Sunday, August 29, 2010


Banana bread french toast, yogurt, peaches, raspberries, bananas and pecans.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Alessandra Stanley is Doing a Heck of a Job

Alessandra Stanley has an error in Saturday's Times. She writes:
On "Today," also on Friday, Matt Lauer interviewed former Mayor Ray Nagin of New Orleans and Michael Brown, the former director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, whom President George W. Bush anointed with the words "Brownie, you’re doing a heck of job."
The correct quote is "Brownie, you're doing a heck of a job" (video).

Stanley is famous for her errors; she once had 26 in one year. More recently her error rate has cooled from stratospheric to high. The Times has stood by her all the way. Craig Silverman nicely chronicled the errors of Alessandra Stanley last year.

I suppose it's possible that today's mistake was an editing error and not Stanley's fault; remember, after all, that when Stanley's article on Walter Cronkite had seven errors, only six were actually hers, and one was an editing mistake.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Wow Facebook really is evil

TechCrunch: Guess Who Is Trying To Trademark The Word "Face"?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I give up, Ian Shapira is right

Sometimes the Washington Post uses its "Story Lab" section on its website to be a bit self congratulatory. With the cop-with-gun-at-snowball-fight story, the Story Lab piece went horribly wrong, because in fact the Post had completely missed the story while the City Paper and other outlets got it right. But other times the Post is right that it got it right, while others got it wrong, and gosh they want to tell you about it. Probably the same instinct I'd have, I admit.

With that in mind I read Ian Shapira's Story Lab report on how various outlets -- including the Huffington Post and DCist -- spread the incorrect rumor that the Washington Times was coming to an end. The Post, in contrast, got it right. Shapira's piece seems a touch self-congratulatory at the end, and I didn't want to like it, but he is right: it is rather abominable that so many other media outlets just spread a false rumor. And at some point he has the right to say that.

TIME for adults

The Onion News Network reports:

TIME Announces New Version Of Magazine Aimed At Adults

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Troy Davis update

On Tuesday a U.S. judge in Savannah turned down Troy Anthony Davis's innocence claim. The development was not unexpected.

In June, the Supreme Court had taken the unusual step of accepting a direct appeal from Davis and ordering an evidentiary hearing to be held. That hearing was the first time the new (well, several years old) evidence in the case would be considered by a court -- including the recantations from several of the witnesses.

CSM explains what happened yesterday, and SCOTUSblog has an exhaustive analysis.

There will now likely be further appeals, though it appears relief for Davis would ultimately require yet another miracle.

Monday, August 23, 2010

That Charles Blow column on Obama and the Jews

See that column in Saturday's NYTimes by Charles Blow about how the Jews are all upset at Obama because he's anti-Israel, or something? Eric Alterman responds.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Just to be clear, the oil is not gone

Some backstory: a few weeks ago the government released a report saying most of the oil was gone. The administration gave an exclusive to the NYTimes, which printed a rosy piece on A1. Some outlets, such as AP, were more skeptical.

Now, scientists not affiliated with the government are pushing back. The Times covers that new evidence today -- though not on the front page this time, of course.

Meanwhile, Marian Wang of ProPublica has a useful explanation of just how preliminary that initial study was, and how government officials Jane Lubchenco and Carol Browner were incorrect when they said it had been peer-reviewed.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Bhopal email

National Security Council official in email to Indian government official:
"We are hearing a lot of noise about the Dow Chemical issue. I am not familiar with all the details, but I think we want to avoid developments which put a chilling effect on our investment relationship."
It sure doesn't look good (AFP reports the basics). I mean, this may not have been about the specific World Bank loan they were also discussing. And US-India relations aren't determined simply in emails like this. But still.

The email is a bit of now-public evidence, one that fits a broader pattern.

The Times of India says:
Senior government sources said that almost at every level, US officials were telling the Indian government to "resolve it and move ahead".
It's the easy position for the U.S., but of course the wrong one.

WaPo Takes a Front Page Stab at Target and Emmer Story, Comes up Short

The Washington Post goes A1 this morning with "Campaign spending puts Target in bull's-eye" but the story comes up with essentially no new information. The article, by Jia Lynn Yang and Dan Eggen, is mostly filled with information that could have been published a week or more ago. It's the Post's first full article on the subject; Eggen had mentioned the Target / Emmer matter back in a July 28 article about Senate Republicans threatening to fillibuster the federal bill that would require disclosure of donors.

The Post should play catch-up when it needs to, but putting a story on the front page when you aren't adding anything new is not good.

Other outlets have covered this ground, and more. The AP has covered this relatively throughly, as has Politico and the LATimes. had a pretty thorough story back on July 28th. The StarTribune has chronicled the story, while MinnPost has done extensive reporting.

The Post's story today tries to emphasize the bigger picture of what this episode does or doesn't mean for companies making political donations in a post-Citizens United world. The writers get quotes from both sides, and there's nothing particularly new or informative. This question, though, has already been noted in some of those other outlets, such as by TPM on August 9th.

The Post needs to find ways to tell us something new on the front page, not summarize what we already knew.

Update: In Friday's paper, the LATimes added some interesting new reporting on the subject in "Target feels backlash from shareholders."

Monday, August 16, 2010

What's within two blocks of the World Trade Center site, anyway?

Daryl Lang puts together a photo album on the "hallowed ground."

Friday, August 13, 2010

EPA tries to rap?


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What kind of power plants were built in the US, when

Very cool chart. From related article by David Roberts.

NYTimes catches up with JetBlue flight attendant in elevator

I gotta say, impressive bit of reporting today.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Will the real slim shady please stand up

Good point from Brad Johnson:
@climatebrad: Tea Party groups seem kind of like Ray's Pizza joints -- which one is the "real original"?

Re: Arabs don't care about Palestine

Remember that op-ed the NYTimes printed last week about how Arabs generally don't care much about Palestine?

Sure enough, the one polling point cited was actually from... an online poll! And that wasn't even the question it asked.

James Zogby explains.


Stormy skies

From the Boston Globe's Big Picture, photos of recent storms around the world.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Obama insults organized labor

Obama actually said to the AFL-CIO today "we are going to keep on fighting to pass the Employee Free Choice Act."

If you aren't familiar with the history, here's Michael Whitney on why that's so offensive.