Monday, May 16, 2005  
 Clubs TonightHot TixBand GuideMP3sThe Best '03Guide to Summer '04 
Food & Drink
Editors' Picks
New This Week
News and Features

Food & Drink


Restaurant Menus
Stuff at Night
The Providence Phoenix
The Portland Phoenix
FNX Radio Network


Notes and observations on the press, politics, culture, technology, and more. To sign up for e-mail delivery, click here. To send an e-mail to Dan Kennedy, click here. For bio, published work, and links to other blogs, visit For information on Dan Kennedy's book, Little People: Learning to See the World Through My Daughter's Eyes (Rodale, October 2003), click here.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Mistakes were made. D'oh! What can I say? The Curse of Blogging strikes again. Within minutes of tweaking the Poynter Institute for dropping the URL "" from Jim Romenesko's media-links page, I heard from Romenesko and his editor, Bill Mitchell.

It turns out that way back last February, Poynter announced it was dropping the name "MediaNews" because of a letter sent by a lawyer for Dean Singleton's MediaNews Group expressing, uh, displeasure.

Media Log takes full responsibility for a boneheaded error.

Media Log pre-Labor Day break. I'm posting tonight because I'll be leaving tomorrow morning with my son, Tim, his friend Troy, and Troy's mother for three days in the White Mountains. We're staying here (hope it doesn't look like that!) and here, and on Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning we'll be here.

See you Monday.

posted at 7:38 PM | comment or permalink

A perfect excuse to hype my book. Not that I need any excuses! But Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam today has a must-read (right now!) piece on three authors named Dan Kennedy. Two of us have books coming out this fall, and the third -- a sales-and-marketing guru -- seems to put out a motivational book or a tape every other week or so.

I am DK1 in Beamspeak, and here's the link to more information on my book, Little People: Learning to See the World Through My Daughter's Eyes, which will be published in October by Rodale.

If you want to find out more about DK2 and DK3, check out the links in the lower-right corner of my home page.

More creeping Poynterization. (Note: This item was later corrected.) The last I checked, it costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 or $20 to register a domain name for a couple of years. Are they really that cheap at the Poynter Institute?

A few years ago, obsessive media-linker Jim Romenesko went to work for Poynter, which necessitated his changing the name of his site from to Then, last November, the site was completely redesigned.

The new MediaNews was and is more attractive and useful, although it took some campaigning by's Al Giordano to get Poynter to restore the left-rail items, which had initially been reserved for institutional (a word I use advisedly) purposes. I called it "creeping Poynterization."

As it turned out, the redesign also resulted in the dropping of the name "MediaNews" -- something I didn't really pay much attention to until this morning, when I spotted this item. According to Romenesko, "The domain expires in September and won't be renewed by Poynter."

It's easy to make too much of these things. After all, the name of the page is "Romenesko," which hardly suggests that Poynter is trying to depersonalize it. Still, it's been practically forever -- and now, for the want of 10 bucks, the link will cease to work.

Then again, "" doesn't have the word "Poynter" in it anywhere, does it? I suppose that's the point. Sigh.

New in this week's Phoenix. Roger Ailes's "fair and balanced" lawsuit against Al Franken seems crazy -- until you take a closer look.

Also, thoughts on "Ben," Governor Mitt Romney's secret Internet tormentor.

posted at 8:18 AM | comment or permalink

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Ex-Phoenicians buy Bay Windows and South End News. Bay Windows is the largest gay-and-lesbian newspaper in New England. The South End News is a neighborhood paper. I've got the details on Click here.

posted at 2:27 PM | comment or permalink

Under cyberattack. Between yesterday at 3:52 a.m. and today at 8:49 a.m., I received 91 copies of the SoBig virus. So incessant was the invasion that I had to delay posting yesterday's Media Log for several hours.

Because of a peculiarity in the way I choose to have my Phoenix e-mail delivered -- I actually have it forwarded to a different account -- the viruses never get intercepted by the paper's server-level virus-scanning software. So I get every damn one of them.

Fortunately, I can't actually be affected by SoBig: I use a Mac, and can't even open the infected attachments, which carry names such as "application.pif" and "thank_you.pif." But, as many of you already know, the SoBig attack -- one of several virus invasions over the past week -- has slowed down the entire Internet and crashed some sites.

Moreover, each copy of the virus runs around 100 KB (I remember when floppy disks for the Apple II held a maximum of 140 KB), which would make downloading my mail an endless task if I were still on dial-up. That's 9.1 MB of crapola in just a little more than 24 hours.

