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September 29, 1985 | Laurien Alexandre, Alexandre is a professor of journalism at Cal State Northridge. and
"Amusing Ourselves to Death" is a book for culture watchers and worriers. Author, educator and communications theorist Neil Postman embarks on an intriguing exploration of the ways in which entertainment values have corrupted essential public discourse, from education, science, religion, and the conduct of politics to the very way we think.
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OPINION
April 23, 2013 | Patt Morrison
It was a fine April day last week that found Elie Wiesel at Chapman University; it was a fine April day too, 58 years earlier, when the gaunt, teenage Wiesel found himself alive and suddenly free to walk out of the Buchenwald concentration camp. In the decades since, Wiesel's impassioned writing and speaking have won him a Nobel Peace Prize, and a large place in the public intellectual discourse about the Holocaust and the human condition. They have also brought him to Chapman each spring for the last three years as a distinguished presidential fellow, meeting with students and faculty to keep the significance of the Holocaust green in their minds.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 1995 | GERALD F. UELMEN, Gerald F. Uelmen is a visiting professor of law at Stanford University and a member of the Simpson defense team. and
The governor of California refers to the members of Congress as "whores." One member of Congress obliquely calls another a "fag." The Speaker of the House is quoted by his mother as calling the First Lady a "bitch." The lawyers in the most publicized trial in history label one another "liars," "frauds" and "snakes."
BUSINESS
March 20, 2012 | Michael Hiltzik
"You know you can't count on Social Security. " For years, that's been the scare-tactic pitch of unscrupulous investment brokers, annuities hawkers and their friends in Congress as they tried to peddle retirement deals to people reluctant to part with their money. The phrase has been repeated so often that it's become an article of faith for many who are still years away from collecting their checks. But it's not true, and for more than a decade a powerful rebuttal has appeared in the mailboxes of some 150 million Americans once a year, in the form of a statement saying how much their monthly check would be when they retire.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 7, 1998
It's time to retire the phrase "you just don't get it" from public discourse. If it was ever meaningful it has long since deteriorated into an insult meaning nothing more than "you are wrong because you don't agree with me." And if you disagree with my letter . . . (you can fill in the rest). TIM ESTLE West Hills
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 1996
Arianna Huffington's column "Living with Sinners, Burying Saints" (Commentary, April 10) was beyond unseemly. Her veiled attempt to score political points against Commerce Secretary Ron Brown on the very morning of his funeral gets my vote as the tackiest moment in public discourse since Newt Gingrich tried to make political hay out of the murders of Susan Smith's children. Thanks for letting Huffington show her true colors. JOHN PONDER Los Angeles Yes, Arianna Huffington, it might " ... transform our public discourse and the coverage of public figures while they are alive if, even as we raise legitimate questions about their conduct, we also acknowledge their qualities and contributions."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 18, 1999
David Myers' commentary on hate groups ("Take a Hint From Europe and Raise Vigilance Now," Aug. 13) is scary--almost as scary as the groups themselves. Myers wants the government to take a "more active role." It's ironic that Myers hopes to defend tolerance by advocating "zero tolerance" of hate groups. It seems he's missed the point of tolerance, which is that others' beliefs do not need our approval. This does not mean we cannot denounce hate groups. But in a free society, this isn't done with "the painful step of proscribing hate speech."
BUSINESS
July 19, 1987
I found the most disturbing aspect of Warren Bennis' July 5 column, "U.S. Firms Wasting Prime Asset: People," to be the credentials of the author. Bennis, a professor of business administration at the University of Southern California, wrote that the President "saw (air traffic controllers) as expendable and got rid of them, because they dared to ask for salaries that were commensurate with their responsibilities." I thought that the firings were the result of violating the law with an illegal strike.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2001
"Without Belief, Life Is Empty" (O.C. Religion, Jan. 13) is insulting to nonbelievers. Jim Carnett holds the mistaken idea that atheists and agnostics live miserable or self-centered lives "of unremitting emptiness and despair." But all the atheists I know think life is a magnificent wonder. They too love sunsets, the Grand Canyon, the promontories of Big Sur, all the more miraculous for having been created solely from the laws of nature, no Supreme Being required. Some of these people add meaning to their lives by social and political activism or careers in teaching, psychology or social work, in the spirit of helping fellow citizens.
OPINION
June 8, 2005
Re "The Upward Mobility Myth," Commentary, June 5: Michael Kinsley wrote a very thought-provoking article about our national myth and the major newspapers that are examining that myth. At its conclusion Kinsley says, "The problem, in short, may not be that reality is receding from the national myth. The problem may be the myth." I would like to suggest a third alternative: our different interpretations of the myth. Kinsley also chides the Washington Post for not joining in on the examination.
