5 Best Sunday Columns
Media responsibility, Democratic disunity, Catholic sex abuse rules and more...
Tom Friedman on CNN Firing Octavia Nasr The New York Times columnist disagrees with CNN's decision to fire its Mid East affairs editor for a tweet: "I find Nasr’s firing troubling. Yes, she made a mistake. Reporters covering a beat should not be issuing condolences for any of the actors they cover. It undermines their credibility. But we also gain a great deal by having an Arabic-speaking, Lebanese-Christian female journalist covering the Middle East for CNN, and if her only sin in 20 years is a 140-character message about a complex figure like Fadlallah, she deserved some slack."
Andrew Alexander on the Washington Post's Failure to Cover the Black Panther-Voter Intimidation Story The newspaper's ombudsman says the Post should've covered the story sooner:
Coverage is justified because it's a controversy that screams for clarity that The Post should provide. If Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. and his department are not colorblind in enforcing civil rights laws, they should be nailed. If the Commission on Civil Rights' investigation is purely partisan, that should be revealed. If Adams is pursuing a right-wing agenda, he should be exposed.
National Editor Kevin Merida, who termed the controversy "significant," said he wished The Post had written about it sooner. The delay was a result of limited staffing and a heavy volume of other news on the Justice Department beat, he said.
Dan Balz on the Democrats' "Circular Firing Squad" The Washington Post columnist says infighting could cause Democrats to lose the House this November: "For Democrats, saving the House will require a team effort, which is why officials look at the past week in discouragement. Few teams win when they are fighting among themselves."
Maureen Dowd on the Catholic Church's Sex Abuse Rules The New York Times columnist isn't pleased with the Vatican: "There is no moral awakening here. The cruelty and indecency of child abuse once more inspires tactical contrition. All the penitence of the church is grudging and reactive. Church leaders are merely as penitent as they need to be to protect the institution."
Richard Sauer on Why the SEC Missed Madoff In the Wall Street Journal, the former SEC official says the agency's "stat system" encourages more case filings over difficult, long term cases: "The 'stat system' creates perverse incentives. To impress congressional appropriators, the SEC touts year-over-year increases in filed actions. This leads to a bias in favor of quick-hit cases and against pursuing anything novel or speculative. But all cases are not created equal and the easy cases are rarely the most significant."