Author Archive

Articles by Gal Beckerman | Email the Author


  1. Second Read

    Divided Soul

    March 20, 2008 09:00 AM

    Rian Malan’s one and only meeting with J.M. Coetzee took place in the early 1990s. Malan greatly esteemed his fellow South African writer, and when Coetzee won the Nobel Prize in 2003, he declared that the laureate had “described,... Continue reading

  2. Campaign Desk

    Big Mo’ Is Tempting…

    March 5, 2008 12:43 PM

    “It depends what your definition of ‘win’ is,” said Keith Olbermann on MSNBC last night as he watched the Ohio returns roll in. And, in a phrase, Olbermann delineated the journalistic quandary. How to reconcile what clearly looked like a... Continue reading

  3. Campaign Desk

    Big Mo is Back

    March 3, 2008 03:59 PM

    After the split decision in Iowa and New Hampshire, when it became abundantly clear that the race for the Democratic nomination would be tighter than any in recent memory, the pundits and news analysts begin doing a lot of math.... Continue reading

  4. Campaign Desk

    President Bloomberg: RIP

    February 28, 2008 11:34 AM

    “I am not — and will not be — a candidate for president.” Can we finally, finally, without any second thoughts, take Michael Bloomberg at his word? The man has been trying to get the press to understand for a... Continue reading

  5. Campaign Desk

    Stengel’s Wrong About Endorsements

    February 26, 2008 03:18 PM

    Every election cycle, it seems, someone emerges to criticize the fact that newspaper editorial boards endorse presidential candidates. This year’s critic is Richard Stengel, Time’s managing editor. In an editorial in this week’s issue, he laments the fact that... Continue reading

  6. Campaign Desk

    Follow the Money

    February 22, 2008 01:23 PM

    While everyone is still busy poring over the other day’s New York Times pseudo-kinda-exposé of John McCain, I was fascinated this morning by another multi-bylined piece in my hometown paper. This one was about Hillary Clinton’s campaign-spending habits. And... Continue reading

  7. Campaign Desk

    A Man Made of Teflon and Rubber

    February 20, 2008 01:45 PM

    Has the press been too easy on Barack Obama? With his increasingly impressive wins and the talk last night already turning to the general election and a presumed match-up between him and John McCain, it’s a question journalists are bound... Continue reading

  8. Campaign Desk

    “Not Voting With Their People”?

    February 18, 2008 02:02 PM

    Yesterday’s story in the New York Times about how the hunt for superdelegates is proceeding on the Democratic side gave away the paper’s own position on a question that will be a critical in the near future of the... Continue reading

  9. Campaign Desk

    Obama Sells His Narrative

    February 13, 2008 12:42 PM

    The accolades for Obama couldn’t have scaled higher heights last night. At one point on CNN, Donna Brazile pronounced him “a metaphysical force in American politics.” Praise was heaped upon praise, and it’s no wonder. As the race has narrowed,... Continue reading

  10. Campaign Desk

    Fighting Words

    February 11, 2008 12:38 PM

    Gwen Ifill had an interesting point yesterday on Meet the Press about what could pivot the tight Democratic election one way or the other. She was referring, initially, to Bill Clinton, but the point is actually just as applicable to... Continue reading

  11. Campaign Desk

    Who Understands Our Electoral System?

    February 6, 2008 02:23 PM

    It’s all about the delegates. The political mavens watching the Super Tuesday returns last night knew that the number allocated to each candidate would be the most significant indicator of the race’s direction, and the only possible answer to that... Continue reading

  12. Campaign Desk

    Who You Gonna Call?

    February 4, 2008 12:51 PM

    One of our election cycle pet peeves has been the free pass candidates are sometimes given when they make claims about themselves or their opponents that are patently false. The daily news cycle just spins too fast. A new narrative... Continue reading

  13. Campaign Desk

    Nuance And Narrative in SC

    January 29, 2008 03:39 PM

    I wasn’t in South Carolina long before the rush of national media arrived to cover the Democratic primary last Saturday. But even from the perspective of being there a day or two early, it was something to see the circus... Continue reading

  14. Campaign Desk

    Mass Media Criticism

    January 27, 2008 01:07 PM

    One of the narratives that could have emerged from last night’s primary results in South Carolina would have been extremely destructive to Barack Obama’s future chances: that he was only a black candidate, just another Jesse Jackson. As we quickly... Continue reading

  15. Campaign Desk

    Waiting for Obama

    January 26, 2008 12:12 PM

    Columbia, SC -- By the time I arrived at the late-night Obama rally yesterday at South Carolina University’s Koger Center, the doors had been locked. A stony-faced secret service man, arms folded over his chest, looked out through the glass... Continue reading

  16. Campaign Desk

    Seeing the Light in South Carolina

    January 25, 2008 04:27 PM

    I read the New York Times endorsement of Hillary Clinton late last night in my hotel room in Columbia, South Carolina. I’d just driven back from attending a Barack Obama event 120 miles south in the gym of North... Continue reading

  17. Campaign Desk

    Insta-Analysis Takes Another Hit

    January 22, 2008 12:01 PM

    What to make of that debate last night? It seems it left a lot of political analysts confused and scrambling for an interpretation. Even our most astute observers of the race, like Josh Marshall, were left scratching their heads.... Continue reading

  18. Campaign Desk

    A Sight for Fresh Eyes

    January 21, 2008 01:04 PM

    There’s probably no one more jaded about politicians than the reporters who have to chase them around the country. They hear the same folksy stories a thousand times, told in exactly the same way, see the effort exerted at projecting... Continue reading

  19. Campaign Desk

    More Candidate Bloomberg

    January 18, 2008 01:21 PM

    How much larger and fruit-flavored can the Bloomberg for President bubble get? Evidence this morning came in the form of an NPR segment that was accompanied online by your very own “Candidate Bingo Card.” No, I’m not kidding.... Continue reading

  20. Campaign Desk

    Recommended Reading

    January 17, 2008 01:07 PM

    One central narrative in the presidential campaign thus far, on both the Republican and Democratic sides, has been the success of insurgent candidates. Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama, in particular, whose chances looked slim a year ago, are now firmly... Continue reading

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