Who’s Afraid of Radical Islam?

Given a choice, most politicians prefer a symbolic fight to a substantive one. To see how, consider the fight over the term ‘radical Islam’. Even by the low standards typically set by American politicians, the argument stands out for its inanity. It’s worth asking: what are Americans so afraid of? Continue reading

The American Debate on Guns Continues to Ignore the Facts

The latest high-profile American mass shooting has reignited the debate on gun control – and the frustration among gun control advocates is palpable. But despite the efforts of the statistically minded, the conversation around guns continues to obsess over the least relevant form of gun violence. Continue reading

Ballghazi – What Footballs Can Tell Us About the Media

Lying or not, the Patriots are still being railroaded. Here’s why it matters. For a bit over a week, yours truly has been – despite his better judgement – gripped by the controversy surrounding the New England Patriots. (For those … Continue reading

The CIA Spying on Congress is Big News, Right?

On Tuesday, Sen. Feinstein accused the CIA of spying on Congress and of interfering with a congressional investigation. The details would make for a taut political thriller. But that’s not the news, not really. The news is that Congress has lost the ability to oversee this country’s clandestine operations. Continue reading

SPOTLIGHT: When the News Cycle Forgets What Ever Happened to GITMO?

What happens when the news cycle just forgets about a story? If you want an example of how a story can just fall out of the conversation, then there’s perhaps no better example than the American prison at Guantanamo Bay. From lightning rod to barely a footnote, Americans have moved on. Continue reading

Inside the Fishbowl Living Inside a National Story

The Boston Red Sox have won the World Series. Again. And they did at Fenway Park – as close to a town square as you’ll find anywhere. But every time a reporter asked the same question – “What does this championship mean to this city after what happened in April?” – I cringed. Continue reading