This Sunday, The Washington Post takes up climate change while the New York Times columnists parse Palin. Here are the top offerings from the traditional media:
- Maureen Dowd, The New York Times: Visceral Has Its Value This has been a big week for Sarah Palin coverage, but Dowd tosses in a new twist today. The liberal columnist breaks ranks with her Palin-trashing compatriots to say that President Obama "could learn a thing or three" from the Alaskan "queen of the scenic strip mall." Obama, she says, "may be undervaluing the connective bonds of simpler truths"--right now he's "not connecting on the gut level that could help him succeed."
- Anthony Faiola, The Washington Post: In Germany, the High Price of Going Green The Washington Post opinions page is a festival of climate change columns this Sunday. Faiola, the Post's London bureau chief, provides a valuable service by taking an in-depth look at how Germany has gone about "greening" its economy. "Europe's most populous nation," writes Faiola, "represents a test case for what happens when a major economy sets down a greener path." He explores the trade-offs of the move, such as job creation at the expense of increased energy prices.
- Peggy Noonan, The Wall Street Journal: Still Here After a Rough Year Noonan delivers a Thanksgiving reflection on the last year, and reasons for gratitude. After providing a sample of her friends' feelings, she discusses her own reasons for thanks. "Too many friends," she writes, "have left during the past few years, and it reminds us of what death is always trying to remind us: It's good to be alive." But Noonan also offers some more unusual wisdom: we are now, she argues, "in the middle of a second golden age of television," and TV shows are delivering not just entertainment but also discussion topics. "We rightly," writes Noonan, "discuss the fact that media is fractured, niched and broken up, that we no longer watch the same shows or have the same conversation." But TV shows and the Internet discussions that follow a choice episode are the exception--"another cause, however small, for gratitude."
- Bill McKibben, The Washington Post: Obama Needs to Feel the Heat Bill McKibben, reflective writer turned climate change activist, offers a dramatic tale "of two presidents," comparing Barack Obama to Mohamed Nasheed, president of the Maldives. The two "have dominated summit meetings in the past few days," the American president through his position and star power, the Maldivian president for his theatrics: Nasheed recently held a cabinet meeting underwater "on an endangered coral reef." For Nasheed, "geography almost requires him to be outspoken" on the subject of global warming. McKibben's conclusion is that Obama has "taken admirable steps," but wants him to be more like his Maldivian counterpart.
- Fareed Zakaria, Newsweek: The Prize is India Zakaria, superstar of foreign policy commentary, hopes that in the rest of the fuss and mess of South Asian policy, India is not forgotten. "South Asia is a tar pit," he writes, "filled with failed and dysfunctional states, save for one long-established democracy of 1.2 billion people that is the second-fastest-growing major economy in the world, a check on China's rising ambitions, and a natural ally of the United States." Obama would do well to remember this, Zakaria argues: In South Asia, "the prize is the relationship with India. The booby prize is governing Afghanistan."