Posts from July 2003

Quagmire this

Quagmire this
: Andrew Sullivan has a nice bit of rebuttal from Wolfowitz re progress in Iraq.

Editors

Editors
: Continuing on my snit fit about the editing job I got from Nieman Reports…

: Dave Winer says we don’t need no stinking editors.

: Dan Gillmor says we are our own editors.

: Tim Porter says bad editors are everywhere.

: Ed Cone says we can all stand a good edit.

: Cyberwriter says “recht hat er.”

: Mike says in the comments: “Oh fine, now you’ve burned your bridges and you’ve lost out on the audience of 500 who read the Nieman Report and will have to fall back on the 10,000 who read your blog. Smart move, Mr. Blogger-guy.”

: An important note: Only once before in my (long) career have I seen an editor try to insert her or her own agenda into a piece I have written. The prior case (a story I have told here before): The editor in chief of Time Inc. tried to turn my positive review of a miniseries about Alger Hiss into a negative review so he could defend his mentor, Whitaker Chambers. I put my career on the line over that and threatened to resign; my editor put her career on the line backing me; we won. The top guy admitted that he had gone too far.

That’s important to note because American journalism is not filled with editors rewriting and perverting the writing of reporters (as, I think, some assume happens habitually under the reign of powerful editors like Howell Raines). If that happened, the writers would revolt (their principles and egos are that strong).

: David Galbraith fantatizes:

I have this fantastic image of a drab, librarian-type cowering behind a stack of old books, dust flying, as a 6′ 4″ Jarvis in a don’t give a damn suit slams his original manuscript on the top of the pile. Weblogs allow you to do that – but without getting dust on your jacket.

: Did somebody at the wall street journal edit den beste? He wrote fewer than 200,000 words!

: Canadians are Smug says:

All I can think is, what an excellent time to be a young journalist. The ground is shifting beneath the feet of journalism, and such earthquakes are an excellent time to move forward while the old guard nonchalantly reports “Ground seen shaking”. All the ridiculous gargoyles adorning journalism’s ivory tower are going to fall off.

Springer’s wisdom

Springer’s wisdom
: Blogging colleague Joe Territo — who’s cleverly turned his blog into a forum for email interviews with the notable — has Jerry Springer today, talking about youth and violence:

A. I think blaming the entertainment industry for violence among our youth is absurd. If violent movies and television shows were the problem, you’d expect to find the same level of violence in Canada that you do in America, since Canadians mostly watch the same shows and movies that we do. In fact, of course, Canada has a violence rate many times smaller than ours. And the truth is that the vast majority of kids in this country are perfectly capable of distinguishing between make-believe violence and real life. Sure, there may be a few souls who are motivated to violence by what they see on TV or in the movies, just as there is a small percentage of adults who can’t drink liquor responsibly and become alcoholics. But when we tried banning alcohol, Prohibition wasn’t exactly a ringing success.

Confab

Confab
: I’ll be at the NY Mag/Guardian media confab today, blogging when possible.

Why that hate us? Because they’re incredibly stupid

Why that hate us? Because they’re incredibly stupid
: A poll in Germany reports:

Almost one in three Germans below the age of 30 believes the U.S. government may have sponsored the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, according to a poll published on Wednesday

And about 20 percent of Germans in all age groups hold this view, a survey of 1,000 people conducted for the weekly Die Zeit said.

Heiko Hebig (who finds this via the Agonist via Die Zeit) wonders what I’ll say about this. What can a sane person say: They’re nuts. Is the fault of German media that they’re so ill-informed? Is it the fault of German politicians that anti-American bigotry has reached such depths of idiocy? Is it the fault of German education that a third of the next generation is just so stupid?

Shocking stupidity

Shocking stupidity
: Mayor Bloomberg admitted that various machers have not been going through the metal detector at City Hall and that’s how the shooter got in with a gun. Shocking. Stupid. Dangerous. Incredible. Bloomberg makes a big deal that now he and other officials will all go through. After 9/11 and all the security worries in New York, they should have been setting this example ages ago. When Dan White went into San Francisco’s City Hall to murder George Moscone and Harvey Milk, he had to sneak in through a basement window.

New York attack

New York attack
: A gunman opened fire in New York’s City Hall today, apparently shooting two councilmen, killing one…. UPDATE: Both victims are now dead….UPDATE: Now they say the second dead person was the assailant. Why the hell did it take them so long to get the news straight? New York feared an assassin was out on the streets when he was dead.

: I was a columnist in San Francisco when Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were murdered by Supervisor Dan White.

George and Harvey were both friends.

It was a terrible time for the city. More than 900 had died in Jonestown. Now City Hall ran with blood. And soon, thousands and thousands would die of AIDS. Then let’s not forget the lies and busted dreams of the bubble.

I don’t think San Francisco ever fully recovered from its tragedies. I haven’t been there in too long but I never hear people talk about it — as everyone used to — with sighs about its beauty, charm, innocence, and magic. I hear people complain how crowded it is and how it mismanages the homeless problem and how its politics are a carnival sideshow.

Damn, I used to love that city.

Now New York is just trying to rebuild after 3,000 were murdered at the World Trade Center. And now City Hall runs with blood.

But New York cannot suffer San Francisco’s fate. It can’t take on the face of a loser. This is a tougher town. And unlike San Francisco, it’s not a luxury but a necessity for America and the world.

Twit

Twit
: Howard Stern was ranting quite rightly about star twit Kate Hudson’s sound bite saying that she was just in France and she understands why people hate us because we’re loud and ask for ketchup.

Yes, that’s why the terrorists attacked us: Ketchup.

Howard says he demands an apology. Damn straight.

: Now I have her quote: “I’ve been listening to some Americans. Of course they hate us. Of course they can’t stand us. We’re the most annoying, boisterous creatures in the world.”

And the French?