Kf plugs in.

Kf plugs in.

Kf plugs in.

A mostly political Weblog.
June 12 2003 4:52 AM

Kf Plugs In

Transitioning to a post-Raines blogenda!

Not one, not two, but three plugs in a NYT Arts-front-page "Critic's Notebook" for a semi-obscure band, Galactic, whose guitarist is Howell Raines' son!  What I wouldn't have given for this item two weeks ago! ... P.S.: Actually, veteran kf reader P.M., who alerted me to the connection, says "I've seen these guys; they're pretty good!" ... Update: Another alert reader, H, e-mails to say 

I work at a rather large record store ... in Austin, Texas and, though I know little about them, we sell large amounts of their cds to young college age kids and all their shows tend to sell out.  Though they seem obscure to you and me ... they seem to have caught on nation wide with college kids who also seem to be into Ben Harper 

So there. ... P.P.S.: Have I inadvertently complied with the ominously  ludicrous proposed EU blogger "reply" rules? ...10:06 P.M.


E.J. Dionne claims the administration's tax cuts are preventing desirable spending increases  on homeland security and military housing. Doesn't that mean the tax cuts really are holding down spending? I thought the big Democratic argument against the tax cuts was that they weren't holding down spending, and the result was deficits as far as they eye can see. ... It can be one, or it can be the other, but it can't be both at the same time, right? ... Articles like Dionne's are actually mildly heartening because they suggest that, by holding down expenditure creep, even the latest Bush tax cuts will give Democrats--when they get back into power--more room to add necessary health care spending without eating up too great a share of GDP.  ... Unfortunately, as Thomas Maguire argues, the rejected spending increase was probably just a stunt by Rep. David Obey to score "points" by suggesting a "no-tax-cut-for-even-more-spending" trade. At least one of the GOP bills in question actually does provide for substantial increases in security spending, although not in all areas. So even Dionne--and Paul Krugman, who also got a column out of Obey's stunt--don't convince me that the second round of Bush tax cuts was a good idea. ...  9:14 P.M.

Backfill: Give investment banker and Pinch-pal Steven Rattner points for admitting, in his otherwise disingenuous, party-line "fairness" attack  on the Republican tax cut, that

We shouldn't dismiss all tax cuts simply because they benefit the wealthy. Double taxation of dividends is a source of economic inefficiency, and eliminating it would be a laudable goal.

He buries this endorsement in the "armpit" of the piece, however. ... Why is Rattner's piece "otherwise disingenous?" He complains that "[I]ncome inequality in the United States is now .. at a record level." But he also admits that it's "natural economic forces" -- technology, greater demand for skilled workers--that are "driving us toward more inequality." So what is he going to do about it? What Rattner knows, but doesn't admit, is that no conceivable array of Democratic initiatives--not more progressive taxes, not a large training program--will negate the "natural economic forces" at work. The numbers don't add up (and the payoff for training programs is far in the future). But Rattner still pretends that "public investments" and whatever grabbag of "antipoverty programs" has been slighted by the Bush administration will cure the problem he identifies. ... P.S.: That understates Rattner's disingenuousness, because he actually abjures redistribution--"we should not legislate or redistribute our way to income equality." Huh? Iif income inequality is so bad that it should be the talismanic standard against which all tax bills are judged--if it's unfair, if it leads to "social tensions and economic inefficiences"--then why not legislate and redistribute against it? Maybe because the legislation and redistribution won't work. Last time I checked, it would take above-Sweden levels of taxation to come even close to countering the inequality boom of the last few decades. Without redistributive taxation, there's no hope at all. ... So Rattner is left with this platform: "We have a horrible inequality problem. We're very unhappy about it. There's nothing we can really do about it but we can pretend to try, and at least we shouldn't make it worse." ... And Democrats wonder why they don't have an appealing core ideological pitch. ... P.P.S.:  I'm probably overanalyzing here: The best interpretation of Rattner's piece is really "I want to be Treasury Secretary in the next Democratic administration." ... P.P.P.S: Give up, Steve! The Democrats are happy to take your money, but you won't get the job. You talk to the press too much! ... P.P.P.P.S.: What would I do about economic inequality? Learn to live with it by taking steps to insure that it doesn't translate into social inequality. My book tries to make sense of this strategy. [Good plug. Alterman would be proud--ed. He's 124,077 places ahead of me in the BN rankings. Still more vicious inequality.] ... 11:46 A.M.


