She got her pleasure in small things – in Coronation Street, in white pudding suppers, in Abba songs, and in horrifically violent horror films. Her favorite film in her last years was Saw III, in fact. But most of all, she got her pleasure from knowing she had looked after her family. And she did that better than anyone I know. She was absolutely consistent in being loving and caring and kind, and when she was dying I thanked her for everything she had done for me, and she said – it was almost the last thing she said to me – “I’d do it all again.”
The latest New York Review of Books has a fascinating and inspiring article about the media, the role of the internet and our future. Michael Massing quotes David Simon (of The Wire, The Corner fame) who says that while the Internet is “a marvelous tool,” he declared, it
leeches…reporting from mainstream news publications, whereupon aggregating websites and bloggers contribute little more than repetition, commentary and froth. Meanwhile, readers acquire news from the aggregators and abandon its point of origin—namely the newspapers themselves. In short, the parasite is slowly killing the host.
But he is wrong. Massing quickly dispels this depressing scenario by saying that Andrew Sullivan blogs, during the post-election uprising in Iran, “became an up-to-the-minute clearinghouse for e-mails, Twitter feeds, YouTube videos, photos, and e-mails from Tehran, many posted before mainstream news outlets could get hold of them… The Daily Dish served as a nerve center for news from the Iranian street. While reading his site, I was also watching CNN, and it seemed clear that Sullivan, sitting at his computer, outperformed CNN’s entire global network.” Nowhere was this better reported than on a blog.
And there is more: “the Web is currently home to all kinds of intriguing experiments. YouTube recently introduced a Reporters’ Center offering tips from established reporters on how to cover international news. The Huffington Post has set up an investigative fund to support journalistic research. The Boston-based GlobalPost has arranged with dozens of independent reporters around the world to find outlets for their work. Sites like Minn Post in Minneapolis and Voice of San Diego are testing whether metro reporting can be done on the Internet.”
Massing continues with more examples of blogs and websites which are breaking news, offering inciteful, useful analysis and which are proving to the world that the future of the media is damn exciting! There are a few downfalls, like linking only to similarly minded sites, and, the webs incredible way of viralling stories which might be founded on rumour. Read it here.
The Sunday Times, London, has published Andrew Sullivan’s profile on Obama.
Be assured that Obama is more of a strategist than a tactician. He knows that all the regional conflicts are interlocked and is often a few steps ahead of his enemies (just ask Clinton or McCain). To move Israel forward, he needs to engage Syria. To deal with Gaza, he has to test the waters with Iran. To achieve minimalist goals in Afghanistan, he needs Pakistan.
Yesterday one of the most horrific photographs I’ve seen appeared on a picture service we subscribe to. The Getty picture shows the bloody head of a dead girl exposed, the rest of her body is buried in the rubble of a four story house that collapsed when struck by an Israeli air strike yesterday. The picture makes a point. The war is killing children. And the killing should stop.
We decided not to print the picture – it’s just too brutal. Instead we used this horrific but less graphic AP picture. I thought briefly of posting the bloody head picture on my blog. But didn’t. Today The Daily Dish used the picture. With the picture, Andrew Sullivan quotes from an article by Jeffrey Goldberg, The World’s Pornographic Interest in Jewish Moral Failure, on Hamas, children and photographs. Here is the excerpt:
One more thing, speaking of pornography — we’ve all seen endless pictures of dead Palestinian children now. It’s a terrible, ghastly, horrible thing, the deaths of children, and for the parents it doesn’t matter if they were killed by accident or by mistake. But ask yourselves this: Why are these pictures so omnipresent? I’ll tell you why, again from firsthand, and repeated, experience: Hamas (and the Aksa Brigades, and Islamic Jihad, the whole bunch) prevents the burial, or even preparation of the bodies for burial, until the bodies are used as props in the Palestinian Passion Play. Once, in Khan Younis, I actually saw gunmen unwrap a shrouded body, carry it a hundred yards and position it atop a pile of rubble — and then wait a half-hour until photographers showed. It was one of the more horrible things I’ve seen in my life. And it’s typical of Hamas. If reporters would probe deeper, they’d learn the awful truth of Hamas. But Palestinian moral failings are not of great interest to many people.
