“Punting the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.
Thanks to ek hornbeck, click on the link and you can access all the past “Punting the Pundits”.
Follow us on Twitter @StarsHollowGzt
Mark Weisbrot: Why Ecuador would be an ideal refuge for Edward Snowden
This country has already been dragged through the mud for sheltering Julian Assange, and it is willing to stand up to the US
If Edward Snowden can make it to Ecuador, it will be a good choice for him and the world. The government, including the president, Rafael Correa, and the foreign minister, Ricardo Patiño, proved their steadfastness in the face of threats and abuse last year when they granted asylum to WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange.
The media took advantage of the fact that most of the world knows very little about Ecuador to misinform their audience that this government “represses the media”. The same efforts are already under way in the Snowden case. Without defending everything that exists in Ecuador, including criminal libel laws and some vague language in a new communications law, anyone who has been to the country knows that the international media has presented a gross caricature of the state of press freedom there. The Ecuadorian private media is more oppositional than that of the US, trashing the government every day.
David Sirota: Obama’s war on journalism
Perhaps most troubling? The president is being aided by a cadre of Benedict Arnolds within the media itself
Out of all the harrowing story lines in journalist Jeremy Scahill’s new film “Dirty Wars,” the one about Abdulelah Haider Shaye best spotlights the U.S. government’s new assault against press freedom.[..]
What, you might ask, does this have to do with the American government’s attitude toward press freedom? That’s where Scahill’s movie comes in. As the film shows, when international pressure moved the Yemeni government to finally consider pardoning Shaye, President Obama personally intervened, using a phone call with Yemen’s leader to halt the journalist’s release.
Had this been an isolated incident, it might be easy to write off. But the president’s move to criminalize the reporting of inconvenient facts is sadly emblematic of his administration’s larger war against journalism. And, mind you, the word “war” is no overstatement.
The lessons of the US whistleblower in Anne Applebaum’s Russia
First came the “shock and awe”: the revelations of massive spying by the US and British governments-on the people of the world. Then came the enlightened debate: Is Edward Snowden a hero or a traitor? Then arrived the Hollywood-style entertainment: Where is Edward Snowden going? (The Washing Post even published a map of his potential journey, as if he is some kind of an explorer trying the first ascent of Everest, or the first trek to the North Pole). Then came the finger: first from China, and then Russia. Then arrived the much-anticipated distraction-the “Obama Climate Plan.” And now, the “chill”-Russia the evil.
Mary Elizabeth Williams: The smearing of Rachel Jeantel
So why is the star witness in the George Zimmerman case being treated like a defendant?
Rachel Jeantel is a 19-year-old Florida woman. On Facebook and Twitter, she’s been known to post photos of her nails and talk about drinking. She is also the last person to have spoken with Trayvon Martin before George Zimmerman shot him to death last year, the woman who was on the phone with him when his fateful encounter unfolded. She is known in the justice system as Witness #8 in Zimmerman’s trial. She is, in fact, the prosecution’s key witness. But you’d be forgiven if you’d gotten the impression recently that she was sitting up there to defend herself.
Brittny Saunders: New York’s vote to curb stop-and-frisk is another win for civil rights
City Council made an important choice to add more oversight to NYPD policies, like stop-and-frisk, that are discriminatory
In 2011, the NYPD stopped 685,724 citizens, continuing an upward trend that began with the Bloomberg administration. Photograph: Mario Tama/Getty Images
New York City Council passed two bills designed to guarantee safety and respect for all New Yorkers. The measures were championed by Communities United for Police Reform, a broad coalition of city groups, and will strengthen the existing ban on police profiling and establish independent oversight of the city’s police department.
Today is a new day for New York City. The move reflects a growing alarm over NYPD policies and practices that violate the rights of thousands of New Yorkers and undermine police-community relationships – practices such as the discriminatory use of stop-and-frisk that waste valuable public dollars, while producing no measurable impact on public safety
Eugene Robinson: Food for Thought on Paula Deen
Paula Deen needs to give the self-pity a rest. The damage to her carefully built image is self-inflicted-nobody threw a rock-and her desperate search for approval and vindication is just making things worse.
Sorry to be so harsh, but come on. Deen is tough and savvy enough to have built a culinary empire from scratch, in the process becoming the most famous Southern cook in creation. She incarnates the whole “steel magnolia” archetype, with razor-sharp toughness beneath the flutter and the filigree.
“I is what I is,” she said in her weepy exculpation on the “Today” show.
And that’s fine. Go ahead, be what you be. Just don’t try to make everybody else responsible.