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Archives for April, 2005

April 27, 2005

Now on the internets

Daniel Radosh

My former employer, The Week, has finally ditched its old brochure site for a real live Web presence. Here's why you should care. While American pundits (save a few in Miami) have been ignoring the implications of Luis Posada Carriles's presence in the US, The Week's roundup of what the Latin American press is saying makes clear that this is a big deal in the rest of the world.

“How embarrassing” for the U.S., said Pascual Serrano in Havana’s Tribuna de la Habana. At the very moment that the Americans are self-righteously condemning Cuba for failing to uphold human rights, a “notorious terrorist” suddenly turns up in Miami. Luis Posada Carriles, a Cuban-born Venezuelan citizen, was convicted in Venezuela of blowing up a civilian Cuban plane in 1976, killing all 73 passengers. After he escaped from prison, Posada was caught in Panama in 2000 with 40 tons of explosives; he planned to detonate them at a summit there and kill Fidel Castro. The Panamanian president inexplicably pardoned Posada, and from August 2004, until last month, authorities didn’t know where he was. Now it transpires that Posada, 77, has been in Florida for several weeks. This “monster” has just applied for political asylum in the United States....It’s time for Bush to remember his admonition to the world in 2003: “If someone protects a terrorist, if someone feeds a terrorist, that person is just as guilty as the terrorists.

Continue reading "Now on the internets" »

April 27, 2005

If you could just see her through my eyes

Daniel Radosh


I came across the Louis Armstrong original recording of Oops, I Did It Again a few days ago on Sensible Erection and pretty much shrugged it off. I can't quite put my finger on what left me cool, but basically, the execution didn't live up to the presentation.

Today, though, Sully links to the Weimar cabaret version, and I am smitten.

April 27, 2005

Gawker? I hardly know 'er!

Daniel Radosh


I know it's the thing to complain that Gawker's guest editors are never as good as the real ones (who were never as good as the ones who preceeded them, who were never as good as they were on their personal sites, etc). But frankly, I'm thrilled that Noelle Hancock has fulfilled her goal of "trying to find a career that will allow her to wear pajama pants to the office every day." It gives me an excuse to post this photo from her old Stuff layout. If all journalists were this hot, I might actually go to some of those MediaBistro gatherings.

April 26, 2005

Burn the land and boil the sea

Daniel Radosh


What the hell are you doing here? Don't you know the Serenity trailer just went up? (OK, I only knew because some people are even more obsessed than I am.)

Not surprisingly, it's hard to tell exactly what we can expect. My guess is the percentage of action in the trailer is MUCH higher than what will be in the film -- and the need to put all those action shots in meant sacrificing some footage that would have teased the flick in a more coherent and perhaps compelling manner.

Still, there are two lines that made me tingle just a bit: the responses to "define interesting..." and "I'm unarmed..." See for yourself.

Nice looking logo too. Just hope it doesn't turn up on Hanzi Smatter.

Update: Egotastic has vidcaps. The eigth one down confirms something I thought I saw: that's Earth. I mean, Earth That Was. Looking very much like Earth That Is. At least from this distance. Are we finally going to see what happened?

April 26, 2005

They let this guy near journalism students?

Daniel Radosh

Recently, my old friend Peter Landesman took his handsome mug and dubious credentials to Northwestern University's Medill journalism school, where he lectured students on, keep a straight face now, proper sourcing in investigative stories.

Until Medill student reporter Jeannie Vanasco Googles her name, finds this post, and sends me a complete transcript of the talk (who says I don't know how to do research?), here's her report. It's nice to know that criticisms of Landesman's sex slave story are still dogging him, and not surprising that he's still having trouble explaining himself. The key paragraph, fisked, after the jump.

Continue reading "They let this guy near journalism students?" »

April 22, 2005

Book review of the week

Daniel Radosh

Matt Taibbi on Tom Friedman:

Predictably, Friedman spends the rest of his huge book piling one insane image on top of the other, so that by the end—and I'm not joking here—we are meant to understand that the flat world is a giant ice-cream sundae that is more beef than sizzle, in which everyone can fit his hose into his fire hydrant, and in which most but not all of us are covered with a mostly good special sauce. Moreover, Friedman's book is the first I have encountered, anywhere, in which the reader needs a calculator to figure the value of the author's metaphors.

