May 30, 2015

Now Playing

(Reviewed August 29, 2014)

A portrait of modern sanctity which — very oddly, in my view — asks not to be taken too seriously

(Reviewed August 27, 2014)

The movie it took twelve years to make — about a childhood that appears to be taking much, much longer

America: Imagine the World Without Her
(Reviewed July 31, 2014)

Another foray by Dinesh D’Souza into the lists in order to break a lance on President Obama — and Howard Zinn. At least the latter is effectively unhorsed.

(Reviewed June 30, 2014)

An austerely beautiful film by the Anglo-Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski that could hardly be a greater departure from his earlier My Summer of Love

ENTRY from May 29, 2015

That George Stephanopoulos happened to have $75,000 in spare change lying around to donate to the Clinton Foundation was ultimately owing to his association with the Clintons in the first place. He was just "giving back" by way of a monetary thank you to the celebrity presidential couple who have, perhaps inadvertently, done so much to make him a celebrity himself. That he is a celebrity is well-attested by the seven-year, $105 million contract he signed with ABC News last year. Such a sum, it is hardly necessary to point out, is not a journalist’s salary. Yet Heather Riley, a spokeswoman for ABC, e-mailed Paul Farhi of The Washington Post to ask: "Did you ask every other journalist that moderated panels for [the Clinton Global Initiative] if they disclosed this to their audiences? Only seems fair if you’re posing that question to us."

Ms Riley has doubtless forgotten that Mr Stephanopoulos is being paid as a celebrity, not as a journalist. But then, since practically every journalist — or at least every TV journalist — regards him or herself as at least a potential celebrity, I guess it is an easy mistake to make. It shows, however, that the problem goes a lot deeper than George Stephanopoulos. Mr Farhi of the Post goes on to note that

CGI lists a number of TV anchors, correspondents and commentators as "Notable Past Members," including Christiane Amanpour and Anderson Cooper of CNN; columnists Thomas Friedman and Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times; Matt Lauer and Tom Brokaw of NBC; Greta Van Susteren of Fox News; Katie Couric (then of CBS); and Judy Woodruff of "PBS Newshour."  Full Entry

Media MadnessMy book Media Madness, is available for order from Encounter Books. Less a polemic than an attempt to understand the origins of the mass media’s folie de grandeur, the book is a warning even to those who are deserting the big networks, newsweeklies and large-circulation dailies not to carry with them into the more attractive world of niche media the undisciplined habits of thought that the old media culture has given rise to. To order this book, click here.

Honor, A HistoryAlso available, now in paperback, is Honor, A History, which was first published in 2006. A study of Western cultural artifacts, from the epics of Homer to the movies and TV shows of today, it is focused on explaining why Western ideas of honor developed so differently from those elsewhere — and especially from the savage honor cultures of the Islamic world. The book then goes on to trace the collapse and ultimate rejection of the old Western honor culture from World War I until the present day and to suggest the conditions that would have to prevail for its revival.

Recent Articles

Scandal, or lack thereof April 30, 2015.
The media’s appetite for scandal is scandalously limited to only one side of the political divide — From The New Criterion of April, 2015 ... Full Article

The irony of p.c. March 31, 2015.
What do Jonathan Chait, Rotherham borough counsellors and the French Revolution have in common? — From The New Criterion of March, 2015 ... Full Article

The New Rules of Journalism February 28, 2015.
The old maxim about not picking fights with those who buy ink by the barrel doesn’t apply to dictators or terrorists — From The New Criterion of February, 2015 ... Full Article

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