Media, Politics

MoDo Shows You How Not To Write a Transition

Once, Maureen Dowd was a very insightful, acerbic columnist for The New York Times.


In today’s column, she attempts to use a timely story – the death of Robin Williams, no less – as an attention-getting device. Not a bad way to get your audience’s attention, unless you follow it up with this:

So when I think of Williams, I think of (Michael) Kelly. And when I think of Kelly, I think of Hillary (Clinton), because Michael was the first American reporter to die in the Iraqi invasion, and Hillary Clinton was one of 29 Democratic senators who voted to authorize that baloney war.

MoDo’s has a bit of a Clinton fixation, and some of her criticism is warranted.  But for the love of Strunk and White, how the hell do you justify using Robin Williams’ death as an opening to that piece? 

To borrow a phrase from Charlie Pierce, the mind, it boggles. 

Life, Media, Politics

Protecting Your Data in The United States of Secrets

Tonight’s FRONTLINE presentation is the definition of must-see broadcast journalism. (Watch it  online here.) Everything we do via the Internet is collected by the NSA in the name of national security. Not only does this raise questions of violating the Fourth Amendment, but the NSA hasn’t collected one bit of data responsible for stopping any recent terrorist activity in the USA.

Not one.

How can we protect our data? Check out this FRONTLINE podcast with two privacy experts:


Life, Media, Pop Culture

57 (give or take a couple hundred) Channels and Nothin’ On

Bruce Springsteen was right when he penned “57 Channels and Nothin’ On” a couple decades ago. Fast forward 20+ years, and we have hundreds of channels to choose from, whether we watch them via cable, streaming, or DVR. More choices, right? Better for the consumer, yes?

Not so fast. Ninety percent of what we read, watch, or listen to is provided by a whopping SIX corporations. Check it out.

media consolidation

Education, Media, Politics

Care about public schools? Watch The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Tonight!

Special guest: Diane Ravitch, author of  Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools. It’s the definitive work on the current state of public education and what we must do to stop the “reformers” from ruining it.

Set your DVR. Share it with a friend. Call or email your state legislator (especially if she’s a former student and in charge of the MI House Education Committee) and tell her to watch.

Education, Media

Pinch Me! Education Nation is Next Week!

NBC’s annual take down of public schools and promotion of privatization Education Nation “summit” begins next week. I can’t wait to see the list of prominent educators who will lead this crucial discussion!

Tony Bennett! (The singer, not the yahoo who screwed up Indiana’s schools.)

David “Architect of the Common Core” Coleman!

Secretary of Education Arne “I’ve Never Taught a Day in My Life” Duncan!

Goldie Hawn!

after earth
The man responsible for this monstrosity is now an education “expert.”

and M. Night Shamalama-Ding-Dong! (Okay, Shyamalan.)

How many elementary, middle, and high school teachers? None. Old singers? One. Old actors? One. Lame movie directors? One.

Anyone with teaching experience? Other than college professors, not really.

How about Diane Ravitch? She’s got to be there, right? Nope. She was first invited to sit in the audience, then received an actual invite TODAY to participate in one discussion on testing. The nation’s preeminent education historian was invited to just one event, and that came after loads of emails sent in protest.

A summit implies climbing upward. Education Nation will take the most crucial topic of our time and send it in a downward spiral.