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Atlantic Monthly, Newspaper Guild, more.

Nov 28, 2005, Vol. 11, No. 11 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
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Columnist and author James Lileks was in fine form a couple of weeks back at his "ScreedBlog," reviewing the latest issue of the Newspaper Guild's Reporter. No one who's ever perused the thing will dispute Lileks's take: "It's horribly written. Those who can, write; those who can't, organize. . . . It's the most joy-killing mag I get."

Lileks homes in on a column called "Human Rights Watch,"which "concerned itself with the horrid flaws in American society revealed by Hurricane Katrina:

"According to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, a refugee is a person seeking asylum in a foreign country in order to escape persecution. Perhaps that's what the people of New Orleans looked like fleeing Hurricane Katrina, but many of them found the label to be highly offensive--yet journalists continued to use it even after this was pointed out.

Lileks: "Jesus wept. My dictionary defines a refugee as someone forced to leave his home because of war, persecution, or natural disaster. But if you can imagine the sin here: some journalists used the accurate word even after it had been pointed out that some people found it highly offensive. . . . The author continues:

"Talk about adding insult to injury! The first great injury--after the hurricane itself--was our federal government's slow-motion response, eliciting cries of racism from coast to coast. Rappers accused President Bush of not liking black people, as some of those stranded on rooftops explained they had been unable to evacuate because they had no transportation and none had been provided.

Lileks: "Mind you, this is a newsletter representing professional writers. Coast-to-coast cries elicited! Rooftop strandees, explaining!

"Although we had been pretending that it did not exist, we saw that poverty was alive and thriving.

Lileks: "Who's this we? Which newspaper in America pretends that poverty does not exist? Is she indicting the journalists? The N'Awlins Times Picayune? Did the author just pick up a paper for the first time in her life, and if so, will we be treated to a column that expresses guarded relief that newspapers have finally gotten around to covering sporting matches?"

As they say in Blogland, read the whole thing (www.lileks.com/screedblog).

Dept. of Self-Promotion

When you're ready for a break from Thanksgiving weekend football, Thomas Sowell, the scintillating conservative intellectual at the Hoover Institution, sits down for a rare interview with The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes. Sowell is iconoclastic, fearless, patriotic, funny. The interview will be broadcast in two half-hour segments on Fox News Channel at 5:30 p.m. EST, Saturday Nov. 26 and Sunday Nov. 27.