Picture of Marty Kaplan

Marty Kaplan

Marty Kaplan holds the Norman Lear Chair at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. His Jewish Journal columns have won First Place in the Southern California Journalism Awards six times in the past six years. Reach him at martyk@jewishjournal.com

Move over, Willie Horton

According to KDKA News Director John Verrilli, it was Pennsylvania McCain spokesman Peter Feldman, in the absence of any confirmed facts, who told the media that the mugger saw a McCain bumper sticker on Ashley Todd\’s car, and that the B stood for Barack.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T for Colin Powell

I couldn\’t help recalling that this was the same Colin Powell whose United Nations speech five years earlier had convinced me that invading Iraq was the right thing to do.

Alan shrugged

Wall Street\’s problem, in the president\’s mind, is not a systemic pathology, not an illness that comes on the same chromosome as the profit motive. Instead, it\’s the behavior of a frat boy on a bender, the reckless phase of a good-time Charlie rather than the symptom of profound disease.

Gotcha? You betcha!

But there\’s also a less benign explanation for the media\’s negligence, and it\’s captured by something President Andrew Jackson said nearly two centuries ago: \”If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.\”

The debates won’t matter

Joseph Stalin is reputed to have said, \”Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.\” I think he had it half right.

Is our fate really sealed? Is change possible?

Within the calendar that constitutes the Jewish cathedral in time, no days are more saturated with the experience of human nature, and with experiments in human change, than the Days of Awe. This is when we are asked, paradoxically, both to steep in our powerlessness to escape our species\’ fate, and yet also to try out behaviors that can rescue us from our destinies.

One-Day U

You have to go back to Spiro Agnew and his bullyboy ventriloquists, Pat Buchanan and William Safire, to find this kind of sneering contempt for educated people.

Post-Palin Depression

This is not just a Jewish phenomenon, though a few thousand years of expecting to be scapegoated, persecuted, exiled or killed certainly contributes to the melancholic gene Jews are known for carrying, the optimism of a Ben-Gurion or Sandy Koufax notwithstanding.

But he’s a Muslim!

The Muslim issue is a way to talk about race without talking about race, and without having to squirm about saying that race is not an issue.


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