Tuesday, July 3, 2007

The Daily Digest

The morning-after pill: abortion or contraception? William Saletan investigates.

Adam Liptak tracks down several double standards concerning the clemency for Scooter Libby and clemencies denied to others similarly situated.

Jim DeMint, a loyal Republican senator from South Carolina, knows how to spin. First, blame the sin, not the sinner: "The president’s intentions were good, the heart was in the right place, the legislation was bad." Second, conjure hope out of disaster: "If this [immigration bill] had passed, America would have lost all confidence in the Congress and the president. I think this is going to give us a fresh start."

The New Yorker's press critic, Ken Auletta, reports on an underappreciated aspect of Rupert Murdoch's genius: his discipline. "The Bancrofts [who own Dow Jones, which owns the Wall Street Journal, which Murdoch is seeking to buy] wanted a board that the family would control in perpetuity, with the power to hire and fire the editors and the publishers, and leverage to protect employees from Murdoch—an extraordinary proposition. It is a measure of Murdoch’s discipline that he did not explode at the implication that he was some sort of uncaged vulgarian or at the idea that the Bancrofts would control the paper after selling it. Instead, Murdoch said—gently, by all accounts—that he could not invest five billion dollars of his shareholders’ money in order to become a mere spectator. He proposed a board like the one he had established for the Times of London and the Sunday Times, where of the 15 members only seven have no ties to News Corp., and where he can theoretically hire or fire the editor only with the assent of the board."