American Culture

Nota Bene #33

Got hot links if you want ’em!

Jonathan Martin of Politico writes: “Liberal media has traditionally been upstream media, generating information and putting it into circulation. Conservative media is downstream, it’s the second bite at the apple.”

Has a way been finally found to explain the FISA bill to the public? Glenn Greenwald of Salon quotes an ad attacking a Pennsylvanian congressmen who voted yea on it: “Chris Carney is surrendering to Bush and Cheney the same un-American spying powers they have in Russia and communist China.” We have a winner!

Jim Lobe of Inter Press Service writes about the administration’s decision to include diplomat William Burns in talks with Iran: “The neoconservative Weekly Standard called the move ‘stunningly shameful,’ while former UN Ambassador John Bolton said it was proof of the administration’s ‘complete intellectual collapse.'”

Gareth Porter of Inter Press Service: “Instead of. . . accommodating [al-Maliki’s] demand. . . for a timetable for US military withdrawal, the George W. Bush administration and the US military leadership are continuing to pressure their erstwhile client regime to bow to [their] demand for a long-term military presence in the country. The emergence of this defiant US posture. . . underlines just how important long-term access to military bases in Iraq has become to [them].”

Julian Barnes and Peter Spiegel of the Los Angeles Times quoting Fallouja commander Marine Gen. James Mattis: “I think that nation-state and conventional war is in a state of hibernation. [The] most likely threats probably today are not going to be conventional or from another state. . . . I recognize some people want to say: ‘Let’s hold our breath. The irregular world will go away, then we can get back to good old soldiering again.’ . . . Unfortunately, in war, the enemy gets a vote.”

Greenwald again asking “Who is doing the real journalism?“: “So much of the real journalism that is occurring isn’t from TV and magazine stars but largely from severely under-paid advocates at public interest groups and anonymous government whistle-blowers who aren’t even meant to be ‘journalists.’ [The] ACLU and similar groups. . . have been forced first to uncover what the government does, to try. . . to erode the government’s wall of secrecy. . . in order then to engage in their real function of opposing government encroachments and defending the Constitution [emphasis added].”

Jim Spencer in the Columbia Journalism Review writes about being laid off from his reporting job: “Today, more than a year later, I feel like an exile. I still want journalism. Journalism just doesn’t seem to want me — at least not enough to pay me a livable wage with benefits and job security. That pretty much sums up the state of the industry.”

In “Bad Day for Newsrooms — and Democracy,” Chris Hedges writes: “Corporations are not in the business of news. They hate news, real news. Real news is not convenient to their rape of the nation.”

In “David Gregory: NBC’s Lame Duck?” Felix Gillette of the New York Observer writes of Gregory’s ratings vis a vis MSNBC predecessor Tucker Carlson’s: “Twice Tucker is a form of damnation by faint praise.” Then he adds, “‘The grass is always greener on the other side of the street until you get there,’ Mr. Friedman said of Mr. Gregory’s anchorman aspirations.”

In 1990 Vanity Fair reporter “Harvard Law Reviewed” Elise O’Shaughnessy interviewed Barack Obama when he was elected first black editor of the Harvard Law Review: “I like to read novels, listen to Miles Davis, he says. ‘I don’t get to do that anymore. I don’t get dates anymore.”

In a piece entitled “All the privileged must have prizes” in the Times of London, John Summers writes about his experience teaching at Harvard: “[Real estate developer Charles] Kushner’s son Jared entered my classroom and promptly took the seat across from mine. . . . I was drawing an annual salary of $15,500. . . and borrowing the remainder for survival. . . . Jared later purchased The New York Observer for $10 million. . . . As publisher, one of his first moves was to reduce pay for the Observer’s stable of book reviewers. I had been writing reviews for the Observer in an effort to pay my debts.

From “John Edwards Love Child” in the National Enquirer: “While his people are not trying to tell him how to live his personal life, this baggage isn’t going to help him convince Obama that he’s the right guy to be his veep.” Talk about an understatement.

Kate Aurthur of the Los Angeles Times quoting Michael Musto on Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson: “Traditionally, the media has been as interested in closeting celebrities as the celebrities themselves have been. . . . I’ve read things in gossip columns that would never go there in the past and realized, ‘Wow, they’re going there now.’ They don’t consider gay a dirty thing anymore. And it’s very cool.”


Gary Myers of the New York Daily News: “It just won’t be the same without Jeremy Shockey around to throw a fit after Eli Manning bounced one at his feet or sailed one over his head or didn’t feed his ego by throwing him the ball 10 times a game.”

Peter King of Sports Illustrated: “Come on. Whoever hijacked the Red Sox bullpen and subbed the relievers from the Bridgeport Bluefish, please return the real guys immediately. Before more heart attacks are registered.”

“Manny Being Manny” Department

John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle: “After the Red Sox played Monday night at Safeco Field, Ramirez tried to escape a crowd of fans exiting the ballpark by crossing South Royal Brougham Way. The officer had signaled for the folks to stay at the curb, but Ramirez kept walking, so the officer stopped him and asked for identification. . . completely unaware he was talking to Boston’s cleanup hitter. The officer lectured Ramirez and threatened him with a $500 fine and arrest for disobeying police, but he was let go.”

In the midst of a contract dispute, Manny claimed he had a bad knee and sat out a game. Amalie Benajamin reports for the Boston Globe. “‘This week, you know what, we had some misunderstandings,’ Sox manager Terry Francona said. ‘It doesn’t mean he’s a bad person.‘ [Nor does it] mean that the team’s patience has not been wearing thin when it comes to the mercurial slugger.” Manny Ramirez — ever the “mercurial slugger.”

1 reply »

  1. Does “Manny being Manny” translate to “Manny being a jackass?” Or can i just substitute “jackass” for “Manny” in any given sentence?

    Will Iraq be able to hold off this SOFA being shoved down its throat? Will a new president give them a better offer? And while this SOFA has generated a great deal of news, it really isn’t so different from SOFA’s in other imperial outposts like Korea. We are the guest who won’t ever leave…