Category Archives: the media

December 29, 2012, 11:46 am

Guns Do Kill People, You Nitwits: The Bizarro News Of The Day

Despite the obvious fact that guns have to be activated by people in order to kill other people, it is also true that without a gun, a person cannot kill another person in the most efficient way possible — particularly when that person is running away or cowering in the corner.

Therefore, counter to the assertions of the fun with guns crowd and their trade organization, the National Rifle Association, guns do┬ákill people. More guns kill more people. To believe otherwise you would have to be capable of believing outlandish things like — well, that Mitt Romney also won the election in November; or that the Clintons’ murdered one of their old friends; or that Oliver North is a persecuted hero…..


But why does anyone in the national media take anything the NRA or the gun industry says…

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May 9, 2012, 9:45 pm

Let’s Go To The Videotape

In case you missed this on April 14 2012 (which you did if you weren’t one of about 200 people at TEDx Connecticut College, “Rethinking Progress”) my talk just got posted to the TED site by the fabulous students who put on this event. Enjoy. And admit it: like me, you’re grading. You don’t want to read anyway.

September 11, 2010, 3:13 pm

Terry Jones, Fanatacism and the Violence of Bumper-Sticker Politics

It looks like Terry Jones will not burn a Qur’an today, the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that occurred in the United States on September 11 2001, although I fully expect that some other fanatic will. The publicity surrounding this proposed violence around a sacred object has been so great that Jones’ counterparts elsewhere in the world have already performed a series of retaliatory actions, and I am very glad that I did not schedule my AHA book prize committee to meet in Washington today as we had originally planned to do.

Although not a jihadist, I too have always been offended by needlessly offensive actions, signs and bumper stickers that make sport of things I care about; I even dislike ones that announce other people’s political positions or social identities. I dislike Confederate flags for all the reasons you might expect, but I dislike even more those people who…

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July 8, 2010, 12:27 pm

Dr. Radical, Your Liberal Media Membership Card Is In The Mail

Yesterday afternoon I was tending my email — a precondition for fruitful writing — after having dumped several boxes of old research with a young scholar who plans to make lemonade with it (in a metaphorical sense.) Up pops an email from MSNBC, asking me if I would like to come to New York — like now –to be on one of those political news/opinion shows. It was the Dylan Ratigan Show, hosted that day by Cenk Uyger. Cenk is normally the host of a show called “The Young Turks,” a name you probably couldn’t use in today’s climate if you were not actually Turkish, which Cenk is.

I wrote back and said perhaps I would be interested. Moments later a young feller was on the line and asked: “Can I send a car and bring you to New York now for a 4:30 air time?” Since I had come home from New York at 1:30 in the morning, and it was 103 degrees in Shoreline, I though that sitting in traffic,…

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