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Greg Mitchell

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DAYBOOK for Thursday: Afternoon Updates Up!

WELCOME to the third edition of Daybook, our daily early a.m. collection of the greatest media hits and misses as we “limn the morning.” And return for updates as the day goes on, along with an "afternoon update" added at the top. Plus:  Don't forget to keep up with fresh items, events and analysis all day on Twitter @MediaFixBlog.

AFTERNOON UPDATE

--We'll be running a little lite  today, as we're also live-blogging the Brit election.  Check that out, funny walks and all, right here.  Don't miss link to hysterical video at very bottom.

--Don't miss "Sergio" doc on HBO tonight, about UN hero who died in Baghdad blast--based on Samantha Power's book. I may even skip "The Office" myself.

--ProPublica's daily selection of best investigative pieces around the Web.

--Wash Post ombud says that photo mixup--Obama and Malcolm X--likely a "hoax."

--Kremlin once again pushing adoration of Stalin? So says Newsweek.

--Wacky rightwing WorldNetDaily sent new anti-Obama book opus to reviewers, got some cranky replies--and publishes them.

--Dan Kennedy, at the Guardian, advises keeping public records--public.

--Pakistani sites respond to arrest of Times Square suspect.

TOP O' THE MORNING

--Nick Kristof gets copy of report from president's cancer panel coming later today calling for more regulations on chemicals to confront cancer.  Also cites panel's preference for  filtering water, eating "organic food, checking radon levels in the home and microwaving food in glass containers rather than plastic."  And he adds a passionate blog post where he admits he was once a "skeptic" on this, now a "convert."

--Follow The Guardian for full reports on Brit election results today--its own poll today shows Conservatives with strong 8% lead.  The Sun meanwhile put Cameron, the Tory, on its front page in a takeoff on the Obama "Hope" cover, with huge words,  "Our Only HOPE."  

--Also on Brit election,  wild collection of links, videos (including the candidates rapping), opinion, trends, predictions,  from Andrew Sullivan last night.

--Mark Hosenball:  Tail on Times Sq bomber broke down, and he spent two hours waiting for flight unwatched.

--Jon Stewart last night had a ball with good guy Roland Martin at CNN caught wearing an "ascot' on the air, like Thurston Howell.  Closed with wicked clip of John Stossel in a policeman's hat and shades looking like he was "moonlighting in porn," or maybe the Village People.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS 

--Talking Points Memo has stayed on top of story of rightwing Family Research Council taking trip abroad with gay prostitute.   Also, see Stephen Colbert's take in Last Laff below.

--Simon Johnson on the Greece collapse and more problems in "the euro-zone."

--Foreign Policy: Dennis Ross of the National Security Council latest to link  Obama efforts with Israel to securing peace in region--and combatting Iran.  And he did it at Anti-Defamation League dinner.

ALL THE PRESIDENTS, MAN

--Just announced:  Book by Bob Woodward on Obama coming in October.  No title.  Given his track record with Bush, we'll see three more of these if Obama serves two terms.

WARREN REPORT

--The Washington Post asked 12 people to name things the world should really get rid of .  Media maven Jay Rosen, for example, suggested a certain PBS news show.  The great Elizabath Warren wants to get rid of fine print. 

D.C. CURRENT

--Lengthy assessment of Rep. Obey's sudden retirement: One reason, his "old school populism" at odds with the Obama approach. Plus: Afghan escalation.

--Old pro and PBS ombudsman Michael Getler rips White House Correspondents DInner, calling it an "embarrassment" and claiming Politico posted at least 84 stories or items about it this year.

--Marc Ambinder at The Atlantic has  the list of  Democrats' talking points on terror after Times Square.

 --Above the Law:  10 reasons Obama will pick Wood for SCOTUS.

HECKUVA JOB, SHERROD BROWN

--Hope rises that real liberal/populist amendments may actually make it into the final financial reform bill, including the break-up-the-banks via caps one.

--The Onion: The Case Against Goldman Sachs

A WARNING ON GULF BLOWOUT

--McClatchy probes 2003 report that warned oil industry was not taking trouble to prevent and flix blowouts, like the one in the Gulf.