... If you're like me, you're already lost by the time Friedman starts adding to this numerical jumble his very special qualitative descriptive imagery. For instance:

"And now the icing on the cake, the ubersteroid that makes it all mobile: wireless. Wireless is what allows you to take everything that has been digitized, made virtual and personal, and do it from anywhere."

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you a Thomas Friedman metaphor, a set of upside-down antlers with four thousand points: the icing on your uber-steroid-flattener-cake!

[Via Ezra Klein

April 22, 2005

What you didn't see, you can still sort of get

Daniel Radosh


The weird thing about the WYSIWYG show this week is that I was The Old Guy. Everyone was reading about their jobs, and they're all talking about how they graduated from college in 2002 or whatnot. Meanwhile, my story references Ed Koch and The Equalizer. Now I know how Jarvis must feel on all those blogger panels.

Anyway, it was a great night. This girl had the funniest Auschwitz joke I've ever heard (OK, the only funny Auschwitz joke I've ever heard). This guy made me want to buy a mirror hat. He made me even more concerned about driving on the FDR, he reminded me never to trust a hippie, and she had the cutest little dress and boots (see photo above; If you want to see the pictures of me, they're here. I think they photoshopped in that shirt, though. I was actually wearing an ironic hipster t-shirt, I swear).

Supposedly they'll be posting video of the readings soon. Meanwhile, you can read my story about measuring newsstands for the New York City Department of Transportation.

April 22, 2005

Competition for the title of world's most ironic one-year-old

Daniel Radosh

Y'all know I try really hard not to inflict my children on you. No one wants radosh.net to become one of those blogs. But since I've already posted or linked photos of my daughter twice now, it's only fair to note that her twin brother is not without his own sense of fun.


April 21, 2005

You forgot scandal-ridden

Daniel Radosh

A while ago I chided Entertainment Weekly for referring to Sandra Bullock as "a hyphenate" while using slashes instead of hyphens in its description of her.

Today, Alex Frankel found this in The Weekly Standard: "The truth is that Tom DeLay is a special target because he is the first legislative power broker to be an authentic Red State conservative. He is an unhyphenated Reaganite: militantly pro-life and pro-values on social issues, a pro-growth tax cutter on economic issues, and an unapologetic, spread-American-values interventionist abroad."

Notes Alex: "Delay is unhyphenated with five hyphens."

In his defense, those hyphens are almost ten years old and he had no idea where they came from.

April 20, 2005

Does the Times need a ombudsgeek?

Daniel Radosh


Nerds everywhere -- or at least in my house -- were apoplectic on finding two massive errors on facing pages of yesterday's New York Times. First, an article on the new language created for Jade Empire says that "In a twist, Tho Fan would do without the verb 'to be.'" Considering that the article spends a fair amount of time acknowledging the last true invented language, Klingon, shouldn't the writer know that Klingon was also originally created without "to be"? Hrumph!

But far more unforgivable is this: "The BBC has announced who will play Doctor Who in the next 13-part series of the cult science-fiction television show of the same name."

If I have to explain to you what's wrong with that you don't belong on this blog, or are here because the link from Drunken Stepfather [NSFW] fooled you into thinking there'd be celebrity nudity here. (Only sometimes, sorry).

April 20, 2005

Obligatory Benedict XVI post

Daniel Radosh

Here's the thing I'm wondering about the pontiff formerly known as Cliffy from Cheers. How is it that he had his pope name ready so quickly after being elected? Did they gave him a little time to think about it before the announcement? Or is it like actors and their Oscar speeches, and every cardinal secretly spends his whole career thinking up the perfect pope name for when his big moment surely comes?

Or maybe it's just the name of his first pet and the street he grew up on.

April 18, 2005

And with it we give up all hope of seeing "part 2" of that Galleycat post

Daniel Radosh

The Cast of Shadows review that counts most is in.

What's striking about "Cast of Shadows" is that Mr. Guilfoile, in his first outing as a novelist, does all this with a lot more panache than Mr. Crichton has demonstrated in many years. His story occasionally stumbles into the clichés thrillers are prone to: portentous, hyperventilated foreshadowing; dreary school-room talk of good and evil; and a supporting cast made up of standard-issue cops, private detectives and long-suffering spouses. But Mr. Guilfoile's tricky, high-concept plot continually subverts and plays with the reader's expectations.

Very positive overall, but not completely. Personally, I'd put this blurb on the softcover: "A gripping if lumpy thriller!"

April 18, 2005

Sign you take this writing thing just a little too seriously

Daniel Radosh

The New York Times article on the Paul Maliszewski/Michael Chabon scuffle says that Maliszewski was fired from McSweeney's after sending "an anonymous e-mail newsletter full of invented gossip about other writers. 'Hundreds of people around New York were getting some incredibly blasphemous e-mail full of incredible fabrications,' said Dave Eggers, McSweeney's editor."

Um, OK, I'm sure Jonathan Lethem is very special to you, but blasphemy? You do know that word is more or less reserved for God, right?

Without having heard Chabon's lecture or read Maliszewski's article, I'm taking Chabon's side. That said, here's a very legit criticism of the Times story. And here's the cruelest thing you can say to a McSweeney's guy: "On second though, I won't fuck you."

April 15, 2005

I like to think I'm pretty open minded, but that's just obscene

Daniel Radosh

Sample user-submitted polls from the "Adult/XXX" section of BestandWorst.com:

• Which Disney cartoon character would you give it to the most?

Are you a child molester?

Would you lick my balls when your done sucking my dick?

Best Helen Hunt movie

April 15, 2005

Two events not to miss

Daniel Radosh


OK, one. The one you can probably skip, but I'll remind you anyway, is my appearance at the WYSIWYG Talent Show on Tuesday. I'm not sure reading is talent, but that's what I'll be doing.

The event you absolutely may not miss is the New York premier of Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation at the Brooklyn Underground Film Festival on Saturday, April 23rd. Why yes, that is the first night of Passover, but where are your priorities?

April 15, 2005

Don't look so pissed off girls, I'm blogging about you again!

Daniel Radosh


Man oh man, the Huckapets are looking surly in their latest publicity photo. Cheer up, girls, I haven't forgotten you, I swear. Here's the latest dispatch from Huckapoo world, but first, that squatting must be really uncomfortable. Why not stand up and slip into some even more bizzaro outfits?


That's better! Whoa, hold onto those trousers, Angel! Groovy, lovin' the blown out hair. Very Brooke Shields 1984. Twiggy, would you like a sandwich? I know you have a name to live up to and everything, but didn't you learn anything from your benefit show for HEED? PJ, Snoop called, he wants his street creed back. And Joey, why are you wearing a sign that says "Dork"? Oh, wait. That's "Punk." My bad.

Thanks to Dashiell for the pic. Now click through for the latest Huckanews and an even more awesome photo.

Continue reading "Don't look so pissed off girls, I'm blogging about you again!" »

April 13, 2005

Is it possible she didn't write it herself?

Daniel Radosh

I'm not the least bit interested in baby Federline, but the wording of Brit's official message confused me a bit: "There are reports that I was in the hospital this weekend..."

If she doesn't know for sure, who does?

April 8, 2005

And it's WAY better than jumbo shrimp

Daniel Radosh

Headline/head-scratcher of the day: Teens Prefer Oral Sex to Virginal Sex

Continue reading "And it's WAY better than jumbo shrimp" »

April 6, 2005

Faux outrage

Daniel Radosh

The first paragraph of this Hit & Run post nicely captures something I'd also thought about recently. But it's the second and third grafs that caught my attention. If you're looking for a knowing parody of blogging -- firmly held outrage supported by dubious factual knowledge -- look no further.

