Murray Polner: It’s become a kind of auxiliary religion and cultural landmark for far too many. 108 million people are said to have watched it on TV in 2014, compared to a measly 40 million audience for the Oscars.
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Edward Wasserman: Beyond the pieties, the Charlie Hebdo massacre leaves us with multiple ironies and a retreat to old solutions.
Herbert Dyer, Jr: It is just the most open purveyor of the “black men-as-thugs” meme and mantra.
Marcy Wheeler: “A criminal case is not a place where the CIA gets its reputation back,” suggesting the CIA only pursued this case because James Risen made them look bad.
Marcy Wheeler: We’ll see whether Sterling’s lawyers want to engage in a game of chicken in order to present the lengths to which the government pursued Risen, in addition to their client, in this case.
Edward Wasserman: The more the producers advanced hypotheticals about the truthfulness, hidden motives, competency, or credibility of a source—the what-if’s that Koenig presented routinely—the more they put people at risk of unwarranted disparagement.
Steve Hochstadt: Everyone complains about the uncivil state of our national political conversation, the tendency to assume that political opponents are stupid at best and, more likely, evil. And everyone waits for the other guy to shape up.
Larry Wines: I decided it’s time to look at how television works — what drives it, the default paradigms, that sort of thing. Here are the top ten moduses of its super-secret operandi.
Rodolfo F. Acuña: Stereotyping of any sort is offensive. Pascal and Rudin’s emails go a long way in explaining why there are so few browns and blacks in Hollywood. For 60 years I have picketed racial stereotypes in movies, something that has existed from the movies earliest days.
Larry Wines: When we so thoroughly need a watchdog, we get a dog who chases cars. And keeps chasing them past the fields of GMO corn, even after they’ve vanished.
Edward Wasserman: While the wrongness of what the hackers did is clear, the complicity of the news media in aiding and abetting them has been less thoroughly condemned.
Michael T. Hertz: The investigation should include a panel of three: one from the U.S., one from North Korea, and one from the U.N. And there should be a stake in the outcome: whoever is responsible should compensate Sony for the loss of the film and perhaps other costs.
Murray Polner: With all our folk tales about our innate goodness and freedom-loving ways, the Real America has always tortured when it wished to do so