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I missed this when I was traveling, but two weeks back The Week magazine invited journalists, think-tankers and politicos to a Georgetown hotel to hand out its Opinion Awards. For the most part, the affair seems to have been the standard (if repulsive) media-political lovefest that for which Washington is famous. For example, when emcee Margaret Carlson of Time magazine “made a joke about wiretapping abuses, [guest Karl] Rove stage-whispered a joke: ‘Your calls aren’t that interesting, incidentally’.”
But there were a few interesting moments, such as an exchange that took place during a panel that included Rove, former New York Times Editor Howell Raines, and Harold Evans. According to the account in Reason:
Raines challenged Rove on how John McCain had sought the endorsement of fanatics like John Hagee. “That’s not the same as sitting in that church for 20 years as this pastor said the government created crack to kill the black community,” said Rove, “that the CIA created AIDS.” Chris Lehmann, an occasional Reason contributor, piped up from the second row from the stage. “He wasn’t in the pew!” Lehmann said. “He wasn’t in the pew when Wright said that!” Evans tried to quiet the room down. “We’re moving on to another subject,” Evans said. “Then he should stop lying,” Lehmann said.
Which is perhaps the first time during the entire Bush Administration that a journalist has actually called Rove a liar to his face.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”