--While oil leaked, a top Interior Dept. official went....rafting. 

NEWS WEAKLY

--Good take on Newsweek up for sale by David Carr at NYT, wondering who would buy, as its biggest success has been selling Jon Meacham's books and getting him on TV.  And equally good take on the newsweekly  universe  by James Fallows here.  BTW, did you know that in its early days it was titled "News-Week"?

--Meacham on The Daily Show last night said Newsweek needed to "reverse" matters--put everythng up online all week then gather the best together for the print diehards, though he made an unfortunate reference to maybe many of them dropping the pages "in their tapioca."  Speaking of Meacham, here's hoping that Andy Borowitz livens up Jon's new PBS show this Friday, which replaces (gasp) Moyers.

--Speaking of Borowitz, he claims  "Authorities Say They Closely Followed Times Square Bomber--But Only On Twitter."

 THE LAST LAFF

Colbert on the Family Research Council guy and the gay prostitute.

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alpha Dog of the Week - George Rekers
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Fox News

 

7 Years Ago: Nick Kristof Set the Spark for "Plamegate"

When I posted a piece here earlier today on the upcoming Hollywood film on the CIA Leak/Plame case, Fair Game, starring Naomi Watts and Sean Penn, I’d forgotten that seven years ago tonight one of the sparks for the episode arrived online: the Nick Kristof column that sent Dick Cheney batty and set off a search for the “former ambassador”  (Joe Wilson) and led to the outing of his CIA agent wife (Plame).

So, for old times sake, here are the key grafs from the column.   Note: four days earlier, Kristof had met Wilson at a panel and asked if he could use the informatin if he didn't name him.  WIlson said: okay.  Three weeks later, Scooter Libby starting asking questions.

"Consider the now-disproved claims by President Bush and Colin Powell that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger so it could build nuclear weapons. As Seymour Hersh noted in The New Yorker, the claims were based on documents that had been forged so amateurishly that they should never have been taken seriously.

"I'm told by a person involved in the Niger caper that more than a year ago the vice president's office asked for an investigation of the uranium deal, so a former U.S. ambassador to Africa was dispatched to Niger. In February 2002, according to someone present at the meetings, that envoy reported to the C.I.A. and State Department that the information was unequivocally wrong and that the documents had been forged.

"The envoy reported, for example, that a Niger minister whose signature was on one of the documents had in fact been out of office for more than a decade. In addition, the Niger mining program was structured so that the uranium diversion had been impossible. The envoy's debunking of the forgery was passed around the administration and seemed to be accepted -- except that President Bush and the State Department kept citing it anyway.  ''It's disingenuous for the State Department people to say they were bamboozled because they knew about this for a year,'' one insider said.

'Shocker' in Laura Bush Memoir No Big Deal For Texas Journos

(This post written by Nation intern Morgan Ashenfelter)    LAURA Bush’s memoir, Spoken From the Heart, was released on May 4, days after The New York Times spilled the beans on its embargoed content after a reporter bought a copy put out too early at a bookstore.  Plenty of national coverage and reviews quickly followed.  One incident in the memoir has received extended coverage:  When Laura was 17-years-old she was the driver in a car accident that killed a high school friend, Mike Douglas, after she ran a stop sign (while chatting with a companion).  

It was old news, but she hadn't spoken or written about it much before.  While many of these articles read like breaking news,  as if something was left undiscovered, most papers in Texas either ran wire articles about Bush’s memoir or ignored it.

While the Jezebel site called the memoir “shocking” and Ann Gerhart of the Washington Post found the contents about the crash “startling,” Texans, on the other hand, don’t seem to agree.

“Texans pretty much know every jot and tittle of the Laura and W legend already,” says Texas Observer Editor Bob Moser. “The car accident is old news. And nothing in the memoir, from what I've heard of it, sounds remotely surprising.” The Observer does plan to review the book in an upcoming issue and will also have a New York-based columnist carry it around the city to see if any “Yankees react.”

