Monday, March 31, 2008

Weinstein, Levin, Frank Rich Tell The Truth.

Written on M.S. Prinsendam, cruising off Liberia--

Yet another wonderfully, talented L.A. Times reporter, Stephanie Simon, has left the newspaper, going to the Wall Street Journal. She has always been a distinguished part of the Times staff, but like Henry Weinstein, Myron Levin and other reporters who have taken The Times buyout, I will miss them, but can't fault them. Who wants to work for a jackass like Sam Zell?

Weinstein, one of the greatest and most courageous Times staffers, said it all when he commented on the temerity of Zell's remark while visiting the Times' Washington bureau, that all the bureau had to offer was "overhead." What a disgrace!

Also, I should pay tribute today to Frank Rich, the New York Times columnist, who continues to write great columns about the lying Hillary Clinton and the courageous Barack Obama. Even the New York Times' editorials now show signs of beginning to follow Rich's lead. Since the paper does the right thing most of the time, I wouldn't be surprised to see a switch in their editorial endorsement -- even before the Pennsylvania primary. Like Sen. Bob Casey's endorsement of the Obama candidacy, this would be a courageous and wholly merited act.

My cruise is going well. We are now headed for Ghana, where we have two port stops. We are bypassing Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Cote D'Ivoire, all countries consumed by corruption, brutality and/or war.

We are off the regular cruise ship path, and even Holland-America will not have an African cruise next year. This one has filled only about 580 of its 790 places, despite all that the cruise line has done to make this a memorable voyage.

I must confess to feeling only discouragement when we took a bush tour two days ago of The Gambia. Of the 90 countries I've visited in my life, this was by far my poorest country. I kept looking at all those small children who came out to cheer our tour trucks. I kept wondering what kinds of lives they could expect.

Gambia is a country that juts up the Gambia river 270 miles into Senegal, and is only 15 miles wide on either side of the river.

I'll write more about the cruise when we reach Cape Town, and I can find an inexpensive internet cafe.



Anonymous david said...

I attended college in the early 1970 with the son of one of Gambia's government leaders at the time. He was haughty, elitist and contemptuous of political science theories being taught at the time about economic and political reforms. Some years later his family fled Gambia for London in one of the country's many unfortunate political upheavals. How sad that the country has apparently stagnated for more than four decades.

3/31/2008 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having dealt with the high internet costs of cruising, I find that writing off-line on my laptop and then cutting and pasting into the email saves a lot of money!

4/01/2008 4:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You ought to read New York Times columnists Paul Krugman and Gail Collins before you start pontificating that the paper of record may be following the lead of Frank Rich in attacking Hillary Clinton. Columnists have their own voices-- as you should know. But then you know nothing about New York politics and less about Mrs. Clinton, New York's junior senator, who won endorsements in the primary not only from The New York Times but from the New York Daily News and Newsday. Duh, she's not exactly like Lurleen Wallace or Mamie Eisenhower as you have claimed in grotesque fashion.

4/01/2008 5:40 AM  

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