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 ‘women’s rights’

Blind “love,” blind justice, and Bush’s shoe bomber

Posted by James McPherson on December 14, 2008

As far as we still have to go in this country in terms of equal rights for women and criminal justice, CNN today offers another reminder that things are worse elsewhere.

An Iranian stalker blinded his love object with acid, then “offered” to marry her after he disfigured her. The victim has now convinced an Islamic court that her attacker should face truth “eye-for-an-eye” justice, being blinded with acid himself.

Of all the troubling things about this particular case, perhaps the most disturbing is this line from the victim, recalling her thoughts when she realized that she was about to be attacked: “At that moment, I saw in my mind the face of two sisters who years ago had the same thing happen to them. I thought, ‘Oh, my God–acid.'”

The story also notes that Iran is one of only two countries in the world where “eye-gouging” is considered appropriate punishment. The other is the birthplace of most of the 9/11 World Trade Center attackers, and perhaps the world largest funder of Islamic terrorism–and our biggest ally in the region–Saudi Arabia.

After literally holding hands with the Saudis (some of whom have plenty of reasons for being upset, themselves), George W. Bush is fortunate that people (a journalist, interestingly) are throwing only shoes at him.

Thursday update: Bush obviously isn’t the only one beholden to the Saudis–CNN reports that Bill Clinton is, too, to the tune of perhaps $25 million.

Posted in History, Journalism, Legal issues, Politics, Religion, Women | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Democratic self-mutilation

Posted by James McPherson on May 20, 2008

I suppose cutting off your nose to spite your face would make it easier to stick your head up your butt. Beyond that, however, I understand the rationale of the Hillary Clinton supporters who say that they will refuse to vote for Obama even less than I understand the conservatives who say they support Hillary over John McCain.

Once the Dems choose a nominee–especially if the loser endorses the winner–probably most of those folks will overcome their hurt or distrust of the their party’s nominee and vote in their own best interest. But not all, of course, as amply demonstrated by Ralph Nader’s assistance in giving us eight years of George Bush.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve voted as an independent in almost every presidential election since my first in 1976. And I agree with what I once heard folk singer/storyteller Utah Phillips say, “Remember, if you vote for the lesser of two evils, you’re still voting for evil.” But on the rare occasions when it appeared that my vote might actually matter (mostly I’ve lived in heavily red states where the outcome was a foregone conclusion), I’ve had enough sense to vote for the person whom I most trusted to be in a position to support my interests.

One thing I do know: Conservatives will revel in the irony if disgruntled women voters give McCain the votes he needs to win and, in their view, finally guarantee the Supreme Court Majority that will overturn Roe v. Wade. Of course much of the reason for the current court majority, as I’ve discussed in more detail elsewhere, is that Republicans who disagree on various things–taxation, immigration, war, abortion, etc.–manage to put aside their differences to vote for one bad nominee after another. As a result, we’ve all lost–but progressives have lost the most. And those who care about women’s rights may be the biggest losers if McCain wins.

Posted in Politics, Women, Written elsewhere | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »