Five Best Tuesday Columns
Roger Cohen puts coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 into perspective, David Weigel on the Democrats falling out of love with Nate Silver, Charlotte Allen defends the controversial L'Wren Scott headlines, David Cronin on President Barack Obama's trip to Europe, Andrew Lilico on how the climate change debate is about to change.
Roger Cohen at The New York Times puts coverage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 into perspective. “Good morning, this is Brian Bowman of CNN on Day X with breaking news on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: The zombie plane theory still has legs! NEWS FLASH: President Vladimir Putin of Russia has invaded Crimea. Interesting development there, but back to our main story. NEWS FLASH: President Vladimir Putin of Russia has annexed Crimea. My apologies for these interruptions, folks; we will keep them to a minimum as we move forward with the mystery of Flight 370. NEWS FLASH: President Vladimir Putin of Russia has massed troops on the eastern Ukrainian border. Other developments, schmother developments: Brian Bowman here bringing you the latest on Flight 370.”
David Weigel at Slate on the Democrats are falling out of love with Nate Silver. “On Sunday morning the simmering Democratic fear that Republicans might take over the Senate became real. Nate Silver had rendered his judgment and colored his charts. The substance of Silver’s prediction surprised exactly no one who covers politics. Larry Sabato, the quote-machine political science professor, had speculated back in January that Republicans might “win it all,”” Weigel writes. “The Silver backlash was inevitable. Silver’s cachet on the left, which was high after 2008, became incomparable after 2012. That was the year FiveThirtyEight became a digital security blanket for liberals, a site they could refresh and refresh and refresh some more when their other news sources warned them that Mitt Romney might actually win.”
Charlotte Allen at The Los Angeles Times defends the controversial L’Wren Scott headlines. “When L’Wren Scott, 49, was discovered to have apparently committed suicide on March 17, the main thing that her death made headlines for was the fact that she had been Mick Jagger’s girlfriend for 13 years. News outlets have been catching feminist flak ever since. But you know what? The main thing that most people, whether inside or outside the media, know about L’Wren Scott is that she had been Mick Jagger’s girlfriend for 13 years,” Allen writes. “Yes, L’Wren Scott’s apparent suicide at a relatively young age was a sad affair: an elegant and talented woman who was fighting demons, financial or otherwise, that we’ll never really know about. But she wasn’t Coco Chanel. On her own, L’Wren Scott was almost famous. She wasn’t famous.”
David Cronin at Al Jazeera on President Barack Obama’s trip to Europe. “The European Union's chief representatives will be eager to cuddle up for photographs - perhaps even selfies - with Barack Obama when he pays his first presidential visit to Brussels this week. Amid all the backslapping, the "friction" of the recent past will be politely overlooked. Why let a beautiful friendship be spoiled by a little snooping on Angela Merkel's phone calls or an American diplomat's use of an expletive to insist the EU keeps its nose out of Ukraine?” Cronin writes. “If Obama's trade plans materialise, he will have done even more than his predecessor to cosset big business. Surely, it's time that we, the 99 percent of Europeans, finally see Obama for what he is and that we denounce our own leaders for being in cahoots with him.”
Andrew Lilico at The Telegraph on how the climate change debate is about to change. “The latest report from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is due out next week. The new report will apparently tell us that the global GDP costs of an expected global average temperature increase of 2.5 degrees Celsius over the 21st century will be between 0.2 and 2 per cent. To place that in context, the well-known Stern Review of 2006 estimated the costs as 5-20 per cent of GDP,” Lilico writes. “Our first step in adapting to climate change should be to accept that we aren't going to mitigate it. We're going to have to adapt. That doesn't mean there might not be the odd mitigation-type policy, around the edges, that is cheap and feasible and worthwhile. But it does mean that the grandiloquent schemes for preventing climate change should go.”