Josh Barro: Why Romney Is Toast
The first pundit to declare the Romney candidacy dead as a result of the famous Mother Jones video was, so far as I know, Josh Barro of Bloomberg View, whose prediction was time-stamped at 6:02 p.m. Monday, a few hours after the video’s release. I’m not so sure that Romney is toast, and today I tried to shake Barro’s conviction. I didn’t have much success:
Hooman Majd: Will Iran Ever Cave?
So far the international community, in its approach to the Iranian nuclear problem, has stuck pretty much with an all-sticks-no-carrots approach: more and more sanctions, vague threats of eventual military action, and, so far as we know, no offer of incremental sanctions relief in exchange for incremental Iranian concessions. Will an all-sticks approach work? I asked author Hooman Majd, who served as an adviser to former Iranian president Mohammad Khatami, one of the leaders of the Green Movement.
Why Are Americans Nuttier Than Canadians?
Why do a non-trivial number of Americans believe that President Obama faked his birth certificate, or that 9/11 was an inside job, while just over the border to the north conspiracy theories are a rarer thing? Canadian journalist Jonathan Kay, author of the book Among the Truthers, has an explanation—and, though it's not a conspiracy theory, it does involve the Queen of England.
Christopher Ryan: Is Sexual Jealousy Natural?
Is sexual jealousy a product of human evolution, or something unnatural that the culture has imposed upon us? Christopher Ryan, co-author of the book Sex at Dawn, uses his experience at a swingers convention to argue that sexual jealousy is a cultural construct.
Are Book Publishers Doomed?
Gary Krist has written both fiction and non-fiction, including the new book City of Scoundrels, about Chicago in 1919. When I asked him to weigh in on the future of book publishing, he had better news for authors than for publishers:
Gary Krist: How To Write History
Gary Krist's new book, City of Scoundrels, tells the story of Chicago in July of 1919, when a series of unnerving events—including a blimp crash and a race riot—seemed to put the city on the brink of chaos. I asked Krist how writers turn the messiness of history into a coherent narrative, and whether their mission differs from that of professional historians.
Michael C. Moynihan: Confronting Jonah Lehrer
Journalist Michael C. Moynihan famously sleuthed out the fact that science writer Jonah Lehrer had fabricated Bob Dylan quotes. Moynihan’s disclosure of Lehrer’s journalistic malpractice—and of a lie Lehrer had told Moynihan to cover his tracks—led, several weeks ago, to Lehrer’s departure from the New Yorker. Here Moynihan describes the dramatic moment when he confronted Lehrer.
Michael C. Moynihan: Is It Too Soon for a Jonah Lehrer Rehabilitation?
Jonah Lehrer, who left the New Yorker last month after admitting to fabricating Bob Dylan quotes, may be on the verge of rehabilitation. Last week Wired magazine said Lehrer would remain on contract as a feature writer (though it then qualified that, saying the jury was still out on whether his byline would appear again). I asked Michael C. Moynihan, whose detective work had originally unearthed Lehrer’s fabrications, how he reacted to the news from Wired. His answer was NSFW:
Eli Lake: No, the "Israel Lobby" Isn’t Making War More Likely
I recently argued that President Obama’s attempt to please such “pro-Israel” groups as AIPAC has made it harder to reach a negotiated solution with Iran, thus raising the chances of war. Newsweek’s Eli Lake begs to differ: