The Daily Beast and Howard Kurtz have parted company. Under the direction of our newly named political director John Avlon we have added new momentum and authority to our Washington bureau with columnists such as Jon Favreau, Joshua Dubois and Stuart Stevens joining our outstanding DC team of Eleanor Clift, Daniel Klaidman, Michael Tomasky, Eli Lake, David Frum and Michelle Cottle—giving us one of the best politics teams in the business which was instrumental in this week’s Webby win for Best News site.A statement from The Daily Beast, revealing they had dropped Howard Kurtz, days after Kurtz wrote a column for the site suggesting that openly-gay NBA star Jason Collins had lied about a prior engagement—despite the fact that Collins had been up front about the situation in interviews and had specifically mentioned the fact in his Sports Illustrated cover story. The publication retracted the column, though Politico notes that the firing may have had just as much to do with Kurtz’s extremely busy schedule. On top of the Beast, Kurtz also hosts CNN’s “Reliable Sources” and writes for “The Daily Download,” a media criticism site.
Your essay must be five paragraphs long, with an introduction, three body paragraphs containing your strongest arguments, and a conclusion. You do not have a choice in your position: you must argue that Jews are evil, and use solid rationale from government propaganda to convince me of your loyalty to the Third Reich!The text of a 10th grade english assignment pushing students to offer their suggestions on why the Nazis were right, or as I like to call it, “instant dismissal from your teaching job.” What an awful idea. The Albany, NY school district, where the assignment originated from, is working hard to make amends to the local Jewish community as well as to students and parents; the teacher faces a reprimand and possible firing.
My problem with the “it’s part of our history” argument is two-fold: (1) The history of Southern states extends much further back than the Confederacy, so I’m left wondering why that pivotal (and controversial) moment has become identified as the historical juncture that should define what “the South” is about. (2) The history of the Confederacy was extremely brief: it lasted less than five years. (By contrast, the Third Reich lasted more than twice as long, giving the Nazi flag a stronger claim to historical tradition.)Miguel Centellas, a professor at the University of Mississippi’s Croft Institute for International Studies, explains the whole “why-that-Brad-Paisley-song-is-a-bad-idea” thing perfectly. Oh yeah, he has a great Tumblr worth a follow.
alexanderpf asks: What exactly do you find so problematic about Brad Paisley's song Accidental Racist? I'm originally from Germany but moved to Alabama at a young age. Have you ever had a chance to travel through some of the more rural parts of the Southeast? While there are definitely still some very vocal racists -- most people find themselves in a middle school dance type situation of socially expected segregation... and I think the song really speaks to that.
» SFB says: Race is a difficult subject to discuss, and when it’s handled poorly, it shows. The song, simply put, handles a delicate subject poorly—no matter what part of the country you live in. I used to live in a part of South Carolina that was decidedly not urban. I lived there long enough that I understand what you’re talking about, but I think at the same time that doesn’t give Brad Paisley a pass. It’s a clumsy treatment of a clumsy topic. Plus, I mean, how does something like this get on an album? There were people at his label that signed off on this and didn’t see the problem. That’s a huge problem. — Ernie @ SFB
EDIT: This commentary on the subject says everything you need to know.