Vision, Please! Kf demands that Don Graham follow Stanley Kurtz's advice and take the Washington Post national. ... Graham should have done it years ago, and now seems like a propitious moment to rectify that strategic mistake: WaPo's historic competition, the New York Times, has been humbled. The NYT is not inconsiderably discredited among the opinion elite. Its editor is hated by half his staff. Dozens of good Times reporters are ready to jump ship. ...The Times-despising Bushies would be so grateful they'd probably get the FCC to throw in a couple of extra television licenses! ... Will Graham do it? Almost certainly not. He's always been happy to stay local, watch his profits go up while his paper's footprint on the national landscape shrivels. ... Is that what Graham wants on his tombstone: "He made his stock go up"? ... As long as the Post is only the local paper of the nation's capitol, remember, sources with prime information to leak will always tend to give it to the NYT first. ... Plan B: Join with the Tribune Co. (owner of the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune) to put out a national edition while spreading the inevitable initial losses. Make Pinch Pay! ... 12:40 A.M.
Friday, May 16, 2003
"We ain't helping these people":The N.Y. Post's Jonathan Foreman has been a strong supporter of the Iraq invasion, and he's now on the ground in Baghdad, so when he says we're blowing the reconstruction of Iraq, and gives chapter and verse, it gets your attention:
ORHA [the U.S. Organization for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Aid] - America's inadequate, notoriously slow-moving substitute for an interim occupation government - is as unpopular with the U.S. soldiers on the street as it is with ordinary Iraqis.
And for good reason - even though ORHA is sometimes blamed for the failures of its counterparts in Army Civil Affairs units.
These soldiers see the reservoir of Iraqi goodwill draining away while bureaucrats take their time holding meetings and making plans as if time were somehow not an issue. They fear that their successors here will face an intifada in the summer if power, water, medicine, gasoline and food don't start reaching Iraqi civilians.
"We ain't helping these people" says Sgt. Johnny Perdue of the 4/64 Scouts. It's just so f----ing frustrating. ORHA say they're doing it. Well, they're not doing it in the places we go."
"I'm no bleeding heart" says Sgt. Leon "Pete" Peters (who had more than his share of kills during the fighting south of the city). "I'll pull the trigger quick as anyone. But this place is going to go crazy if we don't find a way to help these people . . . I've been here for more than 30 days and I've yet to see a single yellow humanitarian food package."
Don't Bush and Rove realize that this is one of the few issues that could cost them the election? Maybe it's not as salient as the economy--but Bush can't exercise much control over the economy. He can control the reconstruction of Iraq.. ... [Hasn't he appointed a new chief U.S. administrator, Paul Bremer--ed. Yes, and Bremer got off to a bad start by telling what Foreman calls a "laughable untruth" about Iraqi access to electricity.] 5:45 P.M.
Late-breaking Moose: Kf source Deep Times, who claims to be a current NYT staffer and seems to know what he/she is talking about (but who for all I really know is Stephen Glass or V. Botkin) emails to clarify the deeper meaning of Pinch Sulzberger's stuffed moose:
Gawker doesn't quite have the moose story right.
It really happened. A bunch of management types
from the editorial and business side were holed
up at a conference in the countryside for one of their annual cluster-f**ks.
They weren't getting along but they were being polite,
not discussing their differences openly.
Mostly they were all looking out the window and
smiling to themselves about a moose that was plainly
wandering around out there. But nobody said, hey,
look at that moose. They only realized later that they had all been watching the moose instead of paying attention to the meeting. So it became a metaphor, complete with props -- "talk about
the moose in the room" -- the problem nobody will talk about.
Here's the moose in The Times newsroom: Gerald Boyd.
[Emphasis and asterisks inserted by kf.] 3:08 P.M.
Memo to Jacob Weisberg: We have to stop Lee Siegel from writing for Slate. Right now. 1:19 A.M.
I Decide What's 'Reflexively Left' Around Here, Buddy! Hugh Hewitt argues the L.A. Times is as bad as the NYT when it comes to "reflexively left" politics. But the LAT is getting better under its new owners while the NYT has been sliding ever since the younger Sulzberger took it over (which was years before Howell Raines advanced to the top editorial job). ... Hewitt's right about the Los Angeles paper's op-ed page, but the LAT's recently-hired Nick Goldberg is trying to diversify it--just as, for that matter, the NYT's just-promoted David Shipley has been diversifying the NYT op-ed page, to the extent that's possible given the lineup of regular columnists. I counsel patience with both op-ed pages. ...These media-obsessed bloggers are so quick to criticize! ... 12:42 A.M.
All the Moose That's Fit to Print: Junkyard Blogger Chris Regan searches the Web in vain for the meaning of Pinch Sulzberger's stuffed moose. He missed Gawker, which has a solid graf of moose 411. The moose is less ridiculous than you might think. But it's close! ... [OpinionJournal made the "All the Moose .." joke yesterday-ed. So they did. They have even more moosology today.]12:21 A.M.