Ross Douthat must live in the eye of the hurricane. While the rest of us feel battered by months of bitter negotiation over the fiscal cliff and are bracing for more punishment as the debt ceiling fight brews, the New York Times columnist sees the new year as a sea of tranquility.
J. Peder Zane | All Articles
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J. Peder Zane
J. Peder Zane is journalist who has worked at The News & Observer of Raleigh and The New York Times. His writing has won several national awards including the Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary from the American Society of Newspaper Editors.
He has contributed to and edited two books published by W.W. Norton, “The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books” (2007) and “Remarkable Reads: 34 Writers and Their Adventures in Reading” (2004). He is a former Board Member of the National Book Critics Circle. He is completing a book with Professor Adrian Bejan of Duke University titled “The Law of Life: The Scientific Principle Behind Evolution and Design in Nature.”
He teaches Mass Communication and Journalism at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh.
I used to smoke. I loved nicotine’s seductive power to make me feel more focused and relaxed at the same time. It made my morning coffee taste good and late-night beers even better.
The seventh-grade ski trip was infamous at my school. One of the teachers had allegedly crept into a student’s sleeping bag and molested him. By the time I had enrolled, the teacher was gone.
On Facebook Wednesday morning one of my liberal friends wrote that Scott Walker had won his recall election because he had outspent his opponent by a whopping margin.
The 2012 election is quickly moving from tragedy to farce. For evidence, consider the current attack on Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain Capital.
As his re-election hopes dim by the day, President Obama’s cheerleaders in the media take heart from opinion polls that show that while a majority of Americans are unhappy with his policies, they like him personally.
Nothing symbolizes the nastiness of American politics better than the constant calls for civility.
Evan Thomas spoke for many liberals when he declared, “Obama's standing above the country, above the world, he's sort of God.”
Like fundamentalist Christians, hard-core liberals know they are right and cannot imagine why anyone would disagree with them.
A few years ago, I began assembling a doom and gloom file. Lickety-split it was filled with newspaper and magazine articles lamenting the “grim times” and “dark days,” the “hopeless epoch” we were being fated to live through. And none of these writers were fundamentalist Christians.
The arguments over media bias are not just tiresome – they don’t go far enough. In fact, much of the mainstream media, especially in their opinion pages and talking-head analysis, have crossed the line into propaganda. Where bias reflects a particular way of looking at the world that emphasizes some facts over others, propaganda is an echo-chamber effort to skew facts in order to serve a larger “truth.”
The dust jacket is by far the best part of David Shields’ latest work, “Reality Hunger: A Manifesto” (Knopf, $24.95, 219 pages). In bold multi-colored type, the front and back covers are filled with not just praise but downright prostration from the brightest literary stars, including J.M Coetzee (“exhilarating”), Jonathan Lethem (“sublime”), Lydia Davis (“compulsively readable”) Amy Hempel (“brilliant”), Richard Powers (“incendiary”) and Frederick Barthelme (“stunning”).
If you want to know what’s really behind the international Climategate scandal you need to know about Greg Taylor.