Jul
01
2007

Al Gore, Smartypants

New book full of big words, pundits complain

Reading the coverage of Al Gore’s new book, The Assault on Reason, the line elite media have developed was impossible to miss: Gore’s a smartypants! His ideas may be good or bad, but the point is, he’s a laughingstock. Even those inclined to dislike Gore might be put off by the kind of condescension expressed by, for example, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, whose May 30 article was headlined, "Is It Wise to Be So Smart?" Milbank offered the sort of hypothetical that’s meant to be damning: Imagine the Iowa hog farmer cracking open Assault on Reason, and meeting Abraham […]

Jul
01
2007

The Poisoned Chalice

Media and double standards

U.S. Justice Robert Jackson, the chief of counsel for the prosecution at the Nuremberg Tribunal, addressed the Tribunal on the principle of universality, which is the foundation of any moral code that can be taken seriously. It’s the principle that we apply to ourselves the same standards that we apply to others, if not more stringent ones. Justice Jackson admonished the Tribunal that this elementary principle must be its guide, or else its proceedings would be nothing but legal farce, an act of vengeance, victor’s justice. To quote Jackson’s memorable words: If certain acts of violation of treaties are crimes, […]

Jul
01
2007

SoundBites

O’Reilly: NBC “Jazzed” About Kids’ Deaths A new study from the Project for Excellence in Journalism (5/25/07) found that over a 10-week period in 2006, Fox spent less time covering the Iraq War than either CNN or MSNBC—half as much time compared to the latter. In response to the “big deal” that “the liberal press has made” out of this finding, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly retorted (6/19/07), “I want the USA to stabilize that country and deal a huge blow to terrorism worldwide, but not everybody in the media feels that way.” As an example, O’Reilly claimed NBC Nightly News […]