My new Think Again column is called “NPR: Still Bending Over Backward.” It is critical of NPR but also of NPR’s critics and it’s here.
My new Nation column is called “How Rupert Murdoch Buys Friends and Influences People” and it’s here.
Reed is away this week so I need to create an excuse for this post. I don’t really feel like it, so:
1) A Wall Street Journal columnist wanted to write a column about how even liberals think Obama’s like Jimmy Carter and quoted a column allegedly written by me in US News. I’ve never written for US News. I wrote that column for The Daily Beast. So I got a correction in the Journal—at least online, but if you want a lesson in the power of the right-wing echo machine, look how many times that “left-wing fussbudget” Eric Alterman of US News has been quoted in the blogosphere of late, here.
A big problem in the world is that Republicans have gotten so crazy and so divorced from reality that it makes the rest of world crazy and stupid merely to have to pay attention to them, unless you get to do articles like a) this or b) this.
But you can only do those stories once; and in truth, even those two articles go a little too far in indulging craziness for my taste. The rest of the articles have to be respectful of statements, allegations and ideas that are completely crazy. It’s a big part of the reason the debt crisis ever happened in the first place. Crazy idea after crazy idea, repeated over and over and over until unemployment, which is still sky high, doesn’t really matter anymore but the deficit does and global warming becomes contestable, etc. This is one reason I don’t bemoan the collapse of “objective” reporting. Its death will leave smart reporters who are willing to take some crap from the crazies the opportunity to tell a great deal more of the truth. But we’re not there yet. See my above CAP column for why.
I saw “Friends with Benefits” the other night. It’s OK, a little bit better than “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” which is also OK, though Emma Stone’s parts make it better than OK, but the part I really liked was when they talked about how much T-Mobile sucked. I am stuck with T-Mobile beause I get no cell service in my apartment without a hot spot, but I haver never dealt with any company in my entire life that is both so simultaneously dishonest and incompetent. Twice, at two different stores, salesmen have sold me phones and lied to me about the rebates to which I was entitled. Lied, outright, just to get the contracts signed and then there’s nothing to be done about it. And those contracts, oy vey. They are written specifically to hide how much they plan to screw you and your entire family. And once it happens, they don’t care. It’s like they have robots working in customer service designed to repeat the same nonsense over and over and over and over and over when you call to complain (after waiting on hold for forever). I don’t know if Sprint is any better, but this is one merger I can support as a kind of mercy killing.