Times Three (The Gray Lady Sings Like A Trio*)

Three from the New York Times:

1) State of the Patent Review (pat. pending)

Monday’s Times featured an overview of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which currently has a backlog of 1.2 million applications.

That’s a lot of potential jobs sitting idle. Maybe someone can patent a Hurry Up machine.

2) Reporting While Female

The Sunday Times Week in Review section featured an essay by Sabrina Tavernise that vividly detailed the dangers of international coverage by female reporters.

Representative sample:

The risk of something happening is especially high when all the rules have fallen away and society is held together by a sense that anything can happen. This was the case for me in Baghdad in 2003 at the gun market, when a crowd of young men, impoverished and not used to seeing foreigners, first started touching me, and then began ripping at my clothes. A colleague helped me fend them off.

But there was one discordant note when Tavernise addressed the recent incident in Tahrir Square involving CBS correspondent Lara Logan:

Last week, CBS News said that its reporter Lara Logan was assaulted by a crowd of men in Cairo. CBS News did not detail the circumstances, but the network’s statement — that she had suffered a “brutal and sustained sexual assault” — said enough. Threatening had turned frightening. The moment when you hold your breath in a crowd did not pass safely for her.

I have worked in Gaza, and a half-dozen countries since the late 1990s, including Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey and Russia. In none of these places was I dragged off and raped, but I have encountered abuse in many of them.

Except Logan wasn’t raped, at least according to current news reports.

A small point, perhaps, but a serious one.

3) Frank (That’s) Rich Whacks Mitt Romney . . . Again

Times columnist Frank Rich piñated former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in a Sunday piece about the parade of GOPniks at last weekend’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, “a premier Republican rite that doubles as a cattle call for potential presidential candidates.”

RomneyCarp section of Rich’s rant:

[Romney’s] appearance at CPAC on the morning of Friday, Feb. 11, was entirely consistent with his public image as an otherworldly visitor from an Aqua Velva commercial circa 1985.

That Friday was the day after Mubarak’s bizarre speech vowing to keep his hold on power. At 9:45 a.m. that morning, as a rapt world waited for his next move, CNN reported that there would soon be a new statement from Mubarak — whose abdication was confirmed around 11 a.m. But when Romney took the stage in Washington at 10:35, he made not a single allusion of any kind to Egypt — even as he lambasted Obama for not having a foreign policy. His snarky, cowardly address also tiptoed around “Obamacare” lest it remind Tea Partiers of Massachusetts’s “Romneycare.” He was nearly as out of touch with reality as Mubarak the night before.

H-e-double-hockey-sticks, yes.

That’s our Mitt.

* Campaign Outsider Official Headline Decoder (pat. pending):

In The Roaring Twenties, James Cagney tells Priscilla Lane, “You sing like a trio, baby.”

Is there any better compliment?

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2 Responses to Times Three (The Gray Lady Sings Like A Trio*)

  1. arafat kazi says:

    I do not want to sound like a paranoid first-world person (you know I’m not) but holy heck, I don’t know how these news agencies allow female reporters to go into Islamic countries, or countries where women are seen as objects. Not many people have more respect for women than I do, since like Russia, Bangladesh produces far more superior women than men. But we have a much sexism and Islam as any of these horror countries (esp since we’re one of those horror countries; see link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/22/worlds-least-liveable-cit_n_826620.html#s244184&title=10__Colombo).

    A few years ago, a girl I was dating came to stay with me in Bangladesh for a few months, and I would be absolutely batsh*t terrified of taking her to many places. It’s simply a matter of pragmatism–you might be civilized, but the people that you’re around are not. And god, I’m sure there are people who’d raise eyebrows at my using the word “civilized,” but when the biggest movie star in the country sings about raping and farting (link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZP_RCozEPE) then you know that something is incredibly wrong.

    I applaud the courage of the women and men who go into dangerous situations, ideally trying to bring the truth to light. But Jesus. Don’t knowingly go into a place the men are raised to see you as sexual chattel at the best of times, and they have further been reduced by violence and starvation .

    The Peace Corps rape story had me ashamed and depressed for days (link: http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/peace-corps-gang-rape-volunteer-jess-smochek-us/story?id=12599341). People are routinely raped and stoned and whipped to death in these countries. For the love of God, don’t go in there if you’re a woman, because that just makes a bad situation exponentially worse.

    Sorry about the rant. I’m still feeling leftover angst from 21st February and how little Bangladesh has done to justify the sacrifice that was made on that day.

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