Posts from November 14, 2003

Photographic proof

medill.jpgPhotographic proof
: There’s rickety old Fisk Hall, HQ of the j-school, which probably regrets to this day giving me a degree.

In Evanston… Wrote posts below on the plane (now if only it had wi-fi)…. Going wandering around my alma mater…. Back later…..

In Evanston… Wrote posts below on the plane (now if only it had wi-fi)…. Going wandering around my alma mater…. Back later…..

Nonblogroll

Nonblogroll
: I’ve decided to start a list of people who should blog but don’t — the nonblogroll. A year ago, that list included Steven Johnson, but then he started blogging. So I thought it was time for a new list. My start:

: Dan Okrent, new public editor of The Times. He says he’s not going to but we should talk him into it, for a blog would be a great way to interact with the paper’s audience and critics; it would humanize the relationship and diffuse some of the gunpowder. And Dan’s a smart guy and a good writer.

: Kurt Andersen, host of Studio 360. I bugged him to blog once. He demured. He needs more bugging.

: Simon Dumenco, now editor of Colors. Even though he denies being a blogger, he is one, at heart.

: Tom Friedman, columnist for The Times. No introduction needed. Sure, he’s busy. But there must be a hundred ideas and links each week that don’t make it into his column. Share them, Tom.

: Maureen Dowd, columnist for The Times and blog whipping girl. Just because you’d all have so much fun.

: Michael Ledeen, columnist for the National Review. He interacts with bloggers, leaving comments here and on Iranian weblogs. He’s controversial. He’s interesting.

: John Podhoretz, columnist for the New York Post. He’s also very blogsmart and also controversial. I bugged him about blogging in email a few months ago; he said he’s busy writing a book. OK, John, when you’re done….

: Bill Clinton. The blogging President. He’s dying for a bully pulpit and a blog would be perfect.

: Howard Stern. Just the occasional link to something he likes.

Who else? Leave your nominations in the comments. If I agree, I’ll add them (because it’s my nonblogroll). [I’ll put them on the actual ‘roll later, when I’m not in Starbucks.]

: UPDATE: Good names coming into the comments. Keep ‘em coming.

Bad ideas

Bad ideas
: Yesterday, I never got around to blogging the confluence of bad ideas I saw in the Times: both Tom Friedman and Wesley Clark suggesting that somehow, the solution to tough problems in Iraq — and Israel — is to be found in Saudi Arabia. Good God, is that a trap.

Today, John Podhoretz in the Post does a better job than I would have of compiling all the bad ideas being put forward for Iraq:

Wesley Clark, the Democratic presidential candidate, has a plan: The Saudis should go hunting for terrorists while NATO takes over as the military and civilian authority in Iraq.

John Kerry has a plan: The United States should go to the United Nations and get a resolution creating a U.N. military force under American command.

Howard Dean has a plan: “The most important step we can take in Iraq today is to internationalize the forces stationed there, particularly by bringing in Muslim and Arabic-speaking troops,” the Democratic front-runner has said.

Dennis Kucinich, a longshot leftist rival of Clark’s, has a plan: The United Nations should take over entirely from the United States in Iraq.

These aren’t really plans. They’re fantasies – fantasies of escape….

And there are fantasists within the administration as well. They think the answer to the current difficulties is to force Iraqis to take on more and more of the security and political management of the country. The Iraqis need to “step up to the plate,” as one leading official says. What he means is that we want them to “step up to the plate.” The problem is that the baseball stadium isn’t quite finished and the ballplayers haven’t completed spring training. They need time.

What’s needed, on the part of the United States, is a unique combination of attitudes – an urgent calm. We will succeed in Iraq because failure is not an option….

We need to win democracy in the Middle East. We need to defeat terrorism in the Middle East. It’s going to take struggle and sacrifice. If we do not succeed, the alternative is continued terrorism and threat right here. So we must succeed. We must have the fortitude to succeed on our own.

There are no easy answers — or easy outs.

A guillotine in Picadilly

A guillotine in Picadilly
: Nice and timely lines in today’s Times review of Master and Commander:

O you want to see a guillotine in Piccadilly? Do you want your children to grow up singing the ‘Marseillaise’?” This is Jack Aubrey, commander of H.M.S. Surprise, rousing the patriotism of his men as they prepare to engage a faster, larger French vessel somewhere off the coast of South America….

It is tempting to read some contemporary geopolitical relevance into this film, which appears at a moment when some of the major English-speaking nations are joined in a military alliance against foes we sometimes need to be reminded do not actually include France.

Oh, that’s right.

The value of data

The value of data
: Howard Stern should put his data base online. It’s amazing the data that is collected on his show. This morning, Howard was panting at the news that Paris Hilton had recorded another sex video, this time with Playmate Nicole Lenz. He seemed to remember having her on the show once. Sure enough, the staff came in seconds later with her measurements and the fact that she’s a self-proclaimed expert at laying tile — yes, tile.

In this age, data is valuable and this is great data.

Traveling a.m. … Blogging later… At Online News p.m. …

Traveling a.m. … Blogging later… At Online News p.m. …

Rules of news

Rules of news
: Lost Remote’s Steve Safran gives us laws, theories, axioms, and paraodes of news. Selections:

: THE LAW OF BREAKING NEWS

“Breaking news” is usually neither.

: RESTATEMENT OF THE LAW OF BREAKING NEWS, with respect to MURPHY

When there actually is breaking news, it will happen when you are on skeleton staff.

: THE LAW OF NEWS CONSPIRACIES

Those who believe there is a “giant media conspiracy” have never seen three producers try to agree what to get on a pizza.

: COROLLARY TO THE LAW OF NEWS CONSPIRACIES

The media are not right-wing, left-wing, pro-choice, pro-abortion, pro-gun, anti-war or any other such nonsense. We are pro-leaving-work-on-time and very pro-heading-to-the-bar.

THE “BALANCED NEWS” PARADOX

Equally distributed quotes from both sides do not a balanced report make.

[Sorry. Forget the link before. It’s here now.]