Q&A with The Atlantic’s James Fallows, author of ‘China Airborne’

Q&A with The Atlantic’s James Fallows, author of ‘China Airborne’

Alexis de Tocqueville helped demystify the America of the 19th century even though he was a visitor rather than a local. In fact, the extra detachment may have helped. Similarly, James Fallows’s writings will provide future readers with shrewd insights into the China of the aughts and beyond. In China Airborne, the latest Fallows book, […]

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Sell Washington Post to Michael Bloomberg? Not so crazy an idea

Sell Washington Post to Michael Bloomberg? Not so crazy an idea

The New York Times, whether on global warming, the newest iPad or corruption in Mongolia, outdoes the Washington Post all too often. Underfunded for a hyper-competitive Internet era, the Post newsroom stints on local reporting, too. WaPo’s numbers could be much better. Future Grahams and others may not show the patience of Donald and kin. And the current […]

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Traffic booster for big news sites? Reader-Writer Dialogue Boxes?

Traffic booster for big news sites? Reader-Writer Dialogue Boxes?

What counts more for Web-era writers of news or opinion? Coming up with snappy, credible, well-researched articles? Or improving dialogues with readers, in the best tradition of the Internet’s interactivity? Short of cloning themselves or pulling off a Philip K. Dick android act, writers for many of the most popular news sites lack enough time for […]

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Onswipe for iPad pretties up WordPress: Some glitches

While this site exists partly to plug The Solomon Scandals novel about old-time newspapering, it’s also an experiment in online technology. iPad owners can see a snazzy magazine-style look from the Onswipe add-on for WordPress (described in detail in an independent blog post by my friend Nate Hoffelder). If you don’t own an iPad, click […]

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Beyond GSA ‘crats at play: Scrutinize office leasing

Tax dollars at work, GSA style Angry taxpayers are buzzing over the organizational “culture” at the General Services Administration, the federal procurement agency. I don’t mean Chaucer, Mozart or Van Gogh. Enjoy this spoof video for a GSA conference—rudely picked up by ABC News and others. Hey, you helped pay for it. GSA was supposed […]

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Russia’s female Jon Stewart: Alyona Minkovski wittily ridicules U.S. debacles on global media network

Standard & Poor’s is right about the US. political process, even if the financial downgrade was crap. The process is kaput, Reason One for the budget debacle. Broken, too, are the mainstream news organizations  whose brainlessness and wimpiness helped the Tea Party outFox the somewhat less insane. Here’s my general rule about the Fourth Estate […]

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How to ‘Scandalize’ your book group—either the online or in-person kind

The Solomon Scandals is fiction—a mix of suspense, tragedy and satire—but more than a little history lurks within in it. A high-rise collapsed in Northern Virginia, and a Senator really did hold a secret and illegal investment in a CIA-occupied building a few miles away. Characters and events are composites or imaginary. But Scandals still […]

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‘Conde Nast Maidens’ vs. grubby defense workers as terrorist bait

Terrorists must love the Quarter Pentagon, aka BRAC-133, just off I-395 here in Alexandria, Virginia. We’re talking about 6,400 defense workers destined for an unsecured location, perfect for a drive-by missile shooting—and let’s not forget, either, the idiocy of the Army Corps of Engineer in bragging about its high-profile target. The geniuses even managed to […]

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‘Tabloid City’ vs. ‘The Solomon Scandals’: A quick, friendly comparison between Pete Hamill’s newspaper novel and mine

Pete Hamill is out with Tabloid City, a New York newspaper novel commanding its share of pixels, column inches and decibels. If the rest of Tabloid City is like the first parts, I could never have written his book, just as The Solomon Scandals would have been impossible for him—we see life,  newspapers and fiction […]

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