V: Tea Party TV
November 04, 2009

I didn’t watch much television as a kid. But when the miniseries “V” came out in 1983, when I was eleven years old, it was event television for the entire family. The sci-fi series used an alien invasion of Earth under friendly guise as a metaphor for fascism. Rather than Jews, the aliens targeted scientists (whose knowledge made them dangerous) as scapegoats. By the standards of early 1980s television, which were quite low, “V” was gripping drama. Last night, ABC aired the pilot episode of a remake of “V.” I had to watch. The episode was so-so.

On the Job
November 04, 2009

Anthony Wright is executive director of Health Access California, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition. He blogs daily at the Health Access Weblog and is a regular contributor to the Treatment. When Senate Majority Leader Reid held a press conference announcing the inclusion of a version of a public health insurance option in the merged Senate health reform bill, he didn’t mention the outcome of another major difference between the two Senate committee proposals--what would be responsibility of employers with regard to on-the-job coverage.

Kerry on Wali Karzai: "Show Me the Smoking Gun"
October 27, 2009

Overshadowed by John Kerry's embrace of a typically Kerry-ian middle-way strategy in Afghanistan was his response to a reporter's question about Hamid Karzai's alleged drug lord brother: During our walk, we had a very direct conversation about that. In fact, he asked me about it, he raised the subject, quite interesting. And we talked about the perceptions of his brother. Let me just say this in answer to this. I have requested from our intelligence sources and law enforcement folks the smoking gun, the evidence. Show me, what do we know?...

The NY-23 GOP Meltdown Continues
October 20, 2009

It's bad enough that, if current trends continue, the GOP is likely to lose what should be a gimme congressional seat in New York's 23rd district next month thanks to a conservative spoiler candidate. Now sparks are flying between the moderate GOP nominee, Dede Scozzafava, and The Weekly Standard, which backs Conservative Party nominee Doug Hoffman.

Eat Your Brauchli
October 19, 2009

One further thought on the weekend revelation--thoroughly hashed out here by Gabe--that WaPo editor Marcus Brauchli did in fact know that the paper's marketing department was promoting its salons as off-the-record affairs. Brauchli is maintaining that the NYT reporter simply misunderstood what he was saying and that he did not mislead the reporter--in other words, that he didn't lie.

Kill Your (Cable) Television
October 19, 2009

To be honest, I find the whole Obama v. Fox News kerfuffle so tedious and exhausting that I've tried to ignore it, which is why I haven't bothered to blog anything about it. Still, despite my best efforts, I can't seem to escape it. But if I had tried to write something about it, I doubt it would have been anywhere near as spot-on as this Jacob Weisberg piece: Rather than in any way maturing, Fox has in recent months become more boisterous and demagogic in rallying the opposition against Obama.

The Behind the Scenes Feud Between 'The Washington Post' and 'The New York Times'
October 17, 2009

Today's New York Times includes a "post-script" to the paper's Sept.12 piece that reported on the resignation of Charles Pelton, the former Washington Post executive at the center of the salon-gate controversy. In July, Politico broke news that the Post planned to host private dinners at the home of Post Publisher Katharine Weymouth, where corporate sponsors could mingle with Post journalists and senior Obama administration officials and policy-makers in an off-the-record setting. In the original Sept.

"Russia Disses Iran Sanctions"
October 13, 2009

Well, that’s the way I read the headline in The Washington Post. “Russia Dismisses Iran Sanctions” was how it was actually written, followed by “Russian Foreign Minister: Threats of Iran Sanctions Won’t Work.” The dispatch is from Mary Beth Sheridan, a savvy reporter to whom I’m becoming attached. There are slight differences between the Post piece and the report in the Times, “Russia Resists U.S. Position on Sanctions for Iran,” by Mark Landler and Clifford J. Levy. Then there was “US, Russia: Iran No sanctions yet” in The Jerusalem Post.

TNR Debate: Too Much Transparency? (Part III)
October 13, 2009

Lawrence Lessig argues convincingly that there are dangers in systematically favoring transparency over privacy: A thoughtful democracy should strike a balance between both values, which sometimes compete and sometimes reinforce each other. I found less cause for optimism, however, in Lessig’s proposals for combating the dangers he associates with naked transparency. Lessig suggests that the solution to the problem of wrongly assuming that all politicians are corrupted by campaign contributions is to pass a generous public funding bill.

Washington Diarist: The Trend in Dying
October 08, 2009

Happy is the eye that saw all this, but our souls were anguished by what our ear heard." This is the refrain of an ancient poem in the liturgy of Yom Kippur, a lament for its author's belatedness.