[Guest Post by Isaac Chotiner] From Charles Blow in today's New York Times, recounting a trip to the south where he spent time with blue-collar workers (the title of the column, 'They, Too, Sing America,' was admittedly fair warning): They are honest people who do honest work — crack-the-bones work; lift-it, chop-it, empty-it, glide-it-in-smooth work; feel-the-flames-up-close work; crawl-down-in-there work — things that no one wants to do but that someone must. They are women whose skin glistens from steam and sweat, whose hands stay damp from being dipped in buckets and dried on aprons.
Writers should be excused their obsessions, and they should even be pardoned for writing too much about those obsessions. But Tina Brown, the editor of Newsweek, has decided to make her article on “Diana at 50” the cover story of her magazine. The piece ponders what Diana would have been doing with her life had she not died in Paris. It is almost impossible to do justice to the sheer awfulness of this story.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] Representative Ron Paul, in Iowa: "We're not on the verge of having a king, but we are on the verge of having way too much dictatorship in Washington, D.C.." Senator Rand Paul, in Washington D.C.: "I’m not for profiling people on the color of their skin, or on their religion, but I would take into account where they’ve been traveling and perhaps, you might have to indirectly take into account whether or not they’ve been going to radical political speeches by religious leaders. It wouldn’t be that they are Islamic.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] In his seemingly endless quest to write about the most trivial and minor subjects imaginable, The New York Times' "public editor," Arthur Brisbane, penned a column yesterday on filth. According to Brisbane, 'The culture is headed for the curb, and The New York Times is on the story." What Brisbane means is that society is going to the dogs, and his beloved newspaper is following along. Now, you might say to yourself that of all the problems that ail this fine newspaper, a preponderance of sex-drenched, vulgar reporting is not near the top of the list.
[Guest Post by Isaac Chotiner] In his column about the United Kingdom, David Brooks writes: Britain faced an enormous task [in the first 20 years of the 20th century]: To move from an aristocratic political economy to a democratic, industrial one. This transition was made gradually, without convulsion, with both parties playing a role. Brooks also quotes the French ambassador to Britain, who reportedly stated: “I have witnessed an English revolution more profound and searching than the French Revolution itself.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] In his item below, Jon speculates on why liberals dominate political satire. It's a good question, but it should not obscure the fact that conservatives have their own brand of humor. Take Dennis Miller, who regularly appears on Fox News, and who last night made an appearance on Fox's biggest show, The O'Reilly Factor, to reflect on the death of Osama Bin Laden. O'REILLY: And I did recommend you as a new ambassador for Pakistan. I think that we need to send you there. And you need to be in charge and wise these people up.
Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle With India By Joseph Lelyveld (Alfred A. Knopf, 410 pp., $27.95) In 1914, the Tamil activist and editor P.S. Aiyar took to the pages of his South African newspaper to appraise Mohandas Gandhi. “Mr.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] The New York Times is the best newspaper we have. It is full of brilliant writers and editors, and every day it provides a wealth of fascinating stories. It also makes its share of errors and mistakes. As the most important news organization in America, it certainly provides plenty of opportunity for commentary and debate. Into this ripe field, however, has stepped another dreary "public editor." The Times began this position a few years ago, and offered prime real estate--a big chunk of the Sunday op-ed page--to its occupant.
[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] From a new poll of Mississippi Republicans: We asked voters on this poll whether they think interracial marriage should be legal or illegal- 46% of Mississippi Republicans said it should be illegal to just 40% who think it should be legal.