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Archives for May, 2005

May 31, 2005

Well that was quick

Daniel Radosh

On Friday I suggested that the logical outcome of conservative opposition to stem cell research would be a ban on in vitro fertilization. But when I said the country was leading up to this, I thought it would be several years down the road, not today.

A prominent conservative US senator called for restrictions on the number of embryos that could be created during fertility treatments, hoping to lessen the number of unwanted embryos left over when the procedures end.

"In a number of countries, they limit the number of these in vitro fertilizations from outside the womb," US Senator Sam Brownback told ABC television's "This Week" program.

"They say you can do this, but you have to do these one or two at a time, so that they're implanted in that basis. And that might be the better way to look at this."

During infertility treatments in the United States it is not unusual for a dozen or more embryos to be created, but many fewer are implanted in the mother's womb, creating a dilemma about what to do with the leftover embryos.

"This isn't medical waste or something that you discard. This is human life, and it's sacred per se," Brownback said.

Obviously if embryos are "human life" and "sacred per se," the proposal to limit the number created is merely a way to ease up to a total ban. After all, no one says they oppose killing six people, but that someone should be free to kill "one or two at a time."

Continue reading "Well that was quick" »

May 27, 2005

Have yourself a Radar little weekend

Daniel Radosh

So by now you should have seen the "first" issue of Radar on your local newsstand. Pick it up. Read it. Tell me what you think. I wrote the cover story (which I'm actually quite happy with) and the Incoming column that opens the front of the book (not my best effort).

Excerpts from the issue are here, along with bonus material, such as the underground Disney videos that accompany the Wild Kingdom feature, and the eBay auction for Gersh Kuntzman's Damian Hirst knockoff.

Also on the web site today, the next installment of my sex column: why those headlines you read a few weeks ago about teens and oral sex were all wrong.

By the way, if you have any story ideas for either the site or the magazine, drop me a line. I strongly encourage pitches from all you established writers out there, but am also open to smart, funny ideas from undiscovered amateurs.

May 27, 2005

Where the stem cell debate is leading

Daniel Radosh

The LA Times has a good if unnecessarily opaque editorial about Bush's "snowflake baby" photo op. In hauling babies who had been born through embryo adoption into the spotlight and declaring that "there is no such thing as a spare embryo," Bush hoped to change the focus of the stem-cell debate from curing diseases to "look at the cute little babies."

As the father of two much-adored test tubers, I know the smell of a full diaper when I encounter it, and Bush's claim reeks. The Times hit most of the points that immediately occurred to me. First let me say that to the extent that there are people who want to be impregnated with someone else's embryos and other people who want to donate their embryos, that's great. I fully support connecting those people through adoption agencies, Christian or otherwise.

But to say this can become a large scale phenomenon is preposterous. There are some 300,000-500,000 frozen embryos right now. To date, fewer than 150 couples have attempted to adopt any. There's no way there will ever be enough demand to make a serious dent in the storeroom, as there are too many options people are likely to try first.

Continue reading "Where the stem cell debate is leading" »

May 26, 2005

I have one too, but it's permanent

Daniel Radosh


Style tip: When attending a Huckapoo performance, there's no such thing as overdoing the Sharpie. Write the band's name everywhere anyone might potentially see -- even if, at your age, exposure of such areas is possibly illegal.

These photos are from a group of teenage friends' trip to a recent concert. For the sake of their privacy, I won't link to the photo album where I found them. But you'll find a couple more devotional images after the jump.

Continue reading "I have one too, but it's permanent" »

May 24, 2005

Like plain old celeb-rity wasn't bad enough

Daniel Radosh


The old rule of thumb holds true: on those rare instances when Glenn Reynolds and I share an opinion, it's the only one worth having. Are we destined for disappointment? Well, as TMBG once said, If it weren't for disappointment, I wouldn't have any appointments at all. As you no doubt know, Blogebrity is insisting that Blogebrity is not a parody (though it is a stunt). The good news is that if that's true, Blogebrity is doomed.

First off, though, let me say that while the magazine idea is preposterous, at first blush, the notion of a blog about bloggers (to the extent that all blogs aren't already this) isn't bad. If done right, it could be Gawkerist on a bigger scale.

But it's precisely the bigger scale that is Blogebrity's downfall, and a quick look at The List shows why. When you talk about A-list celebrities (as opposed to blogebrities), everyone knows who you mean. You may quibble as to exactly who should be A or B list, but let me put it this way: I doubt there's a single A-list celebrity -- someone everyone would agree is A-list -- that you or I have never heard of. That's because the pool of famous people is finite and generalized. So if a celebrity is on the A-list, odds are anyone who is interested in celebrity will want to read about them in a magazine now and then.

