Monday, July 18, 2005
If you read the Washington Post today, your eyes might have widened at this item: "U.S. Says It Did Not Carry Out Plans to Back Iraqis in Election".
The Post's reporter was investigating suggestons in this week's New Yorker by muckraker Sy Hersh that the US covertly meddled ...
Friday, July 15, 2005
To listen to today's edition of "democracy wonk", click here.
Subject: Reaons to let bigoted opinions be heard
On the issue of whether you, as facilitator and host of a talk radio show, should cut off callers who express hateful or bigoted opinions, I believe that you have an obligation to let them express their opnions, and then respond to it in reasonable, intelligent manner. In my opinion there is no truth to the argument that you legitimize someone's opinions by letting them express them publicly - if anything it is quite the contrary.
That's the principled reason. However, from a purely callous entertainment point of view it is even more crucial that you do this. Rupert Murdoch's most talented producers could not have engineered a more dramatic and satisfying 20 minutes than what we heard on WNYC from 11:40 to Noon today.
Subject: Limp wristed liberals
Congratulations. Your last show was exciting, engaging and had all
the intellectual merit of the Geraldo show.
In the interest of having the opportunity to demonstrate your own open-minded viewpoint toward homosexuality, you have turned your excellent show into a forum for bigotry.
No matter how they attempt to dress up their arguments in the trappings of compassion, the anti-gay members of your audience fundamentally are all arguing from a biblical/religious perspective. YOU WILL NEVER CHANGE THEIR MINDS because they argue from faith and scripture rather than logic or conviction.
Subject: homosexuality, Greeks, Hebrews, Republicans, Democrats
many different cultures have had many different attitudes about sex between people of the same gender. In ancient Hawaii a propensity or inclination for a man to prefer sex with men to the exclusion of women was considered a sign of being blessed or magic or powerful.
Historically, the equation of homosexual behavior with sin comes from the interaction of Hellenistic Greek-speaking people on the coast and Hebrew-speaking people in the hills of what is today Israel/Palestine. The Greeks considered Hebrews and all non-Greek speakers Barbarians and, in return, the Hebrews considered the Greeks sinners. Those things that the Greeks did -- eat pork, have homosexual sex without shame, etc. -- were considered bad by definition, as the Greeks considered the Hebrews to be unsophisticated, uncultured, rubes.
Seems we still have Greeks and Hebrews today. Red and Blue states.
Each condemning each other on the same basis used by 2200 years ago.
Friday, July 15, 2005
This morning we speak with freelance terror investigator Glen Jenvey, who does most of his research from his laptop in his home in Wiltshire, England. Jenvey was instrumental in obtaining video evidence that led to the arrest last year of radical cleric Abu Hamza.
click here for a link ...
Thursday, July 14, 2005
subject: classically trained
What is the difference between including "classically trained" or "self taught" in a bio? If it's a fact, it is germane.
Writers lay claim to attending Oxford, politicians to graduating Harvard Law, CEOs to their MBAs from Wharton. (Not to mention journalists whose curriculum vitae announce ...
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Subject: 4 SCJ = Christine Todd Whitman
After hearing her on NPR, she sounds reasonable, sane and articulate. She's a republican who has explicitly rejected a social and political order emerging out of "biblical truth." All interpretations, however attentive to textual meanings must also integrate both the context of the writer[s] as well as the context of us, the readers.
I am a militant moderate: be reasonable or else! Some elements of the militant moderate philosphy:
Liberals exist to keep the neanderthals from ruling the world. conservatives exist to keep the pointy-heads from ruling the world.
The liberals have the arts, the media, and education. The conservatives have business and the military. Sounds fair and balanced to me.
Monday, July 11, 2005
On today's show NYU's Bernard Haykel refuted Tom Friedman's assertion that "to this day - no major Muslim cleric or religious body has ever issued a fatwa condemning Osama bin Laden."
In fact, says Haykel, plenty of Muslims, including Muslim clerics, have condemned terror against civilians committed ...
Friday, July 08, 2005
In the interest of (mostly) shameless self-promotion, I thought you might find this article I wrote for my college newspaper interesting. I think thefacebook is part of a huge shift in how young people form friendships and relationships. For instance, students now "research" their acquaintances and crushes. And that, ...
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Dear Brian (and the producers of the Brian Lehrer Show):
I was listening to the show today (Tues, 7/05), and a couple of callers
tried to make the point that you have moved to a more conservative
point of view on your show, one from the left, one from the right.
Those calls were sort of indicative of the times we find ourselves in,
I think. The man on the Left is feeling paranoid because of the
actions of the FCC over recent years, and the appointment of
right-wingers to head the CPB.
On the other hand, I think the guy on the Right had a
preconceived notion of the "Liberal Media that is Public Radio", when
he found your show and was pleasantly surprised. He said you gained
him as a listener. Good for you. (Maybe he'll even become a member
someday.) I guess my point is that everything, everything these days
is seen in terms of which side you fall on the political divide, and
thankfully you are one that refuses, and brings us all to a forum where
we can hear each other out. I thank you for being an increasingly lone
voice in the wilderness.
Maybe someday I'll have the nerve to even call in.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Q: Didn't see any info on your site re: 90 second commentaries you have been talking about. How does one send one in? Thanks. PS - love your voice!
A: This is a spontaneous slam, no submissions required. Just think up a witty 90-second rap or rant, then ...
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
A self-described liberal caller to today's Democracy Wonk segment took issue with Brian's failure to mention earlier in the show that guest Charles Krauthammer is also a contributor to Fox News Channel (he is better known as a syndicated columnist appearing in the Washington Post).
What do you think? By not mentioning Krauthammer's other job at a news outlet with a conservative slant, did he do listeners a disservice? Or do Krauthammer's conservative views speak for themselves, and don't columnists of all striped appear on TV and radio all the time?
<a href="Tell us what you think!
Click here to hear that segment