Subject: The Danger of Moderation
Re: "Summary Judgment: Williams Strikes Out"
Date: Tue Mar 26 7:04 p.m. PT
What America really needs is an investigation of media moderation. We've had an exposé of business conservativism in the media. ... We've also had accusations of limousine liberalism: Good. Now we're covering "movement conservatism." David Brock, ex-conservative journalist … confesses to being part of the conservative media sleaze machine during the 1990s: Definitely. Now it's time to expose moderation. Maybe David Plotz could do an expose of Slate, or Mickey Kaus and Andrew Sullivan could damn each other to hell. A new media niche is opening up. Someone needs to occupy it.
Subject: Coup de Gracelessness
Re: "Frame Game: Act Humble"
From: Robert Mackey
Date: Tue Mar 26 6:12 p.m. PT
What was really awful about Julia Roberts' … giving Denzel Washington his [Oscar] was not so much that … she threw herself onto a man who was acting with dignity and grace like a drunken sorority sister—though she did that—but that she came out and said that what was really important about both Sidney Poitier and Denzel Washington was that she thought they were really hot … In this case you have a white American who obviously has little in the way of a brain, and has been rewarded exclusively for her body, making a fool of herself in front of a billion people and still failing to prevent two black Americans of real intelligence from taking and holding center stage with their articulate words and dignified actions.
Subject: A Common Appetite
Re: "Sports Nut: Why Do Sportswriters Think Alike?"
From: Captain Ron Voyage
Date: Thu Mar 21 3:49 p.m. PT
Once you have seen the media room for an NBA regular-season game, any respect for sportswriters you may have is instantly incinerated—you've never seen a more disgusting collection of fat, unshaven dullards in grease-stained giveaway golf shirts in your life. These guys make amateur bowlers look like triathletes. Ten minutes before game time, there will not be a single rib or buffalo wing left on the [complimentary catering] spread, while the piles and piles of fruit and vegetables remain unglanced at. The rest of the game they spend glued to the Internet or occasionally casting an eye up at the scoreboard. There is simply no way these guys have put in the work to know what they are talking about in the NCAAs …
Subject: Perception Is All
Re: "History Lesson: Bhagwan Teddy"
Date: Fri Mar 29 11:10 a.m. PT
Theodore Roosevelt … is a vessel for our contemporaries to pour all the dreams they see dashed in present-day life. ... [He] yanked his business-oriented party into newfangled areas like conservation. He straddled traditional definitions of Democrat and Republican. And he enthusiastically played with his children and genuinely loved people. So he gets placed on the pedestal, wagging his finger at the present-day politicians we see as demagogical, or artificial, or emotionally immature, or unoriginal, or cowardly. TR chides them until his joints are sore and another admirable man like John Adams can relieve him. We look past the defects in his character because we believe history should focus on moral instruction, not fact.
Fray Notes: David Brock, author of Blinded by the Right, came into the Fray to take issue with Timothy Noah's "Chatterbox" on the book: Noah was right back at him, and you can follow the whole exchange at the end of the article.
We didn't forget the date on Monday, but we were still glad to find that fears that Joseph Britt would forsake the Fray for the NFL were unfounded. We also greatly enjoyed John McG's announcement that the star posters were taking over the Fray—and we know which star said, "It's about time! Moira who?"
John, one of the nicest posters in the Fray, got his star this week, and not solely because he started one of the funniest (and longest) threads ever: a contest for the most boring post title. We particularly liked "I never did like country music. Here's why" from TWF; brilliant work with the dread word "repost" from Ghost and Ex-Fed; and "Read my poem, please comment" from KarmicComet. But nothing can do justice to this thread: It has to be read in full. (A real time-saver: You don't have to open the posts.)
A star also went to Riccaric: see above and here for his splendid description of Mitch McConnell as the Madonna of politics.