↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Monday, March 31, 2008

Mediawatch World Mar 30: Why Blog? Your Books, Bhandara, Iraqi Army, Crazy McCain, Gaza, Hugh Laurie, Torturing Detainees, Aga Khan's Yacht, and more

Some years ago, I was awakened early one morning by a phone call from a friend. She had just broken up with a boyfriend she still loved and was desperate to justify her decision. “Can you believe it!” she shouted into the phone. “He hadn’t even heard of Pushkin!” It’s Not You, It’s Your Books - Rachel Donadio

Readers discover, like it and forward links to their friends, who forward them to lots more friends. Newspaper columnists mention it, stealing — er, quoting — some of the better jokes. By the end of February, the NPR program “Talk of the Nation” runs a report on it, debating whether the site is racist or satire. And then on March 20 Random House announces that it has purchased the rights to a book by the blog’s founder, Christian Lander, an Internet copy writer. The price, according to a source familiar with the deal but not authorized to discuss the total, was about $300,000, a sum that many in the publishing and blogging communities believe is an astronomical amount for a book spawned from a blog, written by a previously unpublished author. Why Blog? Reason No. 92: Book Deal

He is 94 years old. He is perhaps India's most widely known English columnist, novelist and translator of Urdu poetry. His remarks are polemical, arrow-straight and honest. His pen as a newspaper columnist can make the mighty shiver in their boots. His short stories can compare with the best of Maupassant and the very best of Manto. His longer novel, written half-a-century ago -- Train to Pakistan -- is a classic: it probably ranks in the top ten in its genre of sub-continental writings in English; in the anguish of this novel he tries to come to terms with the tragedy and bloodshed of Partition. M P Bhandara on Khushwant Singh;hkads

Who is the Iraqi Army? The Bush administration claims the Iraqi Army is a unified force of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds who fight together for the centralized government of Iraq. That's complete nonsense. In fact, the different divisions of the army are segregated by sect. The so-called Iraqi Army fighting in the south right now is mainly the Badr Corps. This is a rival Shiite militia to Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. The Badr Corps is connected to the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council. Don't get freaked out, they're theoretically the good guys. Well, at least they are the largest political party in Iraq and the ones we are supporting. Here's the problem -- they're not the good guys at all. They ran death squads and torture chambers out of the Interior Ministry throughout the period of ethnic cleansing in Iraq. Who Is the Iraqi Army? By Cenk Uygur

John McCain has been saying a lot of downright nutty things lately. You've probably come across some of them, such as his admitted lack of knowledge about economics or his excitement at the prospect of remaining in Greater Mesopotamia for the next ten decades. Yet, alas, much of his craziness has been lost in the fog of the ongoing battle between Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. So here's a recap of some nuggets of wisdom you may have missed -- from McCain's mouth to Bellevue's Ears. The Top Ten Craziest Things John McCain Has Said While You Weren't Watching By Cliff Schecter

In an article recently published in the California based publication, the Coastal Post, US Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader bashed Israel for its multi-faceted execution of institutionalized violence against the people of Gaza, and called the US to account for its out-right complicity with Israel's inhuman and illegal practices: "Israel's siege has also caused extensive loss of life in Gaza from crumbling health care facilities, electricity cut-offs, malnutrition and contaminated drinking water from broken public water systems. The victims here are mostly children and civilian adults who expire unnoticed by the West. The suffering of Gaza civilians is ignored by 98% of the US Congress, which gives billions of taxpayer dollars to Israel annually."
The great lake of Gaza: a new crisis in the making - Suzanne Baroud

In 2006, FoEME published a report, "A Seeping Time Bomb, Pollution of the Mountain Aquifer by Solid Waste," which found that the unsustainable disposal of solid waste has resulted in the percolation of toxic substances including chloride, arsenic and heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury and lead into the groundwater. Since the 2006 report was released, the German government has built a new solid waste disposal project near Ramallah and the World Bank and the EU have also completed another solid waste landfill facility near Jenin. West Bank faces toxic waste crisis - Mel Frykberg

The presence of a paparazzo certainly surprised Laurie. Irritated him a little, too. "It used to be the case that the only people who paid any attention to me were those who liked what I did," he says, drawing on the first of many cigarettes. "Now I get noticed by people who don't care whether I live or die - probably want me to die. That takes a bit of getting used to." But he gets a reasonable press, doesn't he, by and large? "I don't know. I try to avoid it. I hope you won't be offended, but I won't read this." Hugh Laurie on House, fame and LA

(CBS) A German resident held by the U.S. for almost five years tells 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley that Americans tortured him in many ways - including hanging him from the ceiling for five days early in his captivity when he was in Kandahar, Afghanistan.
Even after determining he was not a terrorist, Murat Kurnaz says the torture continued. Kurnaz tells his story for the first time on American television this Sunday, March 30, at 7 p.m. ET/PT Ex-Terror Detainee Says U.S. Tortured Him Tells 60 Minutes He Was Held Underwater, Shocked, And Suspended From the Ceiling

* The professor as open book: There are many reasons professors have embraced the Web and other media to reveal more of themselves.
* How do the two venerable newsweeklies stack up these days?
* A review of The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna.
* From the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, Satoshi Kanazawa (LSE): The Evolutionary Psychological Imagination: Why You Can't Get a Date on Saturday Night and Why Most Suicide Bombers are Muslim.
* From Discover, here are 20 things you didn't know about sex — and you thought you knew everything.
* Some policy pointers for the next president: Get out of Iraq, work with (some) Islamists, create the Palestinian state — thereby, undercut Al-Qaeda.
* Paul Berman on why radical Islam just won’t die.
* A review of Worlds at War: The 2,500-Year Struggle between East and West by Anthony Pagden (and more).
[Thanks RZ for all of above]

With a £100million price tag, the Alamshar was intended to be a superstar among super-yachts, 165ft of exquisite luxury powered by engines capable of blasting it to more than 60 knots - and on to a new transatlantic speed record. But the vessel's billionaire owner, the Aga Khan, has reportedly been left hugely disappointed by claims that his eagerly awaited new possession cannot reach half the expected speed - and is now considering launching a major legal battle against the British dockyard that built it. More carthorse than racehorse ... the Aga Khan's £100m yacht

Amidst the recent furore over Max Gogarty’s unblog-like/allegedly nepotistic travel blog entry on the Guardian website, a phrase caught my eye: Director of Digital Content Emily Bell’s reference to their “duty of care” to blogger Max. It particularly interested me because I had a similar experience recently with a student blogger, who was on the receiving end of ferocious (and partly justified) criticism on an Australian alpha blog. What was my duty of care to her? What is a publisher’s “duty of care” to bloggers?

Paul Jay presents:




Post a Comment

<< Home