Mike Drago, city and regional editor of The Dallas Morning News, echoes Moser’s sentiment. Drago wasn’t sure if all Texans knew about the crash, but “readers of the Dallas Morning News did.” The paper covered the crash extensively during the Bush campaign for president, but neither Bush would speak about it at the time. The paper  plans on reviewing the book and interviewing the former First Lady after the book hits stores.

As for the accident, Laura Bush—surprisingly—was never charged for it, though fully at fault, nor received a ticket. The police report was partially illegible and lacked many details, including whether charges were filed. Texas attorney Keith Stretcher told USA Today in 2000 that he didn’t think it was unusual that charges were not filed in that era, but the mystery remains.

Gerhart of The Washington Post speculates in her book, The Perfect Wife: The Life and Choices of Laura Bush  that “perhaps Mike Douglas's parents, who lived out in the country and weren't part of the more affluent set in town, didn't have the right connections to press for a more vigorous investigation."

 

DAYBOOK for Wednesday: With Afternoon Updates!

WELCOME to the second edition of Daybook, our daily early a.m. collection of the greatest media hits and misses as we “limn the morning.” And return for updates as the day goes on, along with an "afternoon update" added at the top. Plus:  Don't forget to keep up with fresh items, events and analysis all day on Twitter @MediaFixBlog.

AFTERNOON De-LITES

--Timing is everything:  Newsweek chief Jon Meacham on Daily Show tonight--on day Wash Post announces plan to sell.  At least Meacham has new PBS gig succeeding (?) Bill Moyers.

--Krugman in blog post hits the media's rampant "Katrina revisionism" that softens Bush's misdeeds.

--Limbaugh and others who claimed TImes Square suspect is "registered Democrat" were simply making it up.  

--Most congressional retirements not that big a deal--but that's not the case with today's shocker about Rep. David Obey.

--Will Bunch, author and ace blogger at Philly Daily News, on the "taserification" of America, taking you from that Phillies game to Arizona.

--Joe the Plumber got elected to -- something -- in Ohio.

--Think Progress wonders why it so long for media to point out that one of the vendors who gave key tip on Times Square case was also a Muslim.

--What happens in AZ is everyone's business, by columnist (and wife of Sherrod Brown) Connie Schultz.

--See my new post on upcoming Hollywood flick on "Plame/CIA Leak Case" -- it's Jaws with Cheney as shark? 

--If you haven't caught up with Steve Nash-led move by Phoenix Suns to wear "Los Suns" uniforms tonite to protest Arizona immigration law.

 TOP O' THE MORNING

—Stellar NYT wrapups on Times Sq terror case, how it got solved and nearly didn't.

—James Fallows wrote a terrific post at his Atlantic blog responding to those who, in the wake of a terror incident, call for all kinds of absurd crackdowns. Fallows imagined airport security checking everyone who entered Times Square.  Now he's also posted reader reactions—scroll and find both pieces here.

—Full reports on some interesting primary results last night at the Wash Post's new Politics site.

—Jon Stewart last night complained about God flooding Nashville after New Orleans—like old man upstairs pounding on your ceiling with his broom yelling at you to "turn down the music."

LEAKAGE

—ProPublica on Tuesday afternoon questioned NYT story that seemed to throw cold water (as it were) on oil leak disaster scenarios—because a foundation that was key source has strong ties to oil drilling industry.  One of the Times' writers has now responded that, hey, full disclosure was good idea but they just didn't have space.  One for Public Editor Clark Hoyt?

—You may have read with enjoyment a brief reference to Press Secretary Robert Gibbs'  late-Tuesday smackdown of Fox for airing pitiful interview with disgraced former FEMA chief Michael "Heckuva You Know What" Brown.  But here's full transcript.

FILM TRIBUTE

—As a huge Kurosawa fan—I even wrote about him for The Nation years and years ago—I had to enjoy NYT's A.O. Scott picking his film noir High & Low for his video tribute this week.

BORNE IN THE USA

—Smart Money: Rupert Murdoch last night announced a major press conference in "three or four weeks" to disclose plans to add pay walls at his newspaper sites. Also admits he screwed up big time with MySpace.  No kidding, dude!

