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Foreign Affairs

February 26, 2006 – Sunday Herald
All Sides Turn On Bush Over Ports Deal

The ports controversy is an especially difficult one for the Bush Administration and the GOP. If the details get scrutiny, the deal could have ramifications all the way to the next presidential election.

January 04, 2006 – TomPaine.com
To Russia, Love Tom Delay 

Jack Abramoff’s plea is just the beginning. DeLay’s dealings with Russia should be one of the biggest stories of the year.

June 29, 2005 – Los Angeles Times
Harsh Insight Into How We Make War
 

A review of Norman Solomon’s timely new book, “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death”

March 31, 2005 – The Nation
Miller’s UN Reporting 

After her role in hyping unfounded claims that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda ties – claims that greatly buttressed the White House’s arguments for war, Judith Miller of the New York Times faced unparalleled criticism. So what happened to her? She got back to work advancing that same unilateralist line. This time, she started going after the leadership of the United Nations – the same folks whose sanctions and inspection program ensured that Saddam did not develop WMDs. For the past year, she has been cranking out biased reports about alleged wrongdoing at the UN in such an exaggerated way as to cast the organization and its leadership as almost beyond redemption. An examination of her recent record.

January 14, 2005 – Atlanta Journal-Constitution
What’s wrong with the coverage of the CBS scandal? 

Why are Dan Rather’s failings more important than George Bush’s? Russ questions the media’s priorities in their eagerness to criticize 60 Minutes’ story on Bush’s National Guard service.

October 27, 2004 – Guerrilla News Network
Bush Wanted To Invade Iraq
 

George Bush had a hankering for war with Iraq well before he was elected. He fibbed about his military service. And more revelations from his former biographer.

April 25, 2004 – Washington Post
Olympian Athens, Stuck Between Alpha and Omega
 

Russ, puttering around Athens, finds the city contending with some unusual challenges as it prepares to host the Olympic Games.

April 06, 2004 – Tompaine.com
Born-Again Hawks
 

It’s one thing to intensely dislike George W. Bush. It’s another thing entirely to want to defeat him so bad, you are willing to adopt his own bring-’em-on worldview. But that is exactly the position in which many progressives and the “liberal media” find themselves.

March 22, 2004 – The Observer (UK)
Violence in the Balkans
 

Russ covers unrest in Serbia following ethnic violence in neighboring Kosovo.

March 22, 2004 – TomPaine.com
The Pain In Spain
 

Russ suggests we stop blaming the Spaniards. They’re just quicker at figuring out something even Americans will, eventually: We have all been had.

March 17, 2004 – Newsday
Bush’s War Exercise: The Backpedal
 

Anniversaries are a time of remembrance. We look back at an event and recall what was. Or, in the case of the invasion of Iraq, which began one year ago, we look back at what wasn’t.

February 20, 2004 – TomPaine.com
Bush’s Backpedaling
 

The Bush administration, faced with a stinker of an economic situation, plans to run for re-election on a national defense-foreign policy plank. But how’s it going to do that? Can anyone seriously trust any significant claim from this gang that definitely can’t shoot straight—then insists that the goal was always to hit the wall not the target? Russ looks at all the foreign policy goals that had to be altered.

Jan/Feb, 2004 - The Washington Monthly
Where’s Radovan?
 

Why can’t – or won’t – the West catch Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian war criminal connected with up to 200,000 deaths? He’s been on the run now for eight years. Russ investigates. Versions of this article have appeared in The New Statesman (UK), NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands), Die Welt (Germany), Ha’aretz (Israel), Helsingin Sanomat (Finland), Morgenbladet (Norway), O Publico (Portugal), The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), Humo (Belgium), Sunday Herald (Scotland), Die Presse (Austria), Straits Times (Singapore), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Information (Denmark), Facts (Switzerland), Korea Herald (South Korea) and El Mundo (Spain).

January 30, 2004 - TomPaine.com
The Definition of Imminent 

Team Bush is in training for the upcoming political Olympics. In recent days, we’ve seen vigorous demonstrations of hedging, ducking and furious backpedaling. Plus that most esoteric of sports: hair splitting. At issue, of course, is the Bush administration’s attempt to escape responsibility for starting a war over something that did not exist. Take its parsing of the word ‘imminent’….

January 29, 2004 - TomPaine.com
Why We Like the UN Again
 

The White House wanted the UN to stay out of all important decisions and roles in Iraq. But suddenly, it can’t welcome the UN into that country fast enough. What gives? Well, there’s a mess in Iraq and an election coming up back here. Russ explains.

January 07, 2004 - Los Angeles Times (This article also appeared in Newsday and the Philadelphia Inquirer.)
Put Spotlight on Bin Laden
 

Russ argues that the US media does everyone a disservice by censoring, minimizing and failing to analyze periodic statements attributed to Osama bin Laden.

October 08, 2003
Serbia’s Secretive Power Broker
 

A look at the shadowy “spin doctor” waging war on Serbia’s media and, say some, obstructing the evolution of a vibrant democracy.

September 25, 2003 - TomPaine.com
The Unilateral Party’s Over 

Voters traditionally consider Democrats less capable than Republicans on foreign policy. But is that true? To test that notion, compare Bush’s go-it-alone war on Iraq and Clinton’s multilateralism in the Balkans.

September 19, 2003 - The Christian Science Monitor
Can Foreigners Fix Bosnia?
 

Building a pluralistic democracy from scratch is a daunting proposition. Lessons learned here may apply to Iraq and elsewhere.

September 08, 2003 - The Christian Science Monitor
Grisly Clues in Bosnia’s Largest Mass Grave
 

This site and others demonstrate a coordinated reburial effort that could not have gone on without high-level approval.

June 25, 2003 - Christian Science Monitor
Sweet Deal for Balkans Leaves Bad Taste for EU
 

When the EU granted trade preferences to Western Balkans countries, it meant to help poor countries develop. But as a sugar scandal shows, it’s not easy to overcome a deep-rooted legacy of corruption in the region.

April 04, 2003 - The American Prospect
Stunning Events in Former Yugoslavia While Iraq Monopolizes The News 

(Versions of this article appeared in The Age (Australia) and Information (Denmark) ) Russ reports on the fast-shifting investigation into the murder of prime minister Djindjic and the fight to rid Serbia of Milosevic-era organized crime and state-sponsored thuggery.

March 17, 2003 - The Sunday Times (UK)
Butcher of Bosnia Link To Assassin  

(A version of this article also appeared in The Australian) More details of Serbian Prime Minister assassination revealed.

March 13, 2003 - Toronto Star (Canada)
Serbian Prime Minister Assassinated
 

(Versions of this article appeared in La Repubblica (Italy), El Pais (Spain), Information (Denmark), and The Washington Times.)Russ reports in from Belgrade as the situation unfolds.

