Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • Bloc Like Me

    Two days before the presidential election, Ingrid Holmes walked into the Greater Grant African Methodist Episcopal Church to hear John Edwards’s pitch. Not that she was on the fence. “I just feel like after 2000, with the economy, the war, and everything, [Bush] needs to go,” said Holmes. In 2000, some 27,000 votes were thrown […]

  • Lazy Bums

    CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer was discussing Game 7 of the American League Championship Series last week, when all of a sudden he had an insight—sports is a lot like politics, and could get even more so if the Houston Astros ended up facing the Boston Red Sox. “And you realize, of course,” Blitzer told his […]

  • Talking Point

    David Corn is not at the top of Karl Rove’s call list, but after each presidential debate, he’s had a chance to be right in his lap. That’s because Corn, Washington editor of the lefty Nation, immediately goes to work in the Spin Room. It’s the scene of post-presidential-debate colloquies in which representatives for both […]

  • Moderate Rock

    Alan Schroeder has a modest proposal for the Commission on Presidential Debates. “I think if Oprah moderated a presidential debate, the whole country would come to a standstill,” says Schroeder, author of Presidential Debates: Forty Years of High Risk TV. “But it’s always been Washington journalists. They’ve always gone with the safe candidate.” Choosing Oprah […]

  • Cheney Stops News Cycle Cold

    Before Dick Cheney uttered one sentence in Tuesday night’s vice-presidential debate, he scored an impressive victory—namely, he managed to switch the subject. For the past week, the story had been the first presidential debate, in which George W. Bush was soundly spanked by Senator John Kerry. Network anchors busied themselves with montages of Bush’s face […]

  • See Bush Twitch

    Last night’s debate on foreign policy was supposed to be President Bush’s show, a chance for him to strut his stuff about the war on terror and permanently affix the label of flip-flopper to the allegedly Botoxed forehead of John Kerry. Yesterday’s conventional wisdom held that everything from the debate’s topic to the flashing lights […]

  • Black, White, Read

    For news outlets covering the conflict in Sudan, the killings, rapes, and razing of villages boils down to one factor—race. The Washington Post and The New York Times have repeatedly characterized attacks by the Arab riders of the government-backed Janjaweed as a war against “black Africans.” The Associated Press has referred to the turmoil in […]

  • Brown-Skin Lady

    Last spring, sales reps from Essence began spreading the news to ad agencies: The matron saint of black female self-esteem was birthing a daughter. “The Essence team came in and told us they were coming out with a new magazine,” says Carla Louis, media planner for UniWorld Group. “They said it would be high-fashion, multicultural […]

  • Playing Trumps

    Donald Trump knows the power of a name—his name. By plastering his moniker on casinos, hotels, and condos, Trump has made it a synonym for ultra-affluence. Even as his casinos lapse into bankruptcy, the Donald has parlayed his personality into a hit TV show and eight books. In August, he introduced a line of suits […]

  • The Daily Grind

    For four days last week, Republican delegates were bombarded with leaflets, pamphlets, and circulars. The sheer amount of paper being handed out guaranteed that most of it would be bound for the recycling bin without so much as a passing glance. But this didn’t deter what had to be one of the most expensive print […]

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