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If You Want It…

It's a holiday weekend, Santa and Christmas are right around the corner at our house…and yet, the news keeps on coming.  Funny how that works, isn't it?

Bob Geiger has the Saturday funnies.  For my money, it doesn't get much better than the Ann Telnaes at the top of the stack…and then it does get better the further you read.  We must all have some good editorial cartoon karma built up this week.  (Do NOT miss the Dwane Powell one.)

— In the WaPo, Colbert King has some fantastic op-ed reporting on an issue that needs a lot more scrutiny — that it is happening in our nation's capitol and being sanctioned by the State Department by a failure for them to stand up for the powerless is horrendous.  I was fortunate to meet Colby King at the Eisenhower Foundation symposium that I attended — and the panel on which he and Ray Suarez participated was exceptional.  I've been promised transcripts of the entire conference at some point after the holidays, and I cannot wait to share excerpts with all of you. 

One of the main points that a lot of these reporters touched on was the lack of personal experience with poverty or other problems on which they were reporting — that the way the journalism profession is structured these days requires a younger reporter to have some means of family support for the very low intern salaries in order to feed themselves, which ends up being a self-selecting upper and upper-middle class division in who ultimately ends up being a reporter.  And how that skews the perspective on so many things from story selection to which problems most need sunshine to lack of outright empathy for folks who have spent the last few months living on ramen noodles and ready-to-rot veggies from the mark-down produce bin to save pennies for a present for the kids.  It's a question of perspective, and one that is not easily resolved — but one that media agencies around the country ought to be asking themselves about — because the homogeneity of the newsroom leads to a lot of lock-step reporting and thought over time, but a diversity of opinion and experience can lead to a lot of critical questions that need to be asked actually being brought up in the first place.

— For our NYC-area readers, this is pretty scary stuff.  And…um…considering it is more than five years after 9/11/01, does anyone know why they are just getting around to this analysis now?

Sean-Paul has a great round-up for anyone who has been following the Leverett/Iran/Bush Administration saga.

Stirling has some thoughts on the loss of American influence — and some thoughts on what we can do about it.

— Media Matters has put together the most outrageous statements of 2006.  Uh.  Mah.  Gawd. 

Crooks and Liars has a great video clip from Jack Cafferty on the costs of Iraq.  And while you are there, don't miss these Daily Show classics:  "We're Not Winning, We're Not Losing" and "'one more shot' at Bill Kristol."

Laura Rozen has some great bits and pieces up on Iraq — and on Bandar's back channel to the Bush White House.  Very interesting stuff.

David Neiwert shares some important thoughts on journamalism, smear tactics and the flinging of poo.

— And this week, TBogg has treated us to boobages and sociopaths.  What a combo.  (TBogg is just funny.)

Taylor has some film suggestions for everyone.  Personally, I can't wait to see "We Are Marshall," because it was filmed right here in WV. 

— And, just in case you somehow missed it, Billmon is blogging again.  Yay.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com