Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Celebrity Culture and the Campaign
Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland.
So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton. Despite internal protests, GQ editor Jim Nelson met the Clinton campaign’s demands.
The spiked GQ story shows how the Clinton campaign has been able to use its access to the most important commodity in media — celebrity, and in fact two bona fide celebrities — to shape not just what gets written about the candidate, but also what doesn’t.
There’s nothing unusual about providing extra access to reporters seen as sympathetic, and cutting off those seen as hostile to a campaign. But a retreat of the sort GQ is alleged to have made is unusual, particularly as part of what sources described as a barely veiled transaction of editorial leverage for access.
Politco's Ben Smith reports
Monday, September 24, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
The Sonics were one of, if not the great architects of the raw rock and roll that went on to be known variously as Garage, Punk and Grunge. In their heyday of 1964-66, The Sonics were cranking out some of the fiercest gutbuckets of sound ever waxed, with a power that holds up remarkably well to this day.
Just think about what was on the radio then…. Lovable mop-tops, harmonizing surfer boys, cuddly girl groups… Hell, think about what's on the radio today... and know why the world needs The Sonics reunion... Now more than ever!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
"Surveys have long shown that religious believers in the United States are happier, healthier, longer-lived, and more generous to charity and to each other than are secular people." Read "Moral Psychology and the Misunderstanding of Religion" By Jonathan Haidt
Harris on Haidt
"...Religion remains the only mode of discourse that encourages grown men and women to pretend to know things they manifestly do not (and cannot) know." Sam Harris and others respond in "The Reality Club" at Edge.org
Islamist Orders Hit on Cartoonist and Editor
The head of an al Qaeda-led group in Iraq has offered a $100,000 reward for the killing of a Swedish cartoonist for his drawing of Islam's Prophet Mohammad and threatened to attack major Swedish companies. Reuters' Diala Saadeh reports
Woman Sues Judge Over Language Restrictions
The accuser in a sexual assault case is suing a judge because he barred the word "rape," "victim" and "assailant" and other words from the trial. Read the AP report at Law.com
Ridiculously Rich Guy Buys Respect
Since 2002, Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, has used his considerable financial clout as one of the richest men in the world to garner apologies and damages through the UK courts. Recently, his attention has been turned to respected academic publisher Cambridge University Press, over the book "Alms for Jihad."
The book's authors firmly deny bin Mahfouz’s claims that their book links him, financially and through family, to Osama bin Laden. However, CUP recent issued an outright apology, declared that it would pulp all unsold copies of the book in the UK, and requested that library copies be returned to meet the same fate. Such is the fear of bin Mahfouz that even US-based Amazon is not selling "Alms for Jihad," instead, somewhat disingenuously, offering a 557-word review for the knock-down price of $9.95. Read more in the Index On Censorship
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Tip #42: If You Can't Keep Your Protesters On Ice, at Least Strive for a Chilling Effect
Dahlia Lithwick looks at the "Presidential Advance Manual" in Slate