Monday, June 16, 2003

In my experience, it's indeed the mouse that does the damage. I don't go near 'em. ...9:14 P.M.

How thin-skinned is Eric Alterman? Eric Alterman generously reprints an entire, tedious kf item before pompously demanding a "correction" because I said he was "hustling"--meaning promoting his book. I didn't mean he had especially used the Raines/Blair scandal to promote the book, although he was doing just that in the item to which I linked. I simply meant he was a hustler, motivated--on occasion, in part--by book-promotional concerns. He is!... Not that there's anything wrong with it! (That was the point.) ...True, Alterman plugs his book only five times on his current blog page, which shows admirable restraint.... He discusses the Raines resignation at some length twice (not once, as he now claims--correction please!) and promotes yet a third, longer--and very good-- Nation article he wrote on the subject. Yet he seems to feel he deserves a self-abnegation merit badge because he "refused to offer any soundbites to print reporters when requested to do so," and on a few days ignored the Raines/Blair story on his blog. Hey, I keep quiet too when my side is getting creamed as badly as Alterman's side was getting creamed in the Raines controversy! It's not a sign of humility. ... P.S.:  Can this be the same publicity-shy naif who somehow managed to get a little early attention for his book by graciously declaring, in Esquire, that he wished Rush Limbaugh "would have gone deaf"? ... Update: Alterman says (via e-mail) that he "aopologized [for the remark] on the day the story broke." ...  5:51 P.M.

Did Souter Con O'Connor? Rick Hasen's highly-informed instant commentary explains why today's Beaumont decision by the Supreme Court will hearten supporters of McCain-Feingold's dubious "issue advocacy" ban, even though Beaumont involves long-regulated directcampaign contributions by advocacy corporations, and not the "independent expenditures" addressed by McCain-Feingold. ... One doubt: Is all the gratuitous pro-reform verbiage in the opinion significant, or did Souter's clerk just churn out a lot of copy? ... Second doubt: A key issue, the scope of the so-called  "M.C.F.L exception"--does it protect from McCain-Feingold only tiny "bake sale" non-profit corporations or bigger, more powerful advocacy groups--apparently remains up in the air. ... Reminder: Even if McCain-Feingold is upheld in its entirety, and the "M.C.F.L. exception" is narrowed to near-nothingness, "advocacy" groups that want to spend money on political ads  can always get around the new restrictions by simply not incorporating! ... P.S.: Hasen's post is much better than even this perfectly competent AP story. Advantage, blogosphere. ... Or as John Scalzi argues, in a widely-linked post, there are "enough people" like Hasen "in enough fields writing in blogs that you can look to the blog world as a resource to understanding the real world, not merely a place that is reacting to it." ... P.P.S.: Where's Volokh? It's been minutes since the decision came down. ... 1:55 P.M.


A boring headline on WaPo's "Lawyer's Column"  discourages readers from learning about a possible hidden reason for Howell Raines' ouster at the NYT, namely fear that keeping him on could subject the paper to multimillion dollar libel exposure in the future. The key grafs:

[P]eople familiar with the situation said that close associates of the Sulzberger family in the days before the resignations approached media attorneys seeking advice. The attorneys warned of the exposure that the newspaper faced.

The counsel goes like this: Because Raines and Boyd waited for so long to fire Blair as more than 50 corrections piled up and after at least one editor warned that Blair had to go, some libel attorneys could have used those facts to build a case about reckless disregard for the truth at the Times. ...

Some media attorneys have speculated that if Raines and Boyd had remained in charge, that fact could have been used to devastating effect in litigation.

