Due to technical reasons (and not having a full-time staff to do this stuff the way big media organizations do), I wasn't able to post photos with all the stories from the Democratic National Convention. Instead, I'm just going to present them all together in this "album." A lot of these were mentioned in my previous coverage, but some of them are just random convention shots.
Archive of Articles in the "Interviews" Category
I conducted the following interview yesterday, before the convention actually started. Denise Merrill is a Connecticut delegate (although not, as she pointed out to me, a superdelegate) and serves Connecticut as their Secretary of State. A recent achievement was the state becoming the first to pass a campaign finance reform law which created a public financing system for elections -- all the other states with such laws created them through ballot initiatives or referenda.
Today I am once again turning my column space over to a regular commenter at my website, who wishes only to be identified by her login name "Paula."
On Friday, March 11th, 2016, I was responding to one of Chris's posts and wrote the following: "Anecdotally: we walk our dog around the neighborhood every day, criss-crossing several blocks in different patterns. The other day I stopped to talk to a lady out raking her yard (a middle-aged black woman -- a stranger) and asked her if she was leaning Hillary or Bernie, anyone else, or no one. She said Hillary, because she thinks Hillary is experienced, going back to having been married to a president, and will know how to handle the job. She said she likes Bernie but he's old and she's not sure he'll make it through the campaign season, but Hillary seems so energetic."
I have two important program notes to post today, before I get busy writing today's column (yes, there will be a real column today).
The first is that it's been so long that I basically forgot how the notifications for donations come in to my email from PayPal. What this means is that there were [...]
In the intervening two years, College of Saint Rose professor Bruce Roter has made significant progress towards seeing his dream become a reality. He has secured a charter for his museum from the state, and is now in the process of filing paperwork registering as a non-profit (to assure that donations to the Museum of Political Corruption will be tax-deductible). And just yesterday, the M.P.C. announced its first-ever essay contest for high-school students, to answer the question: "What is political corruption and why should we care?"
I referenced the following article in passing last Friday (in relation to another outbreak of corruption in the halls of Albany), after which I was ceremoniously awarded a Commemorative Silver Edition Kickback by the Albany Museum of Political Corruption -- so I thought it'd be nice to return the favor and re-run the full interview I conducted a while ago with Bruce Roter.
What, exactly, is a conspiracy theory? How do you define the term?
I have to admit, I had never really given these questions much thought before. Conspiracy theories seem to be almost self-evident, usually through the context in which they are presented. If you read something written by a serious believer, it's pretty obvious. If you see conspiracy theorists portrayed in a movie or television show, once again it's usually obvious -- even when they're not literally wearing tin-foil hats. But when studying the history of conspiracy theorizing, coming up with a clear definition of the term is an absolutely necessity, since it will dictate which data is included and which is omitted in the study.
That title, by my own standards here, should really be: "From The Archives -- Interview With Betty Medsger, Author Of The Burglary." I am reprinting the following interview I conducted earlier this year with a woman who was a young reporter in Ben Bradlee's newsroom around the time of Watergate and the Pentagon Papers. Since Betty Medsger is the only one I've ever personally been in touch with who knew and worked with Ben Bradlee, I thought it would be appropriate to mark his passing. Bradlee was a lion of the newspaper publishing industry, and deserves all the praise that is currently being heaped on him, and more. If you didn't read the series when I first published it this spring, follow the links to the two-part book review, and (once again) I highly recommend this book to one and all. The story of the Media, Pennsylvania burglary of the F.B.I. office is one that is not well known, but that doesn't make it any less important in today's debate over secret surveillance by government agencies.
Earlier this week, I wrote an extensive book review of former Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger's The Burglary (2014, Alfred A. Knopf). This book chronicles a break-in at the Media, Pennsylvania, branch office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1971, and the subsequent release to the public of files proving the F.B.I. was spending something like 40 percent of its time spying on and harassing political groups and individuals that J. Edgar Hoover didn't approve of. The burglars, who operated under the name "Citizens' Commission to Investigate the F.B.I.," were never caught, despite a five-year F.B.I. manhunt involving more than 200 agents. None of the burglars had ever even been publicly identified before Medsger's book was published.