A Man of His Times

There is a consensus in the trade, I am sorry to report, that Thomas L. Friedman cannot win another Pulitzer Prize. This is not due to any dissipation of his talents. It is because, having already won three of journalism’s highest awards, he has been asked to join the Pulitzer board. Instead of receiving Pulitzers, […]

Click-Through Fatigue

Been busy, but I happened the other day to hear something interesting on MPR’s terrific little show “Future Tense“– a daily dose of reporting on the tech front that is a nice counterpoint to the tweed soliloquy of “the Writers Almanac” (is that even on anymore? Never could figure out how Keillor found the time […]


Sad to hear about Kirby Puckett’s stroke yesterday. I happened to be building a fire yesterday afternoon, and had last week’s Times ready to crumple up into tinder. It was the sports section, which I have to admit I rarely read. Which is a shame because it’s lately gotten just as good and entertaining as […]

Safety Glass

Peter Beinart went quietly into the night as the editor of The New Republic, and no one noticed except David Carr, who is of course paid to notice such things. TNR has lapsed into almost complete irrelevance, along with the putative political party it was long associated with. In fact, if it is possible to […]

Fair Play

March is a month we are especially fond of, for a couple of reasons. It’s our birthday—four years old! No presents, please, we’re laying low this year—and it is also the month that we haul out the twelve-inch, black-and-white television in the office. Why? So we can attend to Minnesota’s secular high holidays, the State […]

Four Minute Fellini

Remember when the first graphical web browsers were developed? At the time, circa 1993, “going online” meant dicking around with dial-up modems and text menus on Gopher and CompuServe. Then the World Wide Web suddenly exploded in full color with pictures, formatted text, and rollover hyperlinks. Almost overnight, the Web gained critical mass; within a […]

Rusty Hitch

I was not much surprised to read Chris Hitchens over at Slate, defending his friend Bernard Henri Levy from Garrison Keillor’s scurillous review of American Vertigo. While Hitch wins points for style as ever –“turkey-wattled congressmen” and “the Homer of Middle America”, he shoots, he scores!–I have to say that he almost entirely missed the […]

Publishing For Dummies

Harry Siegel, the still bedewed editor of the New York Press has resigned–along with his entire staff, after being ordered not to publish “those comics.” He’d been on the job for something like six months. In his public statement, he makes a cogent argument from the farther reaches of journalistic idealism. Not a lot of […]

Ha Ha Very Funny

Not sure where I fall on this issue of comics featuring the likeness of Muhammed, but I was gratified to see that Edina native, St. Olaf Grad, and local-kid-done-good Ward Sutton weighs in on the subject over’ta San Francisco Chronicle. I also admire the Strib’s Anders Gyllenhaal (isn’t that, um, a Danish name?) for his […]

Cord Wood

A slightly earlier, tongue-twistier version of last night’s MPR commentary: Probably many Minnesotans have been happy that, so far, it’s been a pretty mild winter. My family is on one of those stabilized payment plans where we pay the same amount for heat each month of the year, even in the summer months–not because I’m […]