New York Times
Don't Try This at Home, J-School Grads
July 09, 2012
A few years ago, national journalists discovered Detroit—or, rather, discovered that the city of Detroit was a dream subject. Its ruins of abandoned buildings made for astounding photo spreads of an apocalyptic wasteland, and writers big and small tried to wrestle with the question of how the former auto capitol of the world could have turned into this shell of a city. Detroiters hate these stories, say they’re the journalistic equivalent of rubber-necking.
Editor’s Note: We’ll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! William Faulkner’s boldest attempt to tackle race, writes John Jeremiah Sullivan, somehow managed to dramatize a changing historical consciousness. New York Times | 13 min (3,183 words) A new Polish account of the Holocaust has not only sparked the interest of historians.
Has Obama Lost His Best Chance to Rally the Youth Vote?
July 03, 2012
Congressional leaders announced last week—after months of bickering—that they finally reached a deal to prevent student loan rates from doubling, just days before the July 1 deadline. This may be good news for the many Americans who are currently suffering from an aggregate total of over a trillion dollars in student loan debt. But it's decidedly more ambiguous for one of the loudest supporters of the issue: President Obama. As we know, the youth vote was a crucial part of Obama’s successful 2008 coalition.
From Prop 8 Advocate to Gay Marriage Supporter: In Praise of David Blankenhorn’s Nuanced Evolution
June 22, 2012
David Blankenhorn—lead witness for Prop. 8—has announced that he is changing position on same-sex marriage. In today’s New York Times, he writes, “for me as a marriage advocate, the time has now come to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do.” In particular, he wants to work with pro-marriage forces within the gay community to strengthen the institution for everyone. Blankenhorn’s announcement is not merely a victory for marriage-equality advocates, it is a victory for reason and nuance.
Great Britain's Sexual Politics and Snow White's Long-Awaited Personality: Today's TNR Reader
June 22, 2012
Editor’s Note: We'll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! Is our obsession with monthly jobs reports hurting the economy? Er, maybe. New York Times | 4 min (1,110 words) The Grimm tale of Snow White has seen many incarnations. Snow White and the Huntsman, finally, gives its heroine a personality. The New Yorker | 5 min (1, 330 words) How can the left win the culture wars?
The Unwitting Beneficiaries of Obamacare
June 21, 2012
Now that the Supreme Court has left the fate of the Affordable Care Act hanging another few days, it seems an opportune moment to pose a question that has been growing on me after several recent reporting trips: why aren’t the most obvious beneficiaries of the law more aware of it? There is an assumption in much national coverage of the law’s unpopularity that the right has won the “messaging war” on the law, partly, as Abby Goodnough lays out in a strong New York Times piece today, by spending far more to bash it on the airwaves than the law’s supporters have to defend it.
The Syrian ‘Civil War’: Discuss
June 14, 2012
A front page story in yesterday’s New York Times quoted Hervé Ladsous, the head of United Nations peacekeeping operations, opining that the violence in Syria had descended into “civil war.” The same story, however, points out that “opposition leaders are wary of the term civil war because it suggests that the conflict is somehow an even match”; meanwhile, the Assad regime is still holding fast to its story that the violence is nothing more than the product of terrorists. So, which is it? Is Syria in a civil war or not? The answer, it turns out, is maybe.
Editor’s Note: We'll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! In America, food is both the enemy and the cure. We overeat, we diet, we overeat. Is France heading in the same direction? Jenny Craig hopes so. The New York Times | 14 min (3, 449 words) Even though the Green Revolution was a tragic failure, Iran’s Mullahs are steadily losing their grip. World Affairs Journal | 11 min (2, 632 words) This summer, the Olympics will debut a new sport: women’s boxing.
How Hip Cities Hurt The Democrats
June 08, 2012
There was a lot of chatter last week about an eye-opening New York Times piece by Sabrina Tavernise about the growing gap between the haves and have-nots when it comes to where the country’s young college graduates are choosing to live.
Brooklyn Envy: America's Newest Export?
June 04, 2012
Writing in today's New York Times, Julia Moskin observes, "Among young Parisians, there is currently no greater praise for cuisine than 'très Brooklyn.'" Had Moskin written that sentence 20 years ago, she'd be spotlighting a French mania for hot dogs, egg creams, or perhaps pizza. But today the phrase "signifies a particularly cool combination of informality, creativity, and quality." That Brooklyn has become more chic than Manhattan is hardly news to New Yorkers, or even most Americans. But I'm a little surprised to learn that word has spread across the Atlantic.