[Guest post by DRJ]
The Super Bowl will match the New England Patriots, who defeated the San Diego Chargers to win the AFC title, against the NFC-champion New York Giants who overcame frigid conditions to beat the Green Bay Packers in overtime.
The 18-0 Patriots against Eli (not Peyton) Manning. A Northeast Super Bowl. That’s a surprise.
James O’Shea, the editor of the L.A. Times, has been fired for refusing to make budget cuts — much like former editor Dean Baquet.
I don’t have strong feelings about this.
When I met Jan Crawford Greenburg, she told me she likes O’Shea, and she urged me to give him a chance. (She worked for him at the Chicago Tribune.)
But the local rap on O’Shea has always been that he is an unimpressive person who was unlikely to shake things up much.
That didn’t bother me much; a lot of people seem unimpressive in person but have some depth to them. (In my more egomaniacal moments I place myself in this category; in more realistic moments I classify myself as strictly unimpressive in all respects. Either way, I’m unlikely to “wow” you when we first meet.)
But the fact is that there is so much wrong with the L.A. Times that it can’t be fixed by any one person — except possibly a historic figure with a clear-eyed view of what’s wrong, and a forceful agenda designed to fix it.
James O’Shea was not that man.
But who is?
Bradley J. Fikes, unlike me, has no sympathy whatsoever for O’Shea.
[Guest post by DRJ]
In an interesting twist, Barack Obama is criticizing the other Clinton:
“Sen. Barack Obama says he’s ready to confront former President Bill Clinton, calling his advocacy on behalf of his wife’s presidential campaign, “troubling.” In an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Robin Roberts to air Monday on “Good Morning America,” Obama, D-Ill., directly engages Bill Clinton on a series of issues.
“You know the former president, who I think all of us have a lot of regard for, has taken his advocacy on behalf of his wife to a level that I think is pretty troubling,” Obama said. “He continues to make statements that are not supported by the facts — whether it’s about my record of opposition to the war in Iraq or our approach to organizing in Las Vegas.
“This has become a habit, and one of the things that we’re going to have to do is to directly confront Bill Clinton when he’s making statements that are not factually accurate,” Obama said.”
Hillary Clinton benefited from support from women in New Hampshire and Nevada, and Obama’s criticism of Hillary may have triggered feminist sympathy and votes. Criticizing Bill lets Obama attack Hillary by proxy and (perhaps) avoid a feminine backlash.
In other words, Obama may be using Bill to avoid the pitfall of gender politics. Ironic, isn’t it?
[Guest post by DRJ]
This Sports Illustrated article demonstrates why society must respond to steroid use by sports figures:
“When former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell presented his much anticipated report last month that chronicled the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, he encouraged the discussion to be broadened beyond MVPs and Cy Young Award winners. In particular he warned about what he called “the most disturbing part of my research”: the prevalence of steroids in youth sports. “Several hundred thousand young Americans are using steroids; it’s an alarming figure,” Mitchell told SI the day after he issued his report. “At that age, they’re subject to hormonal change, and the risk to them — both physical and psychological — is significantly greater than it is for mature adults.”
Had Mitchell wanted an embodiment of that risk, he needed to look no further than Corey Gahan. With his promising in-line skating career now reduced to videos and a scrapbook, and his estranged father serving a six-year sentence in a federal prison — believed to be the first parent convicted of providing steroids to his own child — Corey, now 18, represents a chilling cautionary tale of what can happen when performance-enhancing drugs poison youth sports.”
Corey’s story is at the link.