At sunset, the Israeli military begins to pound Gaza from the air, land and sea. Flares illuminate the northern and eastern parts of the Strip. The bombardment is continuous, the most intense of the 10 day assault. The Wafaa hospital in the east—that houses disabled patients—comes under heavy attack and is partially evacuated.
Then the news breaks. Israel has launched a ground invasion. They are coming in. The first time since the brutal 2008-2009 assault that left over 1,300 dead. The power goes out and Gaza is plunged into darkness as 1.8 million Palestinians brace for more violence.
This article might be overstating the case a bit, but Thompson’s early work (some of which is collected in The Great Shark Hunt) is pretty great, and it’s certainly much better than the stuff he was writing towards the end of his life, which was almost completely devoid of insight (except for his piece on 9/11, in which he forecasted the war on terror with alarming accuracy).
Check out Julia Ioffe’s recent work at The New Republic:
Ioffe is as good as it gets when it comes to translating the baffling world of Russian politics for an American audience.
Why does The Daily Beast refer to David Miranda as Glenn Greenwald’s “lover,” instead of “partner?” They link to an Al-Jazeera America article that uses the term “partner” so why the change in terminology? “Partner” obviously has more serious connotations and given the severity of Miranda’s situation, that’s clearly the appropriate word to use.
This isn’t the first time I’ve scratched my head after seeing something on The Daily Beast but degrading the relationship between Greenwald and Miranda with the term “lover” irritates the hell out of me (for whatever reason).
Update: As I wrote this, The Daily Beast changed the headline to “partner” and apologized for the error. Apparently I’m not the only one bothered by such things.
NBC News has posted this gem of a headline, "Pot Fuels Surge In Drugged Driving Deaths." Like every good story, it leads with a compelling anecdote—in this case, someone who was killed by a stoned driver. Then it cites the following statistics:
As medical marijuana sales expanded into 20 states, legal weed was detected in the bodies of dead drivers three times more often during 2010 when compared to those who died behind the wheel in 1999, according to a new study from Columbia University published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
“The trend suggests that marijuana is playing an increased role in fatal crashes,” said Dr. Guohua Li, a co-author and director of the Center for Injury Epidemiology and Prevention at Columbia University Medical Center. The researchers examined data from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), spanning more than 23,000 drivers killed during that 11-year period.
But wait! Buried towards the bottom of the article are these statistics:
A separate study — also based on FARS data — found that in states where medical marijuana was approved, traffic fatalities decrease by as much as 11 percent during the first year after legalization. Written by researchers at the University of Colorado, Oregon and Montana State University, the paper was published in 2013 in the Journal of Law & Economics.
Those authors theorized pot, for some, becomes a substitute for alcohol. They cited a recent, 13-percent drop in drunk-driving deaths in states where medical marijuana is legal.
“Marijuana reform is associated with … a decrease in traffic fatalities, most likely due to its impact on alcohol consumption,” said Michael Elliott, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, a trade association in Colorado.
So there’s an increase in marijuana-related crashes in states with some form of legalized pot, but there’s also a corresponding decrease in alcohol-related crashes. The net result is a decrease in the overall number of traffic fatalities. Yet NBC still chose to run a headline that, without context, suggests that legal pot is leading to more traffic fatalities, which it is not. The opposite is in fact true.
Most people aren’t going to dig to the bottom of the article to get this important contextual information. Instead, they’ll see the headline, read the first couple paragraphs, and the message they’ll get is that legal pot is increasing the number of traffic fatalities—without realizing that legal pot has actually reduced traffic fatalities overall.
Presenting the story in this manner is irresponsible. The headline is misleading, as are the initial supporting paragraphs. A lot of people are going to walk away from this article with the wrong message because NBC presented it in a poor fashion. And now, we get to listen to anti-pot crusaders tell us about how legal pot activists have blood on their hands, despite the fact that legal pot hasn’t actually increased the number of people dying in traffic fatalities. It has actually reduced them. And if this story leads people in battleground states to vote against legalized pot, it will be NBC that has blood on its hands, not legalization activists.
Comment left on Conor Friedersdorf’s article When Misogynist Trolls Make Journalism Miserable for Women, which is itself a response to this stunning piece by Amanda Hess.
Journalist Dana Goldstein responded to Hess’s piece on Twitter this morning, writing that “when a white supremacist site published my photo, I got weeks of anti-semitic rape threats. It was terrifying. And at the time (2008), my male editors did not seem to understand why it was real-world scary, not just Internet weird.”
Male journalists and bloggers should probably be more aware of the additional layer of vitriol that is often present in hateful comments directed at female writers. Not only are women subject to abuse because of what they think, they’re also vulnerable to violent threats because of who they are. This is a problem that most straight, white, male journalists simply never encounter.
1801: Alexander Hamilton and his Federalist cohorts found the Post. Its commitment to abolitionism and its much-lauded reporting garner praise from, among others, the great liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill.
2013: A Post photographer stakes out a woman’s apartment all night in order to acquire proof that she and Eliot Spitzer are “shacking up.”
Methinks the Washington Post would benefit from updating their op-ed page to the 21st century.