Howling Dog Graphic
Point. Click. Search.

Contents: Archives:

Search this weblog
Search WWW
Howler Graphic
by Bob Somerby
E-mail This Page
Socrates Reads Graphic
A companion site.

Site maintained by Allegro Web Communications, comments to Marc.

Howler Banner Graphic
Caveat lector

HOWLER HISTORY! Recovering from a HOWLER HIATUS, we start HOWLER HISTORY on Monday:


HOWLER HIATUS: We’re not really sure what it was. Maybe it was when we saw Zell Miller on the floor of the Senate, complaining about a reality program. Maybe it was the mindless discussions we’ve seen on Fox about a t-shirt worn by some high school student. But, stunned by the emptiness of the discourse, we’ve taken a bit of a HOWLER HIATUS. We’ll tell you one thing: If CBS does stage that show, its hillbilly heroes will never look as dumb as Miller did in Wednesday’s speech.

On Monday, we’ll launch some HOWLER HISTORY. As we noted again on Wednesday, we think Americans need to know how their last White House election was decided (see THE DAILY HOWLER, 2/26/03). And for the reasons we mentioned, we’ll spend the bulk of next week on the little-limned Naomi Wolf case. By the time the Wolf flap was gimmicked in November 1999, the press elites had apparently decided to take Gore down, enacting their mighty “Clinton payback.” The coming war is the bargain they made. And so, every night when we watch Chris Matthews question that coming war on Hardball, we remember how hard the talker fought to bring the current president to power. The Wolf case was a startling example of the way the press corps gimmicked your election. We believe the story should be told. We’ll try to tell it next week.

By the way, we still strongly recommend Eric Alterman’s What Liberal Media? But for those who want to explore the traditions which may have helped form this president’s thinking, we also advise you to read Michael Lind’s intriguing book, Made in Texas.

The Daily update

What a surprise to read serious words right in the Post’s “Style” section! Paul Farhi was reviewing a serious life, and he didn’t adopt the sneering tone so prevalent in the pages of “Style:”

FARHI: [Fred] Rogers taught about empowerment, the power of love and self-acceptance…he did it on behalf of the defenseless and the innocent.

That’s the heart-rending aspect of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” You watch it as an adult and think about his simple message radiating out to a thousand, ten thousand, a million vulnerable little souls, some already so lost and bewildered. The beautiful thing about Fred Rogers was also the tragic thing: that he, a TV personality, was giving to children what many children never got from the adults around them.

Sing it now, you’ll feel better:

It’s such a good feeling to know you’re alive.
It’s such a happy feeling: You’re growing inside.
And when you wake up ready to say,
‘I think I’ll make a snappy new day.’
It’s such a good feeling, a very good feeling.

Normally, “Style” is where Post writers go to prove how snide and empty they can be. We were pleased to see Farhi produce an appreciation of a serious person.

In an accompanying article, Ellen Edwards quoted Peggy Charren describing Rogers’ achievement. “He talked to kids like people,” Charren said. “He never talked down to them.” Did Fred Rogers talk to children “as people?” As we face a dangerous and defining war, it’s just too bad that our press elites won’t talk to adults the same way.