I live in Washington, D.C., where I first came to work as a writer and producer for The Atlantic in 2010 and then covered D.C. transportation for TBD On Foot. Now I report on Congress for Communications Daily.
The end did not come for Rob Ford, the mayor of this city, when he proclaimed his proclivity for oral sex on live television.
It did not come when the police confirmed that they had a video of him smoking crack, something he had repeatedly denied, nor when he showed up drunk at a local festival, careened equally plastered on a dance floor, or when the local Santa parade told him to please stay away.
It did not even come Monday, during a City Council meeting at which members voted to take away most of his budget and staff while he cantered around the chamber, heckling voters and knocking a City Council member to the floor.
Re “Finding Higgs Merely Opens More Puzzles” (Out There, Nov. 5): Mr. Overbye’s discussion of the demise facing the universe when the Higgs field drops to a lower energy state “in 10^100 years or so,” puts an unjustifiably sanguine spin on the prediction. Because the occasion is tied to a quantum fluctuation, it is as likely to occur in the particular 30 second interval that one might be reading this letter, as in any other 30 second interval, be it tomorrow or next Halloween.
Look, I’m sure they’re very nice people, but on their fourth album, “Reflektor,” Arcade Fire still sound like gigantic dorks with boring sex lives.
But to the broader point: even if one were to assume for the sake of argument that WikiLeaks’ more aggressive transparency may occasionally result in excess disclosures (a proposition I reject), the more government-friendly posture of The N.Y.T. and similar outlets often produces quite harmful journalism of its own. It wasn’t WikiLeaks that laundered false official claims about Saddam’s W.M.D.’s and alliance with Al Qaeda on its front page under the guise of ‘news’ to help start a heinous war. It isn’t WikiLeaks that routinely gives anonymity to U.S. officials to allow them to spread leader-glorifying mythologies or quite toxic smears of government critics without any accountability.
It isn’t WikiLeaks that prints incredibly incendiary accusations about American whistle-blowers without a shred of evidence. And it wasn’t WikiLeaks that allowed the American people to re-elect George Bush while knowing, but concealing, that he was eavesdropping on them in exactly the way the criminal law prohibited.