Continue reading "Like plain old celeb-rity wasn't bad enough" »

May 24, 2005

See, not all of my friends are loser media types

Daniel Radosh

Every now and then I wonder, "What do doctors blog about?" And then I answer to myself, "Various diseases of the huckapoo, probably," and I go about my business. I do now and then check in on the medi-blog Iatremia, but only because the guy behind it, Michael Chaplin, is a friend of mine since high school, and I figure this is the place to find out if he's killed any patients yet.

But today, Chappie (yes, we called him that; no it wasn't a prep school) is hosting something called Grand Rounds, a massive link dump featuring the best of the doctor blogs. So now when you go in for your next check-up you can be confident that your physician will get your Star Wars jokes, and then go talk about you while sitting on the john. Yay, blogging!

May 20, 2005

Coincidentally, that's the exact difference between Dowd and Brooks

Daniel Radosh

The New York Times' decision to hide its Op-Ed columnists behind a subscription wall has bloggers in a stir, but I'll be fine as long as stories like this are still free: "Unlike other Lophocebus mangabeys, which communicate with a 'whoop gobble,' the new species has an unusual 'honk bark,' the researchers said."

May 20, 2005

Die, nip slip, die

Daniel Radosh


The fun thing about my Radar sex column (now officially every Friday) is that I can see-saw back and forth between the serious -- last week's attack on the abstinence pro-death movement -- and the silly -- this week's attack on nipple slips.

By the way, the classic photo above represents the Lohanboobies' valedictory appearance on this site. Until the now freakishly-skinny girl ditches her "new trainer" and picks up a hamburger, she's dead to me. [Update: After Saturday night, I mean. This is one train wreck I have to see.]

May 20, 2005

The return of the ombudsgeek

Daniel Radosh

Steve Hornbeck points the OG to this Google News headline.


You can still see those results on Google searching for "Trekkies," but the story itself on Central Texas' KWTX has been changed to read "Fans of the Force," no doubt after editors were bopped on the head by angry plastic lightsaber-weilding geeks. (While we're at it, I'm going to allow lowercase for "force," but not for "trekkies".)

Searching for "Trekkies" on Google News also calls up this, which turns out not to be a reference to this.

May 19, 2005

Cue "Those Were The Days"

Daniel Radosh

Felix calling bullshit on the Gawker/Radar slapfest got me thinking about an earlier media feud that played out with vastly more cleverness than a pie in the face. I originally wrote that it also played out quietly without any judicious leaks to the gossip columns, but Nexis disabused me of that romantic nostalgia. Here's the item from Newsday, April, 13, 1989.

Oh, those puckish fellows down at Spy magazine! When the satirical monthly's co-editor Graydon Carter appeared on the cover of New York magazine this week and was dissected inside in a piece entitled "Spying on Spy," observers of the media scene said to themselves: how will the Spy guys wreak retributive havoc? Well, it would appear that they have done so in high style, complete with limo and driver. According to inside sources, David Blum, author of the article, received a call from what he presumed was WWOR-TV's "People Are Talking," inviting him to appear on yesterday's show, taped at the station's studios in Secaucus, N.J. A driver and limo were sent to transport Blum across the Hudson, but when Blum arrived at WWOR-TV, his presence was unexpected, to say the least. David Sittenfeld, one of the show's producers said "No one knew why he was there. We thought he had us mixed up with Channel 11. He said 'I'm here for the show.' We said 'What topic?' " Yesterday's program focused on a variety of topics, including the Stony Brook rape, income taxes, and "Body Love - Improving a Woman's Self Image." Sittenfeld added, "We checked and it wasn't our car service, and, really, no one knew anything about it. He didn't have a name of anyone here, not that I could find, so the car took him back. It was a very sick joke. I mean, the poor guy." Neither Carter nor co-editor Kurt Anderson would discuss the incident nor confirm that they were involved. The magazine released this statement: "Sounds like a juvenile vindictive prank to us." As for Blum, he was reluctant to chat about his trip to nowhere - whoops, make that New Jersey. Said Blum: "Graydon Carter is a terrific prankster and I think he should add this to his resume."

May 19, 2005

Probably. But it would be really mean and read by about 20,000 fewer people

Daniel Radosh

I'm going to go with, "Daniel Radosh smiles the satisfied grin of someone who knows the image will be framed so that you can't see how far his hairline has receded. Not sure what explains the shiny skin, though."

