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Posted on: April 26th, 2006InDepth → Monitor
William Sloane Coffin Jr., the left-wing Presbyterian minister who gained notoriety in the 1960’s for his militant antiwar stance and his association and identification with radicals of every stripe while serving as chaplain at Yale University, died April 12 at age 81. The coverage in the mainstream media was almost uniformly laudatory – as it invariably is for those who establish themselves as outspoken critics of the United States.
Posted on: April 19th, 2006InDepth → Monitor
In response to occasional reader inquiries, the Monitor has put together the following list of some worthwhile books on the media, arranged in no particular order. (Though many of the titles are out of print or otherwise hard to come by, most should be available at any decent-sized public library. And thanks to the Internet, even books long out of print are available at surprisingly affordable prices from sites like Amazon and Alibris.)
Posted on: April 5th, 2006InDepth → Monitor
It’s not exactly news that The New York Times editorial page detested Ronald Reagan. But who would have thought that seventeen years after the end of his presidency and nearly two years after his death the Times would still seek to denigrate Reagan’s legacy, on its news pages, in a manner that can only be described as petty and inappropriate?
Posted on: March 29th, 2006InDepth → Monitor
It was a far-fetched scenario as recently as a year ago, but Al Gore is quietly making something of a political comeback. Moderate Democrats who despair that the early frontrunner for their party’s 2008 presidential nomination, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, is likely unelectable, can’t help remembering that Gore won half a million more votes than George W. Bush in 2000. Meanwhile, the party’s base voters, appreciably more to the left than the country at large and angry at what they perceive to be Clinton’s drift to the center, are looking for someone other than her to carry the anti-Bush, antiwar banner.
Posted on: March 22nd, 2006InDepth → Monitor
Judging from the shocked reaction among right-wing bloggers to a paper on U.S.-Israel relations written by professors Stephen Walt of Harvard and John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago and issued this month by Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, one would think the paper’s authors were a couple of unknowns with no discernible paper trail.
Posted on: March 15th, 2006InDepth → Monitor
Jay Bennish, the Colorado teacher who told his class that the U.S. “is probably the single most violent nation on planet earth” and that President Bush’s State of the Union speech “sound[ed] a lot like the things that Adolf Hitler used to say,” was given a relatively free ride by the national news media.
Posted on: March 8th, 2006InDepth → Monitor
He’s the columnist who complained that “Hitler died in 1945, but anti-Hitler hysteria is still going strong”; cautioned against “the excessive moral prestige Jews have in the media and the public square”; whined about “Jews deciding the standards, setting the criteria of humanity”; and observed, in chilling if artful prose, that because Jews “set themselves up as the arbiter, there is, if you’ll pardon the expression, a certain ‘kill the umpire’ impulse.”
Posted on: March 1st, 2006InDepth → Monitor
Yes, another piece on The New York Times – and those who don’t understand why the Times warrants constant scrutiny probably have no business reading a media column in the first place.
Posted on: February 15th, 2006InDepth → Monitor
Readers with long memories are asked to indulge the Monitor's use, for the second time in three years, of a quote about The New York Times from the noted essayist and author Renata Adler. In the introduction to her book Canaries in the Mineshaft (St. Martin's Press, 2001), Adler, herself a Timeswoman many years ago, dismisses the "paper of record" in typically acerbic fashion, encapsulating in a handful of words everything that's gone wrong on West 43rd Street.
Posted on: February 8th, 2006InDepth → Monitor
It’s time again for the Monitor’s latest listing of worthwhile websites and blogs. (As always, there is no particular order to the list; names appearing toward the top are not necessarily more valuable than those closer to the bottom.)
Posted on: January 23rd, 2006InDepth → Monitor
The winner of the Monitor’s second annual Henry Schwarzschild Award for most offensive comments by a Jew in the public spotlight goes to Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League. The prize, which last year went to Israeli uber-leftist Uri Avnery, is awarded to the person who, in the Monitor’s considered opinion, by his or her statements displays a contempt for the Jewish people, a disregard for historical truth, a desire to sup at the table of Israel=s enemies, or who otherwise plays into the hands of the enemies of Jews and Israel.
Posted on: January 18th, 2006InDepth → Monitor
Milton Himmelfarb died earlier this month at age 87, and chances are you never heard of him if, like most Americans, you tend not to be a devotee of intellectual and political journals. But Milton Himmelfarb — Mendy, as he was known to his family — was, by virtue of temperament, history and family, a seminal figure in the development of neoconservatism as one of the country’s most influential political forces.
Posted on: January 11th, 2006InDepth → Monitor
There was no escaping the news of Ariel Sharon’s massive stroke last week. Newspapers, magazines, radio, television, the Internet — all were chock full of breaking stories; backgrounders on Sharon’s life; sound bites from doctors, Israelis, Arabs, Jews in New York, and various Jewish organizational types desperately trying — without much success — to seem even a little bit relevant.
Posted on: January 4th, 2006InDepth → Monitor
NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” has once again inspired dismay among at least some Jewish viewers who feel the line between simple bad taste and outright anti-Semitism was crossed on the Dec. 17 edition of the long-running show.
Posted on: December 14th, 2005InDepth → Monitor
Eugene McCarthy died last week at age 89, and should anyone have been surprised by the highly selective memory demonstrated by many in the media who eulogized the former Minnesota senator best remembered for his 1968 antiwar presidential candidacy?
Posted on: October 26th, 2005InDepth → Monitor
Ten years ago this week, the UN was marking its fiftieth anniversary with a series of events around New York City, including an Oct. 23 invitation-only Lincoln Center concert performed by the New York Philharmonic for a glittering list of dignitaries and diplomats. When Rudy Giuliani spotted Yasir Arafat and his entourage making their way to a private box seat near the stage that evening, the mayor immediately ordered the Palestinian leader off the premises.
Posted on: July 6th, 2005InDepth → Monitor
Tony Kushner and the terrorists he's writing a screenplay about have one thing in common. . . The alarm bells went off like crazy when Steven Spielberg hired Tony Kushner last year to rewrite the script of a movie about Israel's clandestine - and lethal - response to the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Posted on: June 22nd, 2005InDepth → Monitor
The New York Mets will be getting a new stadium in time for the 2009 baseball season if all goes according to plan. Media coverage of the announcement was rather animated for a couple of days - lots of speculation about what the new park might look like and what it might be called - before it was abruptly cut short by news that the Yankees would be moving into a new stadium of their own, also in 2009.
Posted on: May 18th, 2005InDepth → Monitor
There's nothing worse than finding an error of fact in a non-fiction book. It sort of makes the reader wonder whether finishing it is worth the effort. The Monitor has had several such unpleasant moments in recent weeks while perusing books ranging in tone from silly to somber.
Posted on: May 11th, 2005InDepth → Monitor
The Monitor's oft-stated rule of thumb is that when a reporter quotes unnamed sources, those sources invariably buttress the reporter's own viewpoint and agenda. Case in point: James D. Besser, the Washington correspondent for a handful of Jewish newspapers (the New York Jewish Week among them) who for the past several years has lamented the growing ties between members of the Christian Right and pro-Israel activists in the Jewish community.
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