Gee, what possible litigation could media attorneys have been thinking of? Perhaps the names Steven J. Hatfill and Nicholas Kristof came to mind. ... Still, if this is the reason Raines was sacked, it would be highly disappointing. You can easily see how fear of libel exposure might (in another case!) lead to the dismissal of a good editor just because keeping him or her on after a scandal might look bad in court. So let's all pretend that Raines was fired because he was an arrogant GSWB. It's easy to do! ... P.S.  Am I the only one who does in fact feel a palpable sense of relief reading the Times these days? It's still liberal--the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities gets its stories on the front page. But it's just a newspaper again. There's not the nerve-fraying sense of an instititution on edge, constantly pushing itself to the point of stridency and overkill--a social organism with a hyperactive, centralized nervous system and a manic zealot in charge. ... If I want that, I can read the NY Post! ... [Thanks to alert reader A.E.] 1:12 P.M.

Sunday, June 15, 2003


Ask yourself, 'Who benefits?' According to Zonitics.com, Pinch Sulzberger made $2.5 million last year, plus $3.9 million in stock options, for his highly effective efforts to reduce liberal media bias by leading the New York Times to ignominious disaster! Is Richard Scaife secretly funding him? If so, he's worth every penny. ... P.S.: Perhaps Pinch's friend Steve Rattner can do something about this conspicuous example of the "escalation of CEO pay packages." "Fairness" begins at home! ... 11:34 P.M.

Greg Packer, officially busted  in the WSJ as possibly "the world's most successful "man on the street,".... Ann Coulter has ruined this man's career as the Norm Ornstein of Everything. ... The NYT's James Barron fumfaws defensively (he "would have liked to have told our readers this is something [Packer] does ...") ... Update: Here's the AP version, which includes Packer's secret to getting press: "Sometimes I just motion to them." Why didn't Gloria Allred think of that? [She did-ed.] ...The NYT actually credits Coulter, in a bizarrely meta manner. ...11:08 A.M.

Thursday, June 12, 2003

William McGowan, author of Coloring the News, responds to Seth Mnookin's email (published below) charging that McGowan engaged in the "me-me-me, all or nothingism of interest groups" because "[n]o sooner had Blair resigned than Bill McGowan was sending out press releases and handing our flyers." [The following is an excerpt from McGowan's e-mail]:

[W]hen it comes to charges of opportunism, Mnookin seems to be projecting. Mnookin ... has been a fixture on television and radio from Day One of this story, hardly showing exemplary self-effacement.  ...

In response to Mnookin's charge that "No sooner had Blair resigned than Bill McGowan was sending out press releases and handing out flyers." it should be
known that the Blair scandal has overlapped with the publication of the paperback edition of Coloring The News. Just as I did during the publicity for the hardcover edition last year, I have responded to news events through press releases and made myself available for media comment as news events have dictated.

Did I issue a press release on the day of the Times meeting? Yes, I did. Did I have a copy of said release and some other materials on hand to circulate to the media covering that story, including the researcher that Mnookin sent to grab "color" for him (shades of Rick Bragg)? Yes too. Did I do some rope line TV interviews that day and again on the day Raines resigned. Yes to this as well, at the request of TV producers who asked that I do so for visual effect.

As for the roots of the Blair scandal, they are indeed multicausal, though I believe a great deal of evidence suggests that diversity was one of the most important. Denying so would be akin to saying that race was not of central importance in the play Six Degrees of Separation---and would be something that any theater critic worth his or her salt would never say. ...[Emphasis added.]


I'm with McGowan on this: The whole "interest group" charge seems a cheap newsmag point (see discussion below). And so what if McGowan has a book to promote? He's hustling and Mnookin's hustling.  Alterman's hustling  too! (Only kf is too lazy to be guilty of this charge.) ... The non-cheap question is whether McGowan was right that the Blair scandal illustrates his thesis about diversity. Charging him with "all or nothingism" because he hands out a flyer making this point is a cute way of avoiding the consipicuous conclusion that he was largely right. ... P.S.: It's also slightly obnoxious when people who have regular access to the pages of Newsweek sneer at people who have to hand out leaflets on sidewalks. ... 5:31 P.M.

