May 22, 2013
They launched the 'Arab Spring' but now yearn for the good old days of a strongman
May 20, 2013
Richard A. Serrano: Is Meir Kahane's assassin now a changed man?
Genetic copies of living people from embryos no longer science fiction
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom :
The Kosher Gourmet by Cathy Pollak:
Jews Inducted into Rock Hall of Fame; Anton Yelchin co-stars in New "Trek" film; Kutcher (but not Kunis) visits Israel; Jewish TV Star Praises Jewish Rap Star
WARNING: This WALNUT CAKE WITH PRALINE FROSTING, perfect for afternoon coffee, is addicting
May 13, 2013
Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo: Why the giving of the document that would permanently change the world could only be done in desolation
David G. Savage:
Church-state, literally? Supreme Court weighing public school graduation in a church
May 10, 2013
Rabbi Berel Wein: Be all that you should be
May 8, 2013
Peter Ford: Why China is welcoming both Israel's Netanyahu and Palestinians' Abbas
Obama administration quietly backs out of appeal over new contraceptive mandate
At Kerry-Putin meeting, US-Russia relations thaw --- a tad
The Kosher Gourmet by Leela Cyd Ross :
Almost too pretty to eat, this colorful salad with Sicilian inspiration will tickle the taste buds and delight your visual sensibility
May 6, 2013
May 3, 2013
Kids, kittens the Same?
With employee perks at struggling Internet pioneer Yahoo! it's hard to tell
Artificial kidney offers hope to patients tethered to a dialysis machine
April 29, 2013
Poland's new Jewish museum celebrates life, doesn't revisit Holocaust
Terrorism in America: Is US missing a chance to learn from failed plots?
Boston Bomber's 'Svengali' Revealed
Tiny satellites + cellphones = cheaper 'eyes in the sky' for NASA
April 26, 2013
Clifford D. May:
Defense in the Age of Jihadist Terrorism
Sharon Palmer, R.D.:
How to feel your best -- with plenty of energy, a healthy weight and optimal mental and physical function -- without driving yourself batty
April 24, 2013
Jewish World Review
April 13, 2010 / 29 Nissan 5770
Journalism as Rubbernecking
As one who does not play or follow golf, and who doesn't know a birdie from a chickadee, I was pleased to see Phil Mickelson win the Masters. His long embrace of his ailing wife (she has been undergoing treatment for breast cancer) was a moving moment. Above all, it was gratifying to see that, at least this once, as one headline writer summarized it, "The Good Guy Finishes First." Golf is not synonymous with Tiger Woods. Are you tired of hearing about Tiger?
We are drowning in salaciousness and some of us are choking on it. Like geese having our livers prepared for foie gras, we are force-fed a steady diet of infidelity, corruption, theft, drug use, violence, addiction, and sexual misconduct among public figures. Perhaps the goose is luckier. When it gets fat enough, they kill it. We consumers of American media, by contrast, seem to have no escape.
Here is just a sampling of the stories we've been deluged with in the recent past:
Gov. James McGreevey of New Jersey announces that he is gay and resigns amid charges of sexual harassment from a state employee.
Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigns after being caught patronizing expensive prostitutes.
Mark McGwire acknowledges that his homerun record was achieved by fraud as he used steroids throughout his career. The Mitchell Report names 47 others.
Michael Jackson … well, there's too much to itemize.
Sen. Larry Craig is caught soliciting sex in an airport bathroom.
Gov. David Paterson, a few weeks after announcing his plans to run for the seat he inherited from the disgraced Spitzer, withdraws after revelations that he intervened in a domestic violence investigation to protect his employee.
Gov. Mark Sanford skips off to Argentina to see his mistress and then tells the world, at eye-glazing length, about his feelings.
Michael Vick pleads guilty to animal abuse and serves 23 months.
Rep. Charlie Rangel is admonished by the House Ethics Committee for accepting corporate gifts and steps down as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
Further revelations emerge of the sexual abuse of minors by Catholic priests in Europe.
Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit pleads guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice and no contest to a felony count of assault on a police officer. He further agrees to pay restitution to the city of $1 million, to forfeit his pension and to serve 120 days in prison.
Rielle Hunter poses half-naked for GQ and establishes that she is worthy of her boyfriend, John Edwards, a leading candidate for president in 2008. Mrs. Edwards files for divorce.
Rep. Eric Massa resigns after tickle parties on Capitol Hill.
Bernard Madoff begins his prison term for conducting the largest Ponzi scheme in history, which bilked thousands of investors, including multiple charities, out of billions of dollars.
David Letterman apologizes for … Sen. David Vitter admits … Jack Abramoff pleads guilty to …
There comes a point when the sheer volume of scandal coverage becomes unsettling. This is not to suggest that the press ignore these things. Of course not. But let's face it: Journalists are lazy, and scandal is so easy to cover. The stories practically write themselves. They are simple tales of good and evil, rather than unsatisfying shades of gray. The result is journalism as rubbernecking. And the more lurid the story, the longer we are saturated with it.
Being bombarded with stories of misbehavior, betrayal, criminality, and venality of every sort is not just unpleasant, it can be demoralizing. That is, if we begin to think that everybody behaves in the loutish ways some public figures do, we may lose faith in ourselves as a society. In Billy Wilder's brilliant Cold War movie "One, Two, Three," a young communist exclaims to an older apparatchik, "Is everybody corrupt?" The old fellow responds, "I don't know everybody."
Journalists scoff at the idea of reporting "good news" on the grounds that planes landing safely are not news. But stories of extraordinary courage, philanthropy, and kindness are departures from the norm, too. Hearing a bit more about those might restore our equilibrium.
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