The controversy over Heritage's dubious immigration report led Bill Keller of the New York Times to write a column about the big lessons of this scandal. And the first lesson? Think tanks on "both sides" are up to no good.
On NBC's Meet the Press (9/9/12), Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and host David Gregory had a discussion about the failures of the Obama administration's foreign policy that included this: ROMNEY: The president has not drawn us further away from a nuclear Iran. And in fact Iran is closer to having a weapon, closer to having nuclear capability, than when he took office. This is the greatest failure, in my opinion, of his foreign policy. He ran for office saying he was going to meet with Ahmadinejad. He was going to meet with Castro, Kim Jong Il. All the [...]
One of the main themes of the Republican convention is "We Did Build It," a dishonest twist on something Barack Obama said about public spending on infrastructure. We've already gone through this, in part to point out that many outlets chose to repeat the dishonest manipulation of Obama's words instead of explaining what he had actually said. But Republicans are undeterred, and as Bill Keller of the New York Times (8/28/12) pointed out in a blog post, they found a way to take that dishonesty even further, unveiling videos where Obama is heard saying this: If you've been successful, you [...]
Nobody loves centrism, writes Bill Keller in the New York Times (4/16/12), but they should. "Centrism is easily mocked and not much fun to defend," writes, noting that critiques of centrism from the left and right have a certain appeal: The politics of the center–including the professional centrists and trans-partisans of groups like Third Way and Americans Elect–do not quicken the pulse. White bread, elevator music, No Labels, meh. So what's to love about white bread? Winning. Elections are, Keller writes, usually decided by voters who are not wedded to either party, who don't stay in any ideological lane. These [...]
Bill Keller's New York Times column (3/19/12) begins with what might be a bit of self-deprecation: "When you've been wrong about something as important as war, as I have…." You might take that as a cue to stop reading right there. But Keller's point is that people should think long and hard about signing on to the latest calls for war. He writes: Sometimes our leaders start with the answers and work backward, fixing the facts to the policy, as the head of Britain's MI6 said of the Potemkin intelligence used to sell the invasion of Iraq. As the link [...]
The New York Times reports that Chelsea Clinton will be a full time special correspondent for NBC News, starting more or less immediately. Salon's Glenn Greenwald connected this news to the media careers of Meghan McCain (MSNBC), Luke Russert (NBC) and Jenna Bush Hager (NBC), and reached this conclusion about the state of our meritocracy: We all owe our gratitude to NBC News for single-handedly correcting the shameful, long-standing exclusion from our media discourse of the views of young, journalistically accomplished heirs and heiresses to political power and great fortune; it is long overdue that former NYT executive editor Bill [...]