Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Nation Jumps the Shark

A friend writes: As if it weren't already clear, The Nation has dropped all pretense to critical integrity or political and intellectual standards.

Here's Melissa Harris-Lacewell on how her friends pull themselves up by their bootstraps in these difficult economic times:

I have a good friend who has decided to get rid of their family's second car. Though she and her husband work 30 minutes in opposite directions they are finding a way to make this crazy commute work. Why? Because they live a town with seriously underperforming public schools and they are absolutely committed to providing their daughter with a first class education. For them, this means private school tuition. So everyone is bracing for obscenely early mornings and far more inconvenient work schedules. They never thought twice about this priority.

Well, one must have priorities, mustn't one?

Where to begin?

• The endorsement of the privatization of public schooling?
• The endorsement of faith-based initiatives?
• The false claim that generous financial aid packages at elite institutions significantly improve access to higher education for poor people?

Note to The Nation: if you're paying Ms. Harris-Lacewell to shill for the Obama administration the rules of political advertising for print media clearly state:
Step 1
Set aside a small area outside of the main body of any printed advertising material. The text must state who paid for the material and whether or not it is authorized by the official campaign.

Step 2
Check to be sure that the disclaimer box is in a contrasting color from the rest of the ad. Make sure that the font size is clearly readable to an average person.
And I think the advertisers are supposed to buy the ad, not the other way around.

with the professor
ht to alr


Anonymous said...

I don't quite see where the Obama shilling is. Looks more like a "Let them eat cake" situation to me, with clueless people complaining about their nonexistent hardships while others starve.

Anonymous said...

Well, in his response to Harris-Lacewell on The Nation website, Doug Henwood of the Left Business Observer says it as well as we could:
"Wow, The Nation is offering liberal cover for an austerity program, to fund the transfer of a trillion or two to the financial elite. I'm amazed. If I were a right populist, I could do a lot with this."

red rabbit said...

I suppose "shill" implies an act of deception when I think Ms. Harris-Lacewell probably actually believes in Obama. Maybe that was too strong a characterization. Cheerleading might have been more accurate. Still, the criticism is directed at The Nation whose editors should know better than to print such a wide-eyed view of Obama.

Anonymous said...

Ah, that makes a lot more sense, then. But then again, hope and change are supposed to be the things that we all have now. Someone was bound to hope for invisible pink unicorns that poop rainbows.