Our media coverage is often dominated by one big story that crowds out nearly everything else. As an antidote, every week, Nation interns try to cut through the echo chamber and choose one good article in their area of interest that they feel should receive more attention. Please check out their favorite stories below, watch for this feature each week and use the comments section below to alert us to any important articles you feel warrant broader attention.
Buster Brown focuses on campaign donations in the 2012 election.
“Are Republicans Secretly Anxious About Opposing Campaign Finance Reform?” by George Zornick. The Nation, July 18, 2012.
Senate Republicans decided twice this week that debating campaign finance reform wasn’t worth a discussion. Two Republican filibusters stymied the Disclose Act, a law that requires complete disclosure of spending on election advertising. In a column this week, George Zornick provides interesting evidence that the GOP is secretly anxious about opposing the legislation. Republicans have long sought to add transparency to the campaign finance landscape, as Lee Fang argued in a post this week, which means their decision to thwart the Disclose Act opposes party precedent. This development, like the GOP’s past support for individual mandate and cap and trade legislation and present opposition of both of them, is emblematic of the party’s move to right.
Marisa Carroll focuses on gender and sexuality.
“Louis C.K. on Daniel Tosh’s Rape Joke: Are Comedy and Feminism Enemies?” by Jennifer Pozner. The Daily Beast, July 18, 2012.
Over the past two weeks, there has been a lot of digital ink spilled about the ethics of "rape jokes" following an incident with comedian Daniel Tosh and a female audience member. Typifying this media firestorm have been strong and weak arguments made by both sides. Media critic Jenn Pozner wrote perhaps the most comprehensive response by synthesizing other effective pieces on the subject, talking to a slew of feminist comedians (including several friends of The Nation), and ultimately arguing that "feminists aren’t against good comedy—they’re just against lazy hacks."
Matthew Cunningham-Cook focuses on the role of dissent in the contemporary United States.
“Chicago’s teachers could strike a blow for organised labour globally,” by Richard Seymour. The Guardian, July 16, 2012.
As I have emphasized in talking about a prior article about the impending Chicago teacher’s strike, this movement is rapidly approaching a watershed moment where we will be able to discern whether public education can continue to exist, as we know it, in the United States. There is a rapid movement towards the broad privatization of public education, and only some form of direct action seems capable of stemming the tide. Seymour is correct to identify this strike as potentially being the most important since PATCO.