'Fear-Filled, Nationalistic Fervor' After 9-11 Attacks

Plus the paper's ethics columnist berates radio blowhards and tea party crackpots," and David Brooks lets us know what his fellow journalists really think of Sarah Palin

Reporter Hits 'Fear-Filled, Nationalistic Fervor' After 9-11 Attacks

"In the fear-filled, nationalistic fervor after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in September 2001, Congress rushed to approve President George W. Bush's decision to attack Afghanistan, the country where the terrorist leaders had trained for their suicide voyage." - Bay Area contributor Daniel Weintraub, December 20 in a fawning profile of left-wing pacific Rep. Barbara Lee headlined "Fear Becomes Reality for Oakland Democrat."

Opposing Obama-Care Not Principled, but "More Republican Stalling"

"But the clear will of Democratic leaders in Congress is not to deal with more Republican stalling. And so rather than try to appoint a formal conference, which would require at least three steps that Republicans could filibuster, the Democrats are readying an alternate strategy." - David Herszenhorn in a December 5 story.

Insert Tasteless 9-11 Reference Here

"Glaciers are part of the majestic landscape here, visible from almost everywhere in the neighboring cities of La Paz and El Alto, each with one million people. Their disappearance from certain vistas is as startling to Bolivians as the absence of the twin towers is to New Yorkers." - Elisabeth Rosenthal on the melting glaciers of Bolivia, December 14.

Unleashing Anti-Bush Cliches to Defend Obama's War on Terror

"Obama, then, found himself in a place where he seems most comfortable, splitting the difference on a tough issue and presenting it as the course of reasoned judgment rather than of dogmatic ideology. Where Bush saw black and white, Obama sees gray. Where Bush favored swagger, Obama is searching for a more supple blend of force and intellect." - From Peter Baker's interview with Obama's counterterrorism advisor John Brennan, scheduled to appear in the January 17 edition of the Times Sunday Magazine but posted early at nytimes.com.

"Radio Blowhards" and "Tea Party Crackpots"

"I am tempted to believe that those whose politics differ from mine lack 'judgment and personality' and taste in clothes and finesse on the dance floor. But this proposition is unsupportable. As to judgment: politics is famously a subject about which honorable people differ. As to personality - whatever that means - even in an era when radio blowhards fulminate and Tea Party crackpots threaten violence against their political foes, it is possible to disagree with civility. You must abandon your mini-McCarthyism and cease denying employment to those you deem politically misguided." - Times "Ethicist" columnist Randy Cohen, December 6.

McCain's Maverick Sniping at Presidents No Longer Cool

"If Mr. McCain has had a history of being a happy warrior, that is not the phrase used by many of his friends to describe his demeanor these days. There are few glimpses of the winks, wry smiles and one-liners that were once an integral part of his character. More typically, his remarks are tinged with sarcasm or anger, delivered with a wave of the arm or both hands chopping through the air, like those he delivered Friday, when he declared that a report on Medicare benefits "should put a dagger in the heart of the Reid bill." - Adam Nagourney, December 14.

Vinyl Albums Are Making a Comeback! Just Like 15 Years Ago!

"Sales of vinyl albums have been climbing steadily for several years, tromping on the notion that the rebound was just a fad. Through late November, more than 2.1 million vinyl records had been sold in 2009, an increase of more than 35 percent in a year, according to Nielsen Soundscan" - From Patrick McGeehan's story "Beyond Nostalgia, Vinyl Albums and Turntables Are Returning," December 7, 2009.


"Vinyl is back. For the first time in 13 years, sales of old-fashioned vinyl LP recordings are on the rise. Sales have increased by a staggering 80 percent for the first half of this year compared with the same period last year, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. - From "Music Lovers Are Voting for Vinyl," an article by Neil Strauss, in the December 8, 1994 New York Times.

Well, Sign Us Up Then!

"If negotiators reach an accord at the climate talks in Copenhagen it will entail profound shifts in energy production, dislocations in how and where people live, sweeping changes in agriculture and forestry and the creation of complex new markets in global warming pollution credits. So what is all this going to cost? The short answer is trillions of dollars over the next few decades. It is a significant sum but a relatively small fraction of the world's total economic output." - John Broder on the costs of a potential global warming agreement at the talks in Copenhagen, December 9.

It's Still All Bush's Fault

"The president's pique at Republicans was evident before Wednesday's meeting, after 10 months in which they have opposed all of his major initiatives to address the problems he inherited." - December 10, reporter Jackie Calmes.

Seasons Greetings from the Media: Palin the "Atrocity"

"The only problem with us inside the Beltway types is a certain tendency toward a herd mentality. For example, this year I'm especially lamenting the fact that we have a near one-party press corps. All my conversations are the same: Haven't Obama's speeches been great? Isn't Sarah Palin an atrocity? Why don't they just pass health care already? I agree with some of this, but it's still boring to be part of the same blah, blah, blah." - David Brooks, in his weekly "Opinionator" exchange with fellow columnist Gail Collins at nytimes.com, December 16.

Why Times Journalists Get the Big Bucks

"Democrats See Greater Role for Government in Health Care." - Headline over a December 18 "Prescriptions" blog post by reporter David Herszenhorn at nytimes.com.