Charles Pierce thinks the campaign against ISIS may cause a spike in the national “derangement” that started on 9/11, and Jonathan Chait sees neoconservatives making the same mistakes now as they did more than a decade ago: “The hysterical threat assessment, the simplistic conflation of mutually antagonistic strains of Islam, and the complete lack of concern for the possibility of overreach.”
New York Magazine
Don’t look now, but there may be a Paul Ryan scandal, or at least a scandalette, and in this context New York magazine blogger Jonathan Chait is both Woodward and Bernstein. In a Monday post, Chait related that Ryan, in the newsmagazine The Week, had named his “six favorite books about economics and democracy,” and that the “huge omission” from the list was Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, which Ryan has so often praised to the skies.
Chait remarked that Ryan appears to be backing away from his politically problematic Randian makers/takers rhetoric and readopting a previous persona: “The new Ryan looks like the Bush-era version, with lots of giving to the rich without all the taking from the poor.”
Breaking news: next year’s CPAC will be sponsored exclusively by Ivory soap, Purell, Lysol, Pine-Sol, and Mr. Clean.
OK, not really, but the joke is based on New York magazine blogger Jonathan Chait’s assertion in a Thursday post that the “hygenic impulse” -- or, as the post’s headline puts it, the “cleanliness fetish” -- of conservatives “helps explain the primal character of the right’s Obamacare hate — its obsession with ‘full repeal,’ a way of conceiving the issue that transcends any specific analysis of policy and instead calls to mind the expunging of a toxin.”
“ABC Family” is a network that isn’t for the safe, “family-friendly” shows. On the contrary, they love edgy shows like any other network. They created “The Fosters” to show a positive image of a lesbian couple – one black, one white – and now the lesbians have had an abortion – but only to save the life of the mother.
Margaret Lyons of New York magazine’s Vulture blog was impressed in a post headlined "How 'The Fosters' Tackled TV's Biggest Taboo":
New York magazine political writer Jonathan Chait isn’t a big fan of reform conservatives, but he did comment in a Sunday post that their “worldview,” unlike that of the Republican base, isn’t expressed as “a series of furious scrawlings on mental chalkboards.” (Presumably, Chait figures that the reformicons favor a crisp PowerPoint presentation.)
Chait lauds the reformers for implicitly rejecting the “apocalypticism” of movement conservatives, which holds, in his words, “that Barack Obama’s agenda poses a dire threat to the fabric of American life, that a reversal must be sweeping in its scope and undertaken immediately.”
On Friday's Morning Joe program, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough complained about the absence of media attention to the fact that IRS commissioner John Koskinen, in charge of an organization currently embroiled in an investigation into whether it has unfairly targeted conservative groups during the Obama administration, is himself a "big Democratic donor" who has donated to President Barack Obama twice and, over the years, almost $100,000 to various Democrats.
Regular panel members Mark Halperin of Time magazine and John Heilemann of New York magazine joined in as Scarborough called out the New York Times in particular and imagined how the Times would have reacted if the roles had been reversed during the George W. Bush administration. Scarborough asked:
Hillary Clinton is touring to promote her State Department memoir “Hard Choices,” but most of the news she’s made along the way relates to her personal finances, not her tenure in Foggy Bottom. On Tuesday, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait examined Hillary’s “dead broke” comment and other recent remarks and revelations about the Clintons’ money with an eye toward whether or not they’ll hamper her presumed presidential campaign.
Chait opined that while some of the Clintons’ “buckraking” constitutes “both a problem of perception and a problem of substance,” Hillary nonetheless has two big economic things going for her heading into 2016: voters’ memories of the strong economy during Bill’s presidency, and the near-certainty that if she becomes the nominee, her opponent will represent “a Republican Party still wedded to the upward redistribution of income as its central policy goal.”
So-called reform conservatives such as David Frum, Michael Gerson, and Ramesh Ponnuru often get relatively favorable attention from liberal journalists -- relative, that is, to Tea Party types, which in turn reinforces the Tea Party's belief that the reformers aren't really conservatives.
Two lefty pundits recently examined the state of reform conservatism. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne penned an article for the spring issue of the quarterly Democracy in which he analyzed the work of certain reformers and discussed how they might pull the Republican party toward the center. He also denounced the GOP's current message discipline in the service of its supposedly extremist agenda -- or, as Dionne put it, "the right’s version of political correctness."
Frank Rich, the cultural leftist that used to write Broadway reviews and then opinion columns for The New York Times, writes for New York magazine now. He’s just launched a new 4,000-word opus on the question “Can Conservatives Be Funny?” His cheeky verdict? The free market says no.
Spurred into this task by Rush Limbaugh’s attack on rising CBS late-night star Stephen Colbert, Rich had to admit it’s a desert out there. “Conservative comedy is hard to find on television once you get past the most often cited specimen, Dennis Miller.” Indeed, some Americans haven’t figured out that Colbert’s satirizing a conservative moron.
Memorial Day should be observed by honoring the men and women in the military who have fallen for America. New York Magazine has found another way of observing the Memorial Day Weekend while at the same time pushing a certain political agenda. They have invaded the privacy of World War II servicemen and their families by publishing nude photographs of them: 10 Intimate Photographs of World War II Soldiers in the Buff.
Writer Christopher Bonanos can barely contain his excitement over the photos as he practically drools over himself while eagerly pushing a socio/political agenda at a time when those who have fallen should be honored:
Former New York Times columnist Frank Rich wrote a long attack piece on Fox News for New York magazine theorizing that the Left pays too much attention to “waning” Fox News and gives them too much cachet by opposing them fiercely. It's called "Stop Beating a Dead Fox."
Fox never succeeds on its own. Liberals have the power to make it succeed:
On Friday's CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose and Norah O'Donnell refreshingly departed from their usual softball treatment of liberal guests, and pursued New York magazine's Gabriel Sherman about his new biography of Fox News's Roger Ailes. O'Donnell spotlighted how "critics...[are] saying...you're a younger, liberal-leaning journalist."
Both anchors also hounded Sherman for a political accusation in the very title of the bio – The Loudest Voice in the Room: How The Brilliant Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News – and Divided A Country: [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]