Who is Greg Packer, "apparently the entire media's designated 'man on the street' for all articles ever written," according to Ann Coulter? Coulter says that Packer has "appeared in news stories more than 100 times as a random member of the public," including three relatively recent NYT pieces. NEXIS backs her up. ... Does Greg Packer actually exist?... Is he related to Allan Smithee? ...Does he know Baird Jones? ...Will he soon turn up in Iraq talking to Col. Tim Madere? ... Truth by return e-mail: Packer does seem to exist. He's described here and here. But that begs the question of why the NYT would write about this semi-professional line-stander and quote machine as if he were a typical man on the street. You'd think he'd be notorious by now and "No More Greg Packer" signs would be posted next to the Metro desk.... Michael Cooper of the NYT did bust Packer when quoting him on New Year's Eve, 2001, but this week the NYT''s James Barron accepted him as an ordinary  "fan of Hillary and Bill's" who wants Hillary "to change her mind about running for president." ... Packer also seems to be a fan of Rudolph Giuliani, Gene Simmons and Zora Andrich of "Joe Millionaire."  In March, the Associated Press reported Packer's man-on-the-street views of the American military strike against Iraq. ... Note to Hollywood: Screenplay here! Or did Robert DeNiro already play Packer in a movie I missed?... 12:59 A.M.

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

Tara, Tara, Tara! How bad do things get in the rich hillside suburbs of Los Angeles' West Side? Veteran L.A.-watchers claim that "Destiny in the Hills," a Los Angeles Times spread on  Lynda "Tara" Guber's private "shrine to high-end Zen" (with "sweeping mountain-to-city-to-sea-views"), represents a pinnacle of sorts--one well worth the $2.50 the Times wants for the archived version. I'd say it offers at least $2.59 worth of fadenfreude--joy in others making fools of themselves while flaunting their expensive spirituality.

Here are some highlights for those short of cash or NEXIS:

Lynda Guber's days sizzled with stress. Her husband, Peter, ran Sony Pictures. Everyone wanted favors. She had to change her life. Her first step: "I decided I would drop everything that didn't serve my dharma."

When a yogi anointed her with the name of a Buddhist goddess, Tara, she took it as her own. Empowered by this beloved and compassionate deity, Tara Guber began to move down the spiritual path that led to the creation of her personal refuge, "a place to get away to serve the spirit." ...

Yet at the edge of the peaceful cliff-top garden, 300 slate steps lead you down a steep, wooded hill to the Hotel Bel-Air. "So we can get room service. Latte and herbal tea," Guber explains. ...

"I told the workmen, 'This is sacred,' and when they built it, they had that at heart," she says. ...

Guber is a petite woman with flame-red hair that is styled by a follower of the Indian guru Mai. It spills down the orange prayer shawl she is wearing over her loose black clothes. The shawl was a gift from the Swami Satchidananda, whose portrait smiles down from the fireplace mantel.

"He was the dearest of yogis," Guber says. "He was the one at Woodstock." ...

The Gubers say the Yoga House has enriched their marriage, in part by giving them a space to practice something called "contact yoga," in which couples intertwine their bodies in poses that are as graceful as ballet and as athletic as circus acrobatics. ...

Two months ago, the Gubers and five other couples did contact yoga before dinner ... .

Today, the distractions to Tara Guber's dharma are well defined: "All projects that are superfluous to serving the children, bringing consciousness and awareness to the people, and creating healing environments," she says, just before jetting off to the Gubers' retreat on Kauai. ... [Emphasis added.]

Reporter Ann-Marie O'Connor is undoubtedly trying to subtly subvert Guber's pretentions. But she's not trying hard enough! ... If she hammered her subject with the Tom Wolfe-ian brio Guber deserves, would other rich people open their gardens to the LAT "Home" section? ...

P.S.: The Times coverage of "Tara" Guber's "spiritual refuge" is best read in conjunction with Griffin and Masters, Hit and Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood, which tells how the Gubers acquired much of their fortune. ... 4:13 P.M.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

What do you really think, Brad? Here's Berkeley economist, former Clinton Treasury official, and current Paul Krugman ally Brad DeLong on Hillary Clinton's suitability for the presidency:

My two cents' worth--and I think it is the two cents' worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994--is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life. Heading up health-care reform was the only major administrative job she has ever tried to do. And she was a complete flop at it. She had neither the grasp of policy substance, the managerial skills, nor the political smarts to do the job she was then given. And she wasn't smart enough to realize that she was in over her head and had to get out of the Health Care Czar role quickly.

