuable debunking from the San Fernando Valley Snopes gang. (Via Henry Hanks) Speaking of Michael Moore, Will Wilkinson says he witnessed Ralph Nader claim in an interview that Moore’s book was succeeding despite getting “no publicity,” aside from a “brief appearance” on Politically Incorrect. Yeah, I know, none of this matters, but dammit, if I was touring the country and saying a bunch of crap, I’d be happy if there were a bunch of Internet weirdos calling me out whenever I let the old imagination run wild. It’s actually my intention to never write or say something (in a professional setting, at least), that isn’t true to the best of my knowledge, while acknowledging freely when I may be out of my depth, which is often. We all fall short, obviously, but I like to feel, when reading any writer or commentator, that they actually care about such things, and are making a good-faith effort not to spread falsehoods. I don’t get that impression when reading Michael Moore, above and beyond the extra leeway he should be given for being a satirist.
3/26/2002 06:28:17 PM
Newish Tsar Song I Hadn’t Heard Recorded: It’s really time I started paying attention. Found this MP3 of my favorite band’s song “Smart Boys” over on Tony Pierce’s link page, which I apparently don’t visit enough. That sure is a high note the lead singer hits.
3/26/2002 05:46:48 PM
Applying for a Job as a Saudi Apologist: That’s what the very interesting Asparagirl did the other day, writing a letter to the Saudi-fluffing Qorvis Communications PR firm. It bears repeating – the Americans, and especially the ex-diplomat Americans, who spend their time apologizing for Riyadh, often times on Riyadh’s direct or indirect dime, are much more worthy of scorn and scrutiny than most any goofball left-field columnist. (Via Charles Johnson)
3/26/2002 04:45:10 PM
Cintra Wilson, Ladies and Gentlemen: I have nothing at all to say about the Academy Awards, and I am bored with 99% of the people who do … but then, Cintra Wilson has always been a one-percenter, hasn’t she? What a funny writer.
3/26/2002 04:06:13 PM
The Cop Was Black, Too: A reader from Jacksonville, Florida writes to say that my post below about the bogus murder case captured in the Oscar-winning documentary “Murder on a Sunday Morning” may have given the impression that the cop who allegedly muscled a confession out of a young black kid was some kind of redneck. In fact, Michael Glover, and his sheriff-father Nat, are both black. As my correspondent writes, “Innocent poor black kids are denied justice by black cops as well as white.” I guess living as close to the Rampart area as I do (where many of the most flagrant known violations were color-on-color), it didn’t occur to me to view this as a racial question as much as an abuse-of-power issue. The kid, incidentally, came from a solidly middle-class two-parent household, and looked shy and bookish. The guy eventually charged in the murder looked like a scary street hood.
3/26/2002 03:36:01 PM
Iraqi Funding of Suicide Bombers: Ken Layne does some terrific media reporting for Fox News today, though his photo byline looks eerily like that guy from the South Park movie.
3/26/2002 01:26:07 PM
Zevon and the Novelists: Warren Zevon’s new record includes collaborations with authors Hunter Thompson, Paul Muldoon, Carl Hiaasen and Mitch Albom (who, it turns out, has a “beach house south of L.A.”). Check out this entertaining conversation with the Excitable Werewolf on his website.
3/26/2002 11:27:19 AM
The Four-Day Book Proposal: I am giving myself until roughly Friday to prepare a proposal for my long-awaited (by Ken Layne at least) Ralph Nader book. I intend to call it “Speaking Lies To Power,” and there will be an upcoming campaign-memoir book review to that effect in the next print edition of Reason magazine. Since I am both shameless and lazy, any useful tips on potential agents and publishing houses would be not only appreciated, but rewarded by a healthy amount of drinks, should said tipster be in the Greater Los Angeles region. And remember, I’m coming at this project from the perspective of someone who voted for the guy, even after covering his campaign.
3/26/2002 12:10:48 AM
Bookmark This Site: Peter Pribik, who, like many people who speak Czech, is smarter than I can ever hope to be, has finally launched his weblog. It’s already a doozy; only a pissed-off quadrilingual mathematician would launch his site by using Orwell’s dictum to cast aside clichéd words … to cast aside the word “Orwellian.” There are only three items up there now, so let’s excerpt from the top post/essay, about the widespread idea that “poverty breeds terrorism.”
No one seems to remember that during most of human history most men have been poor. Yet terrorism has not been a perpetual phenomenon plaguing men regardless of culture and time. […] It’s about time, Pribik!
