Five Best Tuesday Columns

Alex Pareene calls out The New York Times' coverage of Bill de Blasio, Sam Gustin identifies BlackBerry's fatal mistake, Michael Gerson explains the Pope's troublemaking ways, David Frum predicts Ted Cruz 2016, and Matt Yglesias has a fix for the U.K. economy. 

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Alex Pareene at Salon thinks Bill de Blasio's leftist past makes him more sympathetic. After The New York Times reported on de Blasio's activist past, Pareene thinks the mayoral candidate's history demonstrates his "commitment to helping others" more than any sort of deep-seated radicalism. Despite the tone in the Times' report, Pareene argues it's heartening "to see the idealism of young de Blasio, especially for those who supported him but were concerned that he was perhaps just another empty Clintonite Democrat with a consultant-crafted 'progressive' message. The guy actually does care." Don Van Natta Jr., a senior writer at ESPN, tweeted, "few are as pitch-perfect as @pareene at this kind of blistering press criticism." CNN anchor Jake Tapper responded, "he really threw Sandanista in their eyes."

Sam Gustin at Time identifies BlackBerry's fatal mistake. In wake of the news that BlackBerry may have found a buyer, Gustin writes, "BlackBerry’s decline has become a case study about what happens when a tech giant fails to innovate in a consumer-technology market evolving at breakneck speed." Bottom line? BlackBerry failed to realize that consumers drive the market. The company "insisted on producing phones with full keyboards, even after it became clear that many users preferred touchscreens." Jennifer Merritt, the editor of BBC Capital, responded, "you gotta know who's driving the revolution..."

Michael Gerson at The Washington Post explains Pope Francis' troublemaking ways. It was Jesus, after all, who was a "subversive, troublemaking critic of ecclesiastical moralism." Gerson argues that it's "the radical reformers who carry on [Christianity's] most authentic tradition." By criticizing the Church's obsession with moral legalism, Francis is "prioritizing its mission." Gerson explains, "there is a good Catholic theological term for this: the 'hierarchy of truths.' Not every true thing has equal weight or urgency." When Francis refuses to condemn gays, he is following the sometimes disorienting teaching to "always consider the person." Rev. Kevin O'Brien, S.J., Georgetown University's vice president for mission and ministry, tweeted, "best take on Pope Francis thus far."

David Frum at The Daily Beast says Sen. Ted Cruz's press isn't that bad. Cruz has been derided on the right and the left for his Defund Obamacare campaign. But Frum, a former W. Bush speechwriter, argues that to voters, Cruz appears as "a single conservative senator standing and fighting against President Obama and the Washington establishment." Though he'll lose his Obamacare fight, that image could help him win in 2016. In losing, Frum argues, "he will taint his possible rivals—including Rand Paul—as pitiful members of the 'surrender caucus.'" Justin Green, the online editor at The Washington Examiner, agrees: "#DefundObamacare isn't about Obamacare: it sets Ted Cruz up for 2016."

Matt Yglesias at Slate insists more houses will fix the U.K.'s economy. Yglesias explains that despite the high demand for houses in London, regulatory restrictions on adding more housing units are keeping the city from making all the money it can. London should add more units for five reasons: it will create jobs, reduce high housing prices, increase London incomes, allow less wealthy people to move into London, and drive rich foreigners to the area. Yglesias would advocate the same idea for New York City, were it not for "snob zoning laws" that politicians can't rewrite due to the constitution. Financial Times columnist John Gapper recommends the piece.

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