When NPR shut down its user comment line in 2016 it missed a major opportunity

Summary NPR’s comment line was obviously troubled when it was shut down in 2016. But there had been no  guidelines for contributions to it. Nor were significant corrections made when abuses began clogging the system. As the premier U.S. public radio news network I suggest that NPR should have taken on a generic problem facing […]

A premature goodbye to Gwen Ifill, stellar journalist

I was shocked beyond words to lose Gwen Ifill so early, so prematurely at 61. Quite aside from being a pioneering African American Gwen was a towering presence among journalists. It was impossible to determine what her political views were, because she was equally perceptive, candid, gracious but no nonesense with people of various political […]

Open letter to moderators for the 2016 presidential debates

  Here are three suggested questions that bear on U.S. political polarization. They are rarely posed but U.S. voters deserve responses to them from the candidates. To both candidates: The United States now has the most extreme partisan polarization and gridlock since the Civil War. When either party takes power it seems willing to in […]

Trump’s audacious campaign and Achilles heels

In spite of Donald Trump’s lead in the Republican primary campaign, until December 2015 there was wide scepticism that he would survive. His bombastic speechmaking, carelessness with facts, and outrageous claims earned him comments like “feckless blowhard” (editor of the Des Moines Register), “crass, bigoted bully with a narcissistic personality disorder” (Frank Rich New York […]

Candidate Candor that Might Electrify the Electorate

U.S. media reporting on the Iowa Caucus tell us that the 2016 primary candidates, Republican and Democratic,  face voter dissatisfaction with American politics. “Outsiders” like Trump, Carson, and Fiorina, who have no previous political experience, are tapping widespread anger among Republicans and especially conservatives. The performance of governors like Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich […]