kottke.org posts about deborahsolomon

Interview with Charles Murray

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 24, 2008

Deborah Solomon recently interviewed Charles Murray for the NY Times. Murray is the author of the recent book, Real Education, which argues that 80% of all college students should not be pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

Even though the interview is pretty short, Solomon shows how Murray’s scientific views don’t jibe with his political views, namely that you don’t need smart, able people running the country.

What do you make of the fact that John McCain was ranked 894 in a class of 899 when he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy? I like to think that the reason he ranked so low is that he was out drinking beer, as opposed to just unable to learn stuff.

What do you think of Sarah Palin? I’m in love. Truly and deeply in love.

She attended five colleges in six years. So what?

Why is the McCain clan so eager to advertise its anti-intellectualism? The last thing we need are more pointy-headed intellectuals running the government. Probably the smartest president we’ve had in terms of I.Q. in the last 50 years was Jimmy Carter, and I think he is the worst president of the last 50 years.

The cognitive dissonance inside Murray’s head must be deafening.

Deborah Solomon goes straight

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 10, 2008

Is Deborah Solomon, the NY Times Magazine’s notoriously irritating Q&A interviewer, turning over a new leaf? After complaints about her columns surfaced last fall, the NY Times public editor agreed that Solomon had not complied with the Times’ policy of fairly representing the answers of her interviewees. Ben Wheeler noted that her most recent piece is an excellent straightforward interview with zero snarky asides or abusive questions.

If you point out when they suck, you gotta point out when they do well. On Sunday, Deborah Solomon’s weekly NY Times Magazine interview was an excellent talk with Enrique Penalosa, former mayor of Bogota known for his Susan Jacobs/Scandinavian vision of urban planning. Solomon’s old method, of inserting snide remarks and different questions after the fact, is gone; we can thank Ira Glass and Amy Dickinson (Ann Landers’s successor) for that, since they complained when she did it to them. But beyond that change, Solomon here just asks good, sensible questions of an interesting subject.

Interview with the BBC’s David Frost on

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 13, 2006

Interview with the BBC’s David Frost on his move to Al Jazeera International, a new 24-hour news station. I don’t get why Solomon is so rude in these interviews, particularly when her able subjects handle her “tough” questions with such ease.