Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Slate's Today's Papers and In Other Magazines are excellent round-ups of what the press is saying, usually without further comment. But assistant editor Julia Turner doesn't shy away from calling attention to supreme idiocies like this one:

The Most Counterproductive Argument Award goes this month to the following paragraph in Fortune: "We're not saying this is a war for oil, as the tired antiwar slogans would have it. Trust us: There are easier and cheaper ways to get all the crude we need without touching a hair on Saddam's mustache. But the future of Iraq's oil reserves and their impact on world prices and U.S. economic expansion are among the most crucial elements of the present conflict." Wait, so we're not fighting to control oil, we're just fighting to lower oil prices? In Other Magazines generally finds the no-war-for-oil slogan less than convincing, too, but this semantic shuffle-ball-change makes her wonder.
OK, to be fair, they didn't write that the war was about lower oil prices... But I could swear there were a host of real reasons that we fought this war, and "U.S. economic expansion" was not one of them.

UPDATE: I'm flattered that anybody at Slate would read my blog on a daily basis... let alone feel slighted that I failed to mention another excellent column called (drum roll please...) International Papers, a round-up of what the non-U.S. press is saying. It's usually written by June Thomas, Slate's managing editor, with occasion contributions by Michael Young of Beirut Calling surveying the Arab press. (I've written it twice, but news from these parts is a tough sell, as I've been learning the hard way.)


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