So when senior members of the economic team said that key senators like Daniel Patrick Moynihan would have this-and-that objection, she told them they were disloyal. When junior members of the economic team told her that the Congressional Budget Office would say such-and-such, she told them (wrongly) that her conversations with CBO head Robert Reischauer had already fixed that. When long-time senior hill staffers told her that she was making a dreadful mistake by fighting with rather than reaching out to John Breaux and Jim Cooper, she told them that they did not understand the wave of popular political support the bill would generate. And when substantive objections were raised to the plan by analysts calculating the moral hazard and adverse selection pressures it would put on the nation's health-care system...

Hillary Rodham Clinton has already flopped as a senior administrative official in the executive branch--the equivalent of an Undersecretary. Perhaps she will make a good senator. But there is no reason to think that she would be anything but an abysmal president. [Emphasis added.]

Even I wouldn't be that harsh--it seems to me Hillary has one great virtue, namely her ability to sell out the left in order to get things (e.g. Social Security reform) done. But DeLong has policy-insider detail that I don't. ... P.S.: Do you think DeLong's, like, burned his bridges as far as that cabinet position in the 2008 HRC administration goes? ... Note to Chris Matthews: Book this guy immediately! ...[Link via Instapundit ] 5:18 P.M.

Nick Denton draws a larger,  non-Timescentric conclusion  from the Raines debacle, namely that all

organizations are becoming harder to run. The phone, and email, have given managers the illusion that they can control far-flung empires. But modern communications, and the growth of weblogs and web bulletin boards in particular, have also given power to bitter employees.

Sounds right. But I don't buy the emerging Raines defense based on this general theory--that Raines tried to improve the NYT but was done in by embittered, Web-empowered mediocrities and "organizational reactionaries" who didn't want their cheese moved. That's a defense virtually any sacked CEO, however obnoxious and inept, can use. Further examination of such claims is required. Was Chainsaw Al Dunlap a misunderstood visionary? ... Did Howell Raines move the cheese--or screw the pooch! ... Note to kf readers: I will write about something else very soon. I promise. ... [Link via Linse ] 1:35 A.M.

Monday, June 9, 2003

Mnookin responds via e-mail to my churlish comments (below) on his Newsweek piece:

I'm surprised by your lack of nuance! My point in my piece was not that there weren't valid criticisms to be made about the pitfalls of the Times' efforts to diversify or the perils of an activist newshole; as you note, I've made both those points in the past myself. It's the me-me-me, all or nothingism of interest groups of all stripes I found lacking in sophistication and, more importantly, accuracy. (No sooner had Blair resigned than Bill McGowan was sending out press releases and handing our flyers.) Jayson Blair didn't prove that affirmative action was a bad thing -- he proved that Howell Raines and Gerald Boyd didn't have control of their newspaper. Is affirmative action part of this story? Of course! Is the whole last five weeks a parable about diversity? Of course not!

Hmm. Was there rampant all-or-nothingism in the Raines debate? Did Bill McGowan, for example, deny that Raines' practice of "favoritism" was a factor? Did the "liberal bias" crowd deny that affirmative action (as well as Raines' mismanagement) were involved? Mnookin's description doesn't resonate with the debate I heard, in which multicausalism was rampant, and Raines came to personify a variety of congruent sins to a broad swath of people. ... It's very Newsweekish to come up with some meta-commentary on the process ("everyone assumed the debate should focus on their concerns"), relieving the magazine (and Mnookin) of the need to decide whose concerns were accurate--a meta-commentary that also manages to squeeze in a sneer at "right wing ideologues" without having to admit that the right-wing ideologues were, in this case, largely right. I worked at Newsweek and know the imperative to come up with these seemingly "smart" Neutral Story Lines (e.g., "Is This Any Way to Elect a President.") I've written a few of them myself. They're almost always a cop-out of some sort, and in this case Mnookin's "all or nothingism" NSL doesn't even really fit the event. ...

