Dec
08
2010

Evan Thomas: Only People Like Me Can Save America From the Internet's Lies

Newsweek's Evan Thomas visited Germany recently, and came away thinking the United States is headed for some serious trouble. The country is falling apart–polarized, susceptible to populist demagoguery and so on. Forces on both sides are to blame;they're not all bad ("I think the Tea Partiers, despite their contradictions, are not all wrong about Big Government," he writes), but some should be singled out for criticism: Cable-TV and talk-radio personalities and bloggers have risen up to speak for the people. But as they pander for clicks and ratings, their standards of factual accuracy are often low. This is not by […]

Apr
20
2010

Newsweek Makes a Mess of Texas

The cover of Newsweek (4/26/10) proclaims: "Don't Mess With Texas: What Governor Rick Perry's Hard-Right Creed Tells Us About America." I can't say I learned much about America, but I guess I learned something about Newsweek: They really like Rick Perry. The story, by Evan Thomas and Arian Campo-Flores, beginswith the observation, "The myth of the once and future king is as old as Camelot, as ancient as the Bible."Perry, it seems,is a living example of such a"redeemer": In Texas, his name is Rick Perry. Raised in a ranch house with no running water in the West Texas town of […]

Mar
09
2010

Newsweek Wants Accountability for Teachers, Not Editors

Newsweek devotes several pieces this week to public schools. But the lead piece, "Why We Must Fire Bad Teachers," by Evan Thomas and Pat Wingert, lays out the magazine's skewed vision: Teacher unions protect the worst performers, while charter schools offer an easy solution. ("In the past two decades, some schools have sprung up that defy and refute what former president George W. Bush memorably called 'the soft bigotry of low expectations.'") Newsweek even finds the silver lining in Hurricane Katrina: It is difficult to dislodge the educational establishment. In New Orleans, a hurricane was required: Since Katrina, New Orleans […]

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 […]

Mar
29
2009

An Order of Paul Krugman–Hold the Economics

It's to self-described "establishment" journalist Evan Thomas' credit that he calls attention (Newsweek, 4/6/09) to economist Paul Krugman's progressive criticism of the Obama administration's financial bailout plan; corporate media generally pay much more attention to critics from the right. But the same shallowness that renders most media policy discussions virtually useless infects Thomas' article, which seems more interested in analyzing Krugman's personality than his economics. "A lot of what he says is wrong and not considered," asserts George Mason economist Daniel Klein. Such as? Thomas doesn't say (nor does he allude to Klein's right-wing politics). "In areas outside his expertise […]