Five Best Monday Columns

Bill Keller sizes up the New York City race for mayor, Jonathan Weil admonishes Eric Holder, Laurie Penny on the angry debates of cable news, Jay Rosen questions how Jeff Bezos would respond to Edward Snowden, and Ben White and MJ Lee warn Wall Street of a severe upcoming fiscal fight in Congress.

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Bill Keller in The New York Times on the case for Bill Thompson for Mayor of New York The former executive editor of The New York Times sizes up the candidates running to succeed Michael Bloomberg as New York mayor, and finds much to like about Bill Thompson. "Thompson is, in his demeanor and his approach to public service, the anti-Weiner — even-keeled, not self-aggrandizing, careful, decent," Keller writes. As Luis Miranda, Jr., publisher of the Manhattan Timeswrites, "So Carlos Danger is 'el griton', @BilldeBlasio the left, @Quinn4NY the right and @BillThompsonNYC the real deal!" Politico deputy managing editor Anne Cronin tweets out a relevant quote from Thompson himself, which Keller included in the article, on why he stands out from the other candidates: "It is the one thing that I’ve learned to live with: people will contrast you to people who shout." ProPublica president Richard Tofel tweets "Bill Keller makes the case for Bill Thompson better than Thompson has, at least so far."

Ben White and MJ Lee in Politico on the severity of the upcoming fiscal fight Wall Street doesn't seem too worried about the possibility of a government shutdown this fall, but finance circles should be alarmed about the risks of Congressional inaction. "[T]here is a real chance that the fall of 2013 will be more like the summer of 2011, when a near-miss on the debt ceiling led to a ratings agency downgrade, a huge sell-off in the stock market, and yet another hit to an economy that might otherwise be heating up nicely," White and Lee warn. Joe Weisenthal of Business Insider notes, "That the Democrats may not be willing to bargain at all over the debt ceiling seems like the big dynamic that makes this time different than those other times." The piece shows that "Wall Street still doesn't get DC..." tweets Katy O'Donnell, reporter for Main Justice"The implications of this piece on Congressional dysfunction are so depressing," writes The Guardian editor Heidi Moore.

Jonathan Weil in Bloomberg View on false claims from Eric Holder Last year, Attorney General Holder boasted that 530 people had been criminally charged in the Justice Department's crackdown on mortgage fraud. However, on Friday, that figure was revealed to be wrong, with the number being 107. Weil argues that this "charade" was an attempt by the Administration to "persuade the public that they were being tough on financial crimes," when in fact its "books were cooked," he writes. Ed Morrissey of Hot Air sarcastically writes, "Hey, they only inflated those claims by 80% and 90% — or looking at it from the other direction, 500% and 900%. Shouldn’t they get a chance to round up to the nearest 1000%?" Former senior reporter for ThinkProgress Zaid Jilani agrees with Weil that the purpose of Holder's false numbers were to "overstate its actions on mortgage fraud." Weil calls for an apology, but Seeking Alpha financial contributor Frank Constantino goes further: "Holder needs to go. Makes bad #govt look worse," he writes.

Laurie Penny in The New Statesman on the angry debates of punditry The current combative debates between talking heads on TV and radio "is, in essence, boxing for people who were bad at PE," writes Penny, who has appeared on these debate shows the past four years. "There are many wonderful things about British journalism and this is in no way one of them." British GQ and The Guardian contributor Alex Hannaford tweets about Penny's article "on the 'stage-managed spleencockery' that is ruining news journalism." "Too much heat not enough light?" asks BBC radio assistant producer Luke Mulhall. And writer Gabrielle Monaghan for The Sunday Times and Irish Independent cynically tweets "Suspect these debaters create these adversarial personas for TV + often don't believe own arguments!"

Jay Rosen in Pressthink on Jeff Bezos and Edward Snowden As the new owner of The Washington Post, Amazon CEO Bezos will one day have to make a call on a Snowden-like revelation and stand up to government secrecy. "When his free press moment comes — and it will come — will Jeff Bezos answer the bell?" Rosen asks. "This @JayRosen_NYU post ... is hereby emphatically endorsed," writes Barton Gellman, the Post national security reporter who broke some of Snowden's revelations. Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch executive director, writes, "Amazon response to WikiLeaks," in which the internet giant removed WikiLeaks from its servers, "raises Qs about whether Jeff Bezos will stand up to the US govt as Washington Post owner." Bezos may also "use the Post as a lobbying machine/political lever for the tech industry," CNN reporter Miguel Marquez tweets.

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