William Katz:  Urgent Agenda







CHANGING THE SUBJECT – It hasn't taken The New York Times too long to try to change the subject in reporting the Petraeus scandal.  Today's big story doesn't deal with whether security was breached, lives were endangered, or our intelligence operations need medication.  No, The Times breathlessly tells us, "The F.B.I. investigation that toppled the director of the C.I.A. and now has entangled the top American commander in Afghanistan underscores a danger that civil libertarians have long warned about: that in policing the Web for crime, espionage and sabotage, government investigators will unavoidably invade the private lives of Americans."  Yeah.  I guess this was getting to close to Obama for The Times's comfort.

DISAPPOINTING – We've long said here that the editorial page of The Washington Post, though liberal, is well done and well written, and far superior to that of the aforementioned New York Times.  We've also seen some improvement in the still-liberal news pages.  But I must report what is probably a setback.  Marcus Brauchli, the paper's executive editor is stepping down (or being forced out).  That's sad in itself.  But even sadder, and baffling, is that he's being replaced by Marty Baron, editor of The Boston Globe.  The Globe is owned by The New York Times, and Baron was a company man.  I'm sure he has many fine qualities, but The Globe is a hopelessly biased and snobbish Boston liberal paper, symbolizing so much of what we find wrong in today's journalism.  I thought The Post's leadership was trying to balance the paper.  I may have been wrong.  We'll give the guy a chance.

MISTAKE – Paul Ryan, fresh from his run as the GOP vice-presidential candidate, announced his support of Tom Price for a leadership position in the House.  Tom Price is an excellent guy, but I think Ryan is making a serious mistake.  Price's opponent for the post of Republican Conference chair is Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers.  Look, bottom line:  The Republican Party needs women in visible, powerful positions.  No matter how qualified Tom Price is, he'll be seen as another white male from Georgia.  Sometimes, pure policy considerations must be mixed with political savvy.  I'm for Cathy because she's quality, she's qualified, and she will send an important message that the GOP is expanding its base.  That's what's needed as we start the campaign for 2014. 

LAUGH NOW – Remember, that hard laughter can put a strain on stomach muscles, so suck in as you read this:  The White House announced today that President Obama didn't know about the Petraeus scandal until the day after the election.  All right, laugh.  Have a good one.  Then stop laughing and contemplate who's running the country right now.  Get that underground bunker built.  Home Depot has good prices on supplies.

November 13, 2012