May 28, 2020

Now Playing

Juliet Naked
(Reviewed September 21, 2018)

An amusing but slight adaptation of a Nick Hornby novel which can laugh at its characters without precluding the possibility that they may laugh at themselves

Won't You Be My Neighbor?
(Reviewed September 20, 2018)

Did Mr Rogers’s extraordinary capacity for love end up producing a generation of haters?

Lady Bird
(Reviewed March 6, 2018)

A delightful and not entirely politically correct movie about growing up as a Catholic schoolgirl in 2002-2003

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
(Reviewed February 22, 2018)

An occasionally amusing parable of guilt and forgiveness whose setting in small-town America, like the prejudices of its author, does it no favors

ENTRY from May 19, 2020

In this morning’s Times of London there’s a very reasonable sounding editorial (or “Leading Article” as it’s called in Britain) headed “Honest Mistakes" which purports to instruct Boris Johnson, the prime minister, that admitting the mistakes made by himself and his colleagues in government could only win back some of the trust of the people which, so the Times editorialist is kind enough to tell him, the government has lost on account of those mistakes. My own trust is that the Prime Minister is smart enough not to believe a word of it.

I’m not too worried. He must know that the media culture in Britain today, as in the U.S., is both so adversarial in its approach to the government and so geared to report scandal almost exclusively in its political coverage that any Conservative prime minister foolish enough to admit to mistakes would be sure to regret it. Such an admission would be reported as politically disastrous to the government and a triumph for the media, which will be bound to have pointed them out first.

And this is all quite apart from the fact that the biggest mistake made by the British as by the American government — the blanket and economy-wrecking lockdown for the sake of the fraction-of-a-percent of sufferers, most of them with co-morbidities, who will die of the disease — is considered by the media to be not a mistake at all. Two days earlier, the point was made more lucidly and more persuasively than I have seen it made before in The Times’s sister paper, with which it shares a website, The Sunday Times,  by a former justice of the (UK) supreme court, Jonathan Sumption:
  Full Entry

Media MadnessBefore there was Howard Kurtz’s Media Madness, there was mine — now, alas, out of print but still available while supplies last for the cost of shipping and handling. Send $5.99 to me in care of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, 1730 M Street, Suite 910, Washington, D.C. 20036

Honor, A HistoryAlso available, now in paperback and Kindle version, is Honor, A History, which was first published in 2006. A study of Western cultural artifacts, from the epics of Homer to the movies and TV shows of today, it is focused on explaining why Western ideas of honor developed so differently from those elsewhere — and especially from the savage honor cultures of the Islamic world. The book then goes on to trace the collapse and ultimate rejection of the old Western honor culture from World War I until the present day and to suggest the conditions that would have to prevail for its revival.

Recent Articles

Cancel nation April 30, 2020.
Imagine the media’s frustration: they keep canceling President Trump, but he just won’t stay canceled — From The New Criterion of April, 2020 ... Full Article

Polite fictions March 31, 2020.
Like Humpty-Dumpty, we now use words to mean just what we want them to mean — From The New Criterion of March, 2020 ... Full Article

Ripley’s believe it or else February 29, 2020.
If "the Truth" is your brand, then it isn’t the truth anymore — from The New Criterion of February, 2020 ... Full Article

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