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How bad can things get, how fast? Are we already at the point where
literally nothing can derail the war machine?

Let's say you have a war to sell. You have the usual public relations
tools at your disposal: highly scripted press conferences, stories
leaked by White House officials to a compliant press.

A generation ago, when I worked at the Washington Post, the
right-wing fringe occasionally referred to us as "Pravda on the
Potomac." We reporters were amused but also rankled.

War may or may not be inevitable, but a one-sided discussion of US
policy toward Iraq appears to be all but guaranteed on network
television.

On June 4, 1961, John F. Kennedy held his last meeting with Soviet
leader Nikita Khrushchev in Vienna.

The day before MSNBC announced that it was pulling the plug on Phil Donahue's nightly show, the man who pretty much invented talk TV was interviewing actress and author Rosie O'Donnell.

It's a fascinating scheme, "this very ambitious and aggressive embed
plan," as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Bryan
Whitman calls it.

Who's the hack? I nominate The New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg.
He's the new Remington, though without the artistic talent.

Poor Endy Chávez, outfielder for the Navegantes del Magallanes,
one of Venezuela's big baseball teams. Every time he comes up to bat,
the local TV sportscasters start in with the jokes.

Blogs

The new political correctness is real, even if it isn’t always wrong.

January 29, 2015

What are Nation interns reading the week of 1/22/15?

January 23, 2015

Who are the surrender monkeys now?

January 23, 2015

The week when everyone forgot the definition of irony.

January 20, 2015

The president wants cities to be able to innovate with municipal broadband systems.

January 15, 2015

While the Times frequently needs pushing on its watery language, there are real ethical reasons to exclude Charlie’s Mohammad cartoons.

January 15, 2015

Following a career of more than forty years, Bill Moyers retires.

January 13, 2015

What is it about horrific events that brings out horrific media coverage?

January 13, 2015

Yes, her schtick as a North Korean general was a gross bit of yellowface minstrelsy, but let’s remember her longer career.

January 12, 2015

We cannot have democracy without a free press, and the robust debate it fosters.

January 8, 2015