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Friday, April 04, 2003
The death of Michael Kelly.
The media world was inflamed with the rumor for a good part of the
morning. Now the Washington Post's Howard
Kurtz confirms it: Michael
Kelly, the former editor of the Atlantic Monthly, the New
Republic, and National Journal, has been killed in Iraq.
He is the first American journalist to die in the war.
Kelly, who had been embedded with
the Army's 3rd Infantry Division while writing his weekly column for
the Post, led a turbulent and colorful career. He became
something of a legend in the first Gulf War, when he was a freelancer
filing dispatches for the New Republic. At one point, he and
another reporter commandeered a jeep and drove out into the desert,
where a group of Iraqi soldiers attempted to surrender to
He later wrote long pieces for the
New York Times Magazine, lampooning Hillary Rodham Clinton's
dalliance with New Age spirituality and -- in a landmark article in
mid 1994 -- wrote about Bill Clinton's reputation as a liar, an
article that helped to define the flailing president just before the
disastrous (for Democrats) 1994 election. From there Kelly moved to
the New Yorker (where he once reportedly threatened to punch
out then-fellow staffer Sidney Blumenthal), and, in 1997, returned to
the New Republic, this time as the editor. [Note: Since I first posted this item, it has been brought to my attention that my memory may be faulty. Kelly ordered Blumenthal to stay away from the New Yorker's Washington office, but it's not clear whether he actually threatened him with bodily harm.]
But even though TNR had for
years straddled the ideological ground between its liberal past and
neoconservative leanings on welfare, race, and foreign policy,
Kelly's vitriolic attacks on Clinton and, increasingly, Al Gore --
thundered forth each week in the "TRB" column -- eventually got him
fired by editor-in-chief and chairman Marty Peretz, a personal friend
Peretz always insisted it was
Kelly's anti-liberalism, not his anti-Gore-ism, that got him fired.
Shortly after the incident, Peretz
told me: "I'm not your
quintessential liberal. But I've always had what I would call a
lover's quarrel with liberalism. I made the terrible mistake of
hiring an editor who brings rancor and enmity to the liberal
Kelly landed on his feet quickly,
being hired to edit National Journal and writing a column
for the Post. And when Journal owner David Bradley
purchased the venerable Atlantic Monthly, in 1999, he named
Kelly to be the editor. "I have, I hope, a great appreciation and
respect for what the magazine is," Kelly
told me shortly after his
appointment. "I believe that when an editor comes in to a magazine
that existed before his arrival, the first sacred job is to respect
that which is there. So what I am not contemplating is anything that
would do violence to the deep-rooted identity of this
Kelly was true to his word.
Although he took the comment pages of the traditionally liberal
magazine in something of a rightward direction, adding writers such
as David Brooks, Christopher Caldwell, and P.J. O'Rourke, he also
persuaded Bradley to sink a ton of money into a vibrant new design,
many extra pages, and deep (and expensive) reporting.
The Atlantic won
National Magazine Awards in 2002.
Last year, it was the talk of the magazine world for its lengthy
three-part series by William Langewiesche on the demolition of the
World Trade Center after 9/11, which was turned into an admired if
Kelly, a lifelong Washington
resident (though he went to college at UNH and served a brief
internship at the now-defunct Beverly Times -- made briefer,
he once joked over coffee in the North End, because he was struggling
with the concept that one is supposed to show up to work every
day), enjoyed his time in Boston. He bought a big old place by
the ocean in Swampscott, where he and his family staged an elaborate
party every Fourth of July. He was also an iconoclastic presence in
the traditionally stuffy offices of the Atlantic; at magazine
events, he often held forth in an open-necked shirt, a beer in hand,
the very opposite of tweedy.
Last year, Kelly stepped aside as
the Atlantic's editor to become an editor-at-large, freeing him up
to spend more time on his column and for assignments such as the one
that cost him his life. He was a brave and curious man, and he paid
for those qualities in the sands of Iraq.
