The Corner

On Giving It Back

I’m generally sympathetic to the idea, but I think Mickey — and others — downplay the potential for blowback. Turning down the Nobel Peace Prize and, in effect,  lecturing the Nobel committee for jumping the gun, could itself seem pretty arrogant and narcissistic. “It’s too soon for me to get the Nobel Peace Prize” is not necessarily a humble statement. When Woody Allen refuses to show up at the Oscars, do you take it as an act of humility or supreme arrogance?

And, given that the Prize is more esteemed abroad than it is here in the States, the connotations of rejecting it might not be the same everywhere. It may well be the best play, but it assumes that Obama has more humility than any of us suspect he has and it requires a defter touch at sounding humble than he has usually shown.

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Regular Order

Jussie Smollett’s story has always sounded a little . . . extraordinary. Smollett, who appears on the television series Empire, says he was attacked on the streets of Chicago at 2 a.m. by two men who shouted racial and homophobic abuses at him, beat him, doused him with bleach, and fastened a noose around ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Let’s Chill about Hate Crimes

‘Jussie Smollett, one of the stars of the television show ‘Empire,’ was attacked in Chicago by 2 assailants who yelled racial and homophobic slurs,” tweeted the New York Times on January 29. Mark the tone of absolute certainty about an unconfirmed claim. Many other news outlets took the same tack. ... Read More