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April 2006

Backscratching on Imus

Philip Weiss on

On Imus in the Morning today, Howard Fineman went after Imus for failing to promote hs friend Jonathan Alter’s book about the first 100 days of the Roosevelt presidency. Then as Imus came back at him, Fineman admitted that he…

Illegal White Man on the Field

Philip Weiss on

There are way too many white people commenting about black athletes on ESPN during the day. Yeah, I know: I’m the only person who notices anybody’s race.

Blogging: the Agony and the Ecstasy

Philip Weiss on

A couple more thoughts on blogging from this newbie. On the one hand, it’s completely insane. The internet is a free printing press, and so you have a zillion people setting up their printing presses in the street and covering…

Chris Matthews, War Hero

Philip Weiss on

Last night, Chris Matthews greeted the new White House spokesman, Dan Bartlett, with a barrage of angry questions. Why did the Administration say that oil revenues would pay for the reconstruction of Iraq? Why did the Administration say that the…

The Judas Variations

Philip Weiss on

The newly-discovered Gospel of Judas is exciting for all kinds of reasons. First off, it shows how flimsy doctrine is. If Judas is a good guy, then all the teaching is out the window, and the official interpreters have to…

Sympathy for Rumsfeld

Philip Weiss on

I’m developing sudden sympathy for Rumsfeld. When Richard Holbrooke comes out for his resignation, as he did on Hardball tonight, it means the conventional wisdom has completely come around to that position. Rummy must go. Holbrooke is the biggest wind-sniffer…

How The New Yorker Made Muriel Spark’s Reputation

Philip Weiss on

When I went into my Muriel Spark phase a few months back, I soon learned that she had had a relationship with The New Yorker. But none of the books that promote the New Yorker mythology even mentions her. You…

Battle of the Sexes

Philip Weiss on

Women like baths and men like showers. Why? One theory is that a man feels vulnerable in the bathtub, sitting down, weighed down with water. Someone could come in and shoot him. Whereas in a shower, it’s fast and a…

Intellectual Monster: The Life and Work of Muriel Spark

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I’m in a state of grief, gratitude and excitement over Muriel Spark’s death. This reflects the fact that I only really discovered her for myself six months back. Yes, I had read The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie some time…

Sopranos Again

Philip Weiss on

Watching the latest episode of the Sopranos (Wow, great!), I was reminded of the art lesson I quote from Muriel Spark in a recent entry— Fiction is lies. And in order to do this you have got to have a…

Neocon Spirituality

Philip Weiss on

This morning on Meet the Press, Tim Russert had a table of religious experts and at the end said they just had enough time for each of them to give a twenty second message for people on Easter. Well, then…

The Death of Dame Muriel

Philip Weiss on

This morning I was working when I thought, I wonder if Muriel Spark has died, and I went online and put in her name, and yes, she had died in Italy, the news was announced a few hours ago. It’s…

Lindsey Graham Where Are You?

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I fell for Lindsey Graham during the Impeachment hearings back in ’98 when he was still a Congressman. I used to talk to him after the hearings. The things I love about him are: he’s independent-minded, incredibly gifted politically, and…

Blogging and $$$, cted.

Philip Weiss on

I’m fascinated by the fact that I’m not getting any money to blog. Still, I’m at it. Last year I went to a congressional hearing as a reporter for a fancy magazine that was paying me several thousand dollars for…

Joe Torre, Role Model

Philip Weiss on

I just caught Joe Torre’s locker room press conference minutes after the Yankees’ sudden-death 6-5 loss to the Twins, and it was amazing. It’s only the beginning of the season and it was like someone had died. Torre was stricken,…

Dissing Jackie Robinson

Philip Weiss on

ESPN celebrated Jackie Robinson day by having no blacks at the desk for Baseball Tonight. 0-4. The oversight was especially glaring because minutes before the network had (re)aired its splendid documentary on the high school career of black basketball player…

Avocado in the Fridge

Philip Weiss on

Does half an avocado last longer if you leave the pit in it?

The Crisis, and the Liberal Intolerants

Philip Weiss on

In the last few days it’s come home to me (a little late!) that we are in a deepening crisis. Have to hand it to you left wing alarmists, you were way ahead of me. My late wake-up call was…

The God That Failed

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After Peter Jennings’s death I made the Pepsi switch to NBC because Brian Williams seems real and knows how to turn a phrase. Tonight, though, he lost me with a report on a movie about Flight 93, a movie in…

Colin Powell, Profile in Cowardice

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At a speech at the Middle East Institute yesterday, Colin Powell’s former chief of staff Col. Larry Wilkerson described Dick Cheney as a dangerous “paranoid,” the most powerful vice president in history, a man whose world view was locked in…

Passover Guilt

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I went home for Passover yesterday and felt guilty. I feel close to my family but little closeness to my tribe. I am less Jewish than I have ever been, and certain statements I have made in the last year,…

Iraq: Admit It’s a Complete Failure

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Without getting straight to the Out-Now question, it seems obvious that everyone would be better off if the Bushies admitted the plain reality right now, The war is a giant failure. Misconceived, misguided, mis-everything’d—whatever, it isn’t working at all. (And…

(Alleged!) Extortion at the Post

Philip Weiss on

The Times is confused about the scandal at the Post. On the one hand, it regards it as titillating gossip. Thus the montage of gossipy photos and the nut-graf dismissing the story as the gossip that everyone is buzzing about….

A Shot Away

Philip Weiss on

On the subject of the Clash of Civilizations, consider this. The Rolling Stones played China after censoring five songs (including Brown Sugar and Beast of Burden). Why no hullaballoo over Chinese censorship? The Chinese are just as perplexing and alien…

Clash of Civilizations

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The introduction of Playboy Magazine in Indonesia demonstrates an important point about the Islamic world. You’ll see that the article notes that the magazine is fifty years behind the American edition in terms of what it shows—not even nipples. The…