Posts by Marty Kaplan

Are We Better Than This?

If you weren’t whiplashed, heartsick, nauseated, outraged and exhausted last week, you weren’t paying attention. Within the span of 24 hours, we were pummeled by horrifying images and unbearable grief — nothing as awful as personally enduring it, but real and real-time enough to scar our spirits, and to put… More

How to Tragedy

This is what you do when it all goes to hell again. You casually turn the television on while the coffee water boils, but the news punches you in the gut and takes your breath away. You instantly revise the whole history of the world in order to make the… More

Attention Must Be Paid (Except to Climate Change)

This is from a news story on Thursday: “We are not saying this is definitely going to happen. But there’s a danger, and it should receive a lot more attention.” What danger? Sez who? I’ll get back to that. But check out the last word in that quote first. I… More

Is Campaign News Necessary?

Last week, Gallup asked Americans if they were watching news about the presidential campaign “very closely.” Four out of 10 said yes. I’m one of them.  That’s crazy. Are you one of them? That’s crazy, too. There are plenty of high-minded reasons to follow campaign news. It informs us about… More

The National Academy of Sugar

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is at it again. You might think an outfit calling itself an academy would be, you know, academic. But as Jon Stewart put it, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is as much an academy as the “Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product” called Kraft Singles is… More

Bernie has it. Trump has it. Joe has it. Does Hillary?

As Joe Biden polls family and friends about entering the presidential fray, he’s getting two kinds of advice – personal and political. The personal is about his life, his values and what he can give to his country. The political is about Hillary Clinton’s vulnerability. Honesty and trustworthiness are top… More

Jon Stewart Is Getting Serious

What will we do without Jon Stewart? I hear that a lot. Of course I hope his writers will be able to make more magic with his successor, Trevor Noah. And no matter what happens on “The Daily Show,” we will still have John Oliver and Larry Wilmore, and I’m… More

FCC Chief Tom Wheeler Is Five-Sixths of a Superhero

The last best hope to stop Big Money’s rout of American democracy is a former trade group lobbyist who’s reluctant to stretch his spandex superhero suit too thin. Plutocrats have been on a roll for a while in the U.S., and campaign finance reform is in full retreat. Though Americans… More

Spock’s ‘Good Mother’

“Oh, by the way, Leonard,” I say into the phone, as breezily as I can feign, “what did you think about Diane’s belt?” Leonard Nimoy is on location in Cambridge, Massachusetts, preparing to direct The Good Mother for Disney, starring Diane Keaton. I’m the executive on the movie, on the… More