November 14, 2002 – Sunday Herald (Scotland)
Yugoslavian officials ‘sold chemical weapons to Iraq’
 

(Versions of this article also appeared in The New York Daily News, Information (Denmark) and Danas (Yugoslavia) ) Russ obtains and analyzes an advance copy of a scorching report on the extent of Yugoslav arms sales and military assistance to Iraq.

November 14, 2002 - TomPaine.com(A version of this article also appeared in La Stampa (Italy) and Information (Denmark). )
Belgrade: Iraq Through A Balkan Lens
 

Past U.S. Efforts Shed Doubt On Post-War Rebuilding Of Iraq, writes Russ from former Yugoslavia. “If this place is indicative of the U.S. commitment after the bombs stop falling, the future Iraq won’t be a pretty picture.”

October 13, 2002European Press Network
Serbian Presidential Election Coverage
 

Russ covers Serbia’s first post-Milosevic presidential election, but he’s more interested than most of the voters.

October, 2002Razor Magazine
The Land Mine Guy
 

“If anyone ever finds a way to detect and dig up the 100 million land mines that litter the earth, it’s likely to be Richard Walden. Russ profiles the irreverent humanitarian relief maestro, founder of the unconventional relief organization Operation USA, who has devoted his life to bringing attention and resources to appalling scenarios of human misery.”

February, 2002 - This article appeared in Frankfurter Allgemeine (Germany), Toronto Star (Canada), De Standaard (Belgium) and The Age (Australia) – Feb 2002)
Hawks and doves circle Washington
 

Beyond the war against al Qaeda, there’s another anti-terror struggle being waged within the U.S. foreign policy establishment itself. The point of contention: To attack Iraq or not. The combatants fall into two camps: the Saddam Hawks and the Saddam Doves. On the outcome of their struggle may hang the prospects for peace or war in the first decade of the 21st century.

Sept 10, 1999 - The Village Voice CIA Out of Control – An eye-opening look at the CIA, circa 1991.  What is it suppose to do, and what does it really do?  

 

 

 

 

Feb 07, 1994 - The Nation
The Deforesting of Irian Jaya
- Carrying its odd trio through a valley deep in Irian Jaya, the van made excellent time. The driver, a young hipster from far-off Java in jeans and reflecting sunglasses, cranked up a scratchy tape of Indonesian rock and drummed away on the dashboard. The wiry old man next to me, toothless and sporting nothing save his tribe’s traditional penis gourd, grinned sweetly as we made dust fly. But his cheeriness could only momentarily transcend a sobering reality: that his culture, which dates back 10,000 years, may be wiped out in ten.
Jan 05, 1990 – The Christian Science Monitor Celebration and Rage in Bucharest, As Romanians settle into their first free new year, there are still grim reminders of the price paid for emancipation.
Dec 29, 1989 – The Christian Science
Monitor


Hard-line Police Given Ultimatum
, For most of a week, even after dictator
Nicolae Ceausescu tried to flee his own country, Romania has been held hostage
by a desperate band of assassins.
Go Back Up

Humor & Essay

March 28, 2005 – AlterNet
Fishing for New Environmentalists 

With the Bush administration’s promulgation of stunningly weak standards on mercury pollution, and with growing evidence of the mass poisoning of the American people, there’s a prime opportunity. Environmentalists should do more to reach out to the millions of Americans who hunt and fish. Assuming that generally conservative “outdoorsmen” and –women will vote only based on guns and permits is very short-sighted, strategically.

November 26, 2003 - New York Observer
You’ve Got Hate Mail! Virtual Pundits (Mis)Fire Back 

Is Russ really like Jerry Springer? One reader thinks so. Check out some of the audience feedback.

September 04, 2003 - TomPaine.com
Bush Moves On
 

Thanks to President Bush, we no longer have to wait for others to let us off the hook. Now we can simply move ourselves on.

June 16, 2003 – The New York Observer
Invasion of the Job Snatchers 

When Russ posts an ad for a research assistant, the response is baffling.

May 13, 2003 - Nedeljni Telegraf (Weekly Telegraph), Belgrade
Case Solved
 

Russ assesses customer service standards in Belgrade.

May 06, 2003 – Nedeljni Telegraf (Weekly Telegraph), Belgrade
Are You a Spy, Russ Baker? 

In the first installment of his new weekly column, Russ addresses local suspicions that he isn’t what he says he is.

May 06, 2002 – New York Times
I’m The Other Guy 

Russ reveals the identity crisis that has dogged him throughout his career.

Mar, 2002 – Philadelphia Inquirer
Martha Stewart Seizes Fawlty Towers 

Russ visits what may be America’s best Bed & Breakfast Inn and meets its zealous proprietor.

November, 2001Arena Magazine
The Smoking Gun: They Spy on the FBI
 

It’s not easy being a cop. I know this because I read a police report describing how officers in Manchester, NH, on routine bicycle patrol, encountered a man wearing “what appeared to be a costume made to resemble a penis.”

June 01, 2000New York Times
The Procrastinator’s Guide to Summer Rentals
 

Russ cruises the greater New York area for bargains in last-minute summer rentals, with some unexpected and humorous results.

May 29, 2000New York Observer
Amadou Lives At Marie Runyon’s Dinner Table
 

85-year old Marie Runyon, a white Southern lady living in Harlem for the last half-century, where she has been a pioneer in civil rights and housing matters, has a chance encounter that leads to a remarkable dinner with the mother of Amadou Diallo, shot by police 41 times in a tragic accident.

Go Back Up

Investigative & Consumer

January, 2003 - Razor Magazine
An Embarrassment of Riches: the Inside Story of the World’s Biggest Con
(Versions of this article also appeared in The Good Weekend (magazine of the Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age), Politiken (Denmark), South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and Die Tageszeitung (Germany). ) 

It’s the world’s biggest – and perhaps most elaborate — scam, and it’s growing rapidly. Maybe you didn’t bite when those e-mails or calls came in, but plenty of people did. Read one such story…

March 2001 - Esquire (Netherlands)
More than the usual Hollywood fodder
This article appeared in the magazines Esquire (Netherlands edition) and Focus Knack (Belgium), and in the magazine supplements of La Repubblica (Italy) and Die Tages-Anzeiger (Switzerland). 

When the marriage of Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman busted up, longtime Scientology-watchers suspected there was more there than just the usual gossip column histrionics. Russ takes a look.

September 19, 1999New York Daily News
Credit Quicksand Traps Consumers 

Deceptive tactics employed by banks that issue credit cards mean astoundingly high interest rates and mammoth fees. Find out how not to be a victim.
Related stories
:
Getting Yourself Out of Trouble
Pols Take Credit for Bill

1999Vote.com
Card Sharks: Low-Interest Credit Offers Can Bite Back 

A growing number of consumers are being financially squeezed by what many contend to be the blatantly unfair and misleading practices of the $1.2 trillion credit card industry.

February 14, 1999The Observer (UK)
MK-ULTRA: The CIA and LSD
 

This Also Appeared in Der Spiegel (Germany), and The Good Weekend ((The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald) In 1952, Stanley Glickman was a promising young painter studying in Paris. Then one night he shared a drink with some fellow Americans, and his life fell apart. Did the CIA spike his drink with LSD?

