Bearing Arms: [New York Times] Articles in this series examine the gun industry’s influence and the wide availability of firearms in America. [more inside]
"Look, goddamn it, I’m homosexual, and most of my friends are Jewish homosexuals, and some of my best friends are black homosexuals, and I am sick and tired of reading and hearing such goddamn demeaning, degrading bullshit about me and my friends." - Merle Miller.In 1970, two years after Stonewall, Joseph Epstein wrote a cover story for Harper’s Magazine, Homo/hetero: The struggle for sexual identity, that came to chilling conclusions: "I would wish homosexuality off the face of this earth." His incendiary language prompted author/journalist/writer Merle Miller to come out of the closet in the New York Times Magazine, with an angry and poignant plea for dignity, understanding and respect: "What It Means to Be a Homosexual." 40 years later, that essay helped inspire the launch of the "It Gets Better" campaign. Via [more inside]
The New York Times Public Editor asks "Should the Times Be a Truth Vigilante?" As of this writing, 98% of registered commenters are saying (often in all-caps) "Yes".
Anatomy of a Stump Speech. The NY Times has been killing it of late with interactive features. This one is particularly good -- an annotated breakdown of the text and video of Republican stump speeches by four candidates. "Revisionist history alert: Mr. Gingrich is recasting his tempestuous tenure as House speaker..."
[archaic tech filter] Foreign correspondents and reporters in the field at the New York Times say goodbye to the paper of record's recording room.
"I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story..." President Bush really did not want journalists to reveal his NSA spying program against Americans [discussed here.] And in yesterday's rare press conference, the President said: "An open debate about law would say to the enemy, 'Here's what we're going to do.' And this is an enemy which adjusts... Any public hearings on programs will say to the enemy, 'Here's what they do. Adjust.' This is a war." Neocon guru William Kristol argues that talk of Bush being an "imperial" president" is "demagogic" and "irresponsible" since "Congress has the right and the ability to judge whether President Bush has in fact used his executive discretion soundly." What is the role of "open debate" in a war against terror that may last for decades?
The mention of Benedict Arnold was inadvertent. Just caught a fun piece on NPR about 'Kill Duck Before Serving', a collection of notable corrections printed in The New York Times. Miscaptioned photos, famously bad journalist math (how many bras?), and transcription gaffes ('veteran,' not 'Bedouin'). Great stuff, whether you love or hate the 'paper of record.' One gem: "A caption in Business Day with an article about the National Bank of Kuwait mistranslated the Arabic script of the bank symbol. It says, 'National Bank of Kuwait' [not 'There is no god but Allah']." The Times regrets the error.