aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Michael Hiltzik guest posting at the Washington Monthly:
Washington confidentiality in the modern era is all about maintaining access, even if that access yields scarcely anything worth publishing. If you have a confidential chat with Karl Rove, and he leads you down the garden path, do you end up with anything worthwhile other than DC cocktail party chatter about your last conversation with Karl Rove? And should we be appalled and surprised that Rove used the occasion to mislead? To paraphrase George Orwell, you can’t blame Rove for taking such an opportunity to further his own interests, any more than you can blame a skunk for stinking.
This episode is part and parcel of the debasement of confidential source’s role in American journalism. Taking sources at their own level of self-interest is what has given us Whitewater, Wen Ho Lee, and Iraqi WMDs. In Washington, they’re used as social currency; when anonymous “senior administration officials” give their briefings, their identities are known to everyone in the system except the reader. It’s another expression of the elitism that has opened a yawning gap between the practitioners of journalism and the public. Even Hollywood is onto us now; this sign of the zeitgeist is only the beginning.
If it’s Clement
Nathan Newman on “the buzz around the rightwing” that “Bush’s choice for the Supreme Court is Fifth Circuit Judge Edith Clement-Brown:”
Now, as folks who read this blog know, I might be favorable to a conservative Justice who believed in real judicial restraint, including weakening Roe, but if that hostility to Roe is combined with hard right judicial activism aimed at dismantling the democratic power to regulate corporations, that is the worst of all worlds.
And Clement could likely be that.
Religious fanaticism is the enemy
Having made its debut first as a miniseries in late 2003 and then having its premiere as an original series this past January, ‘’Battlestar Galactica’’ is the most successful original program in the Sci Fi Channel’s history. Meanwhile, many of the fan sites that had originally opposed Moore and Eick’s vision now actively or passively support it. Discussion of the show has migrated somewhat, from the fan boards to political blogs, where the issues it raises about security, religion and the ethics of android torture inspire heated debate, as well as praise from conservatives and liberals alike.
With Cylons “compared by fans and critics both to Al Qaeda and to the evangelical right” it must be good. Too bad I don’t have cable.
Drum vacation lineup
Kevin Drum’s gone for a week and the wonderful Lindsay Beyerstein, whose been * kicking * some * NYTimes Style * butt * lately (Right-on Lindsay! * Thankyou * Atrios * & Amanda) will be guest posting there.
Her co-guest-blogger for the week is Michael Hiltzik from the LATimes. I’m not familiar with his work but look forward to reading his posts.
Goodbye traffic copters
Though traffic helicopters are still on the job, an era may well be ending. Nothing personal against the Cap’n Bobs, but because of technological advances in the way traffic can be measured and monitored from roadside digital sensors, “there is less and less need for a chopper in the air,” said Christopher Rothey, the chief operating officer of Traffic.com, a company that provides traffic information generated by roadside sensors in major markets.
Thanks to this kind of digital data-gathering, broadcast stations are now able to put on comprehensive and highly accurate reports, augmented by animated graphics, on traffic flows and traffic jams. And thanks to personal digital wireless technology, it’s now possible to get this data, in some cases coupled with road navigation guidance, customized and delivered right to you.