Friday, March 26, 2004

So, Mr. Brooks, We Meet Again: My arch-nemesis of late, New York Times columnist David Brooks, is exactly the lazy hack I always surmised, according to this Philly Mag piece (via Atrios).

"What I try to do is describe the character of places, and hopefully things will ring true to people," Brooks explained. "In most cases, I think the way I describe it does ring true, and in some places it doesn't ring true. If you were describing a person, you would try to grasp the essential character and in some way capture them in a few words. And if you do it as a joke, there's a pang of recognition."

Now THAT'S journalistic ethics. It doesn't matter if it's true, it just matters if it sounds true. Writer Sasha Issenberg explains:

By holding himself to a rings-true standard, Brooks acknowledges that all he does is present his readers with the familiar and ask them to recognize it.

Whopundit hereby challenges Brooksy to a rap battle.

- Marc
Geezers Need Excitement: I've been slacking on the political blogs the past couple of days, but rest assured, Fritz and I will have a full report on Dick Clarke's credible whistle-blowing. In the mean time, check out my early review of the new album by British rapper the Streets, as well as my praise for one of the best, unheralded releases of 2004, Cloud Cult's Aurora Borealis.

- Marc

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Paul O'Neill: Remember Him?

At what point does the plethora of Bush Admin. whistle-blower stories, running concurrently, start to double upon themselves, creating a news-cycle sinkhole and confusing all but the most passionate followers? There is a critical mass of names and accusations -- though the accusations tend to touch on the same issue of cart-before-horse -- that people can willingly keep straight on a daily basis, and we're fast approaching it.


Sunday, March 21, 2004

The Cold War Is Over, Mr. Powers:

From Atrios's transcript of tonight's 60 Minutes appearance by Richard Clarke, National Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism under Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and the infamous Dubya:

I blame the entire Bush leadership for continuing to work on Cold War issues when they back in power in 2001. It was as though they were preserved in amber from when they left office eight years earlier. They came back. They wanted to work on the same issues right away: Iraq, Star Wars. Not new issues, the new threats that had developed over the preceding eight years.

I like how this "preserved in amber" analogy makes the Bush Administration sound almost like Dr. Evil. I wish I'd been there when Dick Cheney called Saddam Hussein via videophone and asked him for one... MILLION dollars.

Clarke made many damning accusations -- if half of them were true, it would be outrageous. There's no reason to doubt ANY of them.

Finally, for those of you who are still confused (understandably, given Cheney's many lies on the topic), here's the word on the Hussein/Al Qaeda link from the man in charge of counter-terrorism since the 1980s: "There's absolutely no evidence that Iraq was supporting al Qaeda, ever." Put that in your pro-war flag and burn it.

- Marc
Maureen Dowd Uses Her Powers for Good: The Botox-obsessed New York Times scribe is still captivated by her own cleverness, but this time it's at the expense of Justice Scalia, who recently penned 21 of the most easily parodied, hubristic pages in the history of the U.S. judicial system.

Dowd summarizes:
In an admirable spirit of uncommon objectivity, in the pursuit of truth, justice and the American way, Associate Justice Scalia made time to poke around in the marshes of Louisiana with the equally scrupulous Dick Cheney, and then, refreshed by a well-deserved plane trip at our expense, he continued to transmit his enlightenment to a grateful nation.

Now THAT'S sarcasm.

- Marc

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