Guess Who Saved the South Bronx?

On Dec. 10, 1997, President Clinton made a surprise appearance in the South Bronx. After a brief stroll through the once-blighted neighborhood of Charlotte Street, Clinton credited local community development groups with transforming the nation’s worst slum into a livable place over the past 15 years. “Look at where the Bronx was when [president] Carter… Read more »

The GDP Myth

The President’s State of the Union Address was a case in point. The President boasted of the “longest peacetime expansion of our history.” That’s how pols always talk. It sounds like truly wonderful news. But what actually has been expanding? A lot of things can grow, and do. Waistlines grow. Medical bills grow. Traffic, debt,… Read more »

Bad Prescription

At stake in the upcoming Medicare debate is not just the fairness and sufficiency of Medicare funding, but whether health care for America’s elderly will be turned over to the insurance industry which has made such a mess of health care for the non-elderly. To judge from the privatizers’ rhetoric, you would think that health… Read more »

Making it Uncool

Yet how much did all this hurt the tobacco industry’s ability to sell cigarettes? On November 20, the day the attorneys general announced the settlement, the stock of the leading tobacco companies soared. After all, the Big Four tobacco makers will pay only 1 percent of the damages (at most) directly; the rest will be… Read more »


It’s progress that most of us no longer view journalism as simply the gathering of facts. Some facts are more important than others. We know that what readers should get isn’t the facts but the story. A newspaper should help us decide what events mean, and to do this, writers and editors have to interpret,… Read more »

Jesse’s Victory

If all this seems a funny political sideshow, it isn’t. Ventura’s election carries important implications for politics in Minnesota and the nation as a whole. His triumph seems so beyond the pale that a lot must be happening in our politics to cause it. And a lot is. Jesse’s ascendancy underscores the great and growing… Read more »


One of the most enduring visual images of the news business is the “zipper” – the electronic display belt (most famously in Times Square) that relays breaking news to passersby. “Pearl Harbor attacked,” “FDR dead” “Space shuttle launched” – the zipper has always been concise, clear, and as “objective” as it is possible to be…. Read more »


is a senior editor of The New Republic, a contributing editor of The Atlantic Monthly, and author of Beside Still Waters: Searching for Meaning in an Age of Doubt. In a bid to curry favor with powerful insiders, Gregg Easterbrook today sent Charles Peters an article telling him what he wanted to hear about trends… Read more »


The problem the Monthly‘s getting at is not confined to news stories with loaded lead-ins. (“Dogged by criticism of his role in the Lewinsky case, President Clinton today raised a man from the dead with the slightest touch of his hand.”) It’s just as common, and has an even longer history, in the portentous-sounding but… Read more »


It is endearing of Charlie Peters to sponsor a symposium calling for more objective, less opinion-laden journalism. Can this be the same beloved, raccoon-eyed editor who used to hector his editors when they offered up an overly fact-laden piece: “Where’s the gospel?” The same man who infuriated dozens of America’s leading journalists by writing his… Read more »