Kelly's Post column
established his reputation as something of a neocon, even a
right-winger. He wrote with great vigor -- some might call it ranting
-- and he regularly brought comfort to conservatives and inspired
apoplexy in liberals. Yet Kelly's political views were quite a bit
more complicated than that.
1999 I interviewed Kelly as
part of a symposium on America in the post-impeachment era.
Interestingly, Kelly expressed as much anger toward the punitive
welfare-reform law that Clinton had signed as the most ardent
liberal. Kelly derided Clinton as a conservative in Democratic
clothing, telling me:
Apart from interest-group
policies, which are largely race and cultural policies, this is a
conservative president. He's a law-and-order president, he is an
anti-welfare president, he is in significant ways more
conservative than Ronald Reagan dared to be. Or at least more
willing to sign on to conservative programs. That's one thing they
can do in domestic politics. The other thing they can do is the
little stuff. You know, the endless sort of nitpicking, Gore-ian
ideas. We should have, what is it, a 211 number so everybody who's
stuck in traffic can have a number to call
In the black sections of a city
like Boston, you've got entire neighborhoods where there are no
men left because they're all in jail. This is a national
catastrophe of immense proportions -- a great moral, liberal
cause. It's stunning the degree to which you simply never hear the
administration talk about that. Nothing. Dead silence. Meanwhile,
the vice president is assuring us that he's going to do something
to ensure parking spaces for sport-utility vehicles in every
That's where I think they're
incredibly competent -- on pure politics and identifying
push-button, polled issues that appeal to the group that they
understand as their core constituency. That group is not the
traditional Democratic constituency. That group is highly
affluent, highly educated white suburbanites, and they really do
care about getting stuck in traffic jams more than they care about
the 40 percent unemployment rate in Roxbury.
Clinton and his people developed
a new theory of Democratic politics that makes it possible for a
Democrat to be elected and re-elected to the White House and
clearly makes it possible for the Democrats to win the long-term
battle for majority-party status. But at what cost? It isn't
actually liberalism. It is an incredibly cheap, shallow,
profoundly cynical, deeply valueless emptiness. So I give him full
credit for restoring the Democratic Party and Democratic
liberalism, if he wants to call it that, to viability -- to use
the phrase he made famous himself. But it's a pretty horrifying
victory. I'm not denying the sheer political skill here, but to
put it in context, all you have to think of is two words: Dick
Morris. That's what it is. It works.
But it was in October 2001, just as
the war in Afghanistan was getting under way, that Kelly told me
something that, sadly, could
serve as his epitaph.
"If you want to cover the war, and
you want to do field stuff, you're best off going your own way and
hoping you get lucky," Kelly said. "What makes reporters
uncomfortable is that it's such a gamble" -- that is, there might be
no story -- "but there's no other way to do it."
posted at 12:10 PM |
The fire next time. The
New York Times today is full of reasons why we shouldn't have
gone into Iraq except as part of a broad international coalition. The
military situation has improved greatly for US and British troops
this week, and for that we should all be grateful. But what a hell of
a mess they're going to leave behind.
The problem is simple, and it's one
that was widely predicted by antiwar critics before the invasion: too
many people in the Arab and Muslim world hate us. Even if you concede
that we're going to some lengths to keep civilian casualties to a
minimum (and we are), the images of dead and injured children and
families is going to make them hate us even more.
Anyway, three things you should
check out in today's Times:
- Susan Sachs reports that the
Arab media are combining images of civilian casualties with
horrors from the Palestinian territories to paint a picture of
continuous brutal assault by America and its
allies on defenseless
Arabs, wherever they are." The understatement of the day comes
from an Egyptian observer, Abdel Moneim Said: "In the longer run,
these images can breed a certain type of people, not the ones who
are looking to develop our societies but those who think how to
- A Lebanese journalist named
Rami Khouri offers a
more measured view of the Arab
media on the op-ed page.
(Be sure to look at the graphic,
too.) Still, he concedes that depictions of coalition troops as
humanitarians are greatly outnumbered by "images of dead and
maimed Iraqi children, parents wailing over the coffins of
relatives killed by American bombings, extensive damage of Iraqi
civilian buildings and Iraqi civilians being humiliated by
American and British troops."
- Perhaps most horrifying of all,
Laurie Goodstein reports that US-based
anti-Muslim hate groups
are itching to get into Iraq and start converting the populace to
Christianity -- the very image of the "Crusaders" that Osama bin
Laden has used to whip up anti-American terrorism. The
evangelicals are George W. Bush's base. Does he dare risk
alienating them by insisting that they stay home?
The president loves his biblical
metaphors. Well, here's one that he ought to think about long and
hard: "As ye sow, so shall ye reap."
posted at 9:29 AM |
Has the bottle-deposit law
outlived its usefulness? I voted for the bottle-deposit law when
it was on the ballot in 1982, and I've never given it one second's
thought since then. If anything, I suppose I would have thought it
should be expanded to cover such things as wine and juice bottles.
Boston Globe columnist Steve Bailey this morning says
law ought to be repealed,
and he comes damn close to convincing me.
posted at 9:29 AM |
Bring back county government? No
way! Boston Herald columnist Tom Keane today has
interesting argument but a bad idea.
He notes that Suffolk County sheriff Andrea Cabral can't pay a $5
million settlement to women who were strip-searched because the
county has no taxing authority of its own, and that the state and the
city of Boston have refused to help.
Keane's moral: empower county
government. Media Log's moral: get rid of the last vestiges of county
government -- a corrupt, hack-infested haven during its heyday -- and
put the county sheriffs directly under the authority of the state.
Then Governor Mitt Romney would have to cough up.
posted at 9:28 AM |
Howard Zinn, at length and on
the record. Boston journalist Robert Birnbaum has a long
interview with Boston University historian Howard
Zinn on the website
Identity Theory. The occasion: a new edition of Zinn's landmark A
People's History of the United States.
posted at 9:28 AM |
Thursday, April 03, 2003
Making sense of a shooter's
career-ending misstep. All I know about former Boston
Herald photographer Brian Walski is that he's got a reputation as
a good journalist and a good guy. So the news that he had been fired
by the Los Angeles Times for altering a photo in Iraq was
has both a Wall Street Journal story on Walski's demise and a
link to to the LA Times that shows two photos taken by Walski
and the fake that he Photoshop'd together out of the two
What's so mind-boggling about this
is that he absolutely didn't need to do it. Not that it's ever
necessary to do such an unethical thing, but in this case the
improvement was so minimal that it's hard to imagine what had entered
his head in the first place.
Here's a good piece by Kenny Irby
at Poynter.org on how
the scandal unfolded.
The best commentary I've seen,
though, falls victim to the Boston Herald's new policy of
charging for its columnists. Peter Gelzinis, a former colleague of
Walski's, writes with real insight and humanity about what happened
to a person he had always respected. Together, Walski and Gelzinis
had reported from such places as Calcutta (for Mother Teresa's
funeral) and earthquakes in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Walski had
also covered Gulf War I, Somalia, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, and
other hot spots.
If there was a hint of an
explanation, perhaps it was there in the e-mail Walski sent to the
Herald's photo chief, Jim Mahoney, just before the end.
Brian had been covering the war as a "unilateral," essentially
traveling on his own.
"Don't know how much longer I
can last here," he wrote, "maybe a couple of more
If you want to read Gelzinis's
entire column, go
When celebrity columnists and TV
people make ethical fools of themselves, they often resurface --
sometimes within hours (right, Peter Arnett?) -- because there's
always another media organization farther down the food chain that's
willing to take a chance on someone with a name.
Photographers, unfortunately, are
the unsung heroes of journalism, and the "unsung" part is going to
make it awfully difficult for Walski to land another newspaper job.
But assuming this is a one-time transgression, I hope someone is
willing to give him another chance.
posted at 9:09 AM |
And now for something completely
different. I don't know whether Boston city councilor John Tobin
has kids. His online
bio mentions being married,
but no children. I do know that the Kid Question was the first thing
that popped into my head this morning when I read in the Boston
Globe that Tobin and several other councilors want to
cell phones from "all
'places of public performance,' including movie houses, museums, and
Look, councilor, here's the deal.
