The common lament from the smugly high-minded is that the media’s fascination with polls gives too much weight to the horse race aspect of a campaign, at the expense of the important and weighty discussions of policy for which voters presumably hunger. The Monitor says: Give us more of the horse race!
Americans never seem to tire of Richard Nixon, the man who strode the nation’s political stage for three decades, as congressman, senator, vice president and president, only to see his career come crashing down when his involvement in the Watergate scandal led to his resignation – the only U.S. president to so step down – in order to avoid certain impeachment.
There is a place for what Hunter Thompson called “Gonzo journalism,” but it isn’t a wire service news report, where the ancient Five Ws are still appropriate.
The Monitor often is asked for an example of a news story that exhibits such blatant bias it astounds even a jaded observer of the mainstream media. Such a story appeared in the March 29, 2006 edition of The New York Times, on the occasion of the passing of Lyn Nofziger, longtime aide to Ronald Reagan.
Why have the media for the most part been so reluctant to expose the long documented fringe positions – including a clear and deep animus toward Israel – articulated by Texas congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul?
Thomas Friedman, the New York Times foreign affairs columnist, proved once again last week that despite his non-stop insistence that he has Israel’s best interests at heart, he relishes nothing more than slinging mud at Israel and its most vocal American supporters.
As I was saying… With apologies to the late Jack Paar, who uttered those words his first night back as host of the old “Tonight Show” after a three-week absence in 1960, the Monitor returns this week after its own little hiatus.
As we mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, it would be instructive to look back at the early reactions to the atrocity on the part of some prominent leftists. It's become something of a mantra on the left that the whole world initially sympathized with the U.S., and that America's image was so irredeemably tarnished only after the evil warmonger George W. Bush trashed the Constitution and sent the American military off to slaughter innocent Muslims in the interests of Halliburton and other capitalist behemoths.
If you're a conservative who's tired of the increasingly cartoonish yawping coming from the Limbaughs and Hannitys and Savages of talk radio, you might want to check out Michael Medved's nationally syndicated program (heard in the New York area on WNYM 970 from 3-5 p.m. weekdays and 3-6 a.m. Sundays).
The last couple of columns, both of which focused on Jewish voting habits in presidential elections, inspired some spirited responses from readers.
Two weeks ago, in a column on Jewish voting patterns, the Monitor pointed to the 1984 electionas evidence "that a Republican presidential candidate, whether incumbent or challenger and no matter how strong his record on Israel, will always lose among Jewish voters when the alternative is a liberal Democrat without any pronounced or well-known hostility to Israel."
A Gallup poll released last week showed Barack Obama maintaining a strong level of Jewish support. The poll sparked yet another round of newspaper stories and web articles on whether the Republicans have any hope of even a respectable showing among Jews in the 2012 presidential election.
In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks on America, Uri Avnery, the ancient icon of the Israeli Left, a bitter old fool who serves as living refutation of the belief that wisdom is an inevitable byproduct of old age, placed the blame squarely on the U.S. and its support of Israel.
Every few years at around this time the Monitor reflects on how perceptions have changed so drastically regarding Israel's massive victory in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Two days after the 9/11 attacks, CNN and Time magazine released a joint poll asking whether the U.S. should declare war. Sixty-two percent of respondents said yes. Asked whom war should be declared against, 61 percent said they didn't know.
From the reaction of many on the liberal/left to the controversy over CUNY's granting an honorary degree to playwright Tony Kushner, one sees yet again just how unremarkable and acceptible the most virulent views of Israel have become, even - perhaps especially - among Jews.
Last week we noted that with the recent brouhaha over Judge Richard Goldstone's backtracking on the most sensational charge leveled against Israel in his 2009 report to the UN, "much has been made of the damage done by that document to Israel's standing in the court of international opinion."
With Judge Richard Goldstone's recent sort-of recantation of the most incendiary charge leveled against Israel in the 2009 report to the United Nations that will forever bear his name, much has been made of the damage done by that document to Israel's standing in the court of international public opinion.
Though he had more than his share of detractors during and after his years as managing and then executive editor of The New York Times, can there be any doubt that the paper began its precipitous and still ongoing decline the moment A.M. Rosenthal was forced, by company policy, to retire in 1986 at age 65?
Sarah Palin sure makes it hard for those who care about Israel to dismiss her out of hand. On her brief visit to Israel last week she said the kinds of things one expects to hear from passionate Israel activists at meetings and rallies, not from politicians - even those with stellar pro-Israel credentials - concerned with appearing wise and judicious and nuanced and even-handed.
The last time the Monitor listed some worthwhile websites and blogs it was back in the fall of 2009. So consider this listing a "Best of 2010/2011."
Last week's column, on the declining popularity of several of talk radio's most prominent conservative hosts, seems to have ruffled more than few feathers. Even some readers who in the past have agreed with the Monitor virtually down the line took issue this time - but, interestingly enough, not on the subject of talk radio hosts.
The interview with John Batchelor on the front page of this week's Jewish Press should clarify, for anyone who still doesn't get it, why Batchelor's show is thriving while many of talk radio's erstwhile Big Names suffer declining ratings.
Our column week before last, "No Hate Like Liberal Hate," drew a number of interesting responses from readers, many of whom submitted their own favorite morsels of liberal hate speech. A few noted that for many years Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby devoted a column every December to the year's most egregious examples of liberal hate.
Ronald Reagan, who would have been 100 this past Sunday, had an instinctive affinity for Jews and Israel. As an actor who spent decades in the heavily Jewish environment of Hollywood and who counted scores of Jews among his friends and colleagues, he moved easily in pro-Israel circles. Both as a private citizen and as governor of California he was a familiar sight and a favored speaker at various functions for Israel.