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Jewish Journal

The news summer from hell and the end of optimism

By Marty Kaplan

August 25, 2014 | 12:20 am

Clockwise from top left: An Israeli air strike in Gaza on Aug. 25; health workers wear protective clothing while treating ebola patients on Aug. 17; the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17; comedian Robin Williams. Photos by Reuters

By this point in the summer, a sane person could reasonably conclude that the world is going nuts.  Spiraling out of control, descending into darkness, making optimism a delusional last... read full article

  • The secret of Warren Bennis’s success

    By Marty Kaplan

    August 6, 2014 | 12:23 pm

    Though the size of Warren Bennis’s obituary in the New York Times was epic – all six columns across, filling most of the space above the fold on the back page of the A section – its text made no mention of something about him I always thought inextricable from who he was and the...

  • If Norman Lear at 92 is what 92 is, I’ll have what he’s having

    By Marty Kaplan

    July 23, 2014 | 2:50 pm

    It is not widely known that Norman Lear and I have the same mother.

    Norman once called his mother in Bridgeport, Conn., and said, “Mother, I just got this call. The Television Academy is forming a Hall of Fame. And the first inductees are going to be General Sarnoff and Edward R....

  • Please manipulate me

    By Marty Kaplan

    July 14, 2014 | 11:53 am

    What do you call it when media try to manipulate your feelings without first asking for informed consent?

    Tuesday. 

    Example:  The average Facebook user sees only 20 percent of the 1,500 stories per day that could have shown up in their news feed.  The posts you receive are...

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  • How to organize your books

    By Marty Kaplan

    June 30, 2014 | 1:34 pm

    It’s a sin to throw away a book.

    I don’t mean e-books.  If they’re cluttering your e-reader, all you have to do is delete them, and you don’t even have to do that, since you can pretty much fit the Library of Congress on a thumb drive.

    But physical books – the creepy retronym...

  • Five doubting dudes and the holy relics of Mount Mortality

    By Marty Kaplan

    June 16, 2014 | 1:14 pm

    “Protestant,” I lied, not for the first time, when the Holy Mount Athos Pilgrims Bureau officer asked me my religion.

    In January, when my friend Sandy, who was born Greek Orthodox, applied to the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs to allow five of us to set foot on the Mount Athos...

  • Condi’s cost per minute

    By Marty Kaplan

    May 19, 2014 | 10:10 am

    Forget whether former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson was paid more or less than her predecessor, Bill Keller.  I want to know why Condoleezza Rice was paid more than Condoleezza Rice.

    Rutgers University offered $35,000 to George W. Bush’s national security advisor...

  • What if we really knew what media does to us

    By Marty Kaplan

    May 5, 2014 | 10:31 am

    What if we knew that the fictional rapes in HBO’s mega-hit “Game of Thrones” caused real rapes in the real world?  What if we knew that the portrayals of gay characters in “Modern Family” caused actual states to legalize same-sex marriage?

    The catch, of course, is causation. ...

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