I also received several computer-generated e-mails from other sites telling me that I had attempted to send the virus to them. I opened them up, and sure enough, the e-mails appeared to be from dkennedy[a] But they had been sent to addresses I'd never heard of, and that are definitely not in the address book of my e-mail program, Microsoft Entourage.

No surprise there. This is how insidious SoBig and similar viruses have gotten. Once it infects a computer, it burrows into the address book and sends out a copy of the virus to every e-mail address that it finds. All I can be certain of is that someone out there has an infected Windows-based computer with dkennedy[a] in its address book.

Hiawatha Bray has a good story on the latest virus invasion in today's Globe. If you want to know more, check out InformationWeek and Wired. The Wired piece, by Michelle Delio,appears to make a good case that the endless proliferation of viruses is at least partly the fault of Microsoft.

I'm not in a position to judge, but a little Bill-whacking is always in order.

Horror and quagmire in Iraq. Media Log has been Iraq-free for a bit -- not because I'm not horrified by the way the US-led invasion has descended into all-too-predictable chaos, but because I've been at a loss to find anything that really puts it all in perspective.

But after yesterday's terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Baghdad, it's clear that the quagmire is deepening. On today's New York Times op-ed page, Harvard terrorism expert Jessica Stern offers a brilliant -- and disturbing -- analysis of the situation. Her lead:

Yesterday's bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad was the latest evidence that America has taken a country that was not a terrorist threat and turned it into one.

Of course, we should be glad that the Iraq war was swifter than even its proponents had expected, and that a vicious tyrant was removed from power. But the aftermath has been another story. America has created -- not through malevolence but through negligence -- precisely the situation the Bush administration has described as a breeding ground for terrorists: a state unable to control its borders or provide for its citizens' rudimentary needs.

How do we get out of it? On the same page, Tom Friedman, as usual, offers some ideas that are both idealistic and useful. But it would have been a lot easier not to have created this disaster in the first place.

posted at 9:15 AM | comment or permalink

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

More questions than answers. But what great questions! Frank Phillips reports in the Globe today that Governor Mitt Romney may have profited from a dubious stock deal.

Follow the bouncing wad of cash: a Lehman Brothers analyst was pressured into giving a higher recommendation to a stock than it deserved. The company that issued the stock, DDi Corporation, was backed by Bain, Romney's venture-capital firm. Romney himself invested in DDi. Romney bailed in May 2001, selling his shares for $4.1 million. The stock collapsed shortly thereafter.

There are many, many questions that need to be asked, but the big one is the classic. What did Romney know and when did he know it?

And, of course, what will Ben say about all this?

Elevating us all. Okay, one doesn't turn to the Herald expecting a surfeit of political correctness. But, really, now. Today the paper follows up yesterday's Globe story on a mentally ill man who gouged out his own eyes. The Herald's charming headline: "Eye-Plucker Was in Mass. for Care."

posted at 10:36 AM | comment or permalink

Monday, August 18, 2003

Raisins and terrorism. The Globe's Sunday Ideas section has an interesting profile by Lee Smith of Ibn Warraq, the pseudonym for an agnostic critic of Islam who is the author of a 1995 book called Why I Am Not a Muslim.

An anecdote: during Easter weekend in 2002, I covered the annual convention of American Atheists, which was being held in Boston that year. Warraq -- who spoke at the convention -- got off one of the best lines of the weekend. He noted that recent scholarship suggests the Koran promises holy warriors "white raisins of crystal clarity" rather than 72 virgins. The lesson, he said, was obvious: terrorists should "abandon their culture of death and concentrate on getting laid 72 times in this world."

Smith enlists Khaled Abou El Fadl, a scholar of Islamic law, to critique Warraq. El Fadl participated this past April in a roundtable-style piece on the future of the US role in Iraq, which you can read here.

El Fadl also wrote a cover essay for the Boston Review this past spring titled "Islam and the Challenge of Democracy."

Warning to Mac users: for some reason the piece displays in Zapf Dingbats if you try opening it up in Safari. Mozilla seems to work fine.

Everybody's Fair and Balanced (TM)! A weblog called is compiling a list of blogs that have adopted the "Fair and Balanced" label since Fox News sued Al Franken over the title of his new book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right. (Via Joe Conason; sub req.)

posted at 7:41 AM | comment or permalink


Dan Kennedy is senior writer and media critic for the Boston Phoenix.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

about the phoenix |  find the phoenix |  advertising info |  privacy policy |  the masthead |  feedback |  work for us

 © 2000 - 2005 Phoenix Media Communications Group