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Celebrity Culture: The Times puts activism first and other commentary

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Celebrity Culture: The Times puts activism first and other commentary

Celebrity Culture:

September 15, 2019 | 11:31pm

Iconoclast: The Times Puts Activism First




The New York Times, sighs Andrew Sullivan at New York Magazine, “is increasingly engaged in a project of reporting everything through the prism of white supremacy and critical race theory.” That was the clear message of the one-sided essays launching the Times’ “1619 project,” and Executive Editor Dean Baquet confirmed it at a recent staff meeting. In this telling, America “was founded in defense of slavery and white supremacy,” merely “masked by highfalutin’ rhetoric about universal freedom” and “everything about America today is related to that same slavocracy.” By declaring that this view will be “its sole interpretative mechanism,” the paper has abandoned liberalism for neo-Marxism. “And it is hard to trust a paper engaged in trying to deceive its readers in order for its radical reporters and weak editors to transform the world.”

Economist: The Right US Industrial Policy

Both liberals and conservatives have “a renewed interest in industrial policy,” but Tyler Cowen at Bloomberg Opinion offers “reasons to be cautious.” If industrial policy is government action that will “support vital sectors that might otherwise suffer from underinvestment,” then we already have one — much of it “highly imperfect.” Better to focus on fixing it: “Unstick” Defense Department procurement to boost innovation, along with “getting the most” from the National Institutes of Health and “improving American higher education” in our state universities. “Once all of those improvements have been achieved,” then consider looking at a “bigger and better” new industrial policy.

Libertarian: Harris Tries To Hide Her Past

Kamala Harris has “avoided offering explanations for past positions that critics say undercut her claim that she was a progressive prosecutor,” says C.J. Ciaramella at Reason. And her “recently released criminal justice plan contradicted many of her past positions as California’s attorney general.” Harris responds to such charges by claiming “distortions” of her prosecutorial record and touting her progressive bona fides, but she, like her campaign, has “glossed over” such “troubling parts of record” as “harsher sentences,” “more prosecution of petty crimes” and “less accountability for bad cops.” Those aren’t “distortions” — they’re the truth.

Culture beat: Rodman’s Disturbing Success

Basketball hall of famer Dennis Rodman, who “engaged in a series of meetings” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un a few years back, has since “disappeared from American culture,” but a new ESPN documentary shows how his “theatrics” “presaged the cult of celebrity that has come to dominate our politics and culture,” writes Christopher Jacobs at The Federalist. Rodman had an “outstanding” basketball career — but was better known for his “antics than for his basketball talents.” He quickly became a celebrity, but “did not, and does not, handle celebrity very well” and “struggled with alcohol abuse for many years, mostly notably in a 2014 visit to North Korea.” Rodman, “well before the Kardashians,” provided “the perfect cautionary tale about the double-edged sword of fame.”

Scandal watch: Blasey Ford’s Dad’s Doubts

Last year, Christine Blasey Ford “emerged” to accuse then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh “of attempted rape … when they were both teenagers,” but as Mollie Hemingway and Carrie Severino detail at The Federalist, an “intriguing” point still stands out: Her entire family “stayed conspicuously silent about the veracity of her allegations” — which are clearly relevant to the “many unanswered questions both about her story and her credibility.” When a public letter supporting Ford emerged by members of her family, it, notably, “wasn’t signed by a single blood relative.” In fact, “it appears the Blasey family had significant doubts about what Ford was trying to accomplish.” Perhaps even more interestingly, the writers note, Ford’s father recently approached Kavanuagh’s to express suppor

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