Snowden through the media dissident-patsy lens

I was initially puzzled by the headlines recently accusing Snowden of being a patsy for Putin. What was the hook? Sure the implication has been there from the beginning but the timing seemed odd given that he’d just pointedly asked Putin about Russian mass surveillance. I must get getting naive. Reading the stories I learned…

1.6 million Americans living without indoor plumbing

Coverage on the scandalous number of Americans living without running water relegated to the blog section of the WaPo: According to the latest American Community Survey, nearly 630,000 occupied households lack complete plumbing facilities, which means that they are without one or more of the following: a toilet, a tub or shower, or running water. The…

Segregation now

The journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones of ProPublica has written an illuminating profile of school resegregation, focusing particularly on the South and profiling the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Excerpts: In recent years, a new term, apartheid schools—meaning schools whose white population is 1 percent or less, schools like Central—has entered the scholarly lexicon. While most of these schools are in…

Jonathan Chait and Ta-Nehisi Coates Lose the Plot

The recent Chait vs. Coates debate attracted a lot of sustained attention for an internet pundit spat. The dispute revolved around the role of culture in black poverty. It is a perfect topic for the web: an emotionally charged Rorschach Test. The question at hand is easily answered: of course culture can play a role in…

The Uses of the Left

Over the weekend “America’s media has been in the grips of some sort of Suey Park-derangement syndrome,” notes Julia Carrie Wong in The Nation. Both internet and television news media picked the story up and devoted significant attention to it. For Wong, this indicates the rising power of brown women. “Even if all these arguments against Suey…