Author Archive

Mugger: Measuring Saddam’s Coffin

Written by Russ Smith on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

A problem common to political bloggers is that they often scoot to the keyboards without adequate time for reflection. Andrew Sullivan is, on the whole, a sensible and smart writer, but his paragraph on President Bush’s press conference last Thursday night, posted just hours after it was completed, was way off the mark. While it’s [&hellip
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Mugger: Bring Back the Draft?: A Middle-Aged Timesman is Gung Ho.

Written by Russ Smith on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Do we really need the second coming of Father James Fallows mucking up magazines? . Fallows, the self-appointed conscience of the media, attracted attention years ago when he bared his soul in print about the belated guilt he felt at not serving in Vietnam. Safe at Harvard as a youth, Fallows recalled seeing middle- and [&hellip
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Mugger: Wordsworth Wasn’t A Baseball Fan: Hey, sportswriters went to college too, and they can prove it.

Written by Russ Smith on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Like many Americans, I’m looking forward to the upcoming baseball season. It’s a simple pleasure: Watching from the sidelines as my sons play in the Downtown Little League, hoping for a scorching line drive or diving infield catch, or even consoling one of them after three consecutive strikeouts, makes for an ideal spring or summer [&hellip
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Mugger: Setting Saturday Straight: A French-free family passes through Saddam’s million-person march.

Written by Russ Smith on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

As fortune would have it, the anti-Bush protests last Saturday were not confined to the east side of Manhattan. The kids and I were leaving the Virgin Megastore (corporate!) at Times Square, after purchasing The Alamo, Magnum Force and High Noon, when we walked smack into a motley parade of perhaps 500 layabouts who were [&hellip
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Mugger: All Media’s Gone Cable

Written by Russ Smith on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

All Media’s Gone Cable This may be a cynical view, and no disrespect (in the old-fashioned definition of the word) is intended to the relatives of the shuttle Columbia’s victims, but what reason other than ratings can explain television’s literally nonstop coverage of Saturday’s space tragedy? I watched for about an hour, saw the horrific [&hellip
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Mugger: The Berlin-Paris Times

Written by Russ Smith on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Collecting evidence that the Washington Post is now the United States’ "paper of record" is no more difficult than building a case that Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi dictatorship must be dismantled immediately. The contrast between the Post’s and New York Times’ lead editorials on Jan. 26 couldn’t have been more striking. The Post, disgusted by Hans [&hellip
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Mugger: Frum Looks Out for Number One

Written by Russ Smith on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

Like most accomplished journalists, David Frum has no shortage of ego. I admire his elegant writing: his essays in the Wall Street Journal, National Review, National Post and Weekly Standard, for example, are insightful views of modern conservatism. Unfortunately, Frum’s slight book (The Right Man: The Surprise Presidency of George W. Bush, Random House) recounting [&hellip
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Mugger: Antitrust Silence

Written by Russ Smith on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

I’ll try to make this as graceful as Al Gore’s withdrawal from the 2004 presidential race. Now that New York Press has new owners, it’s unlikely I’ll be subjected to the consistently inaccurate reporting of the Village Voice’s Cynthia Cotts. Miss Cotts, the weakest Voice "Press Clips" columnist in the paper’s history–she follows Alex Cockburn, [&hellip
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Mugger: 2003: Make or Break for Bush

Written by Russ Smith on . Posted in Breaking News, Posts

George W. Bush begins the new year with an enormous opportunity to virtually guarantee his reelection in 2004. Because the GOP recaptured the Senate—and quickly disposed of the Trent Lott Problem—the President has at least nine months to propose a dramatic domestic and international agenda before the media turns its attention to the growing number [&hellip
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