Tag Archives: Media

In Full Defense of This American Life

About a month and a half ago, Ira Glass and the crew of This American Life came upon a story that seemed almost too perfectly designed for the show’s introspective, vaguely counterculture hipster aesthetic: the tale of a die-hard believer in Steve Jobs’ Apple discovering that those hallmarks of the intelligentsia, iPads and iPhones, are made possible only by […]

The Problem of the Palin Ponzi Scheme

Sarah Palin’s decision not to run could push her to the top of the vice presidential slate, where (with the right nominee) she could reprise her role as the extremist spoiler that tanked a mainstream candidate. Here’s hoping. But in the interim, all that’s certain is that she’s managed to successfully cash in on the […]

The Jerry Bruckheimer Ad

Rick Perry drops one, titled “President Zero”: It’s the rare campaign that goes negative in its first public offering. Perry’s is also the first experiment with this type of ad, post-Tim Pawlenty, and outside of Sarah Palin’s odd “remember-that-I-still-exist” variants. What I’m getting at is, this is an affirmatively new way to campaign, and one […]

Science and the Public: the Prevalence of Discredited Mythology

Observers on the modern era will agree that one of the greatest weaknesses of democracy is the public’s inability to responsibly discuss science. As an example, this week saw the release of a study conclusively refuting the alleged “link” between vaccines and autism, and revealing England’s Dr. Wakefield, the originator of this pernicious lie, as […]

The Necessity of Public Radio

In last week’s Journal, a conservative commentator makes the “free market” case for defunding NPR, not because it’s “liberal” (read: fires bigots for being bigots), but because government funding presents an insurmountable barrier to entry to other, would-be “quality,” for-profit broadcasting providers. Safe to say this guy isn’t getting Carl Kassel’s voice on his home […]

Regulation & the Search for Truth

Why do we have a First Amendment — and, particularly, the “freedom of speech” (whatever that means)? Because the Amendment is vague, thus permitting (and requiring) judges to consider policy when applying it, different answers to this basic question compel different legal results. If we conclude that the Amendment exists to vindicate freedom for its […]

Faulting NYT’s Kagan Coverage, Already

In their immediate lead on Elena Kagan, the current Solicitor General and Obama’s reported nominee to the high court, the New York Times reports the following while canvassing Kagan’s views on selected issues: Judicial Activism In Ms. Kagan’s written responses to Senate questions during her confirmation for solicitor general, she disagreed with the view that […]

Oversimplifying the Bench — Again

Yesterday, Politico purported to cover a “controversy” over Goodwin Liu, a young, brilliant law professor recently appointed by President Obama to the Ninth Circuit. The appointment, of course, is stalled, because to the Republican Party, nothing — not staffing the TSA, or filling the federal bench — could possibly be as important as revitalizing the […]

Keith Olbermann is Officially Our Erick Erickson: to Hell with them Both

Whether it’s Jonah Golberg and Glenn Beck making “liberals” out to be “fascists,” or Keith Olbermann and Erick Erickson comparing their least favorite Supreme Court decisions to Scott v. Sanford (“Dred Scott”), it ought to be possible to criticize our political opponents without comparing them to the worst parts of human history. Keith Olbermann’s equivalence […]

Systemic Flaws in American Party Politics: A Facebook Vignette

When Scott Brown beat Martha Coakley in last week’s special election, I was mad. So mad, in fact, that I posted this to my Facebook wall: Republicans have never truly governed this country: all they’ve ever done is sell failed policies with divisive rhetoric, pass the buck to [Democrats] to fix it, wait for their […]