December 5, 1999 – New York Daily News
The Cell Phone Mess 

Cellular phone companies seem more interested in signing up customers than in making sure their service works. Russ explores the problem areas.

December 1998Salon.com
Portrait of a political pit bull
 

Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind), the powerful chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, made a name for himself by investigating alleged improprieties in the Clinton White House. He famously called Clinton a “scumbag” for his personal behavior and has relentlessly pursued White House campaign finance irregularities, but as this in-depth investigation shows, Burton has his own complicated history.

April, 1997P.O.V.
A Royal Pain
 

A Spanish prince, a blonde bombshell and a few surreptitious pictures. For a 23-year-old photographer named Hugo Arriazu, the scoop of a lifetime led to a jailhouse nightmare.

April 1997George Magazine
The War Between Scientology and Germany

The German Government says the Church of Scientology is a tyrannical cult that recalls the country’s dark history. The Scientologists say it’s the Germans who haven’t changed. In an increasingly bitter battle, two powers collide over the meaning of freedom and the burden of the past.

December, 1997Men’s Health
Zinc for Yourself
 

Miracle treatment… or hype? Here’s the truth about zinc and colds.

December 07, 1993The Village Voice
The Rogue Police Union
 

Patrolman Phil Caruso and lawyer Richard Hartman built the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association into an arrogant, insular, and wealthy institution that stands above the law and beyond scrutiny. Where is the $63 million a year in tax funds and union dues going? Only their friends know for sure.

1991 – Village Voice
Putting the Cult Back In Culture
 

A mysterious new Hollywood studio turns out to be a front for the controversial cult, Scientology.

March 20, 1990 – Village Voice
Breaking The Faith: – A Close Look at Covenant House
 

The sexual abuse was one part of a bigger story. Russ looks at the broader failures at this famous home for runaways.

Go Back Up

Media

April 08, 2006 – TomPaine.com
The Media’s Chance at Redemption 

When, oh when, will the U.S. “mainstream media” finally stop hemming and hawing, parsing and understating? When will they simply go for the jugular to confirm what any thoughtful American has already learned from “less reputable” but increasingly relevant alternative information sources: that from the beginning of the Bush administration, invading Iraq has always been as much an article of faith for the president as, well, promoting faith over reason?

February 21, 2006 – TomPaine.com
The Media’s Next Quarry
 

Now that the press has come alive over the hunting accident, will it investigate the bigger scandals where Cheney plays a central role?

January 11, 2006 – Columbia Journalism Review
Talkin’ ‘Bout a Revolution 

Times have certainly changed when bloggers who rail about mainstream journalism can rent part of the Rainbow Room, atop Manhattan’s GE building — a temple of the media establishment — to announce the latest iteration of the revolution.

November 14, 2005 – TomPaine.com
It’s Not Just Judy 

The notorious Times reporter is only a symptom of the disease affecting political journalism.

October, 2005 – Columbia Journalism Review
Anonymous Sources: the Q&A
 

In a Q&A, Steve Engelberg, once Judith Miller’s editor, gives some surprising answers about when to use – and when not to use – anonymous sources.

September 6, 2005 – TomPaine.com
The Media’s Labor Day Revolution
 

Watch them cry and shout! With the colossal screw-ups over Hurricane Katrina, even Fox News Channel reporters were furious at the administration. Read the amazing story of the media’s late wake-up call on the Bush Administration’s priorities and competencies. Also, follow the links to watch STUNNING footage of reporters gone wild!

July 21, 2005 – TomPaine.com
Why Was Miller Fit to Print
 

Appropriate compassion for jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller notwithstanding, the editors of the Times have failed to clarify the exact role of their controversial colleague in the so-called Valerie Plame Leak, aware as they are of Miller’s checkered professional record and her seeming disdain for standards the rest of the profession strives to uphold. While defending its own, the paper also has a larger responsibility—both to its readers and to journalism—not to serve as a propaganda organ, obscuring key unresolved questions about Miller, her work and this particular case.

June 29, 2005 – Los Angeles Times
Harsh Insight Into How We Make War 

A review of Norman Solomon’s timely new book, “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death”

June 24, 2005 – Alternet
The Sins of Judith Miller 

The New York Times’ Inspector Clouseau-like Judith Miller continues on her crusade to prejudge and taint the UN leadership and the promise of multilateralism – making mistakes as fast as her editors can clean them up. Why, oh why, is this woman still working there?

June 13, 2005 – TomPaine.com
Tomorrow’s Woodwards And Bernsteins 

Well, wasn’t that some excitement over the unmasking of Deep Throat? Besides resolving a long-standing mystery, the revelation came at an especially auspicious moment. Investigative journalism desperately needs a boost right about now. Here’s why – and how.

May 20 2005 – TomPaine.com
Winning The Media Wars
 

Were you inspired by Bill Moyers’ recent speech about media reform? Here’s your users’ guide to making it happen.

March 31, 2005 – The Nation
Miller’s UN Reporting
 

After her role in hyping unfounded claims that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction and Al Qaeda ties – claims that greatly buttressed the White House’s arguments for war, Judith Miller of the New York Times faced unparalleled criticism. So what happened to her? She got back to work advancing that same unilateralist line. This time, she started going after the leadership of the United Nations – the same folks whose sanctions and inspection program ensured that Saddam did not develop WMDs. For the past year, she has been cranking out biased reports about alleged wrongdoing at the UN in such an exaggerated way as to cast the organization and its leadership as almost beyond redemption. An examination of her recent record.

March 14, 2005 – NiemanWatchdog.org (Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University)
More Questions on the ‘Secret’ Bush Tapes
 

Faced with difficulties of maintaining White House access in a time of unsurpassed administration spin and hostility to the media, did New York Times editors lower their guard in the way they handled a front-page article about suspect ‘secret tapes’ of conversations between George W. Bush and “a friend?” If the tapes were really worthy of front-page treatment, why didn’t the paper do better analysis and work up a hard lede instead of presenting the ‘revelations’ in a kind of soft-focus way that revealed little?

January 14, 2005 – Atlanta Journal-Constitution
What’s wrong with the coverage of the CBS scandal?
 

Why are Dan Rather’s failings more important than George Bush’s? Russ questions the media’s priorities in their eagerness to criticize 60 Minutes’ story on Bush’s National Guard service.

April 22, 2004 – TomPaine.com
Maturing Media? 

Has this immature president spawned a sudden maturation of his inquisitors? Recent evidence indicates just that. And we can only hope that this growth spurt continues.

February 13, 2004 – TomPaine.com
Strangling Public Debate
 

Why those controversial issue ads must be allowed to run.

January 07, 2004 - Los Angeles Times
Put Spotlight on Bin Laden 

Russ argues that the US media does everyone a disservice by censoring, minimizing and failing to analyze periodic statements attributed to Osama bin Laden.

