The Baader Meinhof Complex
August 31, 2009

The 2008 German Film, The Baader Meinhof Complex, was released in New York on Friday. The film tells the story of the Red Army Faction, a West-German militant group repsonsible for several acts of violence over the course of the 1970's and 80's. Reviews have been mostly positive, with Slate describing it as having a weaker second act but still epic in scope, and The New York Times remarking on how the film captures the tragic idealism of the militants. TNR reviewed the film last December.

Robert Novak, R.i.p.
August 18, 2009

The Washington Post and other news outlets are reporting that the journalist and political commentator Robert Novak has died at the age of 78. Novak is probably best known for his role in the Valerie Plame case, but prior to that scandal he was a constant presence on CNN and a prolific writer. He not only co-starred in the debate show Crossfire, but he was a frequent panelist on other programs like The Capital Gang. Novak had a reputation around Washington as a grumpy and dyspeptic personality, and his television co-hosts would always mock his "prince of darkness" image.

The Mini-review: 'the Hurt Locker'
July 24, 2009

The Hurt Locker opens with an onscreen quote from journalist Chris Hedges declaring war to be a "drug." If so, then Kathryn Bigelow’s film is itself a drug delivery device, a harrowing, exhilarating exercise in tension and release.

From Obama With Love
March 05, 2009

It’s not often that a journalist manages to provoke immediate responses from the presidents of both the United States and Russia, but Peter Baker pulled it off Tuesday. Writing in The New York Times, Baker revealed the existence of a “secret letter” in which Barack Obama suggested that if Russia helped prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, the United States might abandon its planned missile defense system in Poland and the Czech Republic. Both presidents denied that the letter offered an explicit quid pro quo, but interestingly both noted that such a trade could be a good one.

The Foush And The Furious
February 22, 2009

Last week, Valleywag broke down Obama's team of web gurus, trying to ascertain what slice of the big win each is responsible for. From Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes to Jascha Franklin-Hodge, co-founder and CTO of Blue State Digital, it seems a lot of new media heavyweights played a big part in putting Obama in the White House.  But Valleywag seems to have forgotten Rahaf Harfoush--author, journalist, blogger, poet, lecturer, and "new media evangelist" at large. Who is Rahaf Harfoush, you ask? Exactly.

Unpleasant Truths
December 30, 2008

There is an ungainly German word, Vergangenheitsbewältigung, that has no equivalent in the English language. It means "coming to terms with past," and it was coined to refer to the efforts of German intellectuals, journalists, and even some politicians who, over the past half century, insisted that facing unpleasant truths about their country's history was both a moral and political necessity.

Write Now
December 08, 2008

Barack Obama sounds like he wants to reach back to the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration to jump start the economy with an economic stimulus proposal featuring infrastructure repair.

Greenland Dispatch: Europe's Last Colony And The Big Melt
November 14, 2008

Alexander Zaitchik is a freelance journalist based in New York City. He visited Greenland in August as part of an official press delegation sponsored by the island's home-rule government. It's become a cliché of Arctic reportage to begin stories by describing the calving of glaciers—that process by which enormous vertical slabs of ice, some as tall as skyscrapers, slice off the glacial shelf and collapse into the waiting sea. During a recent reporting trip to Greenland, I quickly understood the impulse to chronicle this phenomenon.

An Ode To Ted Stevens
July 29, 2008

  Ted Stevens predates the State of Alaska. In 1953, he drove to Alaska Territory in a Buick, and--like a modern Al Swearingen--he built himself into a local luminary, successfully lobbied Congress to make Alaska a state, and then used his position on the Senate Appropriations Committee to transform himself into a patronage-distributing warlord. As one local journalist put it: "In Alaska, the presence of so-called Stevens money is as prevalent as the winter snow. Everywhere you look, Stevens has left his mark. ...

The Mugabelogue
July 02, 2008

Who’s interested in Zimbabwe, and why? How should Westerners understand the situation there? And could this all be Jimmy Carter’s fault? T.A. Frank and James Kirchick discussed the situation over IM.     Why Zimbabwe? T.A. Frank: As people like to point out, there are a lot of rotten countries out there. So why this rotten country? Let’s talk about why you and I happen to care about Zimbabwe. James Kirchick: Well, personally, I've been there.