Time magazine's Michael Crowley (9/9/13) offers an analysis of how the Syrian situation reflects on Barack Obama's presidency: Whatever comes of Obama's confrontation with Assad, an even more dangerous confrontation lies in wait–the one with Iran. If another round of negotiations with Tehran should fail, Obama may soon be obliged to make good on his vow to stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. "I will not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to defend the United States and its interests," Obama told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in March 2012. But to his critics, Obama does […]
In his attack last week on NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the New Yorker's Jeffrey Toobin (8/20/13) started off by comparing the release of classified information about government spying to the assassination of Martin Luther King: The assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr., and Robert F. Kennedy led directly to the passage of a historic law, the Gun Control Act of 1968. Does that change your view of the assassinations? Should we be grateful for the deaths of these two men? Of course not. That's lunatic logic. But the same reasoning is now being applied to the actions of Edward Snowden. […]
Hillary Clinton hasn't announced that she's running for president in 2016, and launched a campaign yet. But the Washington Post is already complaining that her nonexistent campaign for an office she may or may not seek lacks a clear message. "Clinton’s gender likely would be a significant asset," writes chief correspondent Dan Balz (8/12/13), adding: "It, however, is not a message." One has to admire the first 44 presidents of the United States, each of whom somehow managed to achieve the office without the benefit of this asset. The next day (8/13/13), Post columnist Richard Cohen picked up on Balz's […]
A new FAIR Action Alert (8/14/13) asks where Face the Nation's dissenters are on NSA surveillance. Please leave copies of your messages to CBS, or comments on the alert, in the comments thread below.
Nate Silver's failure to fit in with the culture of the New York Times illustrates the difference between objectivity and "objectivity"–the latter being the belief that it's impossible to know what's real, so all you can do is report the claims made by various (powerful) people.
"Islamists…lack the mental equipment to govern," New York Times columnist David Brooks writes today (7/5/13). "Incompetence is built into the intellectual DNA of radical Islam." Now, Brooks has been known to cite eugenicist Steve Sailer on "white fertility rates" (12/7/04; Extra!, 4/05). But let's give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that rather than making a racist argument, he's simply appearing to be racist as a metaphor (as when he wrote recently that interracial marriage was producing a "nation of mutts"–6/27/13). So he's saying, then, that Islamists govern as if they were biologically inferior. And his evidence for […]
Sen. Dick Durbin (D.-Ill.), writing in the Chicago Sun-Times ("It's Time to Say Who's a Real Reporter," 6/26/13), says it's time to stop letting just anyone call themselves a journalist. Everyone, regardless of the mode of expression, has a constitutionally protected right to free speech. But when it comes to freedom of the press, I believe we must define a journalist and the constitutional and statutory protections those journalists should receive. By this he means, basically, that the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of the press probably don't apply to you: Not every blogger, tweeter or Facebook user is a […]
It seems inadequate for U.S. media outlets to critique the level of free expression in the country where NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is seeking asylum without comparing it to the level of free expression in the country he is seeking asylum from. While the United States has on paper some of the best guarantees of the right to speak in the world, its practice is considerably more chilling.
The administration's defense of domestic surveillance is in tatters, but few media outlets seem to notice; Thomas Friedman revises his Iraq War stance, again; and a farewell to journalist Michael Hastings.