AN OMBUDSMAN ON THE PRESS & THE WAR

Daniel Okrent, former public editor of the New York Times, in a Q & A at Williams College in February, widened his critique of the Times‘s slack coverage of the run-up to the Iraq War: “I don’t think it is fair to say that Judith Miller caused the war in Iraq or that the New York Times did. I do think that it is fair to say that general rolling-over on the part of the American press allowed the war to happen. I do believe that that is true…. And I think that the press is extremely chastened by it–that we all know how bad it was.”

FEARFUL IN PHOENIX

Overheard at a recent conclave of conservatives at David Horowitz’s Restoration Weekend in Phoenix: Arizona Representative Jeff Flake warning fellow cons not to take up immigrant-bashing, which backfired against the California GOP. Former Representative Pat Toomey lamenting, “The war in Iraq is the 800-pound gorilla in the room and a major downturn could drown anything we do.” Former Colorado State Senator John Andrews mourning: “The Republican Party in my state and nationally is a party that has lost its way.” Arizona Representative John Shadegg fretting: The Abramoff scandal “seriously threatens the Republican majority.”

THIS WEEK ON THE WEB

Arundhati Roy writes that the people of India would be glad if George W. Bush had stayed home. In The Notion, our new blog providing readers with an opportunity to react to contributors’ comments, Gary Younge takes aim at a New York producer’s decision to cancel My Name Is Rachel Corrie, about the American peace demonstrator killed by an Israeli army bulldozer.