Jul
01
2007

Disposable People

The ‘upside’ to natural and unnatural disasters

As Hurricane Katrina tore off roofs and exposed the destroyed interiors of homes, it also peeled back the genteel veneer on elite media opinion about New Orleans—revealing that some pundits and reporters viewed the majority of its residents to be essentially irrelevant, if not an outright impediment, to the restructuring of the city’s devastated economy. Whether urban social devastation results from corporate decisions to relocate jobs or a nature-triggered catastrophe, major U.S. media seem to view cities as first and foremost engines of economic growth and profit, with the local population’s needs and culture viewed as barely worthy of mention […]

Jul
01
2007

No

Editor's Note

No, no, no, no, no. ABCNews.com (6/18/07) described Hillary Clinton speaking at the Take Back America conference “shortly after she reversed course and voted to cut off funding for the troops as a means of ending the war.” No—the supplemental funding bill doesn’t fund the troops, it funds the war. The troops are paid for out of the regular Pentagon budget. No soldier would have been kicked out of the Army or lost a paycheck if the bill had not passed. Describing the California governor’s likely opposition to a single-payer healthcare bill, CNN’s Brooke Anderson declared (6/13/07) “Schwarzenegger clearly opposed […]

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 […]