P.S.: Mnookin thinks "Jayson Blair didn't prove that affirmative action was a bad thing." So that's what his Newsweek piece was saying! I'd say Blair did about as much as one example can do to "prove" that affirmative action is a bad thing--and not only by illustrating the potential consequences of lowered standards. The very debate Mnookin decries--with black journalists worrying whether other black journalists like Gerald Boyd are being unfairly tarred, etc.--shows in part the damage affirmative action does on an ongoing basis. Again, without affirmative action, Blair would have just been an individual screw-up. He wouldn't have cast a cloud over other minority journalists who now have to worry if they too are seen as preference hires. End race preferences and that problem largely disappears.... 2:52 P.M.

Coloring the Mnoos: There's been so much attention given to Howell Raines' personal failings (the reason why he had to resign) that it's distracted from the real underlying, and probably ongoing, NYT failure--the Times'  "core problem," you might call it. John Podhoretz reminds us  what it is:

THE problem with The New York Times isn't that tyro reporter Jayson Blair made stuff up. Or that Pulitzer-prize-winning reporter Rick Bragg didn't properly credit other reporters for their work under his byline. Or even that Howell Raines, the executive editor who quit yesterday, wasn't nice to people and played favorites and lost the confidence of his newsroom. ...

The chief disgrace of the tenure of Howell Raines and of his boss, publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., is that they have tried to lay claim to objectivity even as they have consciously attempted to manipulate public opinion.

Meanwhile, Newsweek's Seth Mnookin writes a disappointingly hack, eager-not-to-offend conclusion to the Raines story.

Reporters who didn't end up on the front page complained the cause was favoritism; minority journalists wondered why Boyd, the highest-ranking African-American in the history of the paper, was forced to resign; right-wing ideologues tried to make the Times's implosion a cautionary tale about affirmative action or perceived liberal bias. [Emphasis added]

Does Mnookin really believe it's only right wing ideologues who think affirmative action and liberal bias are implicated--or that the liberal bias is only "perceived"? Of course not. His paragraph is carefully-constructed newsmag BS, designed to avoid alienating any readers (or editors)... I mean, is Podhoretz a "right-wing ideologue?" Well, OK, yes. But is Richard Cohen? Jack Shafer? Or, for that matter, Seth Mnookin, who last December wrote about the "revolution" at the Times under Raines and Pinch Sulzberger:

If Raines is working in any tradition, it's that of the crusading Southern populist. He began his career in Alabama, and cut his teeth at a time when the Southern papers were still charging the barricades of segregation. On the foreign-policy front, the Vietnam era helped cement his skepticism about government authority when lives are on the line. He once said the Reagan years "oppressed me because the callousness and the greed and the hardhearted attitude toward people who have very little in this society." ...

Whatever their track record, it seems clear that the Times's leaders have sometimes gone out on a limb. In August, the paper printed two consecutive front-page stories incorrectly including Henry Kissinger among the "prominent Republicans" opposing war with Iraq (Kissinger had expressed realpolitik reservations but stopped far short of arguing against an attack). [Emph. added.]

P.S.: Worse, Mnookin didn't use the quote I sent him. ...

P.P.S.: There's a connection, I think, between Raines' personal flaws and the "core problem" of the Times pointed out by Podhoretz. 1) Raines' central personal flaw was the ease with which he conflated high moral purpose and low personal interest (jealousy of Clinton, attacks on rival journalists such as James Fallows, sharp criticism of those sections of the Times that just so happened to be associated with his main rival for the top job, etc.). 2) The Times institutional flaw is the conflation of "objectivity" with the active and intelligent prosecution of a mainly liberal political agenda. 3) Maybe it was Raines' facility with Conflation #1 that enabled him push Conflation #2 to an extreme. If you're used to thinking that whatever you do has the exalted moral purpose of Martin Luther King then it's easy to think that everything your paper does is simply "objective" reflections of "news value." ("Call it journalism," as Raines' deputy, Gerald Boyd, famously put it.) ...

