Tag Archives: politics

Fake news … anchors

Now from China comes word that human television newscasters will soon be joined by salary-saving, computer-generated simulations that can work around the clock.  Here’s Xinhua News Agency’s first English-speaking artificial intelligence anchor, bringing you news of its existence: I suppose fake news anchors are the logical next step in technology’s gutting of an honorable profession […]

One shot

Elevators and accountability

Perhaps the most compelling moment of the long drama surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings occurred in a surprisingly small space.  On Friday, in a Capitol Hill elevator,  two sexual assault survivors forcefully confronted Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, whose vote is one of a handful that could determine Kavanaugh’s fate. Moments earlier, Flake […]


  We rose,  I want to say, became who you dreamed we were. Realized our better nature, I long to say, because I want to see you whole again. But we have fallen farther than your deadest imagining, and your heads are always broken. Jack’s skull perpetually shatters in Dallas, shatters into Jackie’s lap. It […]

What we lost

National Public Radio’s excellent StoryCorps project aired a deeply touching segment on Friday, just ahead of the 50th anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination.  The reflections of then 17-year-old busboy Juan Romeo, who attempted to comfort RFK seconds after he was shot, are a potent reminder of what we lost that night. Click on the […]

Character assassination

I recently completed William Manchester’s The Death of a President, an exhaustively researched description of the days surrounding John F. Kennedy’s brutal assassination in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963. The slaying of the charismatic president, who embodied the vigor and optimism of a new generation, shattered not only his countrymen but citizens of the world. Perhaps it’s […]


I felt deflated as I left the theater after seeing Jackie, which depicts the First Lady’s experience in the days surrounding her husband’s assassination. My mood was less a reflection of the film’s quality than the era it depicted: a decade of collective hope unraveling, excruciating at the time and ever painful in memory. I turned 5 […]


My heart goes out and my hat is off to Hillary Rodham Clinton,  whose immense intelligence, courage and experience were not enough to overcome the general ugliness and particular misogyny that now openly characterize these United States. We Americans live in a country that saw fit to grant the most ignorant black men — former slaves […]

Pretend, because we need you to

I got another “like” request this morning from a Facebook “friend” I don’t know, and because of that I can’t sit him down over beer or Valium or coffee, or whatever he needs to prop him up, and say what is on my mind, which is an eulogy for the gravest casualty of social media: […]

Essential equipment

Running beneath the pro-Sanders/anti-Clinton rhetoric is a deep, mean river of unacknowledged sexism. We Americans — perhaps even the majority of women, apparently afflicted with internalized misogyny — will find a reason to choose a good man over a better woman. Still.