—Whoops: Politico's Kenneth Vogel reports poll by group led by former GOP chief Ed Gillespie finds party way out of line with most voters, including the crucial Independents.

—Important ProPublica probe on how disorganization at banks caused far too many foreclosures. 

—Sad, chilling NYT piece on rising number of elderly who simply wander off, due to Alzheimer's—and need for retraining of police and other rescue workers.

IDOL THOUGHTS

—Simon Cowell comes out for David Cameron in Brit election—in article on front page of The Sun.  But admits Nick Clegg made for TV.  Good thing? 

DO THE BRIT THING

—Don't miss fun spoofy feature: The Daily Mail-o-Matic which provides free headlines mashed up from that wacky rightwing London rag, this week targeting Lib Dem candidate (and former Nation intern) Nick Clegg.  Refresh and get a new one, such as "Report: Clegg Gave Cancer to Swans" or "Has Nick Clegg Made Britain's Farmers Impotent?" (h/t Jeni Mitchell)

—Andrew Sullivan's word and video wrapup on Brit election includes: Eddie Izzard, David Frum, John Cleese, Paul Krugman and even more!

—Meanwhile, NYT catches up with Clegg again on the campaign trail, on election eve.

HERE AND THERE

—Most proper form of obit for the great baseball announcer Ernie Harwell, who just passed away, is doing it in his own words (everything but the golden voice), via NYT blog. “Why the fairy tale of Willie Mays making a brilliant World Series catch, and then dashing off to play stickball in the street with his teenage pals? That’s baseball."

—NYT poll shows that most U.S. Catholics feel priest abuse scandal far away.  Only 1 in 10 considering leaving Church, half the number a few years ago.  Doubts about Pope, but support local priests.

—Congrats to Greg Sargent who today takes his swell Plum Line blog to the Wash Post.

—A new web site for Israeli daily Haaretz!  Today's editorial there is titled "Kadima and McCarthyism."

HAVE A LAFF

Tory leader David Cameron loves "The Common People"—at least in this version of The Pulp classic.

  

Frank Rich on the "Rage of 2010"—And How He "Escapes from the News"

WITH his recent columns sharply criticizing Fox News, the tea party movement, the rise of racism,   the anti-Obama “Take Back America” crusade, and the “annexation” of the Republican Party, Frank Rich of The New York Times has become (if he wasn’t before) the poster boy for what’s wrong with the “liberal media”—at least as viewed from the far-right.  It was no surprise that Fox's Bernie Goldberg, in his recent fracas with Jon Stewart, singled out the Daily Show host’s journalistic “french kissing” of Rich. 

Rich returned this past Sunday with another sharp and sharply-worded column jumping off from the uproar over the new Arizona racial profiling law, concluding that this latest example of “the rage of 2010” will likely be repeated in other states, and with other issues, since the GOP is cheering it on, or at best not standing in its way.  

In the column, Rich mentioned Fox only in passing (smacking Glenn Beck a bit), so I asked him how he judged Fox’s role in the latest “rage.”  He replied:  "Not all of Fox is automatically the same--Beck in particular is his own brand, and some of his most incendiary stuff can be on his (non-Fox) radio show. I try to be as specific as possible about who's doing what. Shepard Smith, for instance, seemed overtly skeptical about Arizona law.

"But Fox's overall role in promoting Tea Party and serving as de facto leader of fairly leaderless G.O.P. pretty self-evident. No one seriously thinks otherwise, and no one skewers this more diligently than The Daily Show.”

But what about the apparent surge of anti-Rich sentiment found at rightwing blogs?  Rich: “The tone of feedback in this world is almost always red-hot -- nothing new about it and perhaps a bit mild now compared to when I wrote about the militia during the McVeigh years or about Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ, which prompted Bill O'Reilly to post my picture on air and drum up ugly threats against me. Those were the days when O'Reilly was vociferously claiming that Gibson couldn't possibly be anti-Semitic. Once Gibson's Malibu fiasco revealed that the presentation of Jews in his movie was no accident, even Fox had to back away from that cause.”