May 19, 2005


Daniel Radosh


I so wasn't going to post about the dopey Radar v. Gawker pieblicity stunt, but then a moderately intriguing question cropped up: How on earth did Nick Denton think he could get away with claiming that the pie missed? Did he not notice the flashbulbs popping and the cries of, "Nick! Nick! Look over here! Nick!"

[Update: Denton says he did notice the cameras; he just wanted the satisfaction of having his version of the story out there a while. And who can blame him. One cheap stunt deserves another.]

Until the photo surfaced at Gothamist it was a clever bit of spin. Gawker's snark — "if anyone could aim a pie at literally the biggest head in the room and still miss, it’d be someone from the Radar team" — was the perfect dig, picked up throughout the b-verse. Poor, poor Chris Gawkerist swallowed the bait so deeply that he painted himself into a bit of a corner, assuming, of course, that one can paint with bait. Hey, it's a blog, I don't have time to unmix my metaphors.

Presenting: the most painfully obvious metaphor in the perceivable human universe for the Roshan-Denton tiff. If the assault had succeeded, and if we were all gazing appreciatively this morning at glorious photos of Denton's custard-splattered mug ... well, we'd probably be banging out the first post of the newly created "Roshanist" blog. But we do not grade on the curve in this class. Given the stellar lineup on the Radar masthead and business side, isn't there a single good arm in the lot?

I look forward to reading Roshanist daily. Oh wait, no I don't.

Continue reading "Pie-Oh-My" »

May 18, 2005

But counting is so hard

Daniel Radosh

"How many stories has Newsweek written about the Bush administration allegedly 'skewing intelligence' by relying on raw, insufficiently sourced data? How many times has it lamented that these mistakes have hurt the U.S. abroad? Too many to count." —Rich Lowry, National Review

"No documents were found for your search. Please edit your search and try again." —Nexis results for the phrase "skewing intelligence" in Newsweek over the previous five years.

Continue reading "But counting is so hard" »

May 18, 2005

How do I not get...

Daniel Radosh

credit for this?

Update: But it was me who ruined your day, Gawker! Me, me, me!

May 17, 2005

And on day two, I flushed Paris Hilton's Sidekick down a toilet

Daniel Radosh

It's all in good fun, right? After months of getting slapped around by Gawker, my pals at Radar Online slap back with a double-duty tidbit, reporting that Gawker Media Editorial Director Choire Sicha is jumping to The Observer and, better yet, that this week's anonymous Gawker guest editor is actually a Newsweek reporter who -- gasp! -- plans to write an article about slumming for a blog. Really, could anything be more LSM? It's the kind of thing Gawker would normally make fun of. Oh wait, it's the kind of thing, Gawker is currently making fun of.

May 16, 2005

Sex: It's Worse Than Cancer

Daniel Radosh

The second-installment of my Radar sex column is online today. Here's the teaser.

In June 2002, as the invasion of Iraq was looming, the Pentagon suddenly found itself with an opportunity to take out Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the well-known terrorist lurking in the northern part of the country. To the surprise of military officials, as the Wall Street Journal and NBC News later reported, the White House nixed the operation. Policy makers were using Zarqawi’s presence in Iraq as one of their rationales for going to war, and getting rid of him in advance might have undermined their case.

Three years later, with Zarqawi leading a stubborn insurgency, that decision seems somewhat shortsighted. Today there’s another war taking place: a war against sex. And the abstinence movement — which advocates complete chastity until marriage and which is rapidly replacing sex education in America’s schools with its own propaganda—has just made a tactical decision very similar to the one the White House did with Zarqawi. Only this time it’s not a miscalculation. It’s a coldly cynical strategy. And the deaths that result may dwarf the bloodshed in Iraq.

Read the rest.

May 13, 2005

What's new, Huckapoo?

Daniel Radosh

lisamay7 (23).jpg

If you think I'm an unlikely Huckapoo fan, meet this guy (scroll down to "favorite bands" -- if you can take your eyes of the picture Update: Picture is gone, dammit. Imagine an overly muscular but somehow effiminte looking young black man with a buzz cut). Of course, his favorite actress is Emma Watson, so there is a pattern here.

