The End of the Fox News Era
July 26, 2010

Washington—The smearing of Shirley Sherrod ought to be a turning point in American politics.

The Firing of Octavia Nasr Is No Tragedy…And No Assault On The Freedom Of The Press Either
July 23, 2010

Somehow I missed this move by CNN. I hadn’t seen anything about it until I read Tom Friedman’s column in the Times and, then, Jack Shafer’s insistently simple-minded article in Slate. Here’s Octavia Nasr’s offending Tweet: Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah … One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot. It is a stupid piece of journalism, and distorted besides.

The TV Review: ‘Wipeout’
July 20, 2010

Officially they’re called “The Red Balls,” or “The Big Balls,” but they actually look like the tops of huge mahl sticks—you know, those poles-with-a-knob-on-the-end that painters press against the canvas to avoid smudging their oils. The idea—or, more exactly, the “idea”—is either to prance across the Balls in one go (should you be lucky enough to have the gait of a ten-storey giraffe), or else realize your human limitations and bounce gamefully off the first or second, thereby taking your obligatory dip in the murky brine below.

Obama Is Talking Jobs. Is Anybody Listening?
July 15, 2010

You've heard it a million times: The problem with President Obama is that he hasn't spent enough time talking about jobs. Maybe that's true and maybe that isn't. But the last 24 hours has me wondering whether anybody is even listening. The administration on Wednesday released another report on the economic recovery, such that it is. By its accounting, the stimulus package Obama and the Democrats passed in 2009 created between 2.5 and 3.6 million jobs, raising gross domestic product between 2.7 and 3.2 percent.

The Games Continue: Soccer for the Next Generation of Americans
July 13, 2010

The United States may have missed its chance to play Spain in the World Cup final Sunday (and the Netherlands in the semifinal, and Uruguay in the quarterfinal), but similar battles take place every day on American turf, where the world meets for pick-up soccer games. There’s weekdays outside an MIT building in Cambridge, weekend mornings behind the White House, and barefoot on the beach in Fort Lauderdale. There are, in fact, times when the U.S.

Confessions of an Epistemological Skeptic
July 01, 2010

I’m struck by how quickly some of my fellow Entanglers have brought up the mother of all epistemological quandaries: How can we, the not very well informed, know what is the case in a far-off land of which we know, well, not very much? The difficulty in knowing what is true on the ground in Afghanistan, for example, is massive. And the reason is not that “the liberal media” blight the national climate with pessimism because they’re of a wimpish or Qaeda-loving disposition.

Substance, At Last!
July 01, 2010

Far from turning into a “vapid and hollow charade,” to use Elena Kagan’s now-famous condemnation of other Supreme Court confirmation hearings, her own have been impressively substantive.

Orszag And The End Of The Dream
June 23, 2010

Ezra Klein summarizes Peter Orszag's tenure as budget director by, appropriately, focusing on Orszag's central accomplishment of pushing for ways to make health care more efficient: Where most people assumed that controlling health-care costs would eventually mean confronting the dread specter of "rationing," Orszag, taking his cue from reams of research showing that states that spent a lot of money on per capita Medicare spending didn't have better outcomes than states that spent much less, argued that a substantial portion of each dollar we spend on health care is wasted.

Republican Keynesianism
June 18, 2010

Matthew Yglesias takes a trip down memory lane to 2001, when Republicans were fierce Keynesians: Once upon a time an asset bubble burst, but there was little leverage involved and the ensuing downturn was relatively mild. The federal reserve had room to run in terms of cutting interest rates, and the previous ten years’ worth of fiscal policy had seen a series of measures, some bipartisan (1990 & 1997) and some partisan (1993) to improve the country’s budget situation.

Matt Drudge and the Future of Soccer
June 13, 2010

Has soccer arrived in America? ABC/ESPN and Univision certainly think so -- they paid over $400 million combined to air the World Cup on their stations. The mainstream media think so as well -- the World Cup has been featured on the covers of Time, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated and newspapers around the nation. But the surest sign that soccer has hit the big time in the States? Matt Drudge thinks so. Last night the Drudge Report website led with the speculation that World Cup organizers might ban the vuvuzela horns.  Earlier in the day he led with a picture of poor Robert Green looking haple