Media Report: New York Mag, Frontline

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1) Late yesterday I typed my way for about an hour through an online exchange with Bloomberg's Josh Barro, as part of New York magazine's "Instant Politics" series. We started out talking about the current state of the presidential race, but pretty soon we got into the implications for the GOP, in particular, if current projections hold and Mitt Romney does not end up as our 45th president. The transcript is here, and it includes this line-for-the-ages from Barro:

And when you meet with people in the legislature in Sacramento, the most striking thing is how stupid everybody is.

In context, he explains why he is making that point, and why it matters. Short version: I wonder whether the national GOP could be moving itself toward permanent-minority status, in the way the California GOP has done to itself in the post-Prop 187 years. This will be especially so if the reaction to a (hypothesized) Romney-Ryan loss is to say that a "real" conservative, not some Massachusetts "Obamneycare" RINO, would have done much better. Barro is arguing that California is its own unique mess and that the national party is more likely to self-correct and move back toward the center.

2) Frontline is hosting an online discussion leading up to its broadcast of "The Choice 2012," a documentary about the two presidential candidates. The discussion is based on interesting "artifacts" about Obama and Romney, eg an old video of Romney making a pitch as a venture capitalists. The discussion includes a number of experts on both men, plus me. I will be weighing in through the afternoon. FYI.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.
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