Saturday, October 20, 2007

Dementia On Parade

One of the premier architectural critics today gets his kid a recommendation from one of the premiere architects -- and forgets all about it at review.

Sure, I believe this mendicantic crap.

New Yorker architectural critic Paul Golberger's glowing August 27, 2007 review of Robert A.M. Stern's latest New York building at 15 Central Park West failed to mention that Stern once wrote Goldberger's son a recommendation to Yale. Stern is Dean of the Yale School of Architecture.

Granted, this is not a journalistic felony a la Judith Miller, but why didn't Goldberger disclose to the readers of The New Yorker of this relationship? And did he tell his editor of this relationship?

Contacted via email as to why the relationship wasn't disclosed in the piece, Goldberger denied a close social connection with stern that would disqualify him as a critic:

''... I have known him for many years through the connection of Yale, where as you may know he is dean of the architecture school. I went to Yale, and have taught and lectured there. While it is true that he offered to write a letter to Yale on behalf of my son, the letter was quite pro-forma; he did the same for a couple of my son's classmates with whose families he was also acquainted. Letters of this sort are common, routine, and generally of negligible impact on the admissions process. My son was admitted in the early decision admissions cycle,
and I am not entirely sure that the letter was even written in time
for the early decision deadlines.

''It was a long time ago -- before the 15 Central Park West project
even existed, actually -- and in fact I had forgotten that Stern even wrote this letter until I received your message, which makes the notion that this review was a kind of 'payback' even more ludicrous.["]
Or these two, the pandering brown-noser and the, well, nutjob:
Digby brings up a good point -- beltway media have been strangely silent on the subject of Stalkin' Malkin and whether her actions "hurt" Republicans, because basically nothing, as we know, ever hurts Republicans.

So I decided to take a look at the ComPost, home of Malkin's most slavish sycophant Howard Kurtz. Indeed, Kurtz is the only one who bothered to address the fact that Malkin went to the home of a brain injured 12 year-old for the purpose of harassing him and getting his medical insurance cut off:
Helena, Mont.: I think there is a difference between criticizing one party's symbol for an issue and the level of venom that was directed at the Frosts -- they were criticized for not going bankrupt in order to pay their medical bills, for Pete's sake. Michelle Malkin published their address and telephone number on her blog so more people could harass them. At what point do you say to criticize and at what point do you make the point that someone has gone too far in their criticism?

Howard Kurtz: The Baltimore Sun also published a picture of the Maryland family's house and asked for their tax returns, which the Frosts declined to provide. Is that a mean-spirited attack or plain old reporting?
How many times did Kurtz discuss the MoveOn ad, which evidently wiped the Democratic party from the face of the earth? The Post's archives indicate eighteen times.

Tell the fact- and reality-based truth and the -- that's it
Retired Vice Admiral Scott Redd, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told NBC News this weekend that the U.S. is not "tactically" safer as a result of the Iraq war. That message defied the official line from White House counterterrorism adviser Fran Townsend, who said the "threat level would have been worse" had we not attacked Iraq.

Redd also acknowledged that, over the short term, the Iraq war has created a "giant recruiting tool" for terrorists. Watch the video to your right.

Today, Redd announced his sudden resignation from the NTC.
And the genius of Our Beloved Leader:
In an appearance on NBC's Today Show, Air America's Rachel Maddow suggested that President Bush's warning against allowing Iran to acquire nuclear know-how should not be mistaken for a promise that Republicans can be trusted to prevent World War III.

"What he's saying is that World War III is worth starting, if only over the issue of Iran's nuclear know-how -- not even over the issue just of them having weapons," Maddow stated,

President Bush had indicated in Wednesday's press conference that "if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing [Iran] from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."

"Right now probably the most anti-American country on earth is Pakistan," Maddow continued. "Pakistan not only has a nuclear weapon but has demonstrated that they will proliferate that technology on the black market. The idea that Iran would be cause for World War III but Pakistan's no big worry to us is psychotic."
And a little truth about 9/11: it was a gift for Our Leaders:
A constitutional scholar says President Bush and his administration were working to expand their spy powers months before the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, which provided a "highly convenient" opportunity to dramatically strengthen law enforcement and surveillance authority.

"This administration was seeking a massive expansion of presidential power and national security powers before 9/11. 9/11 was highly convenient in that case," George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley told Keith Olbermann on Countdown Monday night. "I'm not saying that they welcomed it, but when it happened, it was a great opportunity to seize powers that they have long wanted at the FBI."

Turley was responding to allegations aired last week by a former Qwest CEO that the National Security Agency approached telecoms as early as February 2001 about establishing secret mechanisms to spy on Americans. The former CEO, Joe Nacchio, said in court papers related to an insider trading conviction that the government withdrew lucrative contracts from his company after he raised legal objections to the proposed spy program.

Earlier in the program, Olbermann invoked recent reports that the Pentagon used the FBI to issue secret national security letters allowing access to reams of data on Americans with even slim connections to the military.

"Does that essentially mean that I or you dial a wrong number and it happens to belong to somebody that's under investigation, the pentagon can go and get your information or my information as well?" Olbermann asked.

"They can. And you can thank the U.S. congress for that," Turley said, noting that the Patriot Act made it very easy for the FBI to issue the letters. "And what is astonishing is that the abuses of the NSLs are well documented. As soon as the FBI got this power that they were promising to use in the most judicious and cautious way, they abused it with abandon."

Toward the end of the segment, Turley noted the disconnect between the drive for expanded power, and the FBI and National Security Agency's inability to properly analyze intelligence before Sept. 11.

"The great irony, of course, with the NSA and the FBI is that their blunders help contribute to 9/11," he said, "but they radically expanded those powers as a result of that tragedy."

"Nothing succeeds like failure," Olbermann quipped.
Then Greenwald has a slice-and-dice of the incisive media-critic/GOP water carrying aologist (and, well, liar), Howard Kurtz. If you read only one piece of the sanctimonious asshole, this should be it (if, you know, you must).

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