Scenes From a Southern Gothic Murder Trial
October 26, 2012
Americans love a good procedural, and the Jeffrey MacDonald murder case is right up there with O.J. Simpson in the true crime genre. Ever since MacDonald, a Green Beret doctor at Fort Bragg, was arrested for allegedly murdering his wife and two young daughters over 40 years ago, Americans have been captivated by the sordid tale, and bitterly divided over its meaning. The result of the military's initial investigation was that the evidence and charges against MacDonald were "not true," so he was released.
In the Tank
October 28, 2009
The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President By Taylor Branch (Simon & Schuster, 707 pp., $35) In her infamous first sentence of The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcolm swings for the fences and proclaims that "every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible." She means that journalists use their human subjects and then dispose of them; that we con them in person by "preying on people's vanity, ignorance, or loneliness"--it occurs to me to note that however bleak print's future seems
The Selling of the Scandal
September 28, 1998
A first-hand tour of how candidates and the media packaged and sold the Lewinsky scandal.