It would be nice if the Times abandoned Conflation #2 and came to see itself as simply a well-reported "progressive" publication. I don't think this will ever happen--the NYT'sleaderswould fear loss of credibility if the paper dropped its "objective" claims, and too many Times staffers genuinely buy into the idea that they're simply making "news" judgments. That's why the best we can hope for, I think, is a general toning down of Raines-style activism, even if that's done in the name of "objectivity" (and therefore has the effect of actually perpetuating the essential "objectivity" fraud). ... "Better blatant than latent" is usually a sound rule of thumb. With the NYT, I'll settle for latent. ...

P.P.P.S.: Podhoretz boasts that the Washington Times and New York Post  "do not pretend to be something they're not. They are run by conservatives. Readers know it and are given the opportunity to read them and judge for themselves." True enough. But if Podhoretz is going to make this claim shouldn't he address the ostentatiously phony-objective slogan of Rupert Murdoch's equally conservative Fox News Channel ("fair and balanced")? ... 3:52 A.M.

Who Moved My Moose? The NYT Guide to Corporate Leadership, Part I: It's been pointed out by others  (including alert reader J.G.), but the NYT press release announcing Howell Raines' departure says the Times company's

core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.

Let's give them the "enhance society." But what about "creating ... news"? Isn't that, you know, what's been getting them in trouble lately? ... And how many days did well-paid Times executives spend in Pinchy, mooseless meetings hammering out this high-school quality corporate mission statement? 1:50 P.M.

Sunday, June 8, 2003

Back off Baathists! He's vicious! When the Pentagon is forced to arm the movie critic  of the N.Y. Post and deploy him as a peacekeeping asset, you know there are really not enough troops in Iraq. ... 4:21 P.M.

Vendetta shortage hits kausfiles? Kf may have to find something else to write about soon. Luckily, the target of its obsessive criticism is still clinging to his post, lashing out righteously at his critics, and generally acting as if he still enjoys the favor of his corporate bosses. But the embattled Chris Bangle's days as BMW design chief, may be numbered! ... You can read Bangle's bon mots (e.g., "I don't mean to be arrogant about it, but what does a journalist know?") plus a review of Honda's studiously wacky new Gen Y road cube, the Element, in the latest flurryof Gearbox items, available here. (That is a permanent Gearbox link. Gearbox, kf's automotive sister blog, gets updated at all hours, at least in theory.) ... 3:37 P.M.




Drudge Report--80 % true. Close enough! Instapundit--All-powerful hit king. Joshua Marshall--Escapee from American Prospect. Salon--Better click fast! Andrew Sullivan--He asks, he tells. He sells! Washington Monthly--Includes Charlie Peters' proto-blog. Lucianne.com--Stirs the drink. Virginia Postrel--Friend of the future! Peggy Noonan--Gold in every column. Matt Miller--Savvy rad-centrism. WaPo--Waking from post-Bradlee snooze. The Liberal Death Star--Registration required.  NY Observer--Read it before the good writers are all hired away. New Republic--Left on welfare, right on warfare!  Jim Pinkerton--Quality ideas come from quantity ideas. Tom Tomorrow--Everyone's favorite leftish cartoonists' blog.  Ann "Too Far" Coulter--Sometimes it's just far enough. Bull Moose--National Greatness Central. John Ellis--Forget that Florida business! The cuz knows politics, and he has, ah, sources. "The Note"--How the pros start their day. Romenesko's MediaNews--O.K. they actually start it here. Center on Budget and Policy Priorities--Money Liberal Central.. Steve Chapman--Ornery-but-lovable libertarian. Rich Galen--Sophisticated GOP insider. Man Without Qualities--Seems to know a lot about white collar crime. Hmmm. Overlawyered.com--Daily horror stories. Eugene Volokh --Smart, packin' prof, and not Instapundit! Eve Tushnet--Queer, Catholic, conservative and not Andrew Sullivan! WSJ's Best of the Web--James Taranto's excellent obsessions. Walter Shapiro--Politics and (don't laugh) neoliberal humor! Eric Alterman--Born to blog. Joe Conason--Bush-bashing, free most days. Lloyd Grove--Don't let him write about you. Arianna--A hybrid vehicle. TomPaine.com--Web-lib populists. Take on the News--TomPaine's blog.  B-Log--Blog of spirituality!  Hit & Run:Reason gone wild! Nonzero--Bob Wright explains it all. [More tk.]