Anyway, as we wait for reviews of the big May 7 show -- I think Granta is planning one -- here's an assessment of one of the girl's school performances: "Human Relations day at Oceanside High School 05' was probably one of the greatest disappointments of my life. Huckapoo, the now my sterotypical girl group I think I have ever seen in my life, was there. LyKe OmG HuCkApOo!!!!! I promise never to do that again. But they were the worse, and were these little prissy divas, who I was forced to see two times in a row. After the first time I was on the verge of vomiting, the second I was suicidal, and if I saw it a third I saw I would have been homocidal, or so my theory goes."

Personally, I think Oceanside High ought to spend less time on human relations and more on spelling and grammar. Also, not all students are so hateful toward the Huckapoodles, though they are a mite confused about which site is the band's official web presence, if this email I got today is any indication: "I just what to thank you for playing at Long Beach MIddle School. I would like you to send me some hot pictures of you girls!!!!!" You know, when I try that approach, all I get is a restraining order.

Speaking of waiting: Harmony promised an interview with the girls by now. Where is it, kids? (Also, were you really not able to register Huckaharmony.com? What's that about?)

But don't worry, I haven't been spending my waiting time idly. I have been making a list in my head. The inspiration came first from The Confidence Man, who in the comments to this post mused about recruiting Arianna Huffington to form a very post-teen pop band to be called Huffapoo, and then from the unlikely appearance of the nonsense word Hakapoo in The New York Times, which I figure is a teen pop band that only sings banal clichés. Um, wait, that's taken isn't it? Well then, a teen pop band made entirely of cab drivers. Or computer programmers. In any case, you can see what this led to:

Hickapoo -- teen country band
Harkapoo -- teen Christmas carolers
Hookahpoo -- teen pop for stoners
Hechtapoo -- perfromers of an all teen girl version of The Front Page

May 13, 2005

Would you enjoy a picture of my cat snuggling with the first issue?

Daniel Radosh

As you may have heard, Radar's web site launched this week. I'm less involved with online than print, though I will take credit for enlisting Francis to write the anti-news ticker. Also, I'm honored to say that I will be writing a regular column about sex. Not, I assure you, my own sex life, or that of hip New Yorkers, nor advice, nor reviews of pornographic videos or web sites. No, I'll be writing, as I do sometimes on this site now and again, about sex in the news, in politics, in popular culture.

The first installment is actually not very representative, as it wasn't even originally intended to be put under the sex slug (mmm, sex slug), but it's first, so there you go. There's some other fun stuff on the site too, if you're inclined to poke around.

May 11, 2005

Not that I haven't been just waiting for someone to re-open the Ohio ballot debate

Daniel Radosh

I agree with the conventional wisdom that Greg Gutfeld is the best only reason to read HuffPo. But isn't he six years late for David Gergen week?

May 9, 2005

At least they didn't add four exclamation points like some web sites would've

Daniel Radosh

"New York Times to Start a Blog" — Headline on front page of The Huffington Post

"An internal committee at The New York Times has recommended steps to increase readers' confidence in the newspaper, including reducing errors, increasing coverage of religion, "rural areas" and "middle America," making reporters and editors more accessible, and possibly starting a blog." — from the Editor & Publisher article the Huffington Post headline links to [emphasis added]

"You should consider the possibility that everything on this site is a lie." — from James Pinkerton's first post at The Huffington Post

May 6, 2005

They were dictated by a flaming bush

Daniel Radosh

File under theocracy-watch [via Salon]:

"East Waynesville Baptist asked nine members to leave. Now 40 more have left the church in protest. Former members say Pastor Chan Chandler gave them the ultimatum, saying if they didn't support George Bush, they should resign or repent."

So far, so good, but here's the part I really wondered at:

"There are questions about whether the bi-laws were followed when the members were thrown out."

"Bi-laws"? Sounds like this church has bigger problems than a few Democrats.

May 5, 2005

Daniel Radosh


May 3, 2005

You want snide? I'll show you snide.

Daniel Radosh


More important journalism from Peter Landesman (the Full House years).

Ten Ways to Wreck A Date. Led to a raid on a notorious dating ring outside Disneyland.

Two-For-One Christmas Fun. Can't possibly be understood by comfortable liberals with no experience of the criminal underworld.

May 3, 2005

I'd throw in a Qwert Stiker Flaggle too, just for good measure

Daniel Radosh


Amazon List of the day: So You'd Like to Make a Snuff Film. From Bret Easton Ellis to Waterproof mattress cover.

May 2, 2005

Did Dan Rather ever post on Power Line?

Daniel Radosh

In case you haven't gone back to look at comments on recent posts, you might be interested to know that Peter Landesman has decided to respond to my most recent remarks [read the comment thread there before continuing to the thread below] about his work. Extensively.

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