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July 3, 2006 | The Nation

In the Magazine

July 3, 2006

Cover: Cover design by Peter Ahlberg, photograph by Mic Burns

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The Editors write that the US should stop bullying the UN, Alexander Cockburn asks why the left is so afraid of the incompetent Karl Rove, Stuart Klawans reviews The Road to Guantánamo and Crossing the Bridge.

Letters

RAGE AGAINST THE (BUSH) MACHINE

Lawrenceville, Ga.

Editorials

Politics trumped academic integrity when a neocon network torpedoed
the appointment of Mideast scholar and blogger Juan Cole to a faculty
position at Yale.

If the Bush Administration is serious about UN reform, it should
replace Ambassador John Bolton and stop linking payment of dues to
action on reform.

It's hard to tell whether the US is conducting a war against terror or
against Native Hawaiians, as the military uses parts of the Waianae
coast as a live-fire training ground.

The debunking of a PR agency that circulated a bogus story about persecution of Jews in Iran exposed the moving parts of a media machine bent on preparing the American public for another war.

Columns

TruthDig

Hillary Clinton's dissembling on Iraq has become a fatal embarassment for her presidential ambitions and for anyone who looks to her for leadership.

Howl

The United States has made no headway quelling the insurgency or rebuilding Iraq, but one secret project is on target: construction of a palatial US Embassy inside the Green Zone. What kind of exit strategy is this?

A new generation of student activists is flexing its muscles, rolling
back employment rules in France, demanding education reform in Chile
and fighting for immigrant rights in the US.

Music

In South Dakota, prochoicers are fighting back with a bipartisan
initiative challenging the abortion ban and a grassroots effort
that has put progressive Native American women on the ballot.

Under Karl Rove's deft hand, Bush has been maneuvered from one
catastrophe to another. Why is the left obsessed with him?

Articles

With Congress poised to pass legislation that rewrites the Telecom Act,
here are ten action items for a media reform agenda.

Soccer's not for wimps, but Team America and its fans have brought a
decidedly militarist mindset to the World Cup.

The press that once went hoarse over Monica Lewinsky's dress is largely
silent over the Bush regime's vast abuses of power.

After a decade of strategic mergers, impulsive couplings and messy divorces--the birth of new media--this chart shows that national media landscape still bears the oversized footprints of a handful of giant corporations.

Americans overwhelmingly oppose media consolidation, but the FCC is poised to further relax media ownership rules.

In the guise of giving us what we want, media giants have created a
culture defined by untrammeled greed, the worship of power and a
ruthless disregard for the public good.

The fight over media consolidation is anachronistic. Progressives
should focus instead on mastering the tools of new media--it's here,
not in the corporate boardroom, where the new media wars will be fought
and won.

Corporations used to disguise their attempts to masquerade as
"indie," but now they've become invisible to the naked eye.

National media are increasingly catering to the highly mobile,
globalized, mostly white middle class, leaving those who can't afford
access to slip into a separate and unequal world of second-class
information.

The music industry lives in fear of downloadable media, but artists
have the vision to re-engineer our collective psyche.

New forms of participatory media have changed public discourse,
enabling people to publish, share and disseminate their own media
creations. But will only the affluent be able to play?

Fewer minority-owned outlets means fewer minorities in the media. With
such threats to public discourse, what will become of our voices,
points of view and interests?

The collapse of journalism and the rise of commercialism is sparking a
reform movement that will fight to ensure the First Amendment endures
in the digital age.

Compliant coverage of the Iraq War proved the news business is morally
compromised, no longer driven by creative people with something to
tell but by global corporations with something to sell.

We don't need to buy a network to get our message out--just creatively
use an array of low-cost tools from the Internet to iPods, cellphones
and whatever comes next.

If the promise of new media is to be fulfilled, progressives must chart
a course of activism that confronts the increasing concentration of
ownership among the Big Media powerhouses.

Books & the Arts

Book

A new collection of letters between Rainer Maria Rilke and Lou
Andreas-Salome reveals an intimate portrait of a poet and his muse.

Book

Reviews of novels by Anne Tyler, Chris Abani, and Rodrigo Fresan.

Book

When liberals and conservatives discuss the United States' role in the
world, they are really talking about the narcissism of small
differences. Two new books show how both sides share a conviction in
American exceptionalism.

Film

Reviews of The Road to Guantanamo and
Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul.