Mar
02
2010

Only Rahm Emanuel Can Save You Now

White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel has always been a controversial figure–famously profane and short-tempered, and politically speaking a center-right Clinton Democrat. As of late, though, there's been a strange effort–particularly in the Washington Post–to present Emanuel as the confidant whose political advice Barack Obama has too often ignored and who offers a clear path to political rehabilitation. This only makes sense in a Beltway media that views Obama as too far to the left, and in need of Emanuel's pragmatic centrism to pull him back to the middle. This campaign was kicked off by a February 21 Dana […]

Mar
02
2010

Fortune Journalist–and Mitt Romney Adviser?

Sasha Issenberg reports in the Boston Globe (3/2/10) that Fortune magazine Washington bureau chief and Fox News pundit Nina Easton advised Republican Mitt Romneyon his recent book No Apology. Easton told the Globe that she "offered some writer's advice on things like structure and how to better tease out themes in his writing." This isn't the first time Easton has had conflict-of-interest issues; her husband was a media consultant to Romney's 2008 presidential campaign, and earlier worked for John McCain's bid, entanglements that Easton dealt with by avoiding writing about her spouse's boss (L.A. Times, 3/19/07). As Issenberg notes: Many […]

Mar
02
2010

Read the Chart, Not the NYT Article, to Get the Straight Dope on Book Profits

Books (cc photo: Sarah Browning)

There's a certain category of newspaper article where you're better off ignoring the text and just looking at the accompanying graph. Such an article is "Math of Publishing Meets the E-Book" (New York Times, 3/1/10), by Motoko Rich. The context for the article is the fight between publishers and Amazon over how much to charge for an electronic copy of a book; Amazon wants to price them at $10, whereas publishers would prefer to charge $13 or $15. Here's what you learn about publishers' profits from the article itself: In the emerging world of e-books, many consumers assume it is […]

Mar
01
2010

Death Panels–Again?

In a February 28 pieceheadlined, "Obama Ready to Move Forward on Healthcare Reform," the Washington Post's Anne Kornblut closed on a rather odd note: Republicans have expressed growing confidence heading into the midterm elections, with healthcare as a potential campaign tool. Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele took the argument a step further, saying after the Thursday summit that it had been "a death panel for Obama-care." "If that wasn't enough, when you come out of this thing and you're looking at the reconciliation fight that may loom ahead of us, it certainly will have represented a death panel […]

Mar
01
2010

Newsweek Blames the People

A headline over an Evan Thomas story in this week's Newsweek (3/8/10) tells us: "We the Problem: Washington Is Working Just Fine. It's Us That's Broken." Thomas blames, among other things, "our 'got mine' culture of entitlement," adding: Politicians, never known for their bravery, precisely represent the people. Our leaders are paralyzed by the very thought of asking their constituents to make short-term sacrifices for long-term rewards. They cannot bring themselves to raise taxes on the middle class or cut Social Security and medical benefits for the elderly. They'd get clobbered at the polls. So any day of reckoning gets […]