19 February 2006

Crichton and Cartoons: Updates

A couple of follow-ups to recent posts:

First, anyone interested in the Mohammed cartoon controversy should spend a few minutes with the editor of the paper that started it all, Flemming Rose. He writes in today's Washington Post that not only was it a good idea, but the net result of the controversy in Denmark has only served to promote cross-cultural understanding and improved relations with the Muslim community. He also reminds less courageous editors in this part of the world that
This was a legitimate news story to cover, and Jyllands-Posten decided to do it by adopting the well-known journalistic principle: Show, don't tell.
Second, it's been a week now since we heard about the elevation of novelist Michael Crichton to the position of (presumably unpaid) presidential adviser on climate change, yet the blogosphere remains strangely quiet. Chris Mooney is still trying to attract attention to the problem, but the best we have so far is a narrow-focus story in the New York Times, a story that leaves out the context I detailed a few days ago.

And from the "just when you thought it couldn't get any worse" department, and hot on the heels of Bush's "Addicted to Oil" State of the Union speech, we learn through the Times that the Bush administration will be giving the world's most profitable corporations at least $7 billion in the form of forgiven royalties on oil revenues.
New projections, buried in the Interior Department's just-published budget plan, anticipate that the government will let companies pump about $65 billion worth of oil and natural gas from federal territory over the next five years without paying any royalties to the government.
Sad, I know. But go back and re-read Fleming Rose's piece. It made my day.

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