June 05, 2003 – The Nation (A version of this article also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald.)
Scoops’ and Truth at The Times 

There’s turmoil at The New York Times, but Russ finds that the problems go deeper than Jayson Blair or Howell Raines. He focuses on the role of the paper, and one star reporter in particular, in promoting the now-discredited Bush Administration line that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, the key justification for the invasion.

May 13, 2003 - TomPaine.com
News Without a Compass
 

What happens when ambition and scoop-lust blinds top media? Russ looks at Judith Miller’s bizarre Iraqi chemical weapon exclusive.

March 20, 2003 - The Nation
The Big Lie
 

A look at how Newsweek buried a hugely important story casting doubt on the reasons behind the invasion of Iraq.

January 13, 2003 - TomPaine.com
‘Lovely Outrage’  

(A version of this article also appeared in Information (Denmark) ) Blunt Words About the Soft PressSerbian journalists think American media outlets are too provincial, nihilistic and timid.

June 23, 2002Los Angeles Times
The Contrarians
 

Why outrage, irreverence and a sense of fun is good for journalism.

May/June, 2002Columbia Journalism Review
Want To Be A Patriot? Do Your Job
 

Russ examines rush among journalists in the aftermath of September 11 to prove, first and foremost, their patriotic credentials. And he explains why this is not the appropriate role of the media.

June, 2002Razor Magazine
Tina Brown Talks No More 

Russ reconstructs the wild ride that was Talk Magazine, and recounts the zany antics of its buzz-obsessed leader, Tina Brown.

Mar/April, 2002 - Columbia Journalism Review
The Skeptical Environmentalist
 

Russ examines how journalists get taken in by contrarian books and sexy if deeply flawed theses. A case study: The Skeptical Environmentalist, the best-seller with the rosy prognosis on the state of the earth’s ecosystems.

Mar/April, 2002 - Columbia Journalism Review
The Last Word On Talk
 

Russ finds himself stranded in – gasp!—Paris while on assignment for Talk Magazine at the precise moment its owners decide to fold the publication. Here, Russ ruminates on the magazine’s short, fabulous life.

Jan/Feb, 2002 - Columbia Journalism Review
The Freedom Forum Narrows Its Vision
 

Freedom Forum’s Financial Follies: Russ looks at how journalism’s largest foundation lost hundreds of millions in investments, but continues to plan an opulent new journalism museum – and to pay officers huge salaries.

Sept/Oct, 2001Columbia Journalism Review
A Happy Newsroom
 

Why People Like Working for the St. Petersburg Times.

Mar/April, 2001Columbia Journalism Review
Hanging Chads
 

Our man at the great Florida recount.

January, 2001 - Columbia Journalism Review
The Script
 

The 2000 presidential campaign was remarkably scripted, and the debate severely constricted. Does that mean the media can’t broaden the discussion, can’t compel candidates to talk about what really matters most? Russ says we can — and must.

Nov/Dec, 2000Columbia Journalism Review
Inner Circles
 

After a month of Sundays with the news programs, a reporter finds himself semi-informed and greatly in need of some fresh political air.

Sept/Oct, 2000 – Columbia Journalism Review
Looking In The Shadows 

The media hordes at the Democratic and Republican conventions complained about a lack of substance while ignoring the Shadow Conventions nearby, which had substance — and edge — galore.

Los Angeles Times – June 25, 2000
Book Review: Breaking the news 

Russ reviews five recent books on media mergers, and considers their effect on freedom and democracy.

May/June, 1998 - Columbia Journalism Review
Murdoch’s Mean Machine
 

How Rupert uses his vast media power to help himself and hammer his foes.

Sept/Oct, 1997 - Columbia Journalism Review
The Squeeze
 

Worried about appearing inside the same covers as material that, in one industrial giant’s phrase, “encompasses sexual, political, social issues,” big advertisers are stepping up pressure on magazines to alter their content.

Go Back Up

IRAQ

April 08, 2006 – TomPaine.com
The Media’s Chance at Redemption
 

When, oh when, will the U.S. “mainstream media” finally stop hemming and hawing, parsing and understating? When will they simply go for the jugular to confirm what any thoughtful American has already learned from “less reputable” but increasingly relevant alternative information sources: that from the beginning of the Bush administration, invading Iraq has always been as much an article of faith for the president as, well, promoting faith over reason?

October 27, 2004 – Guerrilla News Network
Bush Wanted To Invade Iraq
 

George Bush had a hankering for war with Iraq well before he was elected. He fibbed about his military service. And more revelations from his former biographer.

July 09, 2003 - TomPaine.com
All Spin, All The Time
 

In the White House where nothing matters but politics, no unfounded claim requires correction or apology. Russ examines all the Weapons of Mass Destruction claims that vanished like hot air.

June 05, 2003 – The Nation (A version of this article also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald.)
Scoops’ and Truth at The Times 

There’s turmoil at The New York Times, but Russ finds that the problems go deeper than Jayson Blair or Howell Raines. He focuses on the role of the paper, and one star reporter in particular, in promoting the now-discredited Bush Administration line that Iraq possessed Weapons of Mass Destruction, the key justification for the invasion.

May 05, 2003 – TomPaine.com
Passive And Mute?
 

Why are those who opposed the war in Iraq left feeling like they opposed freedom? Russ explains the White House tricks that turned the tables on the real humanitarians, and what the humanitarians should have done about it.

April 11, 2003 - The Nation
The US vs the UK
 

A comparison of media coverage of the Iraq war.

March 20, 2003 - The Nation
The Big Lie
 

A look at how Newsweek buried a hugely important story casting doubt on the reasons behind the invasion of Iraq.

March 12, 2003 - TomPaine.com
Dubya’s Profound Double Standard
 

Russ details the president’s resolute commitment to hypocrisy.

February 14, 2003 – In These Times (A version of this article also appeared in La Stampa (Italy) )
The Proof Is In The Padding 

So Colin Powell’s presentation of “evidence” of Iraqi weapons violations is “persuasive” and “impressive” to many politicians and pundits? Did anyone give it even a five-minute taste test? Russ did.

November 14, 2002 – TomPaine.com
Belgrade: Iraq Through A Balkan Lens 

(A version of this article also appeared in La Stampa (Italy) and Information (Denmark). ) Past U.S. Efforts Shed Doubt On Post-War Rebuilding Of Iraq, writes Russ from former Yugoslavia. “If this place is indicative of the U.S. commitment after the bombs stop falling, the future Iraq won’t be a pretty picture.”

March/April, 1993 – Columbia Journalism Review
IRAQGATE
 

The big one that (almost) got away, who chased it — and who didn’t.

