Insolvency

Reading Time: 2 minutes Anytime government or corporate interests allege an imminent crisis, journalists must guard themselves against manipulative terminology. Take the report the Obama administration released yesterday showing that the Social Security and Medicare trust funds are being depleted at a faster rate, thanks in part to the recession. The Medicare fund will run out of money in Read More

A Donnybrook over Holbrooke

Reading Time: 2 minutes Over at Electric Politics, former diplomat George Kenney offers a seldom-seen view of super-emissary Richard Holbrooke, once a top figure in the Clinton Administration and now President Obama’s special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan. Whether you agree or disagree, it is interesting to get something other than the almost uniformly laudatory media coverage. Kenney’s posting Read More

A Look Back: Hedge Funds

Reading Time: 2 minutes Sometimes, here at WhoWhatWhy, we find it useful to see what was said, back in the good old days, about the institutions that later became so reviled. Along these lines, we refer you to an April 2007 New York Magazine cover package, “Behind the Hedge”—a primer on hedge funds and the (almost all) men who Read More

Tortured Rationalizations

Reading Time: 2 minutes In an opinion piece, the Wall Street Journal convincingly argues that top Democrats in Congress have been speaking out of both sides of their mouths in criticizing Bush Administration policy on Enhanced Interrogation Techniques (EITs), also known as torture. These days, Speaker Pelosi insists she heard and saw no evil. “We were not — I Read More

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Big Pharma Pays to Publish its own "Journals"

Reading Time: < 1 minute The Scientist reports that Elsevier, the world’s leading publisher of scientific and medical texts, has taken money from Merck and other pharmaceutical companies to issue official-looking journals that subtly pushed their products. Scientific publishing giant Elsevier put out a total of six publications between 2000 and 2005 that were sponsored by unnamed pharmaceutical companies and Read More

Want Intelligence? Try the Media

Reading Time: < 1 minute The standard justification for the continued existence of the mysterious and unaccountable $55 billion-plus juggernaut called “the intelligence community” is that it gathers important information for decision-makers, and presents it to them in hush-hush circumstances. There’s an alternative to this proposition: people could try supporting the news media. In a May 5 New York Times Read More

What is the New York Times saying?

Reading Time: 2 minutes In an article titled “Debate on Trump Project takes the Low Road,” about some troubling goings-on in the hamlet of Balmedie, Scotland, the lead paragraphs read as follows: Since refusing to let Donald Trump buy his house, inconveniently located in the middle of Mr. Trump’s planned $1.5 billion development in the countryside here, Michael Forbes Read More