You've got a sitter at home whom you don't know all that well, your
younger one was throwing up the night before, and you're worried that
you might get a call at any moment summoning you home for an
emergency. At the same time, you and your spouse haven't been out in
three months, and you're not going to put it off again.
So you put your cell phone on
"vibrate," and if it goes off, you get up, go to the lobby, and find
out what the problem is. Is that really such a big deal?
posted at 9:08 AM |
Wednesday, April 02, 2003
Still more Fisk. Ah, the
hazards of trying to put these things together on the fly. MP advises
me that Robert Fisk wrote about the missile fragment on March 30.
Fisk's story. In it,
though, Fisk merely reports having found a serial number, writing,
"It can be easily verified and checked by the Americans -- if they
choose to do so." I don't believe it was reported until today that
the missile was definitely of US origin -- manufactured by
Massachusetts's very own Raytheon, by the way.
posted at 5:45 PM |
More Fisk. This is kind of
weird: Robert Fisk claims to have discovered evidence that the
explosion that killed 62 Iraqis last Friday was caused by
American missile, yet he's
not reporting it himself -- it's contained in an Independent
story written by another reporter, Cahal Milmo. It will be
interesting to see what Fisk writes about this tomorrow, assuming he
If this proves true, it won't be a
huge surprise. The Pentagon has been very circumspect about this one,
unlike a similar, earlier incident, in which American officials
pugnaciously asserted that it was an Iraqi missile gone astray, or
even a deliberate attack by Saddam on his own people.
All the more reason to get this
over with as quickly as possible.
posted at 11:21 AM |
Robert Fisk: the reporter, not
the cartoon. Some interesting reportage this morning from Robert
Fisk, the reporter for the Independent, a British paper, who
is so despised in some circles that conservative US bloggers invented
a verb -- to fisk -- after him.
background on fisking,
which is ably explained in this piece for the Northwestern
Chronicle by David Weigel. Fisk was reporting on the war in
Afghanistan in the fall of 2001 when he was set upon by a crowd and
beaten. Later, Fisk wrote that the injuries he received were the
entirely logical response to a US war that had terrorized the
countryside and resulted in scores of civilian deaths. The piece has
become such a legendary example of liberal self-loathing that you may
be surprised at how stark and rational it really is. The
entire piece is online at
CounterPunch, but here's a
And -- I realised -- there
were all the Afghan men and boys who had attacked me who should
never have done so but whose brutality was entirely the product of
others, of us -- of we who had armed their struggle against the
Russians and ignored their pain and laughed at their civil war and
then armed and paid them again for the "War for Civilisation" just
a few miles away and then bombed their homes and ripped up their
families and called them "collateral damage".
So what is fisking? Weigel quotes
the well-known conservative blogger Eugene
Volokh to the effect that
it is "a thorough and forceful verbal beating of an anti-war,
possibly anti-American, commentator who has richly earned this
figurative beating through his words." In actual practice, it takes
the form of quoting lengthy excerpts from said antiwar commentator
and responding to them, point by point, with a rant of one's
The part that the fiskers don't
get, of course, is that they have placed themselves in the same
position as the Afghan mob that nearly killed Fisk: that is, acting
with righteous fury, but out of pure emotion and rage, uninformed by
facts and uninterested in truth. I generalize, of course. Fisking can
be done brilliantly, just like anything else. But it's fascinating
that those who proudly refer to their efforts as "fisking" are
deliberately taking the side of the mob.
Anyway, I've gotten rather far
afield. I had started by wanting to call your attention to some stuff
Fisk has in today's Independent. In one article, he reports
being given a tour of a women's college that had been attacked by US
bombers, the sort of moral outrage with the Iraqi government has been
trying shock the world's conscience. Fisk
Now let's be fair. College
staff have every right to take their own protection against
America's notoriously inaccurate "smart" bombs. But did they dig
the slit trench? Did they park the civilian trucks and buses,
scattered around the empty campus, 30 metres from each other and
always under the foliage of trees? And if college personnel
normally worked the gates, why was the campus guarded by armed and
green-uniformed militiamen? The crater was 20ft deep -- the
classic cruise missile's gouge in the ground -- and its blast was
enormous. Internal doors were torn from their hinges, desks
overturned, beds thrown across rooms. But no one was hurt; indeed,
the college had been abandoned long before the attacks.
