There's a new book out that, due to its subject matter, is certain to attract the interest of many a Monitor reader. Be warned, however, that the book in question - "Irreconcilable Differences" The Waning of the American Jewish Love Affair with Israel? - is a truly awful piece of work, hardly worth the time and effort of anyone who doesn't get paid to review such a wretched endeavor.
Would it be a tad tasteless for the Monitor to break into a hearty chorus of 'Ding Dong, the Witch Is Dead' at the welcome news that Deborah Sontag is soon to vacate her post as New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief?
There's a certain maxim among media critics (and if there isn't, the Monitor just coined it) that goes like this: If all seems right in the world of journalism, you probably haven't opened up that day's New York Times.
Still dining out on the praise it garnered during the Gulf War a long decade ago, CNN (derided in its formative years as the 'Chicken Noodle Network' for its then ticky-tacky image and more recently as the 'Clinton News Network' for its unabashed infatuation with the former president) has for some time now been arguably the nation's most overrated news outlet.
The Monitor usually answers letters and e-mails privately, but sometimes a public response seems more appropriate, as the following three queries illustrate.
Harper's, the literary magazine founded in 1850 and celebrated in its early years for featuring the works of Herman Melville, Henry James and Mark Twain, has for most of its history been an insomniac's delight - a snooze-inducing bore found mainly in the waiting rooms of doctors who hope to impress patients with a little bit of culture-by-association.