Go Back Up

Political & Social Issues

September 12, 2006 – TomPaine.com
The PBS-FEMA Connection
 

President Bush brought Ken Tomlinson in as his broadcasting czar with a mandate to rid public airwaves of perceived liberal bias at PBS, the home of Frontline, Sesame Street, Nova, and (when Tomlinson came on board) Bill Moyers. Now, having already been canned for improprieties in that witch hunt, he is under investigation for alleged misdoings while holding a second administration post. Among other things, he is being investigated for using his office to oversee a stable of racehorses named after Afghan rebels, as well as more banal corruption and self-dealing, including improperly putting a friend on the payroll, repeatedly tasking government employees to run personal errands, and over-billing his hours to the government. Due to a lack of press coverage, few Americans know about any of this – nor how it is part of a larger pattern of cronyism, self-dealing and flat-out madness in this administration.

June 29, 2006 – TomPaine.com
Democrats’ K Street Addiction 

Though they publicly bemoan the “culture of corruption,” Democratic leaders and operatives privately acknowledge that they see no means of regaining power without cozying up to the real “special interests.” And so, albeit to a lesser extent than the republicans who now control all branches of the federal government, the would-be reformers find themselves fighting the quicksand of corporate entanglements.

Though they profess a need for campaign finance reform and other policies that prioritize the common good, many key figures in the Democratic pantheon personally earn a living helping corporate interests advance the very causes that their party publicly deplores.

A new study by the Real News Project, a nonprofit noncommercial investigative reporting entity I founded, shows the extent of the problem. Examining 25 key Democratic consultants, advertising and public relations execs and lobbyists, we discovered a veritable witches’ brew of odious agendas…….

June 14, 2006 – RealNews.org
25 Democratic Consultants 

As the nation gears up for a battle over control of Congress this year and for the presidency in two years, there will be much effort to differentiate the two dominant parties. Less likely to be discussed are the ways in which the parties are alike. A new report from the Real News Project (www.realnews.org) examines the work performed by key Democratic Party operatives who earn their “real money” helping corporations exert influence in Washington. The report raises questions about conflicts of interest that have so far escaped public attention.

May 08, 2006 – TomPaine.com
Crashing WatergateGate 

Hookers, booze and poker make a good story. But the real problem is how business is done every day in Washington.

April 08, 2006 – TomPaine.com
The Media’s Chance at Redemption 

When, oh when, will the U.S. “mainstream media” finally stop hemming and hawing, parsing and understating? When will they simply go for the jugular to confirm what any thoughtful American has already learned from “less reputable” but increasingly relevant alternative information sources: that from the beginning of the Bush administration, invading Iraq has always been as much an article of faith for the president as, well, promoting faith over reason?

March 24, 2006 – TomPaine.com
Ganging Up On Feingold 

Republican shamelessness betrays their fear of Sen. Russ Feingold and his resolution to censure President Bush over illegal wiretapping — while Democratic silence betrays their fear of taking a stand.

March 17, 2006 – TomPaine.com
Bush’s Incompetent Criminals 

This is no joke: The president’s top domestic policy adviser, Claude Allen, was arrested and charged with a scheme to rip off retail stores by “returning” items for refunds that he had not actually purchased. Behind this sad incident lurk two interrelated calamities of the Bush years: the continuing placement of the dubiously-qualified in high positions, and the use of people of color as window dressing for policies that harm communities of color.

February 26, 2006 – Sunday Herald
All Sides Turn On Bush Over Ports Deal
 

The ports controversy is an especially difficult one for the Bush Administration and the GOP. If the details get scrutiny, the deal could have ramifications all the way to the next presidential election.

February 21, 2006 – TomPaine.com
The Media’s Next Quarry
 

Now that the press has come alive over the hunting accident, will it investigate the bigger scandals where Cheney plays a central role?

February 10, 2006 – TomPaine.com
FEMA’s Unholy Trinity
 

With all the enduring mysteries about the Bush Administration’s doings, one looms as large any: Why was Michael Brown in charge of protecting Americans when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast? A new investigation released earlier this week by Real News reveals why Brown—a man with virtually no experience in government or management of any type, and no familiarity with disaster response—secured the job of chief of America’s disaster response.

February 06, 2006 – The Real News Project
Unholy Trinity: Katrina, Allbaugh and Brown
 

Ever wonder why Michael Brown, a failed lawyer with no management or disaster experience, was put in charge of defending Americans against natural and man-made disasters? Here, for the first time, the full, shocking story.

January 31, 2006 – TomPaine.com
Money Motivations
 

To understand the partisan nature of the Abramoff scandal, look at who cared about tribal interests before they met Jack.

January 04, 2006 – TomPaine.com
To Russia, Love Tom Delay 

Jack Abramoff’s plea is just the beginning. DeLay’s dealings with Russia should be one of the biggest stories of the year.

December 22, 2005 – Huffington Post
NSA Spooking You? Facts First, Please 

With the unfolding news about secret NSA domestic surveillance outside of the law, the talk is already about high crimes, about impeachment. It is about a strong constitution versus a strong president, safety versus civil liberties. But the important thing here is not to get caught up in tantalizing blue-sky scenarios before we address some key issues that we need to understand if we are ever to get our democracy back on track.

November 01, 2005 – TomPaine.com
The World Can’t Wait 

The narrowness of the Scooter Libby indictment shows again the limitations of “the system” in confronting the sheer magnitude of an entire government subverted, and with it a proud people, from all that we once revered. For those disturbed by the deceit and the intrigues, the reckless warmongering, the wholesale looting of the common trust to benefit the privileged, the clampdown on rights and liberties, the unconscionable enthusiasm for torture, the embracing of a Know-Nothing attitude toward science, the hastening of environmental collapse, the buying of the legislative process and the neutering of the judicial one, waiting for indictments is no longer sufficient.

October 27, 2005 – TomPaine.com
The Fitzgerald Spinmeisters
 

Everyone with a vested interest in minimizing the significance of any outcome of the Valerie Plame leak probe-i.e. anyone who goes down with the good ship Bushypop, from hack legislators to hack pundits to hack political hacks-has spent the past week or so frantically digging through their chest of hoary excuses. Perhaps it is from a subconscious sense of guilt, perhaps it is just good political sense. Whatever, we’re too far along in the public debate about honesty and trust to let the spin go unchallenged. So here are some examples of what we’re already seeing, some things we might expect to see, and some reasonable quick-responses to them.

Oct 24, 2005 – Huffington Post
Karl’s New War 

What will Karl Rove do to distract attention from the growing mound of White House scandals? Wag the dog, perhaps?

August 24, 2005 – TomPaine.com
Homeland Security’s Casualties 

Why can’t we find out who’s being arrested and locked up here in the United States in the name of the “war on terror”? Growing signs that domestic anti-terror efforts may miss their target, while threatening the freedom of the innocent.

August 11, 2005 – Huffington Post
Guns of August
 

Can you hear the footsteps growing louder? Mounting anecdotal evidence suggests that civil libertarians were not exaggerating when they began long ago to worry about prospects for dangerous excess in the ‘response’ to 9/11. If it ever was just about the government poking into our requests for library books on the history of timing devices, those days are long past. In the past week alone, the following troubling developments and revelations were reported, but not necessarily widely discussed or appreciated for their collective import…

July 21, 2005 – TomPaine.com
Why Was Miller Fit to Print 

Appropriate compassion for jailed New York Times reporter Judith Miller notwithstanding, the editors of the Times have failed to clarify the exact role of their controversial colleague in the so-called Valerie Plame Leak, aware as they are of Miller’s checkered professional record and her seeming disdain for standards the rest of the profession strives to uphold. While defending its own, the paper also has a larger responsibility—both to its readers and to journalism—not to serve as a propaganda organ, obscuring key unresolved questions about Miller, her work and this particular case.

June 29, 2005 – Los Angeles Times
Harsh Insight Into How We Make War 

A review of Norman Solomon’s timely new book, “War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death”

June 20, 2005 – TomPaine.com
Why George Went To War
 

The real reason Bush wanted war with Iraq – his own explanation….New, by Russ Baker, on TomPaine.com

May 5, 2005 – TomPaine.com
What Didn’t Happen In Ohio
 

Two new studies cast further doubt on the theories alleging fraud in the exit poll results for the 2004 presidential election

January 28, 2005 – TomPaine.com
Letters: Debating Exit Polls, Part 2
 

Wading back into the debate over the alleged theft of the Ohio election, Russ explains further why it was not likely. In particular, some details on the imprecision inherent in exit polls.

April 1, 2005 – TomPaine.com
Bold Prescriptions
 

Most of us have an ethical and/or religious framework which influences our beliefs about morally complex issues like the right to die or abortion. For too long, the religious right has dominated the discussion of these issues. Now, besides the Schiavo case, we have pharmacists getting in between doctors and patients and refusing to honor prescriptions of which they don’t approve. It’s time for the reasonable, the balanced, and the fair to regain the upper hand. Here are some ideas for achieving that.

March 28, 2005 – AlterNet
Fishing for New Environmentalists 

With the Bush administration’s promulgation of stunningly weak standards on mercury pollution, and with growing evidence of the mass poisoning of the American people, there’s a prime opportunity. Environmentalists should do more to reach out to the millions of Americans who hunt and fish. Assuming that generally conservative “outdoorsmen” and –women will vote only based on guns and permits is very short-sighted, strategically.

March 7, 2005 – Guerrilla News Network
Controversial ‘Secret’ Tapes Reveal Shocker: Bush Actually a Great Guy 

When are “secret, revelatory” conversations really just spin? Russ explores two recent instances in which The New York Times gave prominent play to supposedly secret tapes it had obtained that, it said, presented new insights into politicians’ thinking and strategy – in particular concerning President Bush. But do these articles really do that? In this time of White House information management and maximum spin, it is more important than ever that news organizations — and the public — exhibit skepticism about such stories.

January 14, 2005 – Atlanta Journal-Constitution
What’s wrong with the coverage of the CBS scandal? 

Why are Dan Rather’s failings more important than George Bush’s? Russ questions the media’s priorities in their eagerness to criticize 60 Minutes’ story on Bush’s National Guard service.

January 07, 2005 – TomPaine.com
Election 2004: Lost or Stolen?
 

E-mail boxes are bursting with allegations that the 2004 Ohio election, and, therefore, the presidency, was stolen. But was it really? Russ went to Ohio to find out.

November 23, 2004 – The Nation
New Hampshire Recount, Act One 

Russ reports in from Concord, New Hampshire, where the first recount of the presidential race is underway. It’s not clear yet whether the controversial Diebold voting machines function properly, but one thing is: There’s nothing like a paper ballot for restoring public confidence in the political process.

October 27, 2004 – Guerrilla News Network
Bush Wanted To Invade Iraq
 

George Bush had a hankering for war with Iraq well before he was elected. He fibbed about his military service. And more revelations from his former biographer.

September 29, 2004 – The Nation
Fear of Flying 

Russ talks to a new source who knows something about why George W. Bush left his Texas Air National Guard Unit and stopped flying two years before his military service obligation ended.

September 14, 2004 – The Nation
Why Bush Left Texas
 

Russ provides new analysis and revealing details on the reasons George W. Bush abruptly left his Texas National Guard unit in 1972.

April 22, 2004 – TomPaine.com
Maturing Media? 

Has this immature president spawned a sudden maturation of his inquisitors? Recent evidence indicates just that. And we can only hope that this growth spurt continues.

April 06, 2004 – Tompaine.com
Born-Again Hawks 

It’s one thing to intensely dislike George W. Bush. It’s another thing entirely to want to defeat him so bad, you are willing to adopt his own bring-’em-on worldview. But that is exactly the position in which many progressives and the “liberal media” find themselves.

March 22, 2004 – TomPaine.com
The Pain In Spain
 

Russ suggests we stop blaming the Spaniards. They’re just quicker at figuring out something even Americans will, eventually: We have all been had.

March 17, 2004 – Newsday
Bush’s War Exercise: The Backpedal
 

Anniversaries are a time of remembrance. We look back at an event and recall what was. Or, in the case of the invasion of Iraq, which began one year ago, we look back at what wasn’t.

February 20, 2004 – TomPaine.com
Bush’s Backpedaling
 

The Bush administration, faced with a stinker of an economic situation, plans to run for re-election on a national defense-foreign policy plank. But how’s it going to do that? Can anyone seriously trust any significant claim from this gang that definitely can’t shoot straight—then insists that the goal was always to hit the wall not the target? Russ looks at all the foreign policy goals that had to be altered.

February 13, 2004 – TomPaine.com
Strangling Public Debate
 

Why those controversial issue ads must be allowed to run.

February 02, 2004 - TomPaine.com
Primary Colors
 

Forget what the pundits tell you about “red” and “blue” states—black and brown voters could be the ones to turn the election.

January 22, 2004 - TomPaine.com
The Phony Dean ‘Meltdown’ 

The so-called Dean “meltdown,” the claims that his campaign is finished, and his forced contrition are all symptoms of how debased the political dialogue has become.

January 20, 2004 - TomPaine.com
Broader, Not Broder 

Voters deserve better from today’s columnists. Read about the limitations of the nation’s premier campaign chronicler.

January 09, 2004 - TomPaine.com
How ‘Bout Dem Bushes?
 

Bush has the perfect solution for winning in November: He’s becoming a Democrat! (Or at least he appears to be trying, based on an important recent message to the American public.)

November 26, 2003 - TomPaine.com
Traditional Values, My Wallet! 

Heard of the Traditional Values Coalition, the group trying to ban federal funding of human sexuality studies, along with legalized abortion and just about everything else? Russ did a little digging into the organization’s cash flow – and found one traditional value: nepotism.

October 15, 2003 - TomPaine.com
Marshall Plan for Revitalizing American Democracy
 

When will we say ‘enough is enough’ to mediocre presidential candidates and issue-lite campaigns? Here’s a proposal for improving the quality of the presidential field and raising the level of discourse.

September 04, 2003 - TomPaine.com
Bush Moves On
 

Thanks to President Bush, we no longer have to wait for others to let us off the hook. Now we can simply move ourselves on.

