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Phil Bronstein's Blog

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Nov.03.2009
Barack and Michele Obama, the couple, continue to captivate the public and the press, most recently in the cover story of the NYTimes Sunday magazine: "The first marriage. It's modern, it's a formidable international brand and it's an ongoing negotiation." Sounds like a reality show promo...
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Oct.21.2009
I like the tussle of digital world commmenting, as nasty and angry and messy as it can get. There are also endless tips, suggestions, ideas and other useful things in comments sections that may be bad for the ego but good for journalism. I've tried to have a fairly transparent inbox on this blog...
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Oct.15.2009
I'm thrilled to see they cut some slack for that criminal kid who brought the camping utensil to school. He got off with time served. Maybe next year, when he's seven, he'll understand the rules better. The whole episode seems to reflect one of those cultural shifts: a larger intolerance level for...
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Oct.14.2009
It's one thing when the Financial Times says Barack Obama "seems to float like a butterfly -- and sting like one..." Even if the gently biting British criticism does come from one of the few publications that successfully charges for some of its content -- journalism is all about commerce...
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Oct.06.2009
The death of Gourmet magazine is a big, sucking wound for all those consultants advising the panicked print industry to go niche, baby, go niche. As though we haven't been hearing that since the 1980s. But even as we bury another paper publication, this one high end and historically choking with...
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Oct.01.2009
Val Diamond, the tireless, talented oak tree-like icon of San Francisco's Beach Blanket Babylon, has left the show. She'd been there over 30 years channeling Ethel Merman to the delight of princes, queens and generations of tourists. Circumstances surrounding her exit are unclear. No reason is...
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Sep.22.2009
A campaign executive for Gavin Newsom's governor's race said I was "scraping the bottom of the barrel" when I posted a photo of the mayor's green recycling bin in connection with a column about the city's new mandatory composting regulation. Point and shaky pun taken. But, despite my...
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Sep.20.2009
Lots of response -- slams and support -- for my Monday column about San Francisco's new mandatory composting regulation. Sorry to report that Gavin Newsom did not offer to come personally weed out anyone's leftovers to kick the thing off on a note of high civic engagement and Big Brother good will...
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Sep.17.2009
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By the time Jimmy Carter weighs in, with all due respect to the former President, home builder and Nobel Laureate, you can bet that's pretty much the end of the news cycle for that story. When I watched Mr. Carter offer an opinion about South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson the other day, his face...
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Sep.15.2009
South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson, it turns out, was just the red-faced canary in the coal mine of anger toxicity poisoning our national psyche. Fury is being unleashed across the land and don't say you weren't warned: it's all been astrologically predicted. While you've been burying your...
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Sep.09.2009
It's not fun to criticize Barack Obama anymore now that everyone's doing it. Even cautionary blog posts used to feel like a wonderfully lonely place, particularly if you live around San Francisco or on HuffPo. I warned early on about the dangers of over-stimulating the public expectation gland. You...
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Aug.28.2009
Civility in public discussion these days is as rare as a bald-headed Kennedy -- the last of that mane now lionized by Ted's passing. But damn if John McCain didn't have a bunch of citizens at his Arizona health care reform town hall meeting yesterday behaving like the Mormon Tabernacle choir:...
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Aug.18.2009
Criticizing the recently deceased is as rude as punking the Queen of England at an official event: it's bad form both in terms of timing and reasonable respect. As a journalist, I know I should revere Bob Novak, whose death from brain cancer was announced this morning, almost as much as the...
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Aug.11.2009
I am NOT HIM! Hear me roar! The loose lips parade of outbursts has replaced swine flu as the national epidemic of the moment. And there's no vaccine in sight for this 223-year-old unruly American problem. But even Arlen Specter's gamely stiff spine in the face of spittle on his coat from health...
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Jul.27.2009
In a secret meeting last week at a Denny's outside Squamish, British Columbia, Barack Obama's chief strategists David Axelrod and Valerie Jarrett shared coffee and a plate of donuts with Palin steering... Obama and Palin against the media -- plenty of muck to rake? Obama and Palin against...
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