Jan
24
2014

Snowden Is a Janitor Working for the Russians

newsweek-snowden

If lawmakers are making unfounded allegations about a whistleblower, and those allegations are being repeated across the media, one might think the real problem is with a media culture.

Jan
21
2014

Erasing Obama's Record on the Afghan War

US Soldier, Afghanistan (cc photo: US Army/ Michael Casteel)

In focusing on how Obama might end the Afghan War–which hasn't ended, of course–media accounts omit the fact that Obama massively increased the number of US troops in Afghanistan

Aug
26
2013

Jeffrey Toobin, Expert on Bizarre Analogies

Jeffrey Toobin (cc photo: University of Missouri/Kansas City)

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. […]

Jun
25
2013

People Who Urge Calm Over NSA Spying Make Me Nervous

Hendrik Hertzberg (cc photo: Spencer Selvidge/Texas Tribune)

It's as if it's not possible for the government to violate people's Fourth Amendment rights (to be protected against "unreasonable searches and seizures") unless it violates their First Amendment rights at the same time.

May
21
2013

Problems at PBS, From Rose to Koch

PBS will give you more of this...

If you think public television exists to offer challenging, independent news and public affairs shows that bring us stories the stories the commercial media too often ignore, free of the influence of big sponsors and corporate owners… well, this hasn't been a good week.

May
17
2013

You're to Blame for Factory Deaths. Well, You and Walmart

New Yorker illustration

The New Yorker's James Surowiecki has figured out who's to blame for unsafe working conditions for garment workers: people who wear clothing: "The problem isn't so much evil factory owners as a system that's great at getting Western consumers what they want but leaves developing-world workers toiling in misery."

Apr
24
2013

Jon Lee Anderson Explains: Because I Said So

Jon Lee Anderson

New Yorker staff writer Jon Lee Anderson has a blog post on the magazine's website (4/23/13) addressing the controversy over his recent coverage of Venezuela (FAIR Blog, 4/17/13): At issue are sentences in three different pieces written in the course of a number of months—two on the New Yorker's website and one in the magazine.  Readers pointed out what they saw as factual errors in each. In two cases I agreed, and corrected the sentences; in the third I didn't, for reasons I'll explain. So you expect he's going to explain why he didn't agree that the third alleged factual […]

Apr
17
2013

Why We Need the New Yorker to Correct Its Error on Venezuelan Inequality

Jon Lee Anderson

The New Yorker is a magazine whose name is practically synonymous with factchecking–which makes you wonder how the glaring, major errors in the its recent coverage of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez got through.

Jan
25
2013

Why Do Poor People Living in an Abandoned Skyscraper So Outrage the New Yorker?

"Slumlord," New Yorker article by Jon Lee Anderson

For the New Yorker, rising standards of living for the Venezuelan poor don't matter much when weighed against the fact that rich people lost some property they weren't using.

Nov
01
2012

How'd You Like That Hurricane We Made?

Hurricane Sandy (NASA)

Writing about journalistic treatment of the superstorm and climate change, CJR's Curtis Brainard (10/30/12) criticizes the New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert for the wrong reason. He takes issue with her statement (10/29/12): As with any particular "weather-related loss event," it's impossible to attribute Sandy to climate change. However, it is possible to say that the storm fits the general pattern in North America, and indeed around the world, toward more extreme weather, a pattern that, increasingly, can be attributed to climate change. He's unhappy with the second part–retorting that you can't attribute a trend toward extreme weather to climate change. But […]

May
03
2011

The New Yorker's Sense of Humor

The recent New Yorker piece by Ryan Lizza about the development of Barack Obama's foreign policy includes this memorable line: Obama had always read widely, and now he was determined to get a deeper education. He read popular books on foreign affairs by Fareed Zakaria and Thomas Friedman. The magazine's cartoons never make me laugh, but that is hilarious.

Apr
20
2010

Unlike Amazon, Publishers Understand Authors–and How to Rip Them Off

Ken Auletta (cc photo: JD Lasica, socialmedia.biz)

In a lengthy New Yorker piece (4/26/10) about the Amazon/Apple battle over e-books, Ken Auletta paints some familiar heroes and villains: "The [publishing] industry's great hope was that the iPad would bring electronic books to the masses–and help make them profitable. E-books are booming…. But publishers were concerned that lower prices would decimate their profits." If Amazon gets away with selling e-books for $9.99, Auletta quotes one publishing CEO, "to my mind it's game over for this business." Amazon is depicted as controlling and mercenary: Many publishers believe that Amazon looks upon books as just another commodity to sell as […]

Dec
09
2008

O'Reilly Smears Reporter in Defense of 'Anti-Gay Bigotry'

New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg tells (12/5/08) of being targeted by Fox's Bill O'Reilly for connecting Newt Gingrich to "anti-gay bigotry." O'Reilly's grievance against Hertzberg sparks from this passage in the writer's December 1 New Yorker piece: Like a polluted swamp, anti-gay bigotry is likely to get thicker and more toxic as it dries up. Viciousness meets viciousness. "Look," Newt Gingrich, the former House Speaker, said the other day (on the air, to Bill O'Reilly), "I think there is a gay and secular fascism in this country that wants to impose its will on the rest of us, is prepared […]