On the other hand, terrible things
are happening to civilians in Iraq, and Fisk here offers a
more graphic description of that than is routinely reported in the
American press. Here
he reports on an attack in Hilla,
a suburb 50 miles south of Baghdad:
Terrifying film of women
and children later emerged after Reuters and the Associated Press
were permitted by the Iraqi authorities to take their cameras into
the town. Their pictures -- the first by Western news agencies
from the Iraqi side of the battlefront -- showed babies cut in
half and children with amputation wounds, apparently caused by
American shellfire and cluster bombs.
Much of the videotape was too
terrible to show on television and the agencies' Baghdad editors
felt able to send only a few minutes of a 21-minute tape that
included a father holding out pieces of his baby and screaming
"cowards, cowards" into the camera. Two lorryloads of bodies,
including women in flowered dresses, could be seen outside the
I could not find these images on
the websites of either Reuters
or the AP,
but I guess that's not surprising if the images are as horrifying as
Fisk's description of them.
What's clear is that Robert Fisk is
one of the best reporters on the scene in Bagdhad, as worth reading
as the Washington Post's Anthony Shadid and the New York
Times' John Burns, if for different reasons. This is a man who
has been turned into a cartoon by the mob mentality of American
conservatives. Mock him if you will, but he deserves to be
posted at 9:00 AM |
Enemy battle plans revealed!
This is left over from yesterday, but it demands to be read: a New
York Times piece by David Cay Johnston on how an obscure and
complex loophole in insurance law benefits
the superrich to the tune
of tens of millions of dollars.
Johnston reports that just one
person -- Peter Kellogg, a billionaire investor -- avoided paying
some $100 million in federal taxes by taking advantage of this
Talk about moral
posted at 8:59 AM |
Tuesday, April 01, 2003
The unbearable insincerity of
Peter Arnett. If nothing else, Peter Arnett certainly seemed
sincere when he appeared on the Today show right after he'd
been let go by NBC for giving an obsequious interview to Iraqi
television. And not just sincere -- anguished, abject, humiliated,
devastated, fully comprehending that he'd made a terrible
In response to a gentle grilling by
Matt Lauer (no publicly available link), Arnett was only slightly
defensive, noting that his assertion that the US war plan had failed
was no different from what others, including NBC's Tim Russert, had
said. But he was full of apologies -- to Lauer and co-host Katie
Couric, and to NBC, MSNBC, and National Geographic Explorer. He
continued: "And I want to apologize to the American people for
clearly making a misjudgment over the weekend by giving an interview
to Iraqi television."
Arnett closed with this:
There's a small island in
the South Pacific uninhabited which I'll try to swim to, Matt.
Now, I'm not kidding. I don't know. I will leave here. I don't
really intend to stay in this locality. I'm not a supporter of the
Iraqi government. I'm not paid by the Iraqi government. I am a
reporter. I came here to report the story. Now that I can't report
it for really the best news organization in the world, NBC, I'll
leave. You know, I'm embarrassed to -- to question the judgment of
your company in hiring me in the first place, is that I came to do
a great job. I had a wonderful team of young people helping me to
do that job. My stupid misjudgment was to spend 15 minutes in an
impromptu interview with Iraqi television. That has been received
with anger, surprise and -- and -- and -- and clearly, you know,
unhappily in the United States, and for that I'm sorry. I'm an
So what are we to make of his debut
column in Britain's Daily Mirror? Gone is the contrition, the
humility. Instead, Arnett lets out a full-throated cry that he'd been
screwed by the right wing. Arnett
The right-wing media and
politicians are looking for any opportunity to be critical of the
reporters who are here, whatever their nationality. I made the
misjudgment which gave them the opportunity to do so.