For years Rich has been a strong critic of our war in Iraq and our long stay in Afghanistan—and the media coverage of both.  I wondered what he thought as we passed the 7th anniversary of President Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” aircraft landing this past weekend. 

“What's remarkable,"  Rich replied, "is how much both Iraq and our other, escalating war in Afghanistan have fallen off the map of public attention as America remains riveted on domestic issues. This is true despite a lot of first-rate journalistic coverage of both wars, especially but not exclusively by papers like The Times and The Washington Post and a number of top-tier magazines. Even the Oscar enthusiasm for Hurt Locker couldn't compel movie audiences to revisit Iraq in big numbers.

“This inattentiveness cannot and will not hold indefinitely:.  The outcome of Obama's Afghanistan policy may end up having as big an impact on his presidency, one way or the other, as Iraq policy did on Bush's.”

Another subject he has returned to often in recent month is the economic crisis, typified by a tough column on Goldman Sachs last week.  I asked Rich what he thought of the Goldman hearings a few days ago.  

 “The best thing that happened at the hearings," he quipped, "was that Carl Levin said ‘shitty’ a lot, which got people's attention for the substance (when there was some) of the proceedings. But the real action remains in the murky details of the reform bill that emerges -- and in the willingness of law enforcement to look deeper into what went down on Wall Street during the bubble, and not just at Goldman.”

For those who wonder what Rich does between and beyond his weekly column: Two years ago he became a consultant on programming at HBO, “and I'm involved with several projects there -- most of them having little to do with current events,” he explains. “It's a joy to escape from the news now and then.”

   

Tory! Tory! Tory! Most Brit Newspapers Back Cameron as Election Nears

(Note:  This post is by Nation intern Morgan Ashenfelter who also supplies some of the links for the @MediaFixBlog feed at Twitter.)  ON THURSDAY the Brits vote in their general elections, and most recent polls suggest the Conservatives—with the decline of Prime Minister Gordon Brown—now hold a slim lead. Another indicator: the endorsements made by Britain’s top national papers this past weekend.

None of the major British papers endorsed the Labour Party because, as some pointed out, it got the country  into its current economic mess, and certainly can’t be expected to get them out of it. The Guardian is the only London paper we've seen endorsing Nick Clegg and his Liberal Democrats. The Independent clearly opposes Conservative leader David Cameron, but argues for “tactical” voting district by district (Labour here, Lib Dem there)  to keep him out of power. The rest of the papers write that though the idea of Clegg is nice, the Liberal Democrats are fanciful, a party that hasn’t thought through all of its policies.

 Plus, on Monday: The Financial Times  switched from Labour to back the Tories. It says it still has questions about Cameron and his party but "Britain needs a stable and legitimate government to navigate its fiscal crisis and punch its weight abroad. On balance, the Conservative party best fits the bill."  Here is a summary of endorsements made by major Britain papers.

 The Guardian:General Election 2010: The Liberal Moment Has Come 

“…it is the Liberal Democrats who have most consistently argued [for electoral reform] in the round and who, after the exhaustion of the old politics, reflect and lead an overwhelming national mood for real change. … Released into the daylight of equal debate, [Clegg] has given the other two parties the fright of their lives. … [We] cannot ignore such a record.”

The Independent: “Vote for Change. Real Change.” 

 “As the Tories are opposed to electoral reform and are ahead in the polls, we are asking voters in 85 key constituencies to vote for the candidate best placed to frustrate David Cameron…. this self-professed candidate of change refuses to consider the most vital change of all…electoral reform.”

 

The Telegraph: “The only choice for Britain  

“[Clegg] seems nice, personable, fresh – so why not give him a chance? The truth, however, is that a vote for the Liberal Democrats would be a vote for the continuation of fantasy politics. … The best choice for Britain is a Conservative government with a strong majority.”

 

Daily Mail:   “Who Can You Trust to Clean Up This Mess?” 