Moviegoers like to get some bang for their buck, and bigger titles inevitably crowd out admirable works with more modest titles. Who's going to bother with The Ring when you can see The Lord of the Rings? Why would anybody settle for just one King of Comedy when you can see multiple Kings of Comedy, who in addition to being more numerous are also, apparently, The Originals? Is it any wonder that nobody's heard of Robert Altman's A Wedding lately, when for the same price you can get a wedding that's not only big and fat but also Greek? You'd be a fool to watch a movie that offers only the experience of watching John Malkovich when you have the option of actually Being John Malkovich. (In the exception that proves the rule, The Incredibles managed to outperform the 1971 Bruce Dern/Casey Kasem vehicle The Incredible Two-Headed Transplant.)

April 6, 2005

Now the Jews really DO control the media

Daniel Radosh

Campus-J gets its mea culpa.

April 6, 2005

What is this thing you call basketball?

Daniel Radosh


A little late for March Madness, but I finally came across the MSNBC Comedy Movie bracket.

Given the limitations of the site's original 64 picks, my final four came down to: Big Lebowski v. Groundhog Day (which only very narrowly defeated Rushmore) and Election v. The Philadelphia Story. From there, I have Groundhog Day facing off against Philly, with the Dream Team of Kate, Jimmy, and Archie going on to final victory.

You can disagree, of course. MSNBC readers' favorites (for some reason we don't get to know the actual final four, since some of these faced off against each other) were: Office Space, Caddyshack, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Airplane. I had Airplane going one round, Holy Grail going two (falling to Philly Story) and the fine Office Space never making it out of the gate, thanks to first round competition from Election. Caddyshack is the most overrated comedy of all time.

April 5, 2005

The next best thing to actually blogging?

Daniel Radosh

Despite the fact that I haven't been blogging much the last few weeks, I will be, later this month, reaching a major blogger milestone, when I appear at the WYSIWYG Talent Show, reading a story I wrote many years ago for The New York Press that (sort of) fits this month's theme, Minimum Rage: Work Slaves Revolt. Several other excellent bloggers will be reading too, of course.

Details: April 19th, 7:30 at PS 122 in NYC. Please come say hi. I'd love to meet my regular readers. It is so lonely sitting here at my computer. So, so lonely. I am almost tempted to post a picture of my cats.

April 1, 2005

Another headache for Okrent

Daniel Radosh

Campus-J has a scoop regarding a recent New York Times article about a Columbia University report exhonerating members of its faculty of antisemitism.

According to the blog, the Times reporter agreed not to interview any students for its story in return for exclusive early access to the report. NYT public editor Dan Okrent is on the case.

Campus-J, which covers Jewish issues on college campuses, is clearly a partisan voice regarding the underlying issue involved (I have not followed and am not really interested in what seems like a fairly run of the mill "hate speech" vs. "academic freedom" squabble) but if it has its facts right about the Times coverage of the story, it's uncovered an egregious violation of journalistic ethics.

Today, however, The Columbia Spectator offers a more nuanced description of the deal between the University and the Times. It says it was offered the same deal, which was that it was not allowed to "spread the report" to people who hadn't seen it. The editor says the "clear implication" was do not interview students about the report, and Okrent's task will be to determine if that's how the reporter understood the deal too (in which case she should have, as the Spectator did, refused). If the Times reporter thought she was allowed to interview students -- and was free to describe the contents of the report as needed to get a quote -- the question then becomes, why didn't she? The obvious answer -- nobody gives a damn what students think -- is, while revealing in its own way, nothing to get Romenesko excited about.

Update: Campus-J's tenacious Steven Weiss gets the runaround from the Times, but Okrent says he's writing about it for next Sunday.

April 1, 2005

Foolish and boring. How can you lose?

Daniel Radosh

Parody is easy, though you wouldn't know it from how much bad parody there is out there. All it takes is a knack for mimicry and a facility for jokes. But what's tricky is parody with a clever underlying premise -- something that skewers the target right off the bat, and makes all the jokes cohere. For instance (if I do say so myself), What if Dave Eggers wrote the Harry Potter books?

Now you're already aware that our man Francis knows his way around a clever parody. So once you know that his birthday is April Fool's Day, you can pretty much expect him to celebrate by asking himself a question like, What if BoingBoing was actually BoringBoring? Dull has never been so entertaining.

An appreciative response, and lots of mirrors, here.

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