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Posts Tagged ‘David Remnick’

barack-obama

I love the stillness and the mystery of the day or two before elections, because in a lot of ways everything goes radio-silent. Nobody at that point is really listening to an argument. The infrastructure is set. And now it’s this weird alchemy that’s taking place in the country, and you just have to kind of wait and see how it works. But there’s always this mystery to it, this possibility.

Which, in some ways, is powerful and affirming of the humanity of democracy, right? […] It’s not mechanical. It’s not a formula. It’s not set. It’s not fixed. There is always the possibility of surprise. And in that sense it’s a little bit like sports. It doesn’t matter what the odds are. Weird stuff happens. And that makes it scary if you’re rooting for one team or the other, but that’s the drama of it.

Från ”It happened here” av David Remnick i The New Yorker, november 2016.

Bild: Pari Dukovic för The New Yorker.

Annonser

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ETT NYTT nummer av tidskriften Port finns nu att köpa i Sverige. Här kan man bland annat läsa om David Remnick som är redaktör för The New Yorker.

Hans bok Reporting (2006) – essäer hämtade från just The New Yorker – har intressanta porträtt av Tony Blair, Al Gore, Benjamin Netanyahu m.fl.

Senast kom Remnick ut med den kritikerrosade The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama.

Övrigt: Hemsidorna för Port och The New Yorker.

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BIOGRAFI: The Guardian har publicerat delar av David Remnicks nyligen utkomna biografi över president Barack Obama.

Utdraget är på nästan på 5000 ord och väl värt en genomläsning.

Boken – The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama – har kommit ut på förlagen Knopf och Picador. Priset på Bokus är 229 respektive 146 kronor.

Här ett litet utdrag från utdraget;

With Dreams from My Father, Barack Obama was working in the oldest, and arguably the richest, genre of African-American writing: the memoir. This tradition begins with the first slave narratives. ”Deprived of access to literacy, the tools of citizenship, denied the rights of selfhood by law, philosophy, and pseudo-science,” wrote the literary scholar Henry Louis Gates, ”and denied as well the possibility, even, of possessing a collective history as a people, black Americans published their individual histories in astonishing numbers, in a larger attempt to narrate the collective history of ‘the race’.” (…)

It is not difficult to understand why politically sympathetic readers were prepared to make extravagant, extra-literary claims for Obama’s book during his presidential campaign. They were reading him not as the civil rights lawyer and law professor he was when the book was published, but as a candidate who hoped to succeed George W Bush, a president who was insistently anti- intellectual, an executive who resisted introspection as a suspect indulgence. (…)

Obama is hardly the first president to exhibit a literary bent before running for office. The most prolific of the literary presidents was Theodore Roosevelt, who wrote 38 books in all. Dreams from My Father ought not to be overvalued as a purely literary text; other writer-politicians such as Václav Havel and André Malraux wrote immensely greater and more mature work before holding office. But few American politicians of consequence before Obama have ventured to describe themselves personally with anything like the force and emotional openness of Dreams from My Father. It was not intended as a campaign biography, but it ended up acting as one. For a politician who was making the personal political and placing his own story and background at the centre of his candidacy, writing Dreams from My Father was the ultimate act of self-creation. Its stories are at the centre of Obama’s thinking, his self-regard, his public rhetoric.

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logo21RADIO: Att svensk public service skulle var ”fri” och ”oberoende” är knappast något man längre själva tror på. En tröst är att det kunde vara värre. Det kunde vara som i dagens Ryssland.

I Reporters Without Borders index över pressfrihet rankas Ryssland på plats 144 av 169 möjliga. Ryssland hamnar därmed efter Afghanistan och Jemen, och strax före Saudiarabien och Zimbabwe.

Ett ljus i detta mörker är radiokanalen Ekho Moskvy (Moskvas Eko) som David Remnick har belyst i tidskriften The New Yorker. I denna radiokanal tillåts en självständig och balanserad rapportering om situationen i landet.

En fråga som måste ställas är varför vissa tidskrifter och radiokanaler trots allt får fortsätta att verka i premiärminister Vladimir Putins alltmer auktoritära Ryssland. Ekho Moskvy (www.echo.msk.ru) framstår i detta klimat som ”one of the last of an endangered species, a dodo that still roams the earth”.

Förklaringen är att det mest effektiva propaganda instrumentet för Putin är televisionen. Därför är också tv totalt styrt av staten. Tidningar och webb sidor som är lika fria som Ekho Moskvy existerar men dessa når bara ett begränsat publik. Putin kan därför tillåta att dessa får fortsätta att leva vidare.

The heads of the networks are summoned to regular weekly meetings at the Kremlin to set the news agenda; executives are provided with lists enumerating the names of political opponents who are not permitted on the air. The loyalty of important anchors, station managers, and star reporters is bought with unheard-of salaries. Live television discussions and interviews no longer exist.

Och enligt Yulia Latynina, kommentator på Ekho Moskvy, är propagandan på dessa styrda kanaler inriktade på att distrahera tittarna;

The problem is that official propaganda on television is extremely distracting – it insures that people talk about the nonsense they are showing. For example, if Russia drops a rocket on Georgia from a plane, the report will talk about the size of the hole and whether or not the Georgians dug the hole themselves and all sorts of other nonsense. Suddenly, you are talking about holes and not about whether Russia is trying to scare the hell out of the Republic of Georgia (…).

För Aleksei Venediktov, chefredaktör på Ekho Moskvy, är det en viktigt för Putin att göra en distinktion mellan ”fiender” och ”förrädare”.

He [Putin] said ‘Enemies are right in front of you, you are at war with them, then you make an armistice with them, and all is clear. A traitor must be destroyed, crushed.’ This is his philosophy of the world. And then he said, ‘You know, Aleksei, you are not a traitor. You are an enemy’.

Med andra ord; Ekho Moskvy kan vara till nytta för makten genom att vara en form av säkerhetsventil för det ”motstånd” som finns i landet. Eller som Kirill Rogov, tidigare redaktör för Kommersant, uttrycker det;

In an unfree country, Echo of Moscow lives in isolation, on a kind of Indian reservation. It broadcasts a story or a discussion and it reaches an audience, but then it never goes any further.

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