July 09, 2003 - TomPaine.com
All Spin, All The Time
 

In the White House where nothing matters but politics, no unfounded claim requires correction or apology. Russ examines all the Weapons of Mass Destruction claims that vanished like hot air.

July 11, 2003 - Slate
Bush’s Big Data Dump
 

The administration is hiding bad economic news. Russ explains how.

February 11, 2003 - TomPaine.com
QUESTIONS OF FAITH
For Reporters Covering Bush’s Faith-Based Initiative (A version of this article also appeared in Der Standard (Austria) ) 

A long-time reporter has some questions for Mr. Bush, including, “Can you explain, in your own words, the concept of separation of church and state?”

October 14, 2002The Nation
Chill on the Hill
(A version of this article also appeared in NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands) and Der Standard (Austria) ) 

One year after the September 11 attacks and the attendant colossal intelligence failures, Russ finds that Congress’s spy watchdogs still often lack the knowledge or the will to be effective.

May 07, 2002Newsday
Judgment Day for Senator Pothole
 

When Russ first heard about plans to name a federal courthouse after former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato, he thought it was a joke. And a pretty good one, at that.

Feb 25, 2002 - The Nation
What Are They Hiding?
(A version of this article also appeared in El Pais (Spain) )  

No one ever accused conservative House Republican Dan Burton of mincing his words. This is, after all, the man who once famously called President Clinton a “scumbag.” But it’s one thing to throw rhetorical bombs at a President from the opposition party, and quite another to denounce your own party’s man as “dictatorial,” as Burton did to President Bush in December. Dictatorial or not, long before Sept. 11, the Bush administration displayed a hearty appetite for secrecy and a strong aversion to sharing information with Congress and the public. Now, it’s becoming clear why.

Mar/April, 2001Columbia Journalism Review
Hanging Chads 

Our man at the great Florida presidential recount.

Mar/April, 2001Regent Digital News
School Shootings in Perspective
 

Our study finds that in nearly every place where a school shooting took place, the local representative in Congress is a staunch opponent of gun restrictions.

Mar/April, 2001 - Regent Digital News
How The Bush Tax Cut Plan Cuts Out Ordinary Americans
 

Basic claims about tax relief come under scrutiny.

Jan 19, 2001The American Prospect Review
Trial Heat 

Observers name their picks for the next race for the White House.

Feb 12, 2001American Prospect
Stealth TV 

Channel One–the dubious news program for teens (with lots of advertising) seeps into America’s schools.

January, 2001Columbia Journalism Review
The Script 

The 2000 presidential campaign was remarkably scripted, and the debate severely constricted. Does that mean the media can’t broaden the discussion, can’t compel candidates to talk about what really matters most? Russ says we can — and must.

Aug 21, 2000Globe & Mail
The never-ending legal pursuit of Bill Clinton 

In the post-impeachment era, prosecutors launch yet another Clinton probe. Canada’s top paper asked Russ to explain it all to our northern neighbors.

July 20, 2000The New York Times
Honing the Politics of Surprise
 

Russ profiles controversial political columnist and socialite Arianna Huffington and looks at her latest brain-storm; The Shadow Conventions.

March 13, 2000American Prospect
Rudy vs. Hillary: the Slugfest
 

An early look at what was shaping up as a titanic political battle between Rudy Gulianni and Hillary Rotham Clinton.

October 25, 1999The New Republic
Changing the Channel
 

Should schoolchildren be forced to watch advertising-laden broadcasts in their classrooms? Conservatives choose sides in a rough-and-tumble debate.

May 3, 1999The Nation
The Education of Mike Milken
 

Russ assesses former Junk Bond King Michael Milken’s foray into the world of for-profit education.

September 20, 1999The Nation
George Soros’s Long Strange Trip 

A Philanthropist defies drug war orthodoxy.

July 20, 1998 - The Nation
Jesse Helms’s Honeypot
 

Russ Baker visits the Jesse Helms Museum, which seems less about culture than politics as usual.

October 10, 1999 - Los Angeles Times
Op-Ed: Media Titans Sell Out Journalism for a Buck 

Media conglomerate heads cozy up with dictators — and to heck with principle.

December 1998Salon.com
Portrait of a Political Pit Bull
 

Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind), the powerful chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, made a name for himself by investigating alleged improprieties in the Clinton White House. He famously called Clinton a “scumbag” for his personal behavior and has relentlessly pursued White House campaign finance irregularities, but as this in-depth investigation shows, Burton has his own complicated history.

March 30, 1997Los Angeles Times
Newt Can’t Help Himself
 

Russ finds that House Speaker Newt Gingrich is blithely ignoring official ethics warnings that he stop harboring a double-dipping political Svengali.

December 12, 1994 - New York Magazine
The Cop Out
 

When New York Police Department undercover detective Anthony Venditti was shot down on a Queens street, solving his murder looked relatively simple. But…


January 8, 1991 – The Village Voice

A Thousand Points of Blight

Three days after Thanksgiving, when planes from AmeriCares, the private Connecticut-based relief organization, landed in Moscow, the American networks were there to gush as crates of medical supplies and food were unloaded. Each box bore the words, “To the Soviet people from the people of the United States-with love,” a slogan even the Soviet television cameras lingered over, as the crates were lowered onto the tarmac by Russian soldiers and students. It was another media triumph for Robert Macauley’s fast-growing charity empire.
 

November 13, 1989 – The Christian Science Monitor
New York City Votes to Restructure Its Government
IN a vote overshadowed by the election of New York City’s first black mayor, New Yorkers Tuesday approved a radical restructuring of their government. The move was an effort to comply with a mandate from the United States Supreme Court. By a 55-to-45 percent margin, voters agreed to transfer functions away from a century-old governmental body unique to New York, splitting its powers between the mayor and an expanded City Council.

 

August 27, 1989 – The Christian Science Monitor
Escalating N.Y. Rents Drive Away Business
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the American Cancer Society and Family Service America have at least one thing in common: All have moved out of New York City, citing rapidly escalating rents as a primary factor.

 

August 20, 1989 – The Christian Science Monitor
Will Times Square Rehab Restore The Glory Days?

Ah, Times Square. Now that was a place-for great theater, cabaret, hotels or just a stroll with a sweetheart below the neon lights. It was also the site of some the nation`s largest and most emotional gatherings, from ringing in the New Year to proclaiming victory over the Nazis.

 

June 12, 1989 – The Christian Science Monitor
Housing Shortage Prompts Squatters to Rehabilitate Buildings
NEW YORK is a city of ironies. It has enormous numbers of homeless people – and equal numbers of empty apartments. Upward of 50,000 people are without permanent shelter, and countless tens of thousands live doubled or tripled up in crowded apartments. Yet New York City owns more than 5,000 empty buildings, which if fixed up, could eliminate the shortage.

Go Back Up

Features & Profiles

April 25, 2004 - Washington Post
Olympian Athens, Stuck Between Alpha and Omega
 

Russ, puttering around Athens, finds the city contending with some unusual challenges as it prepares to host the Olympic Games.

