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'Mostly Peacefully' Means 'Somewhat Violently' at the Times

Plus: "Crackpot" columnist Timothy Egan lambastes "lunatic magnet" Arizona, Linda Greenhouse attacks Arizona's "police state" with Nazi comparison, and Times columnists find bright spots in massive Gulf Oil spill
'Mostly Peacefully' Means 'Somewhat Violently' at the New York Times

"As hundreds of demonstrators massed, mostly peacefully, at the capitol plaza, the governor, speaking at a state building a few miles away, said the law 'represents another tool for our state to use as we work to solve a crisis we did not create and the federal government has refused to fix.'" - From Randal Archibold's April 24 story on a rally for illegal immigrants.

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"Three people were arrested during the immigration rally at the state capitol Friday afternoon. Two were arrested after they were seen throwing water bottles at police, according to a news release from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the state police agency." - From Sheryl Kornman's April 24 story for KGUN9-TV in Phoenix.




Author of Limbaugh Bio Accused of 'Stockholm Syndrome'

It appears that the price of access to Mr. Limbaugh for 'Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One' has been the purging of any details that might pique him. Quotations are truncated in ways that make them softer, and the boosterism has been boosted....Mr. Chafets shoos unwanted facts and individuals out of the way relentlessly, in accordance with what seems like a case of Stockholm syndrome. - Janet Maslin's May 24 review of Zev Chafets biography of Rush Limbaugh.




Krugman's Gratified Media Finally Recognizing Republican Extremism

"News organizations have taken notice: suddenly, the takeover of the Republican Party by right-wing extremists has become a story....Many on the left argue, instead, that it's about race, the shock of having a black man in the White House - and there's surely something to that. But I'd like to offer two alternative hypotheses: First, Republican extremism was there all along - what's changed is the willingness of the news media to acknowledge it. Second, to the extent that the power of the party's extremists really is on the rise, it's the economy, stupid.....So why has the reporting shifted? Maybe it was just deference to power: as long as America was widely perceived as being on the way to a permanent Republican majority, few were willing to call right-wing extremism by its proper name." - Paul Krugman's May 17 column.




Give Blumenthal a Break, He "Usually" Didn't Lie About Serving in Vietnam

"Look, I think Blumenthal is gonna be OK in this. I think of what he did, the occasions where he was loose, is more akin to a guy who, you know, had a few drinks too many at the bar and hit on somebody rather than somebody actually trying to slip a mickey into the girl's drink. I think he was, he got carried away on a story that he usually told in the right away and you know I think it's gonna hurt him. But it's not going to kill him." - Times political writer John Harwood in a May 24 appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," hosted by Joe Scarborough.




So Much for Escapism at the Movies

"You may have heard that Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor, but that was just liberal media propaganda. This Robin is no socialist bandit practicing freelance wealth redistribution, but rather a manly libertarian rebel striking out against high taxes and a big government scheme to trample the ancient liberties of property owners and provincial nobles. Don't tread on him! So is 'Robin Hood' one big medieval tea party? Kind of, though that description makes the movie sound both more fun and more provocative than it actually is." - From chief movie critic A. O. Scott's May 14 review of "Robin Hood."




Influential Editor Sam Tanenhaus: "Extremist" Conservatives Out of Ideas

"But, yes, there are no serious ideas left on the right. We see who the great idea people are, the ones who pretend to be - Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and all the rest. This is about as good as it's getting now, so they don't have a Buckley or an Irving Kristol or someone like that to call them out. Some - there's another difference too, Rachel. People like Buckley and Kristol thought part of the job of conservatism was to persuade serious liberals, if not to agree with them, at least to rethink their own ideas, to raise the level of discourse. That's not what the extremists do." - Times Book Review and Week in Review editor Sam Tanenhaus, author of the 2009 book "The Death of Conservatism," in a conversation with Rachel Maddow on her MSNBC show, April 26.




Democrats Never Nominate Real Liberals to the Supreme Court?

"The selection of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be the nation's 112th justice extends a quarter-century pattern in which Republican presidents generally install strong conservatives on the Supreme Court while Democratic presidents pick candidates who often disappoint their liberal base. Ms. Kagan is certainly too liberal for conservatives, who quickly criticized her nomination on Monday as a radical threat. But much like every other Democratic nominee since the 1960s, she does not fit the profile sought by the left, which hungers for a full-throated counterweight to the court's conservative leader, Justice Antonin Scalia." - Reporter Peter Baker, May 11.




Sports Columnist Worries Baseball All-Stars Face Danger in Arizona

"The fear is real that anybody in Arizona, any athlete, anybody of color, could get hauled in by the shoe posse. Speaking as somebody with relatives of various hues and backgrounds, I wouldn't want them going to Arizona during the current time of the troubles. I also worry about the health of the ballplayers. If any All-Stars feel the Arizona Flu coming on, they should lie down and rest." - Sports columnist George Vecsey, May 8.



Columnists Find Bright Spot in Massive Gulf Oil Spill

"Polls show that the country as a whole has lost a lot of its passion for environmental issues. Maybe the oil spill will bring it back. That'd be one bright spot in all this mess." - Columnist Gail Collins May 5 online "conversation" with fellow columnist David Brooks.

"Yeah. I really think this is an opportunity. The President has really got to decide how am I going to deal with this spill? Does he really just want to end the oil spill? Of course he wants to do that. Or does he actually want to give birth to a new energy system that will end our addiction to oil." - Columnist Thomas Friedman on ABC's "Good Morning America" May 6.

"If there's any silver lining to the disaster in the gulf, it is that it may serve as a wake-up call, a reminder that we need politicians who believe in good government, because there are some jobs only the government can do." - Columnist Paul Krugman, May 10.



The "Far Right" Tea Party Movement

"And just as Mr. Obama has ratcheted up his own populist attacks against corporate self-interest and Wall Street's return to business as usual, so did Roosevelt become more vocally populist as re-election neared and he faced demagogic opposition. That included the likes of Senator Huey Long of Louisiana, the radio broadcaster Father Charles Coughlin and a domestic Communist Party making inroads on the left, much like the Tea Party movement today on the far right." - Washington reporter Jackie Calmes, May 4.




It's Still All Reagan's Fault

"Ronald Reagan, of course, brought us back to the efficient-market hypothesis with its faith in laissez-faire - a faith embraced, to one degree or another, by all of Reagan's successors as well. Who needs government oversight when markets correct themselves, they agreed, and so they stood by as regulations disappeared or were canceled. Even the Obama administration, seeking to revive regulation, has not easily shaken off the old faith in markets - and '13 Banker' needles the president's team on this point." - Excerpt from an April 25 Book Review by former economics reporter Louis Uchitelle.




Oil Spill "Not Obama's Katrina" - It's His 9/11

"No, the gulf oil spill is not Obama's Katrina. It's his 9/11 - and it is disappointing to see him making the same mistake George W. Bush made with his 9/11. Sept. 11, 2001, was one of those rare seismic events that create the possibility to energize the country to do something really important and lasting that is too hard to do in normal times. President Bush's greatest failure was not Iraq, Afghanistan or Katrina. It was his failure of imagination after 9/11 to mobilize the country to get behind a really big initiative for nation-building in America." - Columnist Thomas Friedman, May 19.




"Crackpot" Columnist on "Lunatic Magnet" Arizona

"But for all its diversity of land and people, Arizona is also a lunatic magnet....The crackpot laws owe their genesis to the crackpots who dominate Republican politics, who in turn cannot get elected without the backing of crackpot media." - Former reporter Timothy Egan in his April 28 nytimes.com column.




Soda, Wall Street Just Like Tobacco

"Someday, we will probably look back on our gallon-a-week soda habit the way we now look back on allowing children to ride without seat belts or listening to doctors who endorsed Camel cigarettes. We will wonder what we were thinking." - Economics writer David Leonhardt in his May 19 column.


"Should average Americans think about big Wall Street institutions the way that some have come to think about tobacco companies, that is, companies whose core activities are harmful to the country?" - Times political writer John Harwood in an interview with Obama that aired on NBC's Today Show April 22.




Linda Greenhouse Attacks Arizona's 'Police State,' Makes Nazi Comparison

"I'm glad I've already seen the Grand Canyon. Because I'm not going back to Arizona as long as it remains a police state, which is what the appalling anti-immigrant bill that Gov. Jan Brewer signed into law last week has turned it into....So what to do in the meantime? Here's a modest proposal. Everyone remembers the wartime Danish king who drove through Copenhagen wearing a Star of David in support of his Jewish subjects. It's an apocryphal story, actually, but an inspiring one. Let the good people of Arizona - and anyone passing through - walk the streets of Tucson and Phoenix wearing buttons that say: I Could Be Illegal." - Former Supreme Court reporter Linda Greenhouse in an April 26 column on Arizona's new anti-illegal immigration law.




NYT Executive Editor Uses Book Review to Call Murdoch 'Corrosive'

"By the time of his death, in 1967, that consensus had been torn asunder, and today there is no vehicle, no voice with the coherent power of Luce's magazines in their heyday. The last of his breed of media tycoon is a 79-year-old Australian billionaire whose impact has been more corrosive than cohesive." - Executive Editor Bill Keller, in his April 25 Sunday Book Review of a biography of publisher Henry Luce.