Author Archive

Articles by Gal Beckerman | Email the Author


  1. The Kicker

    Déjà Bill

    July 6, 2007 11:35 AM

    Every once in a while you read an article and have the strange sensation you’ve read it somewhere before. With Bill and Hillary Clinton, I always find this to be doubly true. Every aspect of their political and personal lives... Continue reading

  2. The Kicker

    What’s Up, Doc?

    July 5, 2007 11:55 AM

    What was most alarming in the stories last week about the uncovered al-Qaeda terrorist ring in London and Glasgow was the number of doctors involved in the plot. From sensational tabloid covers to news analysis pieces in the big dailies,... Continue reading

  3. The Kicker

    Freedom to Wait for Your Information Act

    July 2, 2007 12:19 PM

    The Freedom of Information Act (or FOIA) turns forty this 4th of July. In these past four decades, FOIA has been indispensable to journalists and historians trying to peer inside the workings of government. But, as it turns out, many... Continue reading

  4. The Kicker

    Too Much Power to the People?

    June 29, 2007 10:33 AM

    The infamously brutal New York Times critic, Michiko Kakutani, today reviews a new book by Andrew Keen. It’s called “The Cult of the Amateur,” and basically, from what I can tell from the review, it’s an extended rant about... Continue reading

  5. The Kicker

    All Al Qaedas Are Not Equal

    June 28, 2007 11:40 AM

    The Los Angeles Times has a good story today about how U.S. forces in Iraq are shifting their attention away from combating Shiite militias and towards the Sunni group, Al Qaeda in Iraq. They reason that this bunch of... Continue reading

  6. The Kicker

    A Different Kind of Hot Zone

    June 28, 2007 11:16 AM

    Last year, I commended Yahoo’s sole producer of original content, Kevin Sites, for his multimedia globetrotting in which he managed to capture some fresh stories from the world’s war zones. Well, he’s apparently back in our United States... Continue reading

  7. Behind the News

    The Obscured Continent

    June 26, 2007 11:04 AM

    In recent years, two main schools of thought have emerged about how to lift Africa out of its seemingly bottomless descent into war, poverty, and disease. To borrow labels used by the reporter Andrew Rice in an insightful review... Continue reading

  8. The Kicker


    June 15, 2007 02:49 PM

    I’ve been reading Robert Dallek’s excellent new biography, “Nixon and Kissinger,” and certain parallels between Nixon’s presidency and the present administration jump easily to mind. Nixon and his obsequious foreign policy advisor’s refusal to see the writing on... Continue reading

  9. Behind the News

    Feral Beast? Try Lemming

    June 14, 2007 10:05 AM

    If the press were an animal, what kind of animal would it be? I’ve got my answer. I’m imagining a legion of lemmings, furry and well-intentioned, but ultimately condemned by their nature to follow each other mindlessly off a tall... Continue reading

  10. The Kicker

    Who’s afraid of bloggers?

    June 11, 2007 12:00 PM

    The lawyers for Scooter Libby made a bizarre argument - at least to my ears - for why the letters attesting to Libby's character, written to the judge in his perjury case, should be kept out of the public eye:... Continue reading

  11. The Kicker

    Front page singular

    June 6, 2007 04:02 PM

    Deciding to put a first-person account on the front-page of paper is not an easy decision for editors. The Los Angeles Times made that risky choice today to stunning effect with a personal account by Megan K. Stack, who recently... Continue reading

  12. The Kicker

    Tossing a brick

    June 1, 2007 02:37 PM

    Just when you think journalists have milked a presidential candidate dry of any personal trait or tick from their past that might be useful for understanding the woman or man, something else emerges--a long forgotten college thesis, a strange high... Continue reading

  13. The Kicker

    Kill your television

    May 31, 2007 11:09 AM

    Something struck me as a bit reductionist about Al Gore's critique of the media in his new book, The Assualt on Reason. But before I got a chance to put my thoughts together, Chris Lehman at the New York Observer... Continue reading

  14. The Kicker

    Cleeland lets loose

    May 29, 2007 12:20 PM

    Nancy Cleeland, formerly of the Los Angeles Times, writes a farewell screed today over at The Huffington Post to the paper to which she's bidding adieu. She's one of the fifty-six staffers who have decided to take buyouts from... Continue reading

  15. The Kicker

    Memorial day evergreen

    May 25, 2007 02:17 PM

    Ah, Memorial Day weekend. The barbecue, the beach, the summer dresses. But there's one perennial treat that we wait for every year with bated breath: the endless stream of stories about traffic and gas prices. Like a groundhog announcing the... Continue reading

  16. The Kicker

    Stein on stocks

    May 24, 2007 11:53 AM

    If only I had a nickel for every time some idiot made an inappropriate--not to mention false--analogy between our present day reality and World War II, well, I would be as rich as a Swiss bank hording Jewish money. But... Continue reading

  17. The Kicker

    Live and Direct

    May 23, 2007 02:35 PM

    I couldn't help but be mesmerized this morning watching the video that accompanies The New York Times front page story about a unit of American and Iraqi troops who fall prey to a land mine. The photographer for... Continue reading

  18. The Kicker

    Gore on the horse race

    May 21, 2007 01:45 PM

    Al Gore went on Good Morning America today to talk about his new book, The Assault on Reason, in which he apparently decries, among other things, the media's obsession with fluff and avoidance of substance. How fitting then that Diane... Continue reading

  19. The Kicker

    Bloggers vs. book reviewers

    May 21, 2007 12:11 PM

    Another shot is fired across the bow in the great lit bloggers vs. book reviewers feud, this time courtesy of Time movie critic and occasional Los Angeles Times book review contributor Richard Schickel: "Let me put this... Continue reading

  20. The Kicker

    Yeah, Wolfie is out, stop cheering

    May 18, 2007 05:44 PM

    So Wolfowitz is out and opponents of the Iraq war are rejoicing around the world, having collected at least one scalp off the architects of the debacle. It's an unsatisfying bit of schadenfreude, though, considering how obvious it is that... Continue reading

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