The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, November 22, 2004  

With Media Miscellany
November 22, 2004

Avedon Changes Her F-Stop [*]
Avedon Carol has relocated her indispensible London-based blog, The Sideshow, which now can be found here.

Wyoming is In the House [*]
The Rittenhouse Review is just one state away from having been read in all 50 states since Sunday, November 14, when a new traffic counter and referral log were installed here. The good news came out of Wyoming, home to the easily outraged Dick Cheneys and, more important, a longtime Rittenhouse reader who, like me, grew up hearing early-morning references to "The Wreck of the Hesperus." Idaho, care to join us?

Facts Don't Matter I
Eric Boehlert eviscerates New York Times columnist and right-wing propagandist William Safire in "William Safire's Dubious Legacy," published today at

By the way, Safire today is throwing his support behind the Schwarzenegger amendment. His piece, "The 28th Amendment," includes this oddity:

Article II of the Constitution directed that in the future only "natural born" citizens would be eligible for the nation's highest office. [...]

That makes all naturalized citizens . . . slightly less than all-American. Even children born abroad of U.S. citizens have fallen under the shadow of Article II; this has caused pregnant women to race back to our shores to make certain their children's political potential is not somehow beclouded.

Please tell me Safire is trying to be funny.

And be sure to read the penultimate paragraph of Safire's doodlings. It's simply bizarre.

Facts Don't Matter II
Speaking of factually challenged right-wing pundits . . . Against my better judgment I took a look at Arnaud de Borchgrave's op-ed piece in Sunday's New York Post, "Europe's Civil War." To be honest my curiosity was piqued less by any interest in what the former Washington Times editor had to say on the subject and more by my surprise upon learning de Borchgrave is still among the living. I was going to blog about his stunning display of ignorance about Dutch culture as reflected in a piece that any self-respecting 10th-grader would have been ashamed to call his own. Then, on a lark I checked in on Vaara, the expatriate blogger based in Amsterdam, and found he already had mercilessly dissected the essay, and without breaking a sweat.

Blogging in the News
Give the Philadelphia Inquirer some credit. The newspaper is trying to "get" blogging; at the very least, the editors understand the need to bring blogs to the attention of Inquirer readers. For example, once a week the op-ed page includes selections from a handful of weblogs. It's a respectable effort even if the selections are too often pedestrian and a bit dated. And the "Currents" section of Sunday's Inquirer featured as its lead story "The News as Conversation," a look at the blogosphere during the presidential election season by Jeff Jarvis. The essay is marred by several serious flaws, the most notable of which is its blogcentric outlook on the dissemination of political news. Jarvis writes:

Nationally and locally, candidates will continue to use blogs to get their messages to voters -- bypassing the old gatekeepers of the news media. . . . I recently sent letters to my senator [sic] and congressman protesting the Federal Communications Commission's censorship of TV, and I waited weeks to get back letters explaining their positions. How much more efficient, informative and interactive it would be for those lawmakers to post their stands and responses on blogs for all their voters to see.

Why would lawmakers need blogs to do that when they already have home pages that serve the same purpose?

The sidebar accompanying Jarvis's piece, "Join in All the Buzz," is about as formulaic an introduction to the blogosphere as could be written. Pull quote:

Where to begin? A good place is The man behind Instapundit is Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a law professor at the University of Tennessee. [...] Reynolds' method is simply to post links to items he finds of interest, usually adding some pithy comments of his own.

"Indeed" is pithy?

A Little Nudge
The annual fund drive for Rittenhouse continues. Click here to donate.

[Note: Additional items may be posted to “Political Notes” after initial publication but only on the day of publication, excluding post-publication addenda. Such items, when posted, are designated by an asterisk.]

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