Archive for April, 2010

Part Two
April 27, 2010

This is where I really start presenting an argument.


Gawker Media’s Journalism of Convenience
April 27, 2010

Foster Kamer beat me to it, but I’m going to say it anyway because it bares repeating: for Nick Denton, Gawker Media is a journalistic enterprise when he wants its activities protected by journalism shield laws, but it’s not a journalistic enterprise when that means it would have to conform to any standard of ethical journalism.

As for whether or not Gawker employees are journalists, the answer is, well, sort of. Regardless of what they’re calling what they do this week, the job itself is still relatively consistent: original reporting of news (loosely defined). That’s what journalists do. That Gawker Media does it with little regard for personal integrity only means that they’re terrible at it.

Final Project
April 26, 2010

Here’s the first post in a five-part sendoff I’m writing for NYU Local. Now you may ask: A five-part, 4,000+ word first-person philosophical rumination? Isn’t that sort of an indulgent embrace of self-parody?

To which I respond: Good point! Why don’t you write about it on your blog?

My Friends Are Still Doing Cool Stuff
April 26, 2010

The great Spencer Ackerman is off at Guantanamo Bay for the next couple of weeks (voluntarily, I assure you), and once again he’s letting good FOTBs Jamelle Bouie and Dara Lind play in his sandbox. As usual, they’re doing good work which you should read religiously.

Check it out.

I’m in the Boston Globe Today
April 26, 2010

Well, the online edition, anyway. Here’s an op-ed by Peter Funt, and here’s my response, along with those of David Spett, Emily Rutherford and Matt Zeitlin.

links for 2010-04-25
April 25, 2010

Passing Any Legislation At All Will Kill the Climate Change Bill
April 25, 2010

Supporting my earlier point, Greg Sargent digs through the archives and recalls that Graham made the exact same threats regarding health care reform that he is now making regarding immigration. So if you’re taking notes on the type of thing that could “poison the well” when it comes to garnering support for progressive causes, I guess the answer is any attempt to push for progressive causes. Good to know!

The Amazing Sliminess of Lindsey Graham
April 24, 2010

I really should be writing that essay on whether or not Simone de Beauvoir builds a convincing ethical framework in The Ethics of Ambiguity (A: Sort of!), but I have to take a moment here to just marvel at Senator Graham’s chutzpah.

A bipartisan deal on climate change legislation suffered a major setback today as a key author of the measure accused Senate Democrats and President Obama of abandoning the issue to instead focus on an election-year immigration bill.

Sen. Lindsey Graham was set to release a climate change plan Monday with Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, but today Graham wrote a letter to “leaders in the energy independence effort” saying it was obvious the energy bill would have “no chance of success.

Graham’s been making noises like this for a while, but it has never been quite so obvious before just how little interest he actually has in passing climate change reform. No one publicly declares a policy dead if they want to pass it unless it has actually been killed. With that in mind, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with the “maverick” designator friend of the blog Sarah Libby gave him. You only get that particular badge if you make political sacrifices to do something you believe is right, and that’s not the case here; Graham is being disingenuous about his intentions and obstructing policy he claims to think is right in a way that is to the advantage of both himself and his party.

The logic goes like this: If Graham declares the climate change bill dead because of immigration reform, one of two things could happen:

A) It hobbles immigration reform because the Democrats consider climate change a larger priority, thereby saving the GOP from picking a fight that will only further alienate Hispanic voters. Meanwhile, Graham continues to get lauded as a hero by virtue of his maverick-ness.

(Option A was never very likely, especially now that the federal government has to do something to undermine this nightmare of a law that just got signed in AZ. And indeed it looks like the White House intends to continue pressing forward on both initiatives.)

B) Assuming it doesn’t hobble immigration reform, Graham now has a handy pretext for why he’s not even trying to whip GOP votes for the climate change bill: Democrats “poisoned the well,” so he can’t get anyone to support the proposal. Better yet, he can withdraw his own support–no doubt after much teary-eyed soul-searching–because the climate change bill is insufficiently bipartisan. He still gets the press attention and centrist cred from trying, but doesn’t need to actually do anything that his party wouldn’t like.

I’ll believe the guy is genuinely for climate change legislation when he takes a political hit for its sake. Right now, all he’s doing is playing everyone who actually wants energy independence and sustainability.

Final Papers
April 24, 2010

links for 2010-04-23
April 23, 2010

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