Marginal Footnotes

Why Does Nora Ephron Speak

She talks so much that it is as though she has something meaningful to add to the national dialogue, but alas all there is to Ephron are comments such as this: 

“What surprised me most about the Clinton meltdown yesterday was that no one told him to pull up his socks.”

I think that fairly well says it all.


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TNR to Slate: Too Contrarian!
September 25, 2006, 7:24 pm
Filed under: Blog Idiocy of the Day, Elections, Media, Midterm Elections, Politics, Uncategorized

With little apparent self-awareness, Bardford Plumer of TNR is reprimanding Slate for being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian:

“Good lord. From the folks who brought us “Deep down in his heart, John McCain is secretly a liberal,” and “Anti-Roe justices would be awesome for abortion rights,” it’s the latest bit of “unconventional” liberal wisdom . . .”

TNR! I agree with the premise and the substance of the critique (Slate is predictable these days), but to have it come from TNR is, well, it’s just too much. 


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Kos, Beinart, Peretz
June 24, 2006, 4:21 pm
Filed under: Blog Idiocy of the Day, Media, Politics, Uncategorized

The New Republic has been airing its suspicions of the Daily Kos apparatus, which may or may not be running what TNR publisher Marty Peretz has characterised as an 'ideological censorship bureau'. Based on some reporting from New York Times Opinionator blogger Chris Suellentrop (TimesSelect) and Jason Zengerle at TNR, it appears that blogger hero and Mark Warner aide Jerome Armstrong is entangled in an SEC investigation for allegedly hyping stocks fraudulently. This was followed-up by Zengerle who went into some detail about the blogosphere's 'smoke-filled backroom', which is really nothing more than a listserve of some 'elite bloggers' who have discussed how to respond to the Armstrong mini-scandal. There is also the issue of Kos' involvement with Advertising Liberally, which may or may not financially punish bloggers who stray too far from the company line (as deigned by the Kos, et al).  So, following Zengerle's post, Kos responds hysterically, in turn prompting Jonathan Chait and now Marty Peretz to, essentially, make fun of him (he's 'illiterate') and his so-called movement.  Kos refuses to engage intellectually with the arguments, electing instead to harangue TNR for selling its soul to the neo-cons. We must, says Kos, cancel our subscriptions to TNR. There is something fascist about Kos, I think. Also, self-aggrandizing and basically asinine (Consultants are bad, unless I'm doing the consulting; media is bad, unless we're the media, etc). I understand the need to maintain coherence and unity, but then again, I thought the point of blogging was to engage variously with various points of view.  In the event, I imagine the reference to the 'neo-cons' is linked to TNR's initial support of the Iraq war.

I don't really care about any of this. Pissing contests are always mildly entertaining, but there is little doubt as to who is going to win this one. What amuses me is this: It was Peter Beinart, one-time editor of TNR, who made the case for that magazine's support of the war. However much Kos is troubled by the machinations and duplicity he sees with the 'smart kids' at TNR, of which Beinart would surely qualify, he doesn't seem sufficiently bothered to remove Beinart's appreciative plug for Crashing the Gate, which stands proudly at the top of the Daily Kos website.  


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