Phoebe Connelly

Phoebe Connelly is a former web editor of the Prospect. Previously, she was managing editor of In These Times. She writes on political culture, human rights and feminism.

Recent Articles

SERIOUS SERIES POLITICS. GO SOX, NOT ROX.

The World Series starts tonight and I’m rooting for my team, the Red Sox. Putting aside as much as possible my built-in biases for them, I still predict they’ll win in six games or fewer. Josh Beckett looks unstoppable lately, and the Sox battled .306 in their league championship while the Rockies batted just .242. I don’t really dislike the Rox: Just last month, in fact, I caught my first game at Coors Field, a great stadium ideally situated in a fun city that’s capital of a simply gorgeous state. Sure, I have known for some time about the Coors family’s conservative background -- and, of course, good old James Dobson is just down the road a stretch. But I didn’t figure that evangelism factored at all in managing the Rockies… …until I saw this , from Sam Smith of Scholars & Rogues. So now I’m hoping for the Sox to not just win, but sweep. -- Tom Schaller

CONSERVATIVE ARGUMENT BY ASSERTION, PART 5,714.

I just watched a taped panel from Saturday at the Family Research Council meeting on liberal bias in the media. The Wall Street Journal ’s John Fund and National Review ’s Rich Lowry were on it, and though I didn’t catch every minute, what’s fascinating is the degree to which they are convinced the media is biased in favor of liberals. Yet they cannot manage to come up with any empirical evidence to prove it. It’s true because, well, they believe it is and say it is. None of this is new, but I mention it only to point out just how amazing the present, faith-based era has undermined our national debate. Nothing ever needs to be demonstrated or proved. A couple of years back I did a campus debate on media bias with Terry Eastland of Lowry’s Review , and he also had little if any evidence to adduce on behalf of the certain “truth” of liberal media bias. Meanwhile, we know from our own former editor Mike Tomasky that op-eds in major papers were >tougher on Bill Clinton ’s than they...

When Writing the Personal Was Revolutionary

Doris Lessing redefined women's experiences as central to politics. In doing so, she altered the way we think about relationships in the public and private sphere.

When Doris Lessing was informed last week that she had been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, her salty response was, "Oh Christ. It's been going on now for 30 years; one can't get more excited than one gets." She then turned from the camera and the inquiring reporter to pay the taxi she had just emerged from. Clearly, she's got her priorities. The anecdote was repeated in almost all the coverage of Lessing's honor. It's delightful to watch a public intellectual be so off-handed about such a distinguished award, but it would be a mistake to let this dismissal eclipse the long-overdue recognition of a writer who has created some of the best work examining lived political experience and women's role within it. Lessing is, as Bernard Bergonzi wrote in The New York Review of Books in 1965, "keenly interested in the way contemporary society actually works." Lessing's commitment (a word she used in her 1957 essay, "The Small Personal Voice," to describe the role of writers) to the...

DEATH PENALTY MORATORIUM?

The Supreme Court's order yesterday halting a Virginia execution has the potential to halt executions across the country until the Court delivers an opinion on a pending death penalty case. That case, Baze v. Rees , asks whether the commonly used protocol for lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment. "I think this is a de facto moratorium," said Douglas A. Berman, a sentencing expert at Ohio State University's law school. Since almost all executions are carried out by lethal injection, he said a halt "would mean the most profound hiatus in the operation of the death penalty in at least two decades." It's an interesting turn in the ongoing debate about the fairness of the the death penalty -- which is usually centered around questions of class and race disparity. --Phoebe Connelly

LEGISLATING HISTORY.

To expand on Ezra 's point as to the wisdom of bringing the debate over the Armenian genocide to the floor of Congress, Laurent Pech over at Jurist has a excellent point about the effects of legislating history: My general position is that no Parliament should legislate to promote or worse, enforce particular historical truths. In France, the statutory characterization of the mass slaughter of Ottoman Armenians as a genocide led to the introduction in 2006 of several bills (yet to be adopted) whose purpose was to punish with criminal sentences those who “dispute” this characterization. Such content-based prohibition on free speech is certainly and thankfully unthinkable in the US, since the First Amendment precludes the government from prohibiting “the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable” (Texas v. Johnson, 491 US 397, at 414). Yet, the “mere” statutory recognition of the Armenian genocide may encourage diverse groups to lobby...

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