Posts from July 2003

Objectivity schmobjectivity

Objectivity schmobjectivity
: Robert L. Bartley, editor emeritus of the Wall Street Journal, writes today that objectivity in journalism is dead. But he writes about it from the wrong perspective, that of the journalists and their institutions, saying that objectivity is hard to maintain.

I look at it from the audience’s perspective instead. I’ve been saying in this space for sometime the success of both FoxNews and weblogs indicate that the audience expects opinion — and straightforward honesty about that opinion.

: Hylton Jolliffe of Corante also sends us to this article, Rethinking Objectivity.

: See also Bradford Pilcher.

Sex and the city

Sex and the city
: The ladies are all getting older and more miserable. Welcome to your midlife crises, ladies.

What it’s about

What it’s about
: Where’s my elephant, a weblog by an expat Iranian and soon-to-be Harvard law student, writes to remind us about the victims of Iran’s Islamic republic:

this morning, as i looked at my usual sites, i came across this article (in persian), commemorating the anniversary of the mass executions which took place in iranian prisons in 1988, a time when the iranian regime decided to empty the prisons of all their political opponents.

i looked through the partially-compiled list (in english) of all of all of those executed and i recognized quite a few names….

i saw the name of a distant relative who had been arrested on no real charges and kept in prison idefinitely. one random day, his father was called by the prison authorities and told: “come here and pick up your son. he’s now free.” the father went to the prison excitedly only to be greeted with his son’s corpse.

i saw the names of family friends who had been executed. husband and pregnant wife.

and finally, with real dread, i saw my uncle’s name. he was arrested in 1980, at the age of 20. his “crime” was selling political newspapers and attending some protests….

they called my grandmother’s house one day from the prison. they asked my grandmother if she was the mother of the prisoner. then they coldly told her to come and pick up my uncle’s clothes and his watch.

to this day we don’t know how he was killed or where his body is buried.

sometimes people tell me that it is time to move on. to forgive. to focus on reform.

and i can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of that notion.

will the so-called ‘reformists’, many of whom were directly complicit in these murders and others who deny they occurred, answer to my grandmother when she asks about what was done to her son?

how can she forgive?


: Blue Bird Escape — the teen who just a week ago returned to America from a visit to her native Iran — gains more perspective and writes:

American life

Saturday mornings people go to the mall and spend their morning and part of their afternoon shopping.

The road is clear. Not too many cars. Not too much traffic. It is a joy to drive.

At home music can play loudly.

At the movies people quiet down when the film starts.

People are not allowed to smoke in public places.

Choosing a comfortable outfit is not a problem.

Writing is not a crime.

Speaking is not wrong.

Dreaming is allowed.

Success exists.

Freedom is a word.

Love is a reality.

Swan song

Swan song
: Brian Linse got a preview of Warren Zevon’s album and he loves it.


: Gawd, Larry Lessig drives me nuts. He’s so obsessively one-note about intellectual property. And he’s so wrong.

He sends his blog readers to a New York Times story by Jake Tapper and then he can’t help adding this:

(BTW: this is a NY Times piece, which means you need to be registered to read it and eventually you

Defending a nation

Defending a nation
: It’s amazing that anyone should feel the need to defend a nation’s “basic right to exist, to protect its citizens from terrorism, and to defend its borders from hostile enemies.”

But Alan Dershowitz wrote a book to defend these rights of Israel and a sneak preview of the beginning of the book is in the new edition of


: Roger L. Simon is bristling at being called a liberal (because he’s trying to erase such definitions from the dictionary). Actually, I wish he’d wear the label with pride and help redefine what it means along with other sensiblelibs (such as yours truly, of course). Without the sensible ilk of Simon and Michael J. Totten calling ourselves liberal, then all we’ll find in the dictionary under the word is this.