Franklin Foer

Swimming with Sharks
October 03, 2005

Everyone who watched this summer's race for College Republican National Committee (CRNC) chair with any detachment has a favorite moment of chutzpah they admire in spite of themselves. Leading the count are the following: speaking sotto voce of your opponent's "homosexuality"; rigging the delegate count so that states that support your candidate have twice as many votes as those that don't; and using a sitting congressman to threaten the careers of undecided voters. I can understand the perverse appeal of each of these incidents.

The Mole
September 26, 2005

The press has spent the past week congratulating itself for awakening from its long slumber. After years of credulously reciting administration talking points about WMD and candy-throwing Iraqis, the corpse-lined streets of New Orleans have spurred reporters to finally get feisty with mendacious officials and slippery politicians. The most celebrated hero of this resurgence is CNN's Anderson Cooper. When Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu congratulated her fellow politicians for their poised response to Katrina, Cooper cried bullshit.

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.

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.

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