Elon Green

CBS News Is a Media Disaster: Why Heads Need to Roll at the Highest Levels

A scenario: A high-ranking television executive is entrusted with one of the most beloved news programs in history. Under his leadership, the program tanks. Stories fall apart under scrutiny. A reporter, who isn’t particularly good at her job but is telegenic, is given big, splashy stories to do, many of which appear to serve no purpose other than to glamorize the military.

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The New 'Friendlier Face' of Conservatism Is an Old-School Homophobe

You may not know the name Rod Dreher, but you will. This April, Grand Central Publishing is releasing his The Little Way of Ruthie Leming: A Southern Girl, a Small Town, and the Secret of a Good Life, for which he was paid a small fortune. I have not read the book, so let’s defer to the publisher for a synopsis:

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10 Pundits You Should Ignore In 2013

Purely for kicks, I once followed Luke Russert and Kathryn Jean Lopez on Twitter. Both are uniquely stupid and utterly lacking self-awareness; the former has no idea he’s being humored by his colleagues in misguided deference to his father, while the latter doesn’t realize that live-tweeting Mass is a sad snooze. Even in bite-sized doses, exposure to these morons made me feeble, so I cut them loose.

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The 10 Greatest Villains of the AIDS Epidemic

Thirty years ago this week, the Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report reported five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia among previously healthy gay men. It was not for another year that these deaths were attributed to gay-related immune deficiency -- a name that exacerbated the homophobic positioning of the disease -- and then, mercifully, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. 

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How One Right-Winger Tried to Take Over the Legacy of 9/11

When George Bush’s reelection campaign ran ads containing footage of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Debra Burlingame’s ire was directed not at Bush’s admen but at “9/11 family members” whose relatives had been killed. These people, said Burlingame, “enjoy the cloak of deference that has been graciously conferred upon them by the public, politicians and, most significantly, the media.” The charge carried some heft: as sister of Charles Burlingame, pilot of the doomed American Airlines flight that slammed into the Pentagon, she was herself the beneficiary of such deference -- particularly from the press.

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10 Young Right-Wingers Being Prepped to Take Over the Conservative Movement

Given their constant claim to be the “party of ideas,” Republicans don't offer much beyond the hopelessly impractical. Among them: deregulate anything that isn’t tied down; deficits don’t matter, until a Democrat's in office and they suddenly do; low-income “lucky duckies” need to be taxed, the top 2 percent does not. What happens when the Old Guard of conservatism moves on? Who will replace them as dependable propagandists for the right's most monstrous ideas? Readers, what follows is a comprehensive roundup of the guys and gals who will for the next half-century wield an increasing level of influence within the conservative movement and/or the Grand Old Party (assuming the latter isn’t reduced to a regional coffee klatch after the imminent desertion of Hispanic voters). This is the lovechild of The Breakfast Club and the Laffer curve.

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