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Monday, December 27, 2004

Toward the end of the year...

Guest Blogger Paul Parker

There was a lot of handwringing among Democrats after the November election. An article in Monday's NYT reports, "
Politically Inclined Filmmakers Say There Is Life After the Election."
Reporter Nancy Ramsey quotes Erroll Morris (The Fog of War) as saying
"If people were motivated to make films because of their concern with the policies of the first administration," he said, "it's hard to argue that those concerns were allayed on Nov. 2."

Todd Gitlin, a professor of journalism and sociology at Columbia University, whose most recent book is "Letters to a Young Activist," suggested that politically minded filmmakers produce "quick and dirty docs" that are "very issue-specific, such as one on our choices in Iran." He also suggested that those "who feel trapped inside the blue-state ghetto might think about how they can crack out of it, make films that Ohioans might pay attention to."

More on the media:

Toward the end of the year, newspapers run "best ofs" -- I emailed myself the NYT lists on television, books, and film and I'll be looking around for others this week. With any luck, at least I'll get time to read a book review or two on some of the top books. I am a fan of "The Office," and recorded their three hour special this weekend, and my wife loves "Desperate Housewives." Otherwise, I am clueles on the TV recs.

The Seattle Times ran an article Monday flipping this upside down, addressing state "lowlights," several of which are politically related. Well, the one about the Spokane Streakers, whose car was stolen with their clothes inside, while they were inside Denny's may not be political. But here's one:

• A nasty U.S. House race between Republican Cathy McMorris and Democrat Donald Barbieri included negative ads on both sides, including one in which national Republicans dredged up allegations of questionable business dealings by Barbieri's since-deceased father. McMorris refused to denounce those ads, which prompted the Lewiston Morning Tribune on Oct. 7 to print the following correction: "An Oct. 1 editorial referred to Washington state Rep. Cathy McMorris, R-Colville, as a 'classy candidate.' This page regrets the error."

• The state is investigating whether Liberty Bell High principal Steve McCoy told a struggling student he needed math, science and English skills to become a successful drug dealer. Investigators hired by officials in Winthrop, Okanogan County, found little doubt that while meeting with the 14-year-old boy, his parent and teachers, McCoy told the boy he would need science so that when he opened a meth lab he wouldn't blow up his house; English to talk his way out of being busted by police; and math so that he would know how many grams of dope he was getting for his money. McCoy said the statements were taken out of context and that he was trying to show why numerous professions need math and science.

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