In his contribution to Going Rouge: An American Nightmare, The Nation‘s Washington, D.C. Editor, Chris Hayes, quotes a joke from a friend in publishing: In the future the Internet will consist entirely of Sarah Palin slide shows. It was disheartening this week to watch the exhaustive coverage of Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue and see so few serious responses to the substance of her book. (And yes, there is substance.) The AP fact-checked Palin, but gone almost completely unanswered are many of the policy prescriptions she is injecting into the political debate: Tax cuts to stimulate job growth (been there, didn’t work) and drill, baby, drill as an energy policy.
Fortunately, Going Rouge managed to inject some sanity into the debate. Here’s video of Naomi Klein on Wednesday’s Joy Behar Show, commenting about Palin’s economic policies and her role in the healthcare debate. And here’s a great video from GRIT TV, where The Nation‘s Richard Kim, Max Blumenthal, Salon’s Rebecca Traister and Alaskan blogger Shannyn Moore discuss Palin’s record in Alaska, and how her policy prescriptions would impact women in America. And here’s a thoughtful review of both books from Inside Higher Education.
Lastly, here’s a podcast of NPR’s On Point from Friday. I was on for the full hourlong week in review–topics were Palin, mammograms and healthcare.
With Palin moving (hopefully) off the stage for the time being, the focus of debate can turn to Afghanistan. President Obama is expected to make his announcement on troop levels sometime after Thanksgiving; we can only hope that before he does, he watches the stunning–and disturbing–Bill Moyers Journal from Friday night. Moyers, in one of his finest pieces of reporting and analysis, described here in detail by John Nichols–walks viewers through four years of LBJ’s phone calls and conversations about Vietnam. The phone call audio, much of it recently surfaced and rarely heard, is riveting, and the parallels to Afghanistan are far from subtle. You can see echoes of Johnson in President Obama’s recent demands for more options in Afghanistan. As I tweeted this weekend, the Johnson tapes reveal that LBJ and Sen. Russell were more scared of the U.S. right-wing than of the Vietcong; we can only hope Obama doesn’t walk the same path.
Please read John’s post, and watch this important piece of television.
Three other items this week:
1 – We had a great time last week at The Nation‘s Salon on the future of culture, with Tony Kushner and Walter Mosley. Toni Morrison couldn’t make it due to a bad flu but Wallace Shawn was a lively last minute addition to the panel; we’ll have video of the full event up in December and DVDs available. And this week we’ll have an interview posted with Kushner about his views on climate change, and the response to the crisis from the creative community.
2 – We wanted to extend a welcome to Huffington Post in the realm of sports reporting. Our Sports Editor Dave Zirin has been on the beat for years in The Nation, and I’m a big fan of a special issue down the road exploring the intersections of sports, culture and politics. (I’m also a long-suffering Knicks fan.) We’re glad to see HuffPo embrace the value of thought-provoking sports coverage.
3 – Finally, this week is The Nation’s annual Fall Books issue. Great pieces from Laila Lalami, Jose Prieto and others mark an issue that spans the globe–almost every piece in this year’s Fall Books looks outside the United States, capturing ideas and literary trends from around the world. The issue is up on Wednesday, but we’ll have a sneak preview (and a great video) on Monday.
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