Today on the Dish, Andrew challenged Frum’s assertion that there was nothing redeemable about marijuana, fisked WaPo’s attempted smear of Chuck Hagel, and nominated John Boehner for a Malkin Award after the Speaker turned his bullshit cannon on the press.
In continuing coverage of the aftermath of last week’s school shooting, more readers joined our discussion regarding mental illness, Massie took a historical view on America’s gun-violence problem, Google searches for “gun control” increased dramatically compared to other shootings, a Mormon-owned classifieds site stopped allowing the listing of firearms, Adam Lankford explained how a mass-shooter’s likelihood of committing suicide went up with their death toll, and Charlotte Allen channeled her inner Malkin to point out how “feminized” Sandy Hook Elementary School was. Also, readers shared their ideas on how to talk to children about the tragedy, considered the logistics of crowd-rushing an active shooter, and chimed in on the media’s failures while reporting on the shooting, as did the NYT’s Public Editor. Andrew J. Rotherham hoped the NRA would become more moderate as well as more environmentally focused, a reader was newly offended by the gunplay in A Christmas Story (only to be quickly rebuked by other readers), and we read a hearbreaking letter from a young boy in Newtown.
In political coverage, Chait claimed we would fall off the fiscal cliff due to the lack of rational players involved, Thomas Jefferson believed that our institutions should keep pace with the progress of the human mind, David Kuo shared his gratitide for Obamacare, Lucianne Goldberg got a Malkin nod for accusing Hillary Clinton of faking a concussion, and Richard Kahlenberg foresaw the end of affirmative action. Also, S.J. Culver wished more people understood the reality of America’s prison system, Ezra and Suderman decoded entitlement reform efforts, Jacob Sullum explored the social history of weed, Victor Menaldo told us why dictators bother to have legislatures, and James McPherson rejected some criticism of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
In assorted coverage, a reader added to our thread on digital journalism by considering alternative paths for advertisers, David Vinjamuri checked in on the battle over ebook lending, Ramin Setoodeh found fault with the excessive lengths of modern films, Noah Berlatsky objected to the added violence in (the 169-minute film version of) The Hobbit, and Silvia Killingsworth panned the Inbox Zero productivity system for its reliance on good memory. Gary Marcus pushed back the arrival of sophisticated household robots, Alan Cumming let us know what it’s like to have a very big foreskin, Hilton Als penned an essay about (the maturing) Prince, and we dug into the backlash over Instagram’s new terms of service. DJ Earworm mash-recapped the year’s pop in our MHB, a BBC executive took some heat in our FOTD, and there was Milwaukee snow through the VFYW.