 “Who is going to clear all this up?… Clearly not Gordon Brown… And the hallucinatory quality to the ‘Clegg surge’ has prevented proper scrutiny of his policies… Britain needs strong Government, not weak. Fewer politicians, not more. One purpose, not a coalition of the weak and the weary in uneasy alliance with the whimsical. For all these reasons Mr. Cameron and the Conservatives should be trusted with your vote.”

 

 The Sun:   “Big Questions”

 “Mr Clegg wants to be Prime Minister, yet tries to duck the extremist nature of his programme. At least David Cameron has the courage of his convictions.… It shows the Tory leader has confidence his policies WILL work.”

 

 The Times: “Vote of Confidence” 

“At an acutely difficult moment in our history, The Times puts its faith in the people rather than the government.… the Liberal Democrat prospectus for power still reads like that of a party that has no expectation of victory…. [the Conservative party] recognises the benefits of individual independence. The [Labour Party] keeps fostering a state of benefit dependency.”

 

DAYBOOK: First Edition of Our Daily "Cheat Sheet"!

WELCOME to the first Daybook, our daily early a.m. greatest media hits and misses as we “limn the morning.” And return for updates as the day goes on, along with an "afternoon update" added at the top below. Plus: Here's our own new interview with Frank Rich. Don't forget to keep up with fresh items, events and analysis all day on Twitter @MediaFixBlog.

AFTERNOON UPDATE

—Blood-letting on the Left, as FireDogLake slams Obama for alleged slow response to oil leak, many others defend him and Steve Benen attacks Politico piece (which I linked to below) on same.

—And Ezra Klein at Wash Post asks, Why isn't Obama using this moment to talk climate change and energy independence?

—Lot of headscratching this morning over big NYT piece that seemed to play down oil leak disaster.  Now ProPublica has discovered that foundation, a key source for story, is deeply intwined with oil industry. 

—Meanwhile, good commentary at USA  Today: Why the hell can't oil companies clean up their messes? 

—And Jim Ridgeway reviews BP's long sordid enviro-history.

—Pew finds that 36% of GOPers in survey have favorable view of militias. On the other hand, most have unfavorable view of "socialism" but favorable view of "progressive."

—Excerpts from upcoming book on Obama by Newsweek's Jon Alter.

—Only in America factoid from the NYT: Times Sq would-be bomber once worked as an accountant at Elizabeth Arden.

—Don't miss Spencer Ackerman's reporting from Gitmo all week.

—Great to see one of my heroes, guy I've interviewed and friend of The Nation, Steve Earle, on Treme this week in humble street musician role—though better suited for soapbox.

TOP O' THE MORNING

—The home team at NYT has best and latest on Pakistani-American suspect in Times Square bomb attempt arrested last night—at JFK while trying to flee USA. Even posted photo of his home in Shelton, CT in the wee hours of the morning.

—Video of Justice Dept. press conference

—Meanwhile, Juan Cole, in wake of arrests, looks at what's happening back in Pakistan and anger against USA in Afghanistan.

A DAY IN THE LIFE

—Laura Rozen at Politico: Obama to have lunch today with Elie Wiesel at White House— in response to the Nobel Prize winner saying, in full page ads, he should ease up on Israel.

—National media have been quiet about it but—several important primaries today.  Plus, the Washington, D.C. Council votes on legalizing pot.  High five!

—Jeremy Scahill on Democracy Now! today, discussing secret Erik Prince (Blackwater) tape.

—How 40th anniversary of Kent State killings to be observed today at the site.

 BORNE IN THE USA

Pro Publica: At Hanford Nuclear Reservation, 4,000 new cleanup workers are landing good-paying jobs. But what they don’t know about beryllium dust—and the government's lagging effort to keep them safe from it—could kill them.

—Nice little Media Matters-Mediaite feud going. MM has run half a dozen items on Mediaite hyping that National Enquirer "Obama affair" rumor, Mediaite backed off a bit but largely defended, and its chief, Dan Abrams hit MM in a personal note. Last night MM's Jamison Foser responded with a blistering full critique.

—Politico in its top story naturally finds the White House in a "panic" over the oil spill. 

—Dana Milbank at Washington Post has some fun noting Gulf Coast red state officials suddenly think big fed government meddling (and money) a very good idea.

—Webby Award winners announced—Roger Ebert, Twitter, Foursquare, College Humor, more.

—We presume this will be last roundup of negative reacton to Obama's "predator-drone" joke.

Alternet's "10 Worst Man-Made Enviro Disasters."

THE INTERNATIONAL

—The Daily Telegraph (London): Survey finds surging Tories just 14 seats shy of a recently-unthinkable outright majority of seats in Thursday election.  

—Simon Schama in The New Yorker on "Brit Three-Way."  

—Nick Kristof on Hillary Clinton's response to his column accusing the Obama White House of "caving" on the Sudan.

 POLL POLL PITIFUL ME? 

—New CBS/NYT poll finds 36% of Americans believe the new Arizona immigration law: "goes too far," 56% feel it's "about right," and 9% think its doesn't go "far enough." 

—New CBS Poll:  Obama approval up to 5!% but most important at  +9% among Independents, highest in long time.

 WAR, WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? 

—NYT editorial on Afghanistan, "The Way Out"—trainers desperately needed or effort is doomed.

—Carol Rosenberg of McClatchyU.S. medic testifies he found teen chained to door at Afghan base.

THE LAST LAFF
The Daily Show gets "slick."

 

Welcome to MEDIA FIX, Day One!

OUR media watchdogs require close watching. It's been an article of faith for Nation editors and readers since the founding of the magazine. In recent decades, Nation writers have provided smart, often witty, media coverage. I'm excited for the chance to join this tradition, and take it to new terrain as writer and editor of The Nation's first blog devoted to highlighting the best and worst of current media (print, digital and broadcast) several times a day.  

Every day at the blog – and at our Twitter feed @MediaFixBlog, which arrived in March -- we'll probe the latest media outrages, and uncover a few ourselves, while also providing links to important articles and blog posts at other sites (both mainstream and alt-), along with essential or amusing video. Since this is The Nation, we'll pay special attention to media politics and media culture, and update often, even at night and on the weekends. Others in The Nation family, and perhaps even readers, will contribute. We'll try to have some fun with it as we go along.  Please take advantage of the Comments feature. 

Another bonus, starting tomorrow: an a.m. cheat sheet titled “Daybook” (apologies to Mike Allen), a daliy collection of links to win your morning.  UPDATE: Here's the  Tuesday edition!  Plus:  My interview with Frank Rich.

Who am I? For most of the past decade I served as editor of Editor & Publisher, while writing two books,  So Wrong for So Long (on Iraq and the mediaand Why Obama Won.  I've blogged every week at Huffington Post for the past two years, as well as at E&P and for my own blog.  But for me, coming to The Nation feels like a match nearly forty years in the making.

In the 1970s, as senior editor at the legendary Crawdaddy, I met Victor Navasky and interviewed Nation editor Carey McWilliams. When Crawdaddy folded, we handed off our office space  to The Nation.  I wrote my first piece for The Nation in 1979--on Bertell Ollman's "Class Struggle" board game. Around 1980, I organized the first Nation softball team, where I met David Corn, Richard Lingeman, Kai Bird, Ham Fish, among many others. Corn later worked for me when I edited Nuclear Times magazine; so did Maria Margaronis. Researching my books The Campaign of the Century, on Upton Sinclair's race for governor of California in 1934, and Tricky Dick and the Pink Lady, I explored Carey McWilliams's papers at UCLA. (Katrina vanden Heuvel, as an intern at The Nation, had organized them for the library.) 

Other subjects I've tackled in articles for The Nation have ranged from the films of Akira Kurosawa to the psychic scars of Hiroshima (with Robert Jay Lifton, my co-author on two books). At Editor & Publisher, I helped one of my ace interns, Ari Berman, land what he declared was his dream job--at The Nation.

I could go on, but it's time to get to work: You can help by sending links to new articles, postings or videos that make you happy or mad.   You can reach me at GregMitch34@gmail.com. And for (even) more frequent filings, follow us @MediaFixBlog as well! 

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