Posts from June 27, 2005

We’re forever blowing….

We’re forever blowing….

: What do these two headlines have in common?

: Google passes $300 per share.

: $60.54 per barrel.

Ecstasy, that’s what.

: Oh, and add this: three bedrooms for $2.5 mil.

Do not build it. Not there.

Do not build it. Not there.

: Both The New York Times and the New York Post editorialized on the fight over the International Freedom Center and Drawing Center at Ground Zero. Of course, they don’t agree. But they both show what a mistake it was for Gov. Pataki to put himself — and all of us — in this most uncomfortable position:

When you put these opportunities to speak at such a place you will, of course, have controversy that can offend some. And if you try to stop that controversy, you will be accused of censorship.

That is why it should not be built. Not there. Let the discussion and disagreement and controversy and art occur elsewhere. Let the memorial happen there.

Says The Times:

Gov. George Pataki’s decision to side with increasingly vocal critics of the cultural plans for the World Trade Center site is not surprising, but it is alarming. The governor has been deeply and rightly sensitive to the concerns of the families of the victims of 9/11. Like all of us, he honors their loss and their grief. But by bowing to some of the survivors’ growing hostility to any version of 9/11 except their own, Mr. Pataki is doing a disservice to history and to the very idea of freedom.

That’s practically nasty to the families. It also assumes that this is an issue for the families only. It’s not.

The protesters – and the governor – seem to have little faith in the emotional power of the memorial to the victims, which will be the central focus of ground zero, emotionally, politically and architecturally.

This almost puts them at war: the memorial overshadowing the centers.

But it is meant to remember something more than a day of tragedy. It’s meant to remember the lives of those who died there, lives that were rich, complex and politically and culturally divided.

What those lives stand for now is American freedom, in its full implication and all its contradictions.

Loaded word, “contradictions.” Yes, that’s exactly what the IFC sought to examine. It seeks to probe controversy. Not there. The Times calls that censorship. Not if it is moved elsewhere, it’s not.

The Post says:

Gov. Pataki ó despite his assurances to the contrary Friday, and despite what some newspaper editorialists may choose to believe ó couldn’t keep “Piss Flag” out of the Drawing Center even if he wanted to, even if he were still in office.

Defenders of trash, and compliant judges, would surely block any effort to “censor” works.

Similarly, “scholars” like, say, Ward Churchill ó the nut who compared World Trade Center workers to Nazis ó won’t be easily stopped from gaining a forum at the International Freedom Center (IFC), also planned for the site.

Maybe these cynical showmen deserve that forum.

Click Here!

But not at Ground Zero.

The Post calls for “banning” the groups. No. They should merely be moved. The Post says they should move themselves:

Citing “inevitable tensions,” a statement from the center said: “The dilemmas raised by this juxtaposition are challenging . . . Clearly, the Drawing Center, like any other cultural institution, has a responsibility to its mission.”

Actually, we couldn’t agree more.

Which is why, if these two groups had decency, they’d bow out on their own.

Clearly, they wouldn’t want to compromise their independence. Nor lead the governor, and the public, to think they could meet his requirements and still carry out their missions faithfully.

Again, the only solution is for these groups to locate off-site.




: I had to put “cialis” in my comment-spam filter to stay ahead of the swine. But, of course, this is stopping people from putting up legitimate words. I should fix that. But I’m kind of enjoying the discovery. First, they couldn’t say “socialism” and thought I was trying to turn that into a dirty word. Now it’s “specialist.” Can we ask the makers of performance-enhancing drugs to please come up with names whose order of letters does not appear elsewhere in the English language?



: It’s inside media-baseball, but go read David Carr’s hilariously snarky column today about former Conde Nast President Steve Florio’s unbook. Great lead line, calling Florio “a knockabout guy from Jamaica, Queens, blessed with a very finite set of skills – a knack for selling advertising pages and a facility for slicing the conversational baloney…”

: Oh, how I wish a birdie would put Florio’s entire proposal online or ship it to someone who would.

On the air

On the air

: Barring dead celebs, I’ll be on MSNBC’s Connected today in the 5p hour doing the regular blog segment (Tony is exec-producing the show for two weeks). Will be talking about blog reaction to the Supreme Court decisions, the Iran election, and LBJ and the internet (below). Please leave any tips and links in the comments.

: LATER: Ian Schwartz has the video.

We win

We win

: The Supreme Court rules that 10 commandment displays that tried to sell them violated the separation of church and state, but displays attempting to present religion as part of history are OK. Oh, some will be up in arms, but this appears to be a good ruling that, though fuzzy, stops government from selling religion without banning religion.


Eugene Volokh says: “I have often heard it said that the Ten Commandments are an important part of the foundation of American law, and I think that’s true to a point. But here’s a quick question for you: How many of the Ten Commandments are actually implemented as legally binding obligations under modern American law? (To avoid confusion, let’s focus on the list in Exodus, chapter 20, King James Version, available here.)

It turns out that the answer today is pretty much three, #6 [that is, don’t kill], #8 [don’t steal], \and #9 [don’t lie].”

Coveting thy neighbor’s house is, after all, the basis of the housing bubble.

And John Podhoretz at National Review reflects the confusion about the fuzziness of the ruling:

“Why didn’t the Supremes just say you could display the 10 Cs on Monday, Wed, and alternate Fridays, but not on Tuesdays and Thursdays? Or that they could be viewed inside government buildings, but only on the walls of bathrooms and in janitors’ closets? Has anybody ever advanced this radical opinion — that the five justices in question may be intelligent and thoughtful people individually, but that together they form one blithering idiot?”

We lose

We lose

: Grokster loses. Thus so do toolmakers and enablers of any sort … which, after all, is the very definition of the internet. The decision is terribly out of sync with the future.

: Susan Crawford, who knows whereof she blogs, is awaiting the decisions to say more but offers this:

And the content industry’s victory in Grokster means that inducement is officially recognized as part of contributory infringement. I’m hopeful that the test for inducement is straightforward enough that technology innovators have some certainty.

: The Wall St. Journal has a panel of legal brains discussing the import; free linkn here. Q&A with background here.

: Scotusblog has great ongoing discussion of both cases.

: Ernie Miller is way on top of the news here. Copyfight will, of course, be on top of the case.

The exploding newsroom

The exploding newsroom

: The Lenslinger contemplates the future — in a week or two — when everyone in a newsroom has a camera and a pencil: Specialties merge, egos deflate.

Now, Young Broadcasting, KRONís owner, is announcing that another of their stations, WKRN of Nashville, is jumping aboard the solo train. Not only that, WKRN is doing it NOW. Having already purchased 30 Sony Z1 cameras (at a mere 3 pounds apiece) along with 16 Dell laptop editors, KRN management announced an eight week training course that will transform 13 traditional news crews into 30 video journalists….

Jill Reporter-Bunny might shoot her own stuff, but chances are Chet Graytemples wonít pack his own lens when he saunters off the set long enough for a series shoot.

If he does, then that would be a revolution, one in which the star-making nature of your local news factory might indeed crumble. Imagine a TV newsroom where even the top anchor schleps gear, thus tarnishing the artifice of suave superiority inherent in the dapper newsreader model. While thatís not likely to happen, one aspect of the changing times does excite me: the gradual transformation of local correspondents from overdressed poseurs to blue-collar news gatherers.