Franklin Foer

Bully Pulpit
August 15, 2005

Last fall, a Bush-bashing ad in The New York Times included among its signatories the name of Norman Pattiz, the celebrated creator of Radio Sawa, a radio network fashioned to win hearts and minds in the Muslim world. This year, some say as a result of the ad, Pattiz has found himself battling for his seat on the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent government commission that oversees the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/ Radio Free Liberty, and Radio Sawa and its sister TV network, Alhurra.

Torah Cover
June 20, 2005

Daniel Lapin is an unlikely business guru. He doesn't have an MBA or a distinguished record of financial wizardry. His largest venture into the world of commerce, running a firm that traded in second mortgages, ended in bankruptcy court, with Lapin owing nearly $3 million. Yet this history hasn't stopped Lapin from dispensing business wisdom, and it hasn't stopped corporations from paying him thousands of dollars to give motivational speeches.

Writers' Bloc
May 16, 2005

In August 1997, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay traveled to Russia in the company of his frequent companion, the now-infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff. For six days, he huddled with government ministers and oil executives and golfed at the Moscow Country Club. Any pleasant memories of this tour of post- communist prosperity, however, have surely vanished. The trip now threatens the Texan's political career and has placed Abramoff at the center of congressional inquiries. DeLay, though, was not the only prominent conservative to see Russia the Abramoff way.

Regime Change, Inc.
April 25, 2005

When the Rose Revolution began in the fall of 2003, there was little reason to hope for a happy ending. Twelve years earlier, the former Soviet Republic of Georgia had stepped from communism into civil war. The old Communist eminence Eduard Shevardnadze may have brought greater stability when he took over the government in 1992, but his corrupt rule also generated huge new pools of ill will among the populace. Some of this disgust manifested itself in small, peaceful street protests.

Identity Crisis
December 20, 2004

Franklin Foer on Persia and the neocons.

Shadow Knows
October 11, 2004

Once upon a time, political consultants had to claw their way onto television. Only the giants of the profession--John Sears, Bob Squier--ever burst onto the tube. But then, along came cable--with its many channels and hours to fill--and the democratization of punditry, allowing consultants to spend significant parts of their days on air. And, according to the time- honored laws of the business, hours spent in green rooms are well worth it.

Cracking Up
October 04, 2004

If you care about Washington, you inevitably expend enormous quantities of breath defending the place. You develop a long enemies list. There are the populist bullies, such as George W.

Cracking Up
October 04, 2004

If you care about Washington, you inevitably expend enormous quantities of breath defending the place. You develop a long enemies list. There are the populist bullies, such as George W. Bush, who bash the inside-the- Beltway mentality. Then there are the New York snobs, the populists' strange bedfellows, who dismiss Washington as a dowdy provincial capital like Brasilia or Canberra, without the access to Prada and foie gras that a great city demands. But, after vigorously championing Washington, there are moments when severe self-doubt sets in.

The Grumblers
September 13, 2004

new york, new york On the first morning of convention week, a raft of high-roller donors and the politicians who take their money congregated at a fusty Gilded Age club in Midtown. In contrast to much of the week's frivolity and agitprop, the purpose of this gathering was substantive discussion: a seminar on the Bush economy hosted by the Club for Growth, a group that funds the candidates most devoted to the gospel of conservative economics.

Opportunism Knocks
September 06, 2004

To grasp the strangeness of the current rapprochement between President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain, you need to understand the saga of John Weaver, the political operative who brokered the peace. Long before many Democrats became Bush haters, Weaver was already there. As a chief strategist for John McCain's 2000 presidential campaign, he bore witness to the carnage of the primary in South Carolina, where Bush campaign proxies spread spurious rumors about their rival's venereal diseases, treasonous wartime behavior, and the black child he sired with a prostitute.