Media Affairs

Ern Malley and The LeRoy Legacy

04.13.2006 | Jeremy Axelrod | Literature, Media Affairs | 2 Comments
The acceptance and effusive praise of these poems was supposed to embarrass all hoodwinked readers and editors, proving that the School of Obscurity read meaning into randomness. More important, it was meant to expose how destitute in meaning modern poetry had become. But it didn’t. Despite the considerable sensation created by the hoaxers’ unveiling, the Ern Malley poems did not lose legitimacy. For many sophisticated readers discovering the nonsense-intentions of the authors didn’t undermine the art at all. Nobody stopped drinking champagne from the glass slipper, and Malley remains at least as compelling as LeRoy. For in the effort of critiquing modern poetry, McAuley and Stewart had in fact created it.

Getting It Right

“Hey – Stuckey says Wallace has been shot!”

My mind raced back to the night when an AP reporter phoned the bureau with the stunning report that Robert Kennedy had been shot. Before moving the bulletin, the bureau chief queried the reporter to make sure there was no mistake.

I grabbed the telephone. Now it was my turn to ask the questions.

© 2006 Hanna Mandelbaum

Ann Marlowe, the Memoir, and the Self-Made Man

02.22.2006 | Tony Dokoupil | Literature, Media Affairs | 7 Comments
Me Books are distinguished by the fact that the first-person voice is the only voice in the text, and “I-I-I” is tacitly believed to be the only seat of authority from which to report the world. That serial memoirists own this seat of authority is perfectly harmless until the touching letters from readers, the millions of dollars, the Bestseller mantles and the cover medallions aren’t enough. They want to pretend that what they publish is more than eloquent journal writing; that it’s cultural commentary; that their accidental adventures in addiction, divorce, death, and disease can be activated into episodes of accidental ethnography.

Without Apology

Because there can be no fear check on a free and open press, and because of the self-evident newsworthiness of the cartoons, the editorial staff of New York Press collectively resigned when ownership decided to kill the images and several thousand words dedicated to them just hours before the paper was to go to print on Tuesday.

Here is the editorial that was to have run on the issue’s cover and their letter of resignation and here are four of the essays on the cartoons that were to have run inside the paper.

The Play About Islam I Want To See

If you lived in a society in which people routinely “disappeared” and where even the “anti-government” parties must first be approved by the government, you might also be susceptible to chatter about the Protocols of the Elders of Zion or of elaborate, non-existent CIA plots.

Fight for Freedom

At a time like this, the concept of a free Civil Society needs strong defenders, not intimidated advocates.

Heads in the Sand

It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the Bush administration has gone at least a little soft on radical Islam—and that everyone is still scared stiff of it.

Cartoon Clash of Civilizations?

The cartoons themselves are self-congratulatory and smug, drawn and propagated with the intent to incite controversy—although perhaps not the sort of “controversy” engendered by petrol bombs tossed through embassy windows.

The Academy and the Cartoon Controversy

Those hoping for insight from Middle East Studies specialists, however, will be sorely disappointed. Last year’s events at Columbia, which featured credible allegations of anti-Israel bias in the classrooms of several Middle East Studies professors, provided only the highest-profile example of a field whose faculty too often seem to view demonizing Israel as an academic responsibility. Israel can’t be blamed for the current controversy. But that hasn’t stopped many of the academy’s experts on the Middle East from using the controversy to recycle their customary critiques.

We Couldn't Be More Proud

New York Press editors (and New Partisan founders) Harry Siegel, Tim Marchman, Jonathan Leaf and columnist Azi Paybarah resigned yesterday, rather than compromise their journalistic ideals, when the paper’s ownership censored content, including the infamous Danish Muhammed cartoons.

Their courage, principles and integrity are admirable. More importantly, they are sorely needed at a time when other journalists and publications lack these qualities and publish fear-inspired and inflammatory screeds rather than providing an honest exploration of important issues. The fact that the Press’ ownership is stopping editors from running content out of cowardice, business concerns or no, betrays a serious lack of integrity.

These fellows, now formerly of the Press, have shown their commitment to authentic journalism not only by taking this morally upright stand, but in the hard work and long hours they’ve devoted to improving the Press during their short tenure. New York Press will suffer because of the loss of these gentlemen, but we at NP and the public at large will only benefit from their actions and their continued contributions.

More at The Politicker

Artful Apes

01.25.2006 | George Zucker | Cultural Affairs, Media Affairs | 5 Comments

Let's set things straight for Shirley Temple Black, whose signature song has long been dissed as a maritime metaphor. Mrs. Black told me many years ago that she rarely meets anyone who knows the "Good Ship Lollipop" was an airplane, not a boat.

And let's stop dumping on "The Ugly American." He was the book's good guy.

Devolving Again

The ill-conceived and illogical statement made at the Houston biennial (and which was also sent by post to all members of Congress and President Bush) is falling by the wayside in favor of the antics of its critics and supporters.

The Manifesto

08.24.2005 | Harry Siegel | Media Affairs
As you may have heard, there’s a new editorial team aboard at New York Press. Mostly, we hope our work will speak for itself, but what’s the point in putting out a paper, let alone an alt weekly, if you can’t run an introductory manifesto?

Why John Pod's Wrong About A Rod & Co.

07.30.2005 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs, Sports | 2 Comments
What’s worse: Barry Bonds’ performance-enhancing creams or Hall of Famer Tris Speaker’s KKK membership? And that’s not to mention the cocaine tooted in clubhouses in the 80s, the long tradition of players tossing a mouthful of uppers before an afternoon game, or Pete Rose ruining Ray Fosse’s career with a gratuitous body slam at the plate during the 1970 All Star game?

Welcome to the Terrordome

07.14.2005 | Russ Smith | International Affairs, Media Affairs | 2 Comments
Bush’s audacious foreign policy, which has tipped over the traditional playing board in the Middle East, won’t be realized during his second term. And perhaps it will be in vain. But his defiant stand in taking the war to the jihadists, on their home turf, is far more courageous—morally and politically—than doing nothing aside from chasing bin Laden and hoping that everything will turn out OK.

Tears of Rage, or, Observations on the Belligerent Opposition

06.30.2005 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs, National Affairs | 2 Comments
Rove knew it was a win-win confrontation: At a time when Bush's poll numbers are slipping — although by reading The Times you'd think they were as low as Jimmy Carter's — Rove rallied conservatives with predictable but crowd-pleasing denunciations of luminaries like Michael Moore and the goofballs at
In the next news cycle, as Rove no doubt anticipated, profiles of courage such as Sens. Harry Reid (who's called Bush a "liar"), Chuck Schumer, Jon Corzine, Chris Dodd and John Kerry (labeled Bush an "idiot") were in an equally predictable dither.

Small Magazine, Small Man

06.27.2005 | Jonathan Leaf | Media Affairs | 13 Comments
Before Taki set up The American Conservative it seems that he met with Katrina Van den Heuvel about investing in The Nation. (Perhaps that was the point at which the far-left and far-right literally met up.) Stranger still, this self-described "soi-disant anti-Semite" almost invested in Seth Lipsky’s strongly pro-Israel New York Sun. This isn’t to say that Taki doesn’t have genuine right-wing anti-Semitic views. But it does raise the question of whether Taki’s main interest is in his views or merely in seeing his name in print.

The Protection Racket, or, Why Cruise and Holmes Are Fair Game 

06.1.2005 | Jonathan Leaf | Media Affairs | 2 Comments
Why this abrupt shift in the way that Cruise is being covered? The answer, it seems, lies in Cruise’s change in publicists. 

Mugger Bites Wolff -- Our Man on a Media Pariah

05.23.2005 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs
Maybe he's the Jason Giambi of print journalism: Wolff's body didn't shrink and burst with parasites, but amongst the elite Manhattan lunch crowd he's a pariah.

Mugger Cleans House

05.6.2005 | Russ Smith | Media Affairs
Coulter's all-Democrats-are-losers shtick is so patronizing and shrill that it's diminished the smart commentary she produced before notoriety and the lecture circuit beckoned. Her shrieks put her in the undesirable company of Maureen Dowd, Rush Limbaugh and Paul Krugman -- media divas to avoid.

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