Getting Darnell Off the Corners: An America On the Rise Will Ride the Anti-Drug-War Wave
December 31, 2010

It’s one thing that the United States will soon be taking orders from China (or already is). But what about when we’re becoming less forward-thinking than England? That’s the only possible reading of the fact that there, the former top drug official Bob Ainsworth has addressed the House of Commons and argued for the legalization of all drugs. Not just pot – all of them.

The Sexism of 'Morning Joe'
December 13, 2010

One Monday morning in November, according to the admittedly rough transcript provided by the Federal News Service, “Morning Joe,” anchor Joe Scarborough spoke 3,213 words; his co-anchor Mika Brzezinski spoke just 644. Most of her words seemed merely to remind the audience that she was still awake: Yeah. Okay. Yes. No. Maybe. Right. Terrific. Scarborough dominated the meaty segments; Brzezinski piped up mainly during the transitions.

The Tiny Cable News Universe
November 15, 2010

[Guest post by James Downie] Thanks to the midterms, the Stewart-Colbert rally, and Keith Olbermann's suspension, the opinion pages have been filled with columns decrying the partisanship of today's media, and damning both sides of the aisle for relying on partisan sources.

Why MSNBC Isn't Like, And Can't Beat, Fox News
October 06, 2010

My favorite moment in Gabe Sherman's account of the cable news network wars is a return to the days when MSNBC was terrified of allowing any liberals on the air: And with the surge in patriotism following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, NBC CEO Bob Wright told Shapiro that MSNBC should try and outflank Fox on the right. “We have to be more conservative then they are,” Wright told Shapiro pointedly.

Yes, Pols, It's (Mostly) Safe to Ignore Playbook
September 14, 2010

I’m not sure exactly what Henry Farrell is getting at in his partial dissent to Ezra Klein and John Sides, but I think I’m with them on this one. Farrell: But to say that Politico, cable news etc are (a) trivial and (b) unimportant to the vast majority of voters is not to say that they may not still be important to politicians. This is because the belief in their importance is a collective one rather than an individual one.

Why the Media Won’t Stop Laughing at Alvin Greene
September 09, 2010

Early last week, Alvin Greene paid a visit to the studios of WBT Radio in Charlotte. Ostensibly, he was there to drum up support for his campaign to unseat South Carolina Senator Jim Demint. But, as is always the case with Greene, politics quickly gave way to farce. For two hours, he offered up his daffy policy proposals (like selling action figures of himself to end the recession) and fumblingly dodged embarrassing questions about his involuntary discharge from the military and his recent indictment for allegedly showing pornography to a University of South Carolina coed.

Just How Strong Are Political Parties?
September 07, 2010

 How strong are American political parties? Party scholars disagree about how to go about thinking about that question. For me, the way to think about party strength is to think about how much of overall political activity goes through the parties. That is, pick an important political activity: writing laws, electing public officials, carrying out laws, political communications, civic rituals, and so on.

No, Both Sides Don't Pull Breitbarts
July 23, 2010

Greg Sargent makes a smart observation about Andrew Breitbart and his place in the media universe: The conventions of media neutrality apparently require us to keep saying that "both sides do it." But let's drill down on what "it" really is.

Ceding the Court
July 05, 2010

Washington—Here's when you know something momentous has happened to our struggle over the Supreme Court's role: When Republicans largely give up talking about "judicial activism," when liberals speak of the importance of democracy and deference to elected officials, and when judges are no longer seen as baseball umpires. All these things transpired during Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, though you might not know that unless you saw some of the most thoughtful blogs or news stories.

Birch and Barry
June 21, 2010

Washington—Barack Obama's campaign promise of change did not include a pledge to transform American conservatism.