Tag Archives: New York Times

How very vulgar – and how typical – of Rupert Murdoch

hillary-clinton-nypost-e1359038580272He loves to peddle the tawdry and twist reality. His London papers, The Sun and the recently-deceased  criminal enterprise The News of the World, do and did regularly soil the streets of that city. Here, The New York Post carries the same tawdry gene. 

As is the case with the always-failing Moonie-owned Washington Times, the paper hasn’t earned a single dime in profit since Murdoch bought it in 1993. For a few years, he even dropped the price to 25 cents to prop up circulation (about 600,000). For comparison’s sake, The New York Times sells – in the City alone – about a million and a half papers every day and still makes a tidy profit.

That price by the way? The 25 cents? That was the cheapest single issue price in the country. (Have you noticed that keyboards no longer have a key for the cent sign.)

To support this rich man’s toy and to keep it on the streets so as to maintain a powerful voice advancing his own interests, both political and financial, costs Murdoch $70 million a year, almost a billion and a half dollars since ’93.

Calling Lou Dobbs . . .  your show on the FOX Business Channel might want to report on such an epic business fail.

The unbearable justifications of the self important

In Sunday’s New York Times Magazine, former editor Bill Keller wrote a lengthy article, in which he apparently explains why he ‘wanted war’ with Iraq in 2003 so much that he put the whole paper behind the drums of war.

I stopped reading in the fourth paragraph when he listed other liberals who – he claims – were suddenly bloodthirstty. Here’s his astonishing list of ‘liberals’:

  1. Thomas Freidman
  2. Fareed Zacharia
  3. George Packer
  4. Jeffrey Goldberg
  5. Richard Cohen
  6. Andrew Sullivan (he’s really reaching, isn’t he)
  7. Paul Berman
  8. Christopher Hitchens
  9. Kenneth Pollack

I stopped reading right there. Dishonest then, dishonest now. No link.

Why The New York Times is The New York Times

Liberal media, my derriere. This is what a real newspaper does. This is what the best does (use the slider function at the link and take your time. Look for the water channels cut into the shorelines. ). Look for anything comparable anywhere else in print. All Japan stories there are worth a look, especially the interactive graphics.

The politics of public despair

POSTED BY ORHAN

I’ve been listening to Part 1 and Part 2 of the Ian Murphy prank call to Scott Walker, where Murphy impersonates billionaire David Koch.  Only Walker knows what was in his mind at the time, but a few conclusions about him can be drawn from the exchange.

The word “compromise” is not in Walker’s lexicon: “…if they think I’m caving, they’ve been asleep for the last eight years”, “I’m not negotiating”, “I’ve taken on every major battle in Milwaukee County and won, even in a county where I’m overwhelmingly overpowered politically,…’cause I don’t budge.”

Walker sees his base as consisting of two main groups: 1) wealthy business leaders, and 2) resentful working people, regular people who’ve either been savaged by the system or are just scraping by and are telling themselves, “I don’t have a secure middle class job with benefits and a pension, why should the other guy have those things?”  Today there are a lot of folks like this in America, and Walker taps into this feeling.  He brings up a story in the New York Times that highlights “a guy who was laid off two years ago…he’s been laid off twice by GM…everybody else in his town has had to sacrifice except for all these public employees and it’s about damn time they do”.  Back in the thirties, muckraking journalist Lincoln Steffens captured it perfectly when he quoted a Pennsylvania politician, “We know that public despair is possible and that that is good politics.

Walker is a conservative true believer with the sense that he is riding the crest of history.  He talks about conservatives the way evangelicals talk about themselves: he refers to people as being “one of us” or “not one of us”.  He refers to a Democratic senator who made a lot of money in the private sector as “a little more open-minded” but “he’s not a…conservative. He’s just a pragmatist.”  Towards the end of the call he likens Ronald Reagan’s firing of the air-traffic controllers to the “first crack in the Berlin Wall and the fall of Communism” and compares it to the current situation in Wisconsin: “this is our moment, this is our time to change the course of history”, “…we’re doing the just and right thing for the right reasons, and it’s all about getting our freedoms back”, “The bottom line is we’re gonna get the world moving here because it’s the right thing to do.”

The notion that Walker’s legislation is an emergency measure required by the current crisis is ludicrous.  It’s just a continuation of the agenda he’s
championed his entire career: privatization, deregulation, tax cuts, cuts in social services to poor and working people.  And it’s been the plan all along.

Fight our wars with citizen soldiers!

Today, The New York Times is all over the latest Wikileaks document dump. I’m pretty agnostic about the issue, but am of course interested in the contents. One story (they have many today looking at it from all aspects) in particular grabbed my attention – about our use of contractors in war since 2001.

From the story:

Blackwater in Baghdad

“Contractors were necessary at the start of the Iraq war because there simply were not enough soldiers to do the job. In 2004, their presence became the symbol for Iraq’s descent into chaos . . .

Even now — with many contractors discredited for unjustified shootings and a lack of accountability amply described in the documents — the military cannot do without them. There are more contractors over all than actual members of the military serving in the worsening war in Afghanistan.

This practice, combined with the emerging military culture that lives in a different place than the rest of us, is I think dangerous. At the least, I think it’s immoral. If we finance wars, it should be us doing the fighting – and not just those who volunteer. If we inflict pain, let us feel pain. Otherwise what are we?

It’s wrong.

Let me add: Today is the 18th day of the tenth year of the War in Afghanistan.

P-u-h-l-e-e-z-e

This is not about Ann Coulter. It is about the NYT reporter Laura M. Holson, who today in a long piece about Coulter quotes her brother saying of the provocative spotlight hugging conservative snarkstress  “She couldn’t wait to get out of the sticks of Connecticut”.

Ms. Holson, in her profile of Coulter, felt no need to expand on that quote. The ‘sticks of Connecticut’ to which the brother referred is New Canaan, Connecticut – 45 miles or so from Ms. Holson’s office –  and one of the wealthiest enclaves in the country. Kids in New Canaan can jump a train after school to go shopping on Fifth Avenue. And be home in time for dinner.

Ms. Holson, you don’t need to challenge your sources. You are, however, expected to expand on comments that beggar credulity.