Monday, September 29, 2003


Whenever I come across plastic and slimey kindofish (sic) characters: bullies at work, or cowards in print; bashers pregnant women in the safety of their homes, or liars around the parliamentary bar..., this saying tends to commits itself in my mind: The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in times of comfort, but where he stands in time of challenge and controversy.
-King (Martin Luther)

So True Cowards & Crowds
GAS BAG, EH? Someone called Norman Finkelstein says
In contrast to bursting windbags like Vaclav Havel, Hitchens is too smart to take his vaporizings seriously.
This is a former Marxist, but very much a member of the implacable left. Oppose Bush and anyone who defends any of his policies at all costs.
This fashion of hatred for Vaclav Havel among the left is fascinating to me. Must return to this. In terms of practical politics, Havel's a social democrat, really. In principle he's probably close to, say, an American lefty on a range of social issues. But he opposed the Soviets. And this is unforgivable. He opposed the Soviets eloquently (and bravely). Ergo, he is a bursting gasbag. I realize that Havel's worst crime, however, was to support the overthrow of a totalitarian regime in Iraq.
Imagine Finkelstein in Havel's shoes facing a choice between prison and freedom, all based on whether he shuts up or not. He'd fold the very first time he was interrogated and sign anything they put in front of him.
The piece is a rant about Christopher Hitchens, by the way, not Havel. For a good time, read Hitchens' response.
· Hitchens [via Pragueblog]

Friday, September 26, 2003

Expert stresses ethics
There's been a serious erosion of ethics in recent years and it represents a great danger because what is today foreshadows what will be tomorrow.
Corporate wrongdoers were punished swiftly in the 1930s and "being ruined meant something," Bowman said. Today, however, "the mention of business ethics draws a laugh," he said. We as Americans have lost our sense of outrage.

· Outrage lacking over wrongdoing [Daily Mail]

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

Political Fund Raising 

Anyone who is regularly in touch with people who respond instantly and passionately over the Internet knows that they are not like you and me.

Stop the presses! Dean blows up big, thanks to the Internet! It’s a great story, but can Web-based fund-raising really predict the mass market?
In 1970, George Mcgovern, the way-long-shot antiwar candidate, began to experiment with the novel political fund-raising technique of direct mail to finance his unlikely primary race.
This political marketing strategy, according to an article that appeared in New York in September 1972, was the brainchild of Morris Dees, who would become among the most prominent southern liberal activists but who was then the head of a publishing company that sold special-interest books through the mail.

· Fund Raising [NYorker]

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect

As anthropologists began comparing notes on the world's few remaining primitive cultures, they discovered something unexpected. From the most isolated tribal societies in Africa to the most distant islands in the Pacific, people shared essentially the same definition of what is news. They shared the same kind of gossip. They even looked for the same qualities in the messengers they picked to gather and deliver their news. They wanted people who could run swiftly over the next hill, accurately gather information, and engagingly retell it. Historians have pieced together that the same basic news values have held constant through time. Humans have exchanged a similar mix of news . . . throughout history and across cultures, historian Mitchell Stephens has written.
· A hunger for human awareness [Journalism ]

Frankfurt Book Fair 

If you happen to be visiting Frankfurt at the time when the city of books manages to pack every season into a week, please consider stopping by Stand 3.1 C149.
There will be stories which can talk about things that kept going on inside James' and Jozef's heads that few people would be willing to admit to their closest friends - much less publish in a book.

The Frankfurt Book Fair has reported an increase in exhibitor numbers for the year, with 6,420 in total, up by 32 exhibitors from last year.

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