The Tribune company – mother of The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times applied for bankruptcy protection today. This is the latest and the most significant sign of trouble in the US newspaper industry.
In a year of truly great news stories (the ‘Sarah Palin’ election and the global financial collapse) newspaper readership has declined rapidly. And as Andrew Sullivan said this weekend perhaps it’s time ‘to savour the piece of grubby newsprint in your hands this Sunday. Because it is going to disappear far sooner than most analysts predict’.
The South African market decline might be a bit slower, but if the rate at which my husband is converting to a Iphone information reader is anything to go by, I wouldn’t be suprised if we follow the US trend. See Peter Bruce’s column this morning about Business Day’s troubles.
Andrew Sullivan on the Charlie Gibson/George Bush interview: ”Perhaps the most striking aspect of president George W. Bush is his inability to actually take responsibility for anything. I’m not sure quite where this comes from – daddy, drink or denial, or some gruesome combination of the three…Observe the passive constructions. The description of others. “People in my administration.” “Prior to my arrival.” Everyone got it wrong but him, the one person ultimately responsible for getting it right.”
In her recent rush of interviews, Sarah Palin ridiculed the media for insinuating that Trig was not her child. But, really, she was ridiculous - her flying across America and attending a conference after her waters broke was truly irresponsible, silly and in fact not credible.
The Daily Dish referred his readers yesterday to an excellent blog about Palin’s pregnancy, ‘Palin’s Deception: A Biology Lesson’. The blogger, Audrey, has written a very comprehensive essay on the facts of a pregnancy and what would normally happen under the circumstances. She doesn’t believe that Palin was ever pregnant with Trig.
The single specific piece of information that we have that has caused the most scrutiny of her birth saga is that she traveled back from Texas to Alaska on April 17th leaking amniotic fluid. Yet, she has never once, as far as I can tell, been asked pointed questions about the very real specifics of this. It would be a bit like someone calling in sick at work because he has cut his arm very badly, then never showing any physical signs – like blood, or stitches, or going to the doctor, that it ever happened, yet being defensive about having to “prove” it.
The leaking of amniotic fluid is an indisputable, unmistakable sign of the onset of labor. Flying at eight months of pregnancy is ill-advised. Flying at eight months with leaking amniotic fluid is insane, particularly for a woman who has boasted about her easy (past) births.
She concludes that:
If Palin’s story is entirely a lie, and the physical realities of membrane rupture which I have seen and dealt with countless times make me lean very strongly in that direction, then the only answer is she was never pregnant at all.
Read it, it’s a brilliant blog, and as Andrew Sullivan says, where journalists failed, blogs have succeeded.
Sarah Palin has given a series of interviews since election day last Tuesday. What lovely little nuggets of information we’re getting. She has already spoken to Anchorage Daily News, Fox, CNN, NBC and we can look forward to many more.
Yesterday, I posted a video where she complains about the press. She mentions Trig, and how it was claimed she wasn’t his mother. She indignantly says journalists should’ve just asked for her medical records! Hey, did she not read the newspapers? There were many, many calls for her medical records. (Hours before election day, the Republican campaign released a letter from her doctor saying she was in good health – no medical records).
Andrew Sullivan repeatedly wrote about the lack of transparency around her medical history. He never claimed Trig wasn’t her baby, but he certainly suggested that there was something fishy about the pro-life VP candidate’s medical history.
In the video below, Palin, says that she wouldn’t hesitate to run for the presidency in four years time if it’s God’s will:
Andrew Sullivan says of the US election campaign:
I find this election campaign to have been an impressive testament to post-modernism’s limits. The post-modern candidate was Palin: a hologram of cultural resentments, crafted to win votes through image, propaganda and untruth. And yet we saw right through it. Fact mattered in the end, didn’t it? And truthiness finally lost.