Archive: January, 2009
I'm a huge fan of George Orwell's classic "1984" -- it's hard not be these days -- and I often toss around a phrase from the book, "the memory hole." That's the place where the protagonist Winston Smith, who works for the Ministry of Truth, is tasked with tossing old newspaper articles that don't fit the party line.
Fiction? Look at how successful our government has been at incinerating the news that was released with a brief flurry of fanfare in late 2007: That Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program several years earlier, even as officials in the United States and Israel were still debating a preemptive strike.
A lot of folks -- and not just in Philly -- are talking today about my friend Jim MacMillan, the Pulitzer Prize-winning ex-Daily News photographer. A profile in Philadelphia Weekly points to two basic paradoxes about the MacMillan phenominon (more on what exactly that is in a minute) that to me are really the basic paradoxes of the modern news business. How is that by leaving the Daily News, and by not currently working for any news organization, MacMillan has raised his profile as a journalist higher than it's ever been? And yet how come he had hardly has a dime to show for all his newfound fans.
The article explains:
This is amazing -- or maybe not so amazing if you've been paying attention for the last eight years. When I watched President Bush's last press conference this morning, he made a casual remark that struck me as the perfect epitaph for his administration, and I made a mental note to go back and write about this when the transcript became available online.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one who saw the devastating irony of Bush's comment -- someone in the White House press office must have, as well. Because even though -- as you can see by watching the video -- the president's wording is unmistakable, the official transcript on Whitehouse.gov has Bush saying something completely different, and it's even more ironic when you see the subject matter.
UPDATE: Victory! That's one small step for a man...
As I write this, George W. Bush is saying goodbye to the White House press corps -- it's good to know that the Bush administration has finally successfully "liberated" someone, which is Bush himself, who is giving a performance for the ages, mugging for the cameras, finally joking about his former alcoholism and his mountain-bike escapes from the pressure. There was a lot to digest. A good chunk of his time was dedicated, not surprisingly, was defending his disastrous policies. He's still hailing "52 months of economic growth" -- hey, the business cycle will cycle up even under a bad president -- despite the statistics proving that Bush's two terms were the worst for job creation for a modern presidency, with the paltry 3 million jobs that were created in eight years after that was the annual average under Bill Clinton.
One of the many oddities of yesterday's big Birds' win was it was the first 23-11 score of any game in the history of the National Football League.
So look for a story later today that either in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware, 14,317 people successfully played 2-3-1-1 in the daily lottery -- and won something like $150 each.
This couldn't really be the reason behind the Phillies and now the Eagles.
Barack Obama was on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" today, and he answered a question, inspired by the Bernie Madoff case, about his administration's policy in dealing with a serious fraud case like this. Here's what he said:
Pretty shocking, huh?
OK, I lied.