Media

Good Man, Minor President, Fodder for Politicking

  • By
  • James Pinkerton,
  • New America Foundation
December 29, 2006 |

Let’s divide this column on the late Gerald Ford into three parts: First, Ford the man. Second, Ford as an historical memory. Third, Ford as a subject of manipulation in the media.

First, I always liked Ford -- who didn’t? He served his country in wartime, was married to the same woman for 58 years, raised four children. And amid all the obituary-ing, it’s hard to find anyone who has any criticism of him as a person. That’s rare enough for anybody, let alone someone who rose to the pinnacle of American politics.

What We Wanted to Tell You About Iran

  • By
  • Flynt Leverett,
  • New America Foundation
  • and Hillary Mann
December 22, 2006 |

Here is the redacted version of a draft Op-Ed article we wrote for The Times, as blacked out by the Central Intelligence Agency's Publication Review Board after the White House intervened in the normal prepublication review process and demanded substantial deletions. Agency officials told us that they had concluded on their own that the original draft included no classified material, but that they had to bow to the White House.

Time's Wimpy Choice Ignores Readers' Needs

  • By
  • James Pinkerton,
  • New America Foundation
December 19, 2006 |

Do you like being pandered to? Do you like being presented with a mirror so that you can admire yourself? Time magazine sure hopes so.

The venerable but not-much-venerated newsweekly is sucking up to you, its hoped-for audience, pure and simple. In naming "you" as its Person of the Year for 2006 -- complete with reflective plastic on the cover -- the fading publication demonstrates how its weakening financial condition has led to a weakening of editorial judgment.

Media-Kissed Mayoral Prince Charmings are Really Just Frogs

  • By
  • Joel Kotkin,
  • New America Foundation
December 3, 2006 |

For generations, being a big-city mayor was akin to being confined to the political equivalent of Devil’s Island. Even if you escaped imprisonment, it was only with the shirt on your back.

But today, mayors across America are riding an unprecedented wave of upward mobility. Here in California, for example, the men most widely touted to become governor once the Terminator terminates are not any of the myriad of statewide Democratic officeholders, but two high-profile mayors, San Francisco’s Gavin Newsom and Los Angeles’ Antonio Villaraigosa.

What's Left of L.A.'s Left?

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
November 19, 2006 |

It was a little like Pravda running an expose on Lenin’s sex life, or The Wall Street Journal editorializing on the fetishes of conservative economist Friedrich Hayek. Three weeks ago, the L.A. Weekly, once the most reliably left-wing publication in the city, published a cover story all but alleging that the late union chief Miguel Contreras died in a brothel in South L.A.

Where Have All the Mexican Americans Gone?

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
November 12, 2006 |

Homogenizing the image of the "other" has always been a way for groups to marginalize undesirable minorities and foreigners. Two dozen centuries ago, Hippocrates wrote that the Scythians -- nomadic people whom the Greeks considered barbaric -- all looked alike. By contrast, the good doctor could discern that his own people came in all shapes and sizes.

A Letter-Perfect Political Story

  • By
  • Gregory Rodriguez,
  • New America Foundation
October 29, 2006 |

I don’t know what was more disturbing, the lame attempt to suppress immigrant voter turnout in California’s 47th Congressional District or the breathless reporting and hyper-indignation that followed it.

Amid the Babble, the Amish Lesson is Heard

  • By
  • James Pinkerton,
  • New America Foundation
October 17, 2006 |

It's a paradox of our time that the Amish, arguably the least technological people in America, have nevertheless proven to be extraordinarily effective at communicating what they believe. In a time of proliferating techno-clutter, they got their message across the old-fashioned way: through the blood sacrifice of martyrs.

Whatever the Medium, it’s True Persuasion That Counts Most

  • By
  • James Pinkerton,
  • New America Foundation
October 17, 2006 |

People have always wanted to communicate, not to mention bloviate, and so the op-ed as an idea is perfectly safe. But the expression of that idea -- the mode of communication -- is subject to change. Big change. Yet if op-editors can keep up, they could find themselves with an even bigger role in the streaming future.

Whatever the Medium, it’s True Persuasion That Counts Most

  • By
  • James Pinkerton,
  • New America Foundation
October 17, 2006 |

People have always wanted to communicate, not to mention bloviate, and so the op-ed as an idea is perfectly safe. But the expression of that idea -- the mode of communication -- is subject to change. Big change. Yet if op-editors can keep up, they could find themselves with an even bigger role in the streaming future.

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