December 16, 2005
Things Were "More Secure" Under Communism
"Now, the westerners are unhappy because the disappearance of all that money is seen as the root of Germany's economic stagnation and high unemployment. The easterners are notoriously unhappy because life is less secure than it used to be under Communism, and, as this cycle continues, the westerners are irritated that the easterners are unhappy." -Richard Bernstein reporting from Berlin, December 6.
"Conservative" Andrew Sullivan? Since When?
"To torture or not? In the Dec. 5 issue of the conservative Weekly Standard, Charles Krauthammer argued for the legalization of torture under strictly limited conditions, and criticized Senator John McCain's proposal to ban all 'cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment' of detainees by American soldiers and intelligence operatives. Cue the firestorm - fanned in part by Andrew Sullivan, also a conservative, who replied in the most recent issue of The New Republic, where he is senior editor." - Sidebar to a December 11 Week in Review piece.
Let's Hope That's Just a Typo
"Some critics wonder whether Mr. Romero would today defend the right of neo-Nazis to march through the heavily Jewish city of Skokie, Ill. - a 1997 action that strained the A.C.L.U.'s financial resources." - From Stephanie Strom's December 8 front-page story. The march occurred in 1977.
"Substantial Truth" to Left-Wing Claims of "Republican Duplicity."
"Nonetheless, the deeper message of Hacker and Pierson's book will no doubt resonate with a lot of readers - the idea that Republicans win elections by manipulating the electoral system and misrepresenting their policies, so that voters are unable to understand what they're voting for. There is substantial truth to most of Hacker and Pierson's claims about Republican tactics. But is this duplicity really the sole reason, or even the main one, that so many moderate voters continue to help elect conservatives?" - Contributing writer Matt Bai reviewing the left-wing book "Off Center - The Republican Revolution and the Erosion of American Democracy" for the December 11 Book Review.
"Sudden and Thorough Tarnishing" of Bush Credibility in Europe
"Indeed, it would be hard to imagine a more sudden and thorough tarnishing of the Bush administration's credibility than the one taking place here right now. There have been too many reports in the news media about renditions - including one involving an Lebanese-born German citizen, Khaled el-Masri, kidnapped in Macedonia in December 2003 and imprisoned in Afghanistan for several months on the mistaken assumption that he was an associate of the Sept. 11 hijackers - for blanket disclaimers of torture to be widely believed." - Richard Bernstein following Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Europe, December 7.
Sins of the Father?
"Mel Gibson, whose 'Passion of the Christ' was assailed by some critics as an anti-Semitic passion play - and whose father has been on record as a Holocaust denier - has a new project under way: a nonfiction mini-series for television about the Holocaust." - From the "Inside Box" on the December 7 front page.
Bush Talks About the Economy As Soldiers Die
"As he went before the cameras in the Rose Garden on Friday morning, President Bush was aware of bad news that had not yet been made public: that 10 marines had been killed by a bomb in Iraq. But he made no mention of the attack, sticking to the sunny White Houses message of the day that the economy is strong and the outlook 'as bright as it's been in a long time.' For an administration that has been beset by trouble, it was a classic effort to change the subject, and one that could be justified, up to a point, by the facts." - White House reporter Richard Stevenson in a December 3 story that carried the online headline "Bush Did Not Mention Attacks in Rose Garden Appearance."
The "Contrarian" Anti-American Defending Hussein
"In Defending Hussein, an American Contrarian Seeks to Set the Historical Record Straight." - The headline over a December 6 John Burns profile of LBJ Attorney General turned anti-American activist and Saddam Hussein supporter Ramsey Clark.
"When Even Supply-Siders Say Taxes Must Rise, an Unpopular Policy Looks Inevitable." - Headline to an Eduardo Porter story, December 5.