February 08, 2004 - The Sunday Times Magazine
Malice At The Palace
 

Prince Alexander and Princess Elizabeth welcome you to their royal family feud. He lives in a palace and wants to be king of Serbia — but she’s kicking up a Balkan stink to stop him.

November 2003 - Conde Nast Traveler
High-Tech Oasis
 

Russ finds the world’s highest-tech hotel in a most unlikely place.

November, 2002Razor Magazine
A Slapp In The Golden State: Penance (And Salvation) For Speaking Out 

The Rev. Steve Anderson thought he was just doing what any crusading small-town minister might when he uncovered apparent municipal corruption and sleaze. But he had no idea what he was getting into. Russ looks at one example of the tactics large corporations use to silence citizen-activists.

October , 2002Razor Magazine
The Land Mine Guy 

“If anyone ever finds a way to detect and dig up the 100 million land mines that litter the earth, it’s likely to be Richard Walden. Russ profiles the irreverent humanitarian relief maestro, founder of the unconventional relief organization Operation USA, who has devoted his life to bringing attention and resources to appalling scenarios of human misery.”

May, 2000Gotham Magazine
Marriage, Money and Murder: Death In The Hamptons 

On the morning of October 22, 2001, the lifeless body of Manhattan financier Ted Ammon was found in the bedroom of his East Hampton home, felled by a savage beating. The Ammon case, as yet unresolved, has an operatic story line and cast of characters – from a control-obsessed, anger-driven wife to her volatile, building contractor-turned-boyfriend-turned-new-husband—and an astonishing amount of high stakes money, power, exotic real estate, and world-class connections. So who killed Ted Ammon? Russ Baker goes behind the hedgerows and brings us up to speed.

March 31, 2002Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine
Richard Walden, the Iconoclast of Disaster Relief 

If anyone ever finds a way to detect and dig up the 100 million land mines that litter the earth, it’s likely to be Richard Walden. The irreverent humanitarian relief maestro, founder of the unconventional relief organization Operation USA, has devoted his life to bringing attention and resources to appalling scenarios of human misery. His specialty is creating unlikely partnerships for good, whether that means cajoling corporations to donate medical supplies or planes for disaster relief, nagging government scientists to create innovative land-mine-removal technology, or charming mega-celebrities from Barbra Streisand to Muhammad Ali into using their cachet to persuade fans to do something profound.

October 14, 2001Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine
Big Fish
 

The Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto, doesn’t mince words. Or anything else, for that matter. His whole persona constitutes a sort of genteel assault on anything remotely conventional about food. Russ hangs out with the outrageous chef.

August 19, 2001 - Philadelphia Inquirer Magazine
Ira’s Tour de France 

Just before the notorious convicted murderer Ira Einhorn was extradited to the United States, Russ went to see why the French seemingly had been so reluctant to send him back. Here’s his story on how Ira hijacked the French conscience.

May 2001Arena
The Man In The Know
 

Russ goes out on the town with the tart-tongued Richard Johnson of the gossip column Page Six as he unmasks the foibles and excesses of a rich human comedy.

July 20, 2000The New York Times
Honing the Politics of Surprise
 

Russ Baker profiles controversial columnist socialite Arianna Huffington and looks at her latest brain-storm the shadow conventions.

August 26, 1996The Nation
Molinari Family Values 

Remember Susan Molinari? The darling of the Republican party and GOP family values keynote speaker in 1996? Turns out she was an odd choice to wave the flag.

March 19, 2000New York Daily News
The Rise and Rise of Rudy’s Rudy
 

A first-ever detailed look at Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s chief aide and key ‘enforcer’, Bruce Teitelbaum, explores hardball and patronage in the administration credited with turning New York City around.

January 17, 2000The American Prospect
The Ecumenist 

Is the growing alliance between inner-city preachers and right-wing local politicians a bargain with the devil? The Reverend Floyd Flake thinks not.

December 1, 1999Esquire
A Touch of Eden
 

Russ tracks down expatriate murder suspect Ira Einhorn, the former celebrated hippie guru of Philadelphia, now living in luxurious exile in the South of France while he awaits extradition. World exclusive interview that led to the French prime minister’s decision to sign an order for Einhorn’s extradition.

May 17, 1999The New York Observer
The Commish Bites Back 

New York’s Police Commissioner is wackier than you knew – and inventive with the old resumé.

December 1998Salon.com
Portrait of a Political Pit Bull 

Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind), the powerful chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, made a name for himself by investigating alleged improprieties in the Clinton White House. He famously called Clinton a “scumbag” for his personal behavior and has relentlessly pursued White House campaign finance irregularities, but as this in-depth investigation shows, Burton has his own complicated history.

January 12, 1998The New Yorker
Nerd File 

A computer pioneer comes out of the past to fix the year 2000 glitch.

September 8, 1996 - The Toronto Sun
The Real Mexico
 

Fed up with Cancun? Russ escapes the Planet Hollywood throngs and thongs for the colonial elegance of the old Yucatan city of Merida.

May 25, 1993The Village Voice
The Man Who Sold Out School District 12
 

Kenneth Drummond redefined “chutzpah.” How many school board officials and health center presidents freely raid the till and put their crack-addicted girlfriend on the payroll? Read Russ’ tale of a man who couldn’t say no – and, for years, didn’t have to.

Go Back Up

Sept. 11 and Aftermath

Nov/Dec, 2001 - Columbia Journalism Review
The Journal On The Run 

Shortly before 8 A.M. on September 11, Jim Pensiero, an assistant managing editor for The Wall Street Journal, was crossing a pedestrian bridge to the Journal’s offices in the World Financial Center, across the street from the World Trade Center…

October 29, 2001 - Salon.com
The Past As Prologue 

Ramzi Yousef is in prison for plotting the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — but we still don’t know who he really is, who he might have been working with and what he could tell us about Sept. 11.
NOTE: Versions of this article also appeared in the Telegraph Magazine (UK), Frankfurter Allgemeine (Germany), NRC Handelsblad (Netherlands), De Standaard (Belgium), Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden), and Weekend Australian.

September 23, 2001Frankfurter Allgemeine & The Ottawa Citizen
Guilt By Association
 

Arab-Americans face suspicion and fear following the devastation of the World Trade Center.

September 15, 2001The Independent (UK)
An Angel Was Lost
 

The story of one marriage shattered by the Sept. 11 attack.

September 13, 2001The Los Angeles Times
America Attacked: New York 

Agonizing Search for Survivors; New York: Rescue efforts continue on thin hopes. Residents offer aid, look for loved ones.

September 12, 2001The Los Angeles Times
America Attacked
 

Thousands Dead, Injured as Hijacked U.S. Airliners Ram Targets; World Trade Towers Brought Down; Tragedy: Assault leaves Manhattan in chaos. Three of the flights were en route to L.A., one to San Francisco. President Bush puts military on highest alert, closes borders and vows to ‘find those responsible.’

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