NEWS
March 6, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
President Obama said that when he called Sandra Fluke to express support after the crude comments of Rush Limbaugh, he did so thinking of his own young daughters. "One of the things I want them to do as they get older is engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don't want them attacked or called horrible names because they're being good citizens," he said at a White House news conference Tuesday.
WORLD
June 30, 2009 | Ned Parker and Raheem Salman
At a moment of triumph, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki stood before a room full of reporters recently and publicly fretted about Iraq's future. After six years, U.S. troops were completing their withdrawal from Iraqi cities, the first step toward their complete departure by the end of 2011. The prime minister has declared today's deadline a holiday. And yet, Maliki acknowledged: "The challenge isn't finished. . . . What country in the world has such terrorist attacks?"
OPINION
October 21, 2006 | MEGHAN DAUM
BACK IN THE DAY (say, the early '90s), filmmakers could make controversial movies, authors could write books with unsympathetic narrators and newspaper columnists could say things not everyone agreed with, and people had no choice but to seethe in silence. If they were really motivated, they could get a piece of paper, scribble down their thoughts, shell out for postage and hope that whatever generic address they dug up would eventually lead the missive to its intended party.
BOOKS
July 10, 2005 | James D. Squires, James D. Squires is the former editor of the Chicago Tribune and the author of "Read All About It! The Corporate Takeover of America's Newspapers."
Having lived nearly three-quarters of a century, Victor S. Navasky has held strong opinions for a long time. More significant, having begun his editing career in college with the Phoenix at Swarthmore and the Monocle at Yale, he has been perpetually in a position to express them in a voice that resonated in high places. He has worked for the New York Times, written for virtually every important American publication and taught at Princeton, Harvard and Columbia.
OPINION
June 8, 2005
Re "The Upward Mobility Myth," Commentary, June 5: Michael Kinsley wrote a very thought-provoking article about our national myth and the major newspapers that are examining that myth. At its conclusion Kinsley says, "The problem, in short, may not be that reality is receding from the national myth. The problem may be the myth." I would like to suggest a third alternative: our different interpretations of the myth. Kinsley also chides the Washington Post for not joining in on the examination.
NATIONAL
April 1, 2005 | Elizabeth Mehren and Sam Howe Verhovek, Times Staff Writers
She was in the middle of a business call and had mounds of work. But the minute Sue Kelman heard Terri Schiavo had died Thursday, she couldn't wait any longer. She drafted an e-mail to her parents, her brother and her sister. "I think I know how some, but not all of you wish to be treated at the end of life," the executive at a Boston health organization wrote to her family. "But even if I were to hazard a guess ... it would only be that.
NEWS
February 21, 2002 | From the Washington Post
A new Defense Department office created to try to influence public opinion abroad will not lie to the public or plant disinformation in the foreign or U.S. media, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday. "The Department of Defense, this secretary and the people that work with me tell the American people and the people of the world the truth," Rumsfeld said in Salt Lake City, where he was attending the Winter Olympics.
NEWS
March 6, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
President Obama said that when he called Sandra Fluke to express support after the crude comments of Rush Limbaugh, he did so thinking of his own young daughters. "One of the things I want them to do as they get older is engage in issues they care about, even ones I may not agree with them on. I want them to be able to speak their mind in a civil and thoughtful way. And I don't want them attacked or called horrible names because they're being good citizens," he said at a White House news conference Tuesday.
OPINION
May 16, 2004 | John S. Carroll, John S. Carroll is editor of the Los Angeles Times. This piece is adapted from a speech he delivered at the University of Oregon earlier this month.
One reason I was drawn to my chosen career is its informality. Unlike doctors, lawyers or even jockeys, journalists have no entrance exams, no licenses, no governing board to pass solemn judgment when they transgress. Indeed, it is the constitutional right of every citizen, no matter how ignorant or how depraved, to be a journalist. This wild liberty, this official laxity, is one of journalism's appeals. It is also one of its myths.
NEWS
June 6, 2002 | REED JOHNSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The subject was war and morality, and the words "Adolf Hitler" and "Al Qaeda" hung solemnly in the air at the small Westside coffeehouse. But the soft-spoken man in black cowboy boots sounded upbeat as he patiently fired off another question to a room packed with pensive smiles and furrowed brows. "What is the difference between defending yourself and going to war?" Christopher Phillips was quietly asking the dozen people crowded into the small cafe extension of Dutton's Brentwood Books.
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