The front page story and accompanying photo (which I at first glance took to be an old shot of the World Trade Center) of today’s New York Times is about how the New Yorkers feared after 9/11 has not come to pass.
But New Yorkers were introduced that day to irreducible presumptions about their wounded city that many believed would harden and become chiseled into the event’s enduring legacy.
New York would become a fortress city, choked by apprehension and resignation, forever patrolled by soldiers and submarines. Another attack was coming. And soon.
Eight years on every one who lives here is well aware this is not the case! As the Times points out, skyscrapers still have tenants, tourists still come to the city (to put it mildly). But does anything demonstrate the emotional recovery of the city better than today’s New York Post cover? The Post, which is rarely one to miss an opportunity for a dramatic cover, barely mentions today’s anniversary. It’s relegated to a tiny box in the top corner; the Post doesn’t always need splashy headlines to get the point across.
It might just be wishful thinking on his part — up until now, the only person exempt from the McKinsey inquisition has reportedly beenThe New Yorker’sDavid Remnick — but here’s what Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carterhad to say to the New York Observer at a book party last night about. A good attitude can get you far in life, you know.
We asked Mr. Carter if he’d already had his meeting.
“What meeting?” he said.
The one with the McKinsey people!
“No, no,” Mr. Carter said, emphatically. “They’re not gonna meet with me.”
Then how are they going to decide what to do with your magazine?
“How are they what? I have no idea,” Mr. Carter said cheerfully. “We haven’t found out yet. I’m sure they’ll have some brilliant ideas.”
On the cover of Glamour’s October issue, Gwen Stefani is positively in your face. Feeling her pink fuzzy grip, we’ve pulled some of Gwen’s best cover work from the last five years — there can be only one best Gwen Stefani cover!
Rolling Stone, January 2005: This cover is classic Gwen Stefani — we’d recognize that midriff anywhere. On the heels of her first solo album L.A.M.B. (2004), Gwen was coming into her own. So what if she’s been polished within an inch of her life.
Mediaite Grade (B+): The bra-and-hoodie look screams ‘post-’90s grunge, angsty funk’ louder than “Rock Goddess with Major Issues.” But let it be known that she was ahead of the curve on busy sweaters. Safe to say, then is when some of us fell in love with Gwen.
V, March 2008: Couture magazine V, decidedly more artsy than mainstream, breaks step with the drumbeat of Gwen Stefani covers. Instead of her body, Gwen’s face is featured prominently though veiled; there is interesting play between the light and her skin, which looks real in some places and pale and plastic in others; and her hair is … orange?
Mediaite Grade (B-): We like all of the visual play on the cover, but Gwen’s face cradled in the V is overtly sexual, in kind of an uncomfortable way. Maybe it’s just us, but the V over her face is inherently vaginal, and the nearly overhead perspective makes it seem like she’s going into our crotch. But maybe we’re projecting.
Elle, July 2009: In hindsight it has been a pretty nutty summer of Elle covers. Megan Fox in June was fine, but then things got weird. This Gwen Stefani cover set off an avalanche of weird, sending up a black plume of rubbery covers with Miley Cyrus in August and Jennifer Aniston in September.
Mediaite Grade (C+): We’re going to stick with our guns on this one: If we may say so, Gwen’s whole look is a little strange, and she appears even paler between the white background and rich tones of her clothing. For whatever reason her shoulders look enormous, yet we still feel her flaunting that midriff through horizontal stripes. File this under edgy gone wrong.
Glamour, October 2009: We’ve picked onGlamour for indulging in funky trompe l’oeil before, but we really dig it this time around. Somehow Gwen really pops off the page (and not in the weird cunnilingus way).
Mediaite Grade (A-): If Gwen’s palette of pale and blonde tones is poisonous, Glamour has found the antidote with pink. Her skin doesn’t look too pale, nor does her hair look too orange. Gwen comes alive on the page as her loose doo and fingertip run over the margins.
COVER WARS WINNER: Magazines are always trying to make the subject of the cover pop off the page: Ted Kennedy on the cover of Newsweek; Kristen Bell on this month’s Allure; Audrina Partridge on the cover of Maxim. When the pop goes off without a hitch, you forget that you’re looking a magazine because you’ve already been sucked into the vortex. There’s no hitch in the latest Glamour’s pop. (But we’re still waiting on our plus-sizedtriples cover).
It’s time for another edition of Mediaite Office Hours. We’ll be live from Livestream.com’s studio at 4pmET (new time just for today), with guests including CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus and ABC News Political Correspondent Rick Klein. And of course…you!
Do you have a question, comment or complaint about anything concerning Mediaite? Well if you do, today is a real chance to make your voice heard. We will be holding our Mediaite Office Hours at 4pmET.
McManus spoke yesterday at the Walter Cronkite memorial in New York. We’ll talk to him about the event, as well as the start of the NFL season and more. You can follow him on Twitter here. Klein is also on Twitter, and was very active last night during Pres. Obama’s speech. We’ll talk to him about the big stories to come out of last night’s address.
Glynnis MacNicol, Steve Krakauer and Rachel Sklar host the live-streamed call-in show, and others in the Mediaite team, like, Colby Hall and our fantastic interns, will appear periodically, as well as special guests.
Our call-in number is (347) 632-8956. Also, we’re using Skype now, so you can video chat in to our username – Mediaite. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
This analysis seems to spring from these two sentences:
For example — for example, some have suggested that the public option go into effect only in those markets where insurance companies are not providing affordable policies. Others have proposed a co-op or another non-profit entity to administer the plan. These are all constructive ideas worth exploring.
So, two sentences placating the GOP’s and Blue Dogs’ macaroni art constitutes a repudiation of the public option?
The White House’s position on the public option has been remarkably consistent. I’ve heard Gibbs asked time and again about the public option, and while they have refused to draw a line in the sand, the White House has consistently said that they strongly support a public option. Absent sand-line-drawing, that’s about as strong as you can get.
Now, my health care proposal has also been attacked by some who oppose reform as a “government takeover” of the entire health care system. As proof, critics point to a provision in our plan that allows the uninsured and small businesses to choose a publicly sponsored insurance option, administered by the government just like Medicaid or Medicare. (Applause.)
So let me set the record straight here. My guiding principle is, and always=2 0has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition. That’s how the market works. (Applause.) Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75 percent of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90 percent is controlled by just one company. And without competition, the price of insurance goes up and quality goes down. And it makes it easier for insurance companies to treat their customers badly — by cherry-picking the healthiest individuals and trying to drop the sickest, by overcharging small businesses who have no leverage, and by jacking up rates.
Insurance executives don’t do this because they’re bad people; they do it because it’s profitable. As one former insurance executive testified before Congress, insurance companies are not only encouraged to find reasons to drop the seriously ill, they are rewarded for it. All of this is in service of meeting what this former executive called “Wall Street’s relentless profit expectations.”
Now, I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business. They provide a legitimate service, and employ a lot of our friends and neighbors. I just want to hold them accountable. (Applause.) And the insurance reforms that I’ve already mentioned would do just that. But an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange.& nbsp; (Applause.) Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. It would only be an option for those who don’t have insurance. No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance. In fact, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, we believe that less than 5 percent of Americans would sign up.
Despite all this, the insurance companies and their allies don’t like this idea. They argue that these private companies can’t fairly compete with the government. And they’d be right if taxpayers were subsidizing this public insurance option. But they won’t be. I’ve insisted that like any private insurance company, the public insurance option would have to be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects. But by avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits and excessive administrative costs and executive salaries, it could provide a good deal for consumers, and would also keep pressure on private insurers to keep their policies affordable and treat their customers better, the same way public colleges and universities provide additional choice and competition to students without in any way inhibiting a vibrant system of private colleges and universities. (Applause.)
Now, it is — it’s worth noting that a strong majority of Americans still favor a public insurance option of the sort I’ve proposed tonight. But its impac t shouldn’t be exaggerated — by the left or the right or the media. It is only one part of my plan, and shouldn’t be used as a handy excuse for the usual Washington ideological battles. To my progressive friends, I would remind you that for decades, the driving idea behind reform has been to end insurance company abuses and make coverage available for those without it. (Applause.) The public option — the public option is only a means to that end — and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish our ultimate goal. And to my Republican friends, I say that rather than making wild claims about a government takeover of health care, we should work together to address any legitimate concerns you may have. (Applause.)
For example — for example, some have suggested that the public option go into effect only in those markets where insurance companies are not providing affordable policies. Others have proposed a co-op or another non-profit entity to administer the plan. These are all constructive ideas worth exploring. But I will not back down on the basic principle that if Americans can’t find affordable coverage, we will provide you with a choice. (Applause.) And I will make sure that no government bureaucrat or insurance company bureaucrat gets between you and the care that you need. (Applause.)
It’s surprising to many that the detention center at Guantanamo Bay has a library, but it does — and an extensive one at that. The U.S. military likes to hold up the library as proof that detainees are treated humanely; while that’s open to debate, they sure do have a lot of books to read. According to PRI, the library has thousands of volumes in sixteen languages, “including English, Arabic, Farsi, Pashtu, Urdu and Uzbek,” including poetry, history, fiction, comic books, and religious texts.
When pan-Arab newspaper Dar Al-Hayatasked the librarian at Guantanamo Bay what the most-requested books were, this is what they found:
1. The Harry Potter novels, by J.K. Rowling
2. Don Quixote, by Cervantes
3. Dreams from my Father, by Barack Obama
…followed by Muslim holy texts.
In the article, no explanation is given for why these particular books were so popular, but one of the entries is sure to rile up a lot of conservatives — and it isn’t Don Quixote.
There’s lots more fascinating analysis of this list — including an analogy made by an actual Guantanamo Bay prisoner between Bush and Voldemort — at Times Online’s Comment Central.
Talk about a one-track mind! When Mark Whicker heard the tragic story of Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped as a child and held captive for 18 years by a convicted sex criminal and religious loon, all he could think of was the sports milestones she missed. But instead of confining this crass, narrow-minded realization to a drunken card game conversation, he went and turned it into an entire sports column for the OC Register.
“It doesn’t sound as if Jaycee Dugard got to see a sports page,” it begins, before recounting notable accomplishments (in another context!) from Barry Bonds, Michael Jordan, John McEnroe and more. And though the entire conceit reeks of trivialization and insensitivity, worse are Whicker’s petty, feigned attempts at sympathetic jokes. “She never saw a highlight,” he opines. “Probably hasn’t high-fived in a while.” But that’s not all:
She was not allowed to spike a volleyball. Or pitch a softball. Or smack a forehand down the line. Or run in a 5-footer for double bogey.
Now, that’s deprivation.
Gulp. And then there’s the kicker, in pun form as columnists are wont to do: “Congratulations, Jaycee. You left the yard.”
“Too soon” doesn’t even begin to describe it. To call the idea half-baked could qualify for understatement of the month, but the fact that this piece probably had an editor makes it all the more baffling. That means at least two people thought this was a good idea — funny, clever, and appropriate. But the online outrage has been morethansufficient.
Obviously, as Romenesko is reporting, Whicker has since apologized, calling the effect of the column “miscalculated” and repenting explicitly to the paper’s readers, buyers and of course, advertisers. “I’ll try to earn back the trust of those customers in my future endeavors.” But as this is likely the first, it will also probably be the last time anyone checks out a Mark Whicker column. As sportscaster Chris Berman says, “Gone!”