Tuesday, July 31, 2007

WELCOME TO THE CLUB On the very day that the Wall Street Journal is poised to leap onto the schlock pile, The New York Times serves up a big front page story about...Chelsea Clinton's second shot at being 'first daughter.'

This, just a couple weeks after the Sunday Times featured: a front page puff piece exploring what life is like for "the richest of the rich"; a Business section cover story on Queen Elizabeth; and an Arts & Leisure page 1 dispatch about Paris Hilton and celebrity culture.

The Times, of course, also regularly features items about Nicole Richie in its 'Arts Briefs' column and typically runs two columns under the 'Spending' heading in its Sunday Business pages.

Let's be frank: The Times isn't what it used to be. It's a far cry from the paper it was even seven years ago.

And it isn't likely to become that paper again any time soon.

Monday, July 30, 2007

PROFILES IN HYPOCRISY Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice:
To support our continued diplomatic engagement in the region, we are forging new assistance agreements with the Gulf States...This effort will help bolster forces of moderation...

Through our Gulf Security Dialogue, we are helping to strengthen the defensive capabilities of our partners, and we plan to initiate discussions with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf States on a proposed package of military technologies that will help support their ability to secure peace and stability in the Gulf region.

Friday, July 27, 2007

THE STUPID SEASON It must be upon us.

Katharine Seelye and Michael Falcone venture an unprovable assertion in the sixth paragraph of their story in today's Times:

Pundits generally perceived Mrs. Clinton as winning the debate point for highlighting her experience and at the same time suggesting that Mr. Obama was inexperienced.
Cloaking a personal judgment in the language of "pundits generally perceived" is classic, ugly campaign reporting.

And it's only going to get worse from here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

AN HONEST ANSWER From today's White House press briefing:
Q Can I follow on that? There are more than 3,000 current petitions for commutation -- not pardons, but commutation -- in the federal system under President Bush. Will all 3,000 of those be held to the same standard that the President applied to Scooter Libby?

MR. SNOW: I don't know.

Monday, July 02, 2007

EVERYDAY THROUGHOUT THIS COUNTRY Via Talking Points Memo, here's Patrick Fitzgerald on the President's decision to spare Scooter Libby from serving jail time:
...The President termed the sentence imposed by the judge as “excessive.” The sentence in this case was imposed pursuant to the laws governing sentencings which occur every day throughout this country. In this case, an experienced federal judge considered extensive argument from the parties and then imposed a sentence consistent with the applicable laws. It is fundamental to the rule of law that all citizens stand before the bar of justice as equals. That principle guided the judge during both the trial and the sentencing.

Although the President’s decision eliminates Mr. Libby’s sentence of imprisonment, Mr. Libby remains convicted by a jury of serious felonies, and we will continue to seek to preserve those convictions through the appeals process.

THEY WRITE REVIEWS The Detroit Free Press notice for LAPSES, published in our absence on June 14, is still online.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.