Now, suppose you're the guy in charge of deploying suicide bombers. You have to send someone across a heavily patrolled border into hostile territory he is probably ignorant of. There the person must improvise to implement the mission. And this is a simple task in comparison with 9/11. There you had to deploy a man to a foreign country where he had to blend in, secure himself financially, communicate with others covertly and engage in rigorous study. And all of this for an extended period of time. Only a fool would try to train a destitute, illiterate youth who has never left his local slum for a mission with such requirements.
3/25/2002 11:19:02 PM
Murder on a Sunday Morning: You know those classy French dudes who made that nice speech last night about Martin Luther King and a kid being charged for murder because he was black? I was lucky enough to see a screening of “Murder on a Sunday Morning” a few weeks back, and I encourage all of you to do the same when it airs on HBO March 31. The documentary itself will not dazzle you with technique or anything, but the story is truly shocking – a 14-year-old black kid in Jacksonville, walking his dog in a neighborhood pretty far away from a hotel where a middle-aged woman was shot by a black man in front of her husband, was basically pulled over by cops, identified positively by the husband (not in a lineup, mind you, but when the cops brought him over to have a look at the kid in the back seat of a cop car), and when he wouldn’t admit to the crime, they brought in intimidating cop Michael Glover, an ex-football toughie and son of the local sheriff, and Glover took the kid alone in the woods at dusk, and produced a “confession” that the kid immediately denied giving. There was no other forensic evidence, absolutely nothing else made sense, and we get to watch the State of Florida try to hang this conviction on a kid, using the unconvincing testimony of obviously lying cops. It’s great to watch trashy-looking public defender Pat McGuinness slice up the witnesses, and his partner Ann Finnell talk about capital-J justice … but it’s absolutely horrifying to think that people can still be locked up and tried for murder just because one (or more) cops lie, their supervisors & local judges look the other way, and a single distraught witness gives an unreliable positive ID in extremely dubious circumstances. I was damned glad the local court-appointed attorney was as capable as McGuinness, and the next time I see any of you bozos in the bozosphere bitching about public defenders, I’ll be sending a bucket of live crabs directly to your table. Lest you think that all’s well that ends well, keep in mind that a 14-year-old spent a half-year in a jail full of dangerous criminals, and after the screening, the filmmakers indicated that his life has been in a tailspin based on what happened to him behind bars. And even though some of the jerks lost their jobs in the wake of this travesty, take a gander at this wretched exchange, care of Jacksonsville’s Channel Four news:
Channel 4's Brad Puffer asked the state attorney officials if they were concerned about the impression the documentary could leave on a national or international audience. Jay, you need to be impeached. Anytime one of your own freakin’ constituents gets shafted by lying public officials while the real murderer walks around free, that’s when you should be “concerned.”
"Anytime there's something that paints Jacksonville in something that's less than positive, you're obviously going to be concerned," Assistant State Attorney Jay Plotkin said.
3/25/2002 10:53:41 PM
Here’s Your Solid Daily Source for News Related to Cuba: I’ve just been on another Cuban deadline-bender, and as always, CubaNet got me through.
3/25/2002 10:27:21 PM
Is the Islamic World Analogous to Pre-Bomb Japan? That’s what Steven Den Beste argues, in an essay I found to be terrific, though I know next to nothing about Japanese history, and I’m probably less of a self-described “chauvinist” than Steven is. (Via William Quick)
3/24/2002 01:07:43 PM
Double Standards for Gray Davis and the Rich: Because I don’t have a college degree, I am basically barred from being called in by some California university or college and teaching a journalism class as a visiting lecturer. This is kind of unfortunate (one hates to have one’s options limited, and I prefer meritocracy to bureaucracy), but you can understand the logic – college kids should be taught by people with more tangible schooling than they. Well, there are different rules for people who donate more than $600,000 to California’s wretched governor, Gray Davis. As mentioned over at the LA Examiner, Haim Saban, the Israeli-born cartoon producer who just gave the Democratic Party an astonishing $7 million in last-minute soft money, was appointed by Davis last month to sit on the University of California’s governing Board of Regents. And Saban doesn’t have a college degree. Worse, he acts like his 15 years of contributions to our ruthless Sacramento technocrat had nothing to do with his fancy new appointment. Davis is such a venal jerk, words fail.
3/24/2002 10:28:30 AM
Who Gets to be a ‘Professional’ Journalist? Great post from Patrick Nielsen Hayden, decrying a terrible ruling by a judge in King County that some cranky old dude with a website doesn’t have the same First Amendment protections as Eric Alterman, because he’s not paid as a professional journalist. The writer, 70-year-old Paul Trummel, has been sent to jail for contempt of court when he failed to censor himself to the judge’s satisfaction. Nielsen Hayden dovetails this anecdote with a trenchant comment on Alterman’s feeble and strangely elitist smear on Andrew Sullivan.
3/24/2002 10:11:21 AM
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