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August 28, 2009


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If I'm not mistaken, it was on TCM tonight. One of my favorite movies, and this time around I noticed how quietly observant Minnelli is of character behavior in those opening scenes; when I think of the film, I always remember the big set-pieces at the end, but the whole movie is full of lovely little gestures (the way Sinatra tilts his head or draws out a "Yeaaahh" like it's a note in a song; the way Shirley Maclaine wakes up in the bus seat at the beginning) that tell us everything we need to know about the characters.

Dan Coyle

Those who can, do. Those who can't, blog for the Atlantic Monthly.


Megan is one of the best things goin' at the Atlantic. I'm not sure why you're picking on her. How about Andrew "Sarah-Palin-Is-Not-The-Mother-Of-Trig" Sullivan? He's often insightful and challenges my own preconceptions of certain matters, but if ever there were a firing offense, it was his leading of the charge into the Palin "scandal." All of his subsequent, on-target posts about Palin were discredited by his zealous pursuit of a fake story -- and his refusal to apologize. Instead, he doubled down on his journalistic "right" to raise such an allegation. Disgraceful.

But, yeah, Megan McCardle. Now THERE'S a problem!

Central Square Indian

Megan was on Tom Ashbrook's On Point yesterday (Jane Clayson was filling in, I think) on NPR. I was quite disappointed in her naughty partisan lying habit. Naughty naughty!

The Siren

What a wonderful screen cap.

McArdle is a near-perfect example of the market-worship that begins with the premise, "I worked damn hard to get the parents I got."

Glenn Kenny

@ Discman: Yeah, Sullivan's a tool. And he's been hacking away long enough now that he's practically a venerable one. But McArdle really is the bottom of the barrel. As Charles Pierce puts it, "she's the freshman philosophy major that everybody avoids in the bar, even at closing time." And as Doghouse Riley follows up: "And--again--she's thirty-six years old. The first time I saw that i thought somebody was having a leg-pull, and I will never, ever get over it. And as obnoxious as the woman is, whoever gives her a national forum is the moral equivalent of a torturer of other people's pets."

Relevant link: http://alicublog.blogspot.com/2009_08_23_archive.html#8815585879444867792


This reminds me that I finally had the chance to see part of "The Dean Martin Show" last night for the first time, and there was Dean's good buddy Frank as his guest. Their plainly drunken cameraderie wasn't that far off from this movie, honestly.


"The Dean Martin Show" ruled! And evidently Dean only 'played' drunk (like myself.....) But the tone of that show is so enjoyable, and so un-PC that I doubt we'll see the likes of it again on a national TV platform, which is OK because I'm not drunk, I'm not.

karen marie

After listening to WBUR daily for 20 years I had to give it up in 2005. Tom Ashbrook makes my ears bleed. Megan McArdle being booked as a guest doesn't surprise me. I am ever so grateful that I wasn't in my car that day as my listening options are limited and I very likely would have tuned in and ended up in an accident.


The Trig "story" was pretty low and a distraction from the real problems with Palin. I think it was Rod Dreher who said that Sullivan is unreadable during an election cycle; under normal circumstances, he's a must-read.

However, his work on torture is absolutely top-notch and an essential contribution to this torture "debate." (Quotations because it is unfathomable to me that there is a debate about torture going on in America.)

Tom Carson

To be fair, AS was also a must-read during the foiled Iran uprising. Level-headed he wasn't, but only Nico Pitney had more up-to-date info about what was happening. And I bet that Sullivan, unlike Pitney, wouldn't have let himself be used by the White House to ask a precooked question at a press conf -- a sin no matter who's President, something Pitney still doesn't seem to have grasped.

As for McCardle, would you believe I'd managed to stay ignorant until now of the fact that we share the planet? Took my first look this morning, and yuggh.

Tom Carson

An ignorance I promptly made manifest by misspelling Whatsername's name. May it never darken my keyboard again.

jim emerson

Oh dear. I'd heard vague rumblings about McArdle but, like tc, never actually tried to read her until moments ago. Won't be doing THAT again.

As for AS: Sometimes he's slow to catch on -- as with the invasion of Iraq (he thought it was a good idea, but it took him a while to realize it was the fantasy war in HIS head that he thought was noble and good and had a chance of success, not the actual thing that the Bush administration was doing in the real world). Same with Palin. He eventually came to understand his mistake: He was actually believing Palin's own story about going into labor in Texas and flying back to Alaska to have her baby. That's where all the questions about Trig's birth came from. But once you acknowledge that she's a pathological liar and that this story probably never happened in the first place (but was presented to the public with the intention of making her look "tough" and strong-willed, rather than reckless and irresponsible), you realize that all the other inconsistencies don't necessarily point to some kind of conspiracy. They just aren't consistent with this particular lie.

Glenn Kenny

I rather feel bad that in making my little joke I've exposed the McArdle infection to folks who might not have otherwise come in contact with it!


AS is certainly a needed force in "conservatism" but so much of what guides Sullivan is a need to believe in not government, but figureheads, like the market, Tories, Reagan and religion. His torture reportage is unassailable, but the tech-wonk in him acts as if every ad or new gadget or even blogging is better than reality...


My main complaint as of late about the Atlantic is its back page. Used to be Barbara Wallraff's "Word Play" column, but it's been turned over to Jeffrey Goldberg. I enjoyed Goldberg's piece on "Inglourious Basterds" in the most recent issue and read his blog sometimes, but that back-page column is a waste -- not funny, not memorable, just filler.

I remember a few years back, when the Atlantic ditched its publication of a short story in each issue, claiming its printed pages were valuable "real estate" that needed to be preserved for its notable long-form journalism. And now we have that Goldberg page. Really.

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