by Geoffrey Nunberg You can think of this as special pleading, but with all respect toEric and David, I don't think American public radio needs a whole lot of defending. On the whole, it does a terrific job of bringing news, analysis, and cultural commentary to a large and appreciative public. It has developed new formats of personal journalism--I'm thinking of "This American Life" and "Soundprint," for example--that have few European equivalents.
by Eric Rauchway I concede that few genres of question more reliably annoy than, "Why do the British do it better?", because so many things, they don't. But I wish now to ask: Why are there so many excellent program(me)s on BBC Radio 4 with no American counterpart? And specifically, why do they get so much more out of their professors and general intellectuals? Let's pick two examples, both podcast, so you can listen for yourself. Exhibit A. "Start the Week." Each Monday, the host has four guests on to discuss their projects.
A quick recap for anyone who hasn't been following this story: John Edwards recently hired two liberal bloggers--Amanda Marcotte of Pandagon and Melissa McEwan of Shakespeare's Sister--to blog for his campaign. Conservatives on the internet dredged up some inflammatory things Marcotte had written in the past, and did their best to act offended and cause a ruckus.
Excuse my sparse blogging today, but I'm a bit preoccupied thinking about a certain sporting event that's taking place tonight. If you too are a bit preoccupied by said certain sporting event, you can't do much better than reading this preview by the excellent Will Blythe. I share Blythe's fears that not only was FSU's victory over Duke on Sunday a negative development for the Heels (in that it's hard to imagine Duke losing three in a row), but that Duke is even better equipped than N.C. State to execute the game plan the Pack used to beat Carolina on Saturday.
While we're discussing potentially offensive Superbowl ads, what do gay rights groups with tons of money on their hands spend their time doing? Fighting against anti-gay ballot initiatives? No, condemning supposedly homophobic television commercials. A complaint from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and the ostensibly more serious Matthew Shepard Foundation, along with the Human Rights Campaign, condemned a Snickers ad shown Sunday night. In the advertisement, two auto mechanics begin eating a snickers bar from either end and wind up in a kiss, à la Lady and the Tramp.
Overheard at NASA Captain Lisa Marie Nowak's preliminary hearing... NOWAK: So check it out, Judge. I was, like, the robotic-arm operator on the shuttle and that was a little sad, you feel me? I needed some real arms, you dig? So, like, Bill became my man. I mean, when I say we went to space together, I don't just mean that literally. And then comes along this slut, Colleen, and she never even went to space, so I was all like, what's up with this? And Bill was like, that's my other woman. And I was like, I don't think so. That's when shit got ugly, your honor.
by Christine Stansell Even my husband, who could care less about animals, absorbed the news about Barbaro's death this week. For anyone who hasn't, the 2006 Kentucky Derby champion, predicted to be a Triple Crown winner, had been fighting for his life since he broke his leg in the Preakness in May. Trying to keep him alive was the longest of shots--my riding teacher predicted months ago that there was no way he would make it.
The title is titillating: "The Girls Gone Wild Effect: Out-Of-Control Celebs And Online Sleaze Fuel A New Debate Over Kids And Values." Is this from People? Us Weekly? No, no, it's from Newsweek. The current issue of the ostensible news magazine features Paris Hilton and Britney Spears during a night of partying on the cover--in perhaps the most blatant attempt to pander for newsstand sales since, well, People or Us Weekly.
by Alan Wolfe Did the American Enterprise Institute try to "buy" scholars to challenge the findings of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as reported by The Guardian? Two bloggers I greatly respect, Andrew Sullivan and Eugene Volokh say no. I say the matter is more complicated.
I've seen plenty of news reports lately about how ExxonMobil is trying to burnish its public image by becoming more green-friendly. See this story in today's Financial Times, for example. The company has even promised to stop bankrolling the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), which has waged a long disinformation campaign by attacking the science on global warming. This certainly sounds like good news, right? That's what I thought, too.