Are we sure that, "For any commuters caught in Wednesday's blast, though, the health risk was essentially zero"? ... 3:27 P.M.
Will TimesSelect Go Jane? Is the infamous NYT TimesSelect paywall about to disappear? kf hears rumblings that the paper is about to abandon the whole misconceived project in which it has blocked unpaid Web access to its op-ed columnists. ... P.S.: The Times claims fewer than 225,000 customers pay the $49.95 TimesSelect fee, up less than 100,000 from what the paper was claiming in November, 2005. More get the service through their regular subscriptions. Meanwhile, the Times could use the ad revenue that would come from increasing the readership of the columnists (by making them free). And the columnists would like to have the readers. ... All this was quite evident two years ago when Pinch Sulzberger embarked on this folly, of course. ....
Update: Denials don't get much weaker than NYT spokesperson Catherine Mathis' to the NY Post's Keith Kelly:
"While TimesSelect is very popular and we have certainly met and exceeded our goals since it began in 2005, we continue to evaluate the best approach to our business."
Note: That's not a 'non-denial denial.' There is no denial. It's a non-non-denial-denial non-denial. ... 3:23 P.M. link
E.U.Z. (Editor Until Zell): My impression is that John Montorio's tenure as features editor at the L.A. Times has not been considered a rousing success.The relaunched West Magazine comes in for particular criticism. Is Times #1 E.U.Z.Jim O'Shea really about to promote Montorio to Managing Editor, the paper's #2? That's what I hear. ... At least pompous media critic Tim Rutten isn't Montorio's consigliere! Oh, wait. ... 3:44 A.M.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
I don't get Rufus Wainwright. What's he whining about? 8:47 P.M.
Someone failed to quit the McCain campaign yesterday. 6:30 P.M.
Karen Hicks must be some kind of "field operative." She's getting paid $66,000 a quarter from Hillary's campaign, according to Politico's Ben Smith. That's a rate of $266,000 a year. ... P.S.: But she's no Laurel Touby. ... 1:42 P.M.
Childstats.gov Buries the Lede: The rate of teenage childbearing for blacks has been cut by more than half since its peak in 1991. It's now substantially lower than the teen birthrate for Hispanics. Though I'd like to credit welfare reform, causality here is complicated--new birth control technologies (e.g. Norplant) and fear of AIDS are big potential factors. And nationwide welfare reform didn't happen until 1996. ...
If you want to find evidence of a sociological impact for welfare reform, look at this chart. It shows that the percentage of black children living with two married parents jumped from 33 percent in 1996 to 38 percent in 2002 (when the Census changed the definition of "black"). Meanwhile, the percentage of black children living with "mother only" fell from 53 percent to 48 percent. ... Those figures still aren't very promising--the percentage of white children living with two married parents is 76 (and for Hispanics it's 66). Still, the improvement for blacks is significant. Why isn't welfare reform to blame? If a single mother is going to have to work, it makes sense to team up with another breadwinner. ...
P.P.S.: If greater condom use is (as the AP suggests) a big explanation for the decline in black teen births, doesn't this mean that the unavailability of condoms (or lack of education in their use, etc.) is no longer even a remotely plausible explanation for the still-low percentage of black two parent families? Obviously, the problem isn't lack of access to birth control technology--black teens are using it. Presumably they don't forget about it when they become young adults. .. 2:53 A.M.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007