James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association and a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media.

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Posts Tagged ‘Mos Def’

The last word on vice presidential choices–for now

Posted by James McPherson on August 4, 2008

Blogger Bil Browning predicts Barack Obama will name Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh as his running mate on Wednesday, while John McCain’s staffers apparently are saying that McCain will wait to name his own pick until after hearing Obama’s choice (and no doubt until the GOP smear machine gets fired up against whomever the Democratic choice may be).

I don’t think Bayh is a terrible choice, though I’d favor someone else. I also thought Obama should have named his pick a few weeks ago, as I wrote some time back. McCain also seems unlikely to pick the woman I thought would be his best choice, though I did suggest that he should wait to name her until Aug. 24, the day before the Democratic Convention begins. I now think McCain will name his running mate within about a week of whenever Obama makes his choice.

If neither candidate names his choice within the next couple of days, I predict they’ll wait a couple more weeks until the Olympics are over–though I disagree with many pundits and think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to name a running mate during the Olympics. After all, the VP choice isn’t supposed to overshadow the nominee, anyway, though I suspect that will be more of a potential problem for the apparently stuck-in-the-mud McCain campaign than for Obama.

My kind of town, Chicago is–this week, anyway

I’m spending much of this week in Chicago for the annual convention of the Association for Education in Journalism & Mass Communication–the largest organization to which I belong, and the one with the bulkiest title. After the convention and a bit of vacation, I’ll be back in about a week. In the meantime, especially if you’re new to the site, you might want to check out some of my previous posts. Here in no particular order are a “top 20” of my favorites:

Burn a flag for the Fourth

Begging to differ

The Democrats’ best VP choice–and when Obama should name him

McCain’s best VP choice–and when he should name her

Have you ever heard of the “world’s most famous journalist”?

 PUMAs stalk political relevance–and irony

Ignorance and the electorate

The New Yorker’s Obama cover

“Act now”: a new way for candidates to reach the electorate

WOW! Young people access news differently than grandparents

Family values

Speaking for the poor

Rush Limbaugh and Operation Chaos

Curiosity and journalism

Pogo’s enemy, revisited

Democratic self-mutilation

Howard Dean and convention bloggers

Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali, Mos Def, Zalmay Khalilzad & Keith Ellison: Which doesn’t belong?

Utah Phillips and other dead patriots

Why Obama’s success is no surprise, and why McCain may be in trouble

Have a great week!

Posted in Education, History, Journalism, Media literacy, Personal, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Barack Obama, Muhammad Ali, Mos Def, Zalmay Khalilzad & Keith Ellison: Which doesn’t belong?

Posted by James McPherson on July 16, 2008

The answer to the above question, of course, is Barack Obama–who, despite the fact that apparently a quarter of the American population is still dumb enough to believe that Obama was raised a Muslim, is the only non-Muslim on the list.

The question is relevant because of what Obama pointed out with Larry King last night. The New Yorker cover that has drawn so much attention is a cartoon, not particularly noteworthy for what it says about Obama, but because it is “an insult against Muslim Americans.” Obama admitted that he has not been as diligent as he should have been about pointing out that there is nothing wrong with being a Muslim in America.

George Bush and Dick Cheney apparently agrees, though they’d probably never say so publicly because fear-based politics remain their only tenuous thread to American support. But Bush appointed Khalilzad as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (one of few effective Bush appointments regarding Iraq), and Cheney once awarded Khalilzad a medal for outstanding public service.

Mos Def is widely popular and a musician and actor, though he likely won’t be receiving any awards from the Bush administration. You can see a sample of why below in a song that includes the lines, “I don’t rap for dead presidents. I’d rather see the president dead.” (Warning: Some people will find the language offensive.)

Muhammad Ali is one of the most-respected sports figures in the world, and was chosen to light the Olympic torch for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. Two years ago Minnesota Democrat Keith Ellison became the first Muslim elected to Congress. They are just a few among the many famous Muslims in and outside of the United States, including doctors, politicians and others, who have made significant contributions to American lives.

Many of them, like Obama, even pledge allegiance to the American flag.

Posted in History, Politics, Religion, Video | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »