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Once upon a time there was a struggling young California band. Its music was too loud and its image too unpolished for MTV.

AOL's buyout of Time Warner may have been this year's largest new media/old media merger, but in terms of sheer market consolidation, PlanetOut's purchase of Liberation Publications in late March

The hopes of many for the birth and sustenance of independent web journalism took a body blow recently when all 140 employees of the APBnews.com crime news site were let go with no warning, as th


"Biased" was the term used most often in the scores of letters sent
in response to John Dinges's "What's Going on at Pacifi

The pace of recent events made one of the most significant rulings in
the history of American antitrust law seem like an anti-climax.

What if First Daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush had been caught
lighting up a joint? Would the respectable media play down that story the
way they have the Bush children's illegal purchases of alcohol?

Hardly, because marijuana is an officially proscribed demon drug while
alcohol is a mainstay of the culture, promoted incessantly as an
essential ingredient of the good life.

Marijuana use, the drug war zealots insist, despite considerable
evidence to the contrary, leads inevitably to the harder stuff. That's
why the US Supreme Court won't risk the health of dying cancer patients
with a few tokes of physician-prescribed pot. But those margaritas that
the Bush girls grew up to prefer, heck that's just child's play,
something all college students do and soon grow out of.

Not so their father, unless you think abusing alcohol until the age of
40 is still child's play. Had he hit someone on that night when he was
arrested for DUI, it might have undermined George W.'s charmed ascension
to the presidency.

Sorry, but I'm with the tabloids on this one. It is big news that the
commander in chief of the drug war has not been able to control his own
daughters' illegal behavior.

Obviously, Bush has not followed his own advice, offered while
announcing the revving up of the drug war, that parents take more
responsibility for their children's conduct.

Should the Bush children have gone to church more often to be exposed
to those faith-based anti-drug and alcohol programs that the President
embraced? Did the Bush parents always know where their children were?
Perhaps the Bush twins were permitted to watch too many Hollywood movies.

Imagine the vituperation that would have been visited upon the Clinton
family if Chelsea, like Jenna, had used the Secret Service to pick up an
underage boyfriend, accused of public intoxication, from jail. But when
it comes to family values, Republicans' messed-up personal lives are
chuckled off as just another American-as-apple-pie growing up experience.

Did not the President's mother elicit howls of laughter from her
Junior League audience when she made passing reference to her son's
alcohol addiction on the very day that her granddaughters were charged
with breaking the law? "He is getting back some of his own," Grandma Bush
said, with more than a trace of wonderment that her son George W., the
underachiever and, by his own admission, often inebriated prankster, is
now the President of us all.

But alcoholism wasn't really funny for George W. or he wouldn't have
had to go cold turkey and work white-knuckle hard these past fifteen years at
staying sober. Alcoholism is one of the nation's leading problems and
when then-Gov. Bush signed a "zero tolerance" law in 1997 on underage
drinking, the reason offered was that Texas led the United States in
alcohol-related fatalities.

More than 100,000 people die each year from alcohol, so controlling
its use is of public importance. This guy as governor and President has
responded to problems of substance abuse by acting to throw even more
people into jail although that course has already given us the largest
per-capita prison population in the world. Yet, when his own daughter now
stands but one more arrest away from a possible six months in the slammer
because of the law then-Gov. Bush signed, the President is speechless.

"The President views this as a family matter, a private matter, and he
will treat it as such," White House spokesman Ari Fleischer huffed.

Not so fast.

Alcoholism is the social problem that this President best understands,
and instead of slinking off into silence, he should provide a public
example of what he has claimed parenting is all about.

This is the time to talk honestly to his daughters and the nation
about the lessons of substance abuse, and particularly, whether the tough
law and order approach is just dumb. Unless, of course, he really
believes that his daughter would benefit from six months behind bars for
ordering yet another margarita.

Maybe the drinking age should be dropped to 18 years old, as most of
the Bush daughters' classmates seem to feel. Why make criminals of the
young, most of whom are quite responsible in making their own decisions
about when and what to drink? But isn't that even truer of an adult
cancer patient who uses marijuana to ward off nausea?

Bravo and Happy Birthday to Harper's Magazine, and to Lewis Lapham and John (Rick) MacArthur (editor and publisher, respectively).

Generals and admirals often tell us that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, but they sure don't appreciate being on its business end.

At 4 pm on Monday, May 22, Inigo Thomas posted an item in Slate wondering whether New York magazine's Michael Wolff's pan of Inside, the new website about the media not yet o

When, in 1980, George Will was discovered to be coaching Ronald Reagan on debating tactics one minute and pronouncing him a "thoroughbred performer" the next, journalists professed to be shocked

Blogs

It was a bad week for a good man, but the MSNBC host will be back to give voice to working men and women.

May 26, 2011

How the media frenzy obliterated the presumption of innocence and relentlessly impugned both Strauss-Kahn and his accuser in vulgar stereotypes.

May 24, 2011

The idea that Julian Assange did not simply receive massive anonymous uploads from a military intelligence officer forms the heart of the US government's attempt to prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act.

May 22, 2011

Three years ago, on May 12, 2008, the first episode of GRITtv hit the air. Given life by Free Speech TV, the project we imagined was a daily forum for changemakers that would welcome new voices and celebrate diversity.

May 13, 2011

With debate now raging in Washington, and in the media, over the wisdom of releasing a "death photo" of Osama bin Laden, I can't help thinking back to what happened almost five years ago.

May 4, 2011

Editors and colleauges of Shane Bauer, a Nation contributor, urge Iran to release him and his friend Josh Fattal.

May 3, 2011

When Bush's jet landed on the aircraft carrier, American casualties stood at 139 killed and 542 wounded. That was more than 4,000 US fatalities ago, and hundreds of thousands Iraqis.

May 1, 2011

Three printing companies have refused to publish the spring edition of an LGBT magazine at Kent State University, citing concerns over its images and language.

April 28, 2011

According to Glenn Beck, SEIU organizer Stephen Lerner is a "mastermind worse than Osama bin Laden."

April 27, 2011

As I perused the latest WikiLeaks releases this morning, a retweet from their Twitter feed caught my eye: “Gitmo: Compare the first paragraph of these two stories about the same thing.” One was a link to the BBC and one was CNN.

April 25, 2011