Five Best Tuesday Columns

Alan Rusbridger on threats to journalism in the U.K., Maggie Haberman on the Clinton family drama, Faisal Al Yafai on the regional impact of the Syrian War, Bret Stephens on siding with the military in Egypt, and David Wolpe on the true meaning of Bar Mitzvahs.

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Alan Rusbridger at The Guardian on threats to journalism in the U.K. Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian, writes that the paper moved reporting on NSA surveillance away from Great Britain after hearing from government officials there who told him things like, "You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back," and "You've had your debate. There's no need to write any more." After the authorities physically destroyed some of the paper's MacBooks, Rusbridger explains, "Whitehall was satisfied, but it felt like a peculiarly pointless piece of symbolism that understood nothing about the digital age. We will continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents, we just won't do it in London." The Columbia Journalism Review's Ryan Chittum calls this revelation of government intimidation a "DEFCON 2 journalism event," and Timothy Lee of The Washington Post writes that it's a "remarkable post." And NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen tweets, "The biggest Fourth Estate/free press news in a long time."

Maggie Haberman at Politico on the Clinton family drama With political prognosticators already looking forward to a 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential run, Haberman writes that concerns still linger about the Clintons colorful history. "The consensus among Clinton allies whose support dates back decades is some version of this: Bill Clinton and his wife have done enough good work to mitigate the periodic bouts of negativity from their world," Haberman writes. "Still, the sighs of concern could be heard all along the Acela corridor after a month of stories that zeroed in on [Huma] Abedin, the beleaguered wife of [Anthony] Weiner, and how Clintonland was handling the onslaught." Amy Chozick, a reporter for The New York Times concentrating on Clinton's campaign, writes, "Clinton aides' message to Politico: Haters gonna hate." The Washington Post's conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin previews a likely anti-Hillary talking point: "Missing is biggest drama. Her tenure at State in shreds as Egypt soaks in blood, Benghazi invest. goes on."

Faisal Al Yafai at The National on the widening imapct of Syria's civil war "The Syrian conflict is now a regional war," Al Yafai writes, citing the decision by Lebanon's Hizbollah group to join the conflict. Previous wars in the Middle East largely stayed within political boundaries, but not this time. "It looks like Syria cannot be contained. Its effects are already felt in every country it borders. ... it is now clear that the Syrian civil war will not end anytime soon," he writes. "I'm afraid there's little doubt @FaisalAlYafai is exactly right: Like 1980s Lebanon, Syria faces a lost decade of war," tweets Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow for the American Task Force on Palestine. Randa Slim, a scholar at the Middle East Institute, writes "smart piece about the regional implications of #Syria conflict."

Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal on siding with the military in Egypt The Obama Administration should accept the situation on the ground in Egypt and side with the military over the Muslim Brotherhood, Stephens argues. "What's realistic and desirable is for the military to succeed in its confrontation with the Brotherhood as quickly and convincingly as possible. Victory permits magnanimity. It gives ordinary Egyptians the opportunity to return to normal life. It deters potential political and military challenges," he writes. "MUST READ ON EGYPT" tweets an excited Dan Senor, the foreign policy advisor for Romney-Ryan campaign. But Matt Duss, an analyst for the liberal thinktank Center for American Progress, is not convinced, sarcastically tweeting, "Bret Stephens: Support Sisi's crackdown on the MB, because, hey, it *might not* spiral into more violence."

David Wolpe in The Washington Post on the true meaning of Bar Mitzvah parties Last week, Wolpe wrote that an ostentatious viral video of a boy with burlesque dancers at his Bar Mitzvah was "egregious" and ignored the honor and tradition of the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony. Now, the influential Los Angeles Rabbi backtracks on the personal criticism, but not on the larger point. "Modesty, humility and gratitude are Jewish values too little in evidence in many of our celebrations and synagogues," he writes. "As a community, let’s look at what we are teaching our children, and do the same." Mira Sucharov, a political writer for The Daily Beast and Haaretz, notes that Wolpe still "neglects the points others (e.g., me in @OpenZion) raised," such as her argument that the boy's willingness to push accepted boundaries makes him a role model to the community, not an affront.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.