“The election of this man as President filled him with ‘smoldering dread.’ He believed that the worst said about this man was all too true. He had not only lied but had been caught in that lie, and the great majority of voters didn’t care.”
President Donald Trump? No. It is an excerpt from a new book describing how Henry Clay felt about the election of President Andrew Jackson, 190 years ago. The book by David and Jeanne Heidler is a vivid look back at the life of one of America’s greatest political figures.
An important part of the ONE Campaign’s effort to involve young men and women in Africa in helping to determine the next round of Millennium Development Goals for 2015 is a project called “You Choose.”
You Choose involves utilizing mobile phone numbers by large corporations asking users (at no cost) to text a certain message to a certain number if they want to become involved. Then they get to go through a decision-tree and pick out the issues they think should be highlighted.
This, as you might imagine, has taken the time and talents of some of the best young organizers in southern Africa and we’ve had the opportunity to catch up with some of them both in South Africa and in Malawi. Continue reading →
The White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, a dazzling display of media narcissism, is slipping from memory now. But before it does, the Association ought to think seriously about not doing it next year. The spectacle is an embarrassment to journalism and the American Presidency. It reinforces an awful perception of Washington culture.
The dinner is an annual affair put on by the White House Correspondents Association under the guise of a fundraising event for journalism scholarships, but it isn’t that at all. The paltry amount of money the Association gives out in scholarships that night could be raised with a tin cup at the corner of Connecticut and K streets in DC.
The newspaper Politico said that the Association has only made $583,000 in scholarship awards in the last 20 years. That averages out to $29,150 a year. The Association website reported this year’s awards at $132,000. Politico said there were 2,800 guests at the dinner, which would mean the scholarship money amounted to no more than $47 per guest. Usually at dinners of this type, some guests are comped–let in free. But those who do pay or have their ticket paid for them, fork over $1,000 a plate.
We don’t know how much the dinner actually grossed or netted, but the numbers raise questions about why there is so little left over for the scholarships. Continue reading →
The flash from the explosion–and implosion–of General Stanley McChrystal has faded and his story is already old news. Lindsay Lohan, Mel Gibson and Rod Blagojevich are back in the headlines.
That’s too bad. If there is any good to come of the McChrystal tragedy, if we as a society are to learn from the experience, then we need to sift through the rubble again and see if we can’t find out more about the right and the wrong, who did what to whom, why it happened and how, and what has changed or will change as a result. It’s important.
General McChrystal, as you will recall, was the U.S. commander in Afghanistan brought down by a story in Rolling Stone Magazine. McChrystal and his aides were quoted as speaking derogatorily and crudely of the civilian chain of command from Washington to Kabul.
The story caused serious direct and collateral damage. The coverage for a brief time was thorough, but there is a lot more for serious journalists to cover.