I gave an impromptu interview to
Iraqi television feeling that after four months of interviewing
hundreds of them it was only professional courtesy to give them a
That was my Waterloo --
And what of his embarrassment over
having let down NBC? "I don't blame NBC for their decision because
they came under great commercial pressure from the outside," he
writes. Yesterday, NBC was "the best news organization in the world."
Today, the network got rid of him because its executives cower in
fear of advertisers. What about that island in the South Pacific? "I
have not yet decided what to do, whether to pack my bags and leave
Baghdad or stay on," he writes.
Obviously Arnett didn't mean a
thing that he said when he apologized yesterday. One wonders what
else he has said that he didn't mean.
posted at 5:25 PM |
Aid and comfort. If you were
watching The Ten O'Clock News on WLVI-TV (Channel 56) last
night, you might have seen the
Boston Globe's Mark Jurkowitz
and me talking with reporter Jon Keller about the firing of Peter
My main point was that there was
nothing wrong with what Arnett said -- indeed, his contention that
the US battle plan hasn't worked has been the principal line in the
media in recent days. Rather, it was that he gave an interview to the
propaganda arm of the Iraqi government, a government with which we
are, wisely or not, at war.
So I was surprised this morning to
read in the New York Times that NBC had undertaken a careful
analysis of Arnett's interview before deciding to terminate him.
Times' Jim Rutenberg writes:
inspecting the interview, NBC executives said, Mr. Shapiro
[Neal Shapiro, president of NBC News] and others decided
that Mr. Arnett had gone too far in feeding Iraqi officials what
amounted to useful sound bites....
An NBC official said he took a
tape of the interview home with him and carefully scanned it to
find some defense of Mr. Arnett's commentary. He said he believed
that Mr. Arnett's comments that reports about civilian casualties
were useful to war protesters seemed to cross a line.
The logic strikes me as backwards.
What you want is for Arnett to be candid and truthful, which he was.
What you don't want is for him to suck up to the Iraqi regime on
Saddam TV. Walter
Cronkite, not surprisingly, gets it just
right on the Times'
Meanwhile, what can one say about
that other media miscreant, Geraldo Rivera? Other than, of course,
"good riddance"? Here's
an account of Rivera's latest
misadventure by David
Folkenflik of the Baltimore Sun, the reporter who, in 2001,
exposed Rivera's pathetic fiction about standing on "hallowed
ground," where three American soldiers had been killed, in
Actually, he wasn't, and as
Folkenflik notes, Rivera's attempts to cover his tracks didn't hold
up to scrutiny either.
posted at 9:56 AM |
In other news. Don't you get
the feeling that, with everyone focused on the war, someone,
somewhere, is going to try to take advantage of it? Well, guess what?
Massachusetts House Speaker Tom Finneran is once again trying to push
through raises for his top lieutenants. In the midst of a horrendous
fiscal crisis.Globe coverage here;
Herald coverage here.
posted at 9:55 AM |
Monday, March 31, 2003
Dowd twists Rumsfeld's words
II. I heard from several readers who took me to task for
item on the New York Times' Maureen
Dowd. The gist was that she
had accurately sensed Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's attempt
to distance himself from General Tommy Franks at Friday's Pentagon
briefing, and that I was too dense to see it.
To which I reply:
1. Maybe Rumsfeld is indeed trying
to blame the war's slow start on Franks, but you wouldn't know it
from what he said Friday. My point was that Dowd had completely
twisted Rumsfeld's words, not whether she had accurately discerned
what he was thinking. ("Unknowable," to use one of Rummy's favorite
2. Yesterday Rumsfeld once again
attributed the plan to Franks and once again showered him with
praise. And this time he was more explicit about what I suspect was
the real reason he offloaded this onto Franks on Friday: he's
not trying to blame Franks so much as he is desperately attempting to
deflect criticism that he's been micromanaging the war plan and not
giving the generals what they need.
On ABC's This Week, Rumsfeld
labeled as "absolutely false" an
article by Seymour Hersh in
the new New Yorker that reports he repeatedly rejected
requests by the generals for more troops. He
told host George Stephanopoulos:
The plan we have is his
[Franks's]. I would be delighted to take credit for it.
It's a good plan. It's a creative and an innovative plan. And it's
going to work. And it is his plan and it has been approved by the
chiefs. Every one of the chiefs has said it's executable and they
support it. It's been looked at by all the combatant commanders.
It's gone through the National Security Council process. And what
you're seeing is fiction. You're seeing second-guessers out there.
So not only did Dowd get it wrong,
but she attributed to Rumsfeld motives that were less interesting
than those that really seem to be at play. My suspicion is that
Rumsfeld isn't so much worried that the plan isn't working as he is
that he'll be tarred as a bureaucrat who wouldn't listen to his
generals, thus putting American troops at unnecessary
posted at 9:37 AM |
Prowar radio. I've been slow
off the mark in whacking radio megagiant Clear Channel for sponsoring
prowar rallies around the country. Today's
New York Times has a detailed
story, although it's more
measured than the company's critics might like. Essentially the
Times portrays executives of the 1200-station chain as clumsy
rustics who don't understand how much power they wield.
(In Greater Boston, Clear Channel
owns two ratings monsters, WJMN/94.5 FM, and WXKS/107.9 FM, as well
as two insignificant AM stations.)
And it's not as though Clear
Channel is the only radio chain pushing war. WAAF Radio (107.3 FM),
in Worcester, organized a support-the-troops rally this past weekend,
according to this
story in the Boston
Globe. WAAF is owned by Entercom, which also owns
other stations in the
Greater Boston market.
And check out this
page on the WAAF website
about jock Greg Hill's refusal to play music by the antiwar band
posted at 9:35 AM |
Media Log e-mail delivery
resumes! I have solved my computer problems the old-fashioned
way: through the vigorous application of borrowed money. If you've
been holding off on requesting e-mail delivery, now's the time. Just
contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
posted at 9:33 AM |
Sunday, March 30, 2003
Dowd twists Rumsfeld's
words. The old saying about columnists is that they're entitled
to their own opinions, but not their own facts. Today the New York
Times' Maureen Dowd twists Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's
words, making him appear to be saying the opposite of what he
actually said at the Friday Pentagon briefing. Here's
Rummy was beginning to
erase his fingerprints. "The war plan," he said, "is Tom Franks's
war plan." Tommy, we hardly knew ye.
the full context of what Rumsfeld actually
The war plan is Tom
Franks's war plan. It was carefully prepared over many months. It
was washed through the tank with the chiefs [the Joint Chiefs
of Staff] on at least four or five occasions....
It has been through the
combatant commanders. It has been through the National Security
Council process. General Myers and General Pace and others,
including this individual, have seen it in a variety of different
iterations. When asked by the president or by me, the military
officers who've reviewed it have all said they thought it was an
Indeed, adjectives that go
beyond that have been used, quite complimentary.
Nor did Rumsfeld disagree when
General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
called Franks's plan "brilliant."
Maybe Dowd considers herself just a
cheap entertainer at this stage of her career, but there's no excuse
for this kind of disingenuousness. Rumsfeld may be in a heap of
trouble (and he should be), but he clearly has not walked away from
General Franks's plan.
posted at 9:11 AM |
Notes from the underground.
Today's Boston Globe has a fascinating piece by David
Filipov on what may be the most dangerous spot in the world: as a
member of the
anti-Saddam Iraqi underground.
The movement is thought to be so infiltrated by Saddam's secret
police that Filipov observes he couldn't even be sure whether he
might have inadvertently interviewed some of them while researching
posted at 9:11 AM |
Family affair. The Boston
Herald today not only has a dispatch from its embed,
Crittenden, but also an
essay by his wife, Amy
McKinnon, on what it's like
to have her reporter-husband on the front. (McKinnon's piece was
originally published by the Christian Science
posted at 9:11 AM |
MEDIA LOG ARCHIVES
Dan Kennedy is senior writer and media critic for the Boston Phoenix.