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Jon Robin Baitz
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Robbie Baitz's plays include The Paris Letter, The Substance of Fire, Three Hotels, Mizlansky-Zilinsky, A Fair Country, The Film Society, and Ten Unknowns. He grew up in Los Angeles, Brazil, and South Africa. He wrote the screenplay for the 2003 film People I know, which starred Al Pacino, as well as for the film of The Substance of Fire. For TV, he has written episodes of West Wing and Alias. He is a Guggenheim, NEA, Humanitas prize-winner, and American Academy of Arts & Letters fellow, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist for "A Fair Country". He is the creator of the ABC series Brothers & Sisters.

Blog Entries by Jon Robin Baitz

It's Hard to Be an American

0 Comments | Posted July 20, 2009 | 2:43 PM

In Sunday's New York Times, in the automobile section, there is a rapturous review of a $130,000 Maserati Gran Turismo.

One hundred and thirty thousand dollars and worldwide sales of a mere 8000, for 8000 people one would be uncomfortable breaking bread with. The reviewer loves cars, (as do...

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The Future of the National Endowment for the Arts

0 Comments | Posted March 1, 2009 | 7:58 AM

The much beleaguered L.A. Times recently asked a number of artists/cultural figures, etc, what they might do if they ran the N.E.A. This is well timed, as the new administration is about to make a decision on the matter.

I was flattered to be asked. I often think (idly)...

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Fahrenheit L.A. Times

0 Comments | Posted July 23, 2008 | 7:08 PM

So I read today that the L.A. Times has finally done in the book review section. Sad, albeit not unexpected. Short sighted, and just another bad omen for the print world. Bad news for readers, bad news for people who like to sit at counters in coffee shops learning about...

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Lear on the Heath

0 Comments | Posted April 29, 2008 | 3:10 PM

Monday, the world was treated to the spectacle of a seemingly intelligent man of the cloth, named Jeremiah Wright, intoxicated by the giddy exhilarations of lights, camera and press action -- behave like any two-bit celebrity from reality TV. It was a sort of psychological portrait of a bad father...

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The Procession

0 Comments | Posted April 27, 2008 | 9:23 PM

Sag Harbor, New York, Saturday, April 26. It is spring where I live on Eastern Long Island. The magnitude of the change of seasons is shockingly palpable. The colors are vivid, finally alive again after the dull leaden gray and pewter of winter. Forsythia, that vibrant manic-yellow member of the...

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Not Until the Fat Lady Sings

1091 Comments | Posted March 31, 2008 | 11:20 PM

As an ardent Obama supporter, I am calling on the Senator from New York to stay in the race for as long as she can stand it. Longer even. I think the calls for her withdrawal are deeply troubling, and even hysterical. Anti-democratic even. This is how an election works....

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The Fools of Spring Available for Comment: a Snapshot of Impressions of Madness at Dawn

218 Comments | Posted March 24, 2008 | 8:30 PM

Turn on MSNBC at dawn. Invite Babel into your home at six a.m. It's hallucinatory. It might be Pat Buchanan in his last act, to offer a shrill diorama of white rage. It might be Joe Scarborough, a good boy, honest injun', trying for reason, trying for something contemporary, something...

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A Bright, Shining Moment

0 Comments | Posted March 18, 2008 | 11:44 AM

Today we saw and heard a preview of our brightest possible American future in Senator Barack Obama's glorious speech. This, then, is what it means to be presidential. To be moral. To have a real center. To speak honestly, from the heart, for the benefit of all. If there was...

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Character as Destiny: The Clintonian Narcissism of 2008

0 Comments | Posted March 12, 2008 | 7:17 PM

There is something stomach-turning about the Clintonian strategy for winning the nomination. Underneath that which is so disgusting, however, there are little passion plays playing out -- about the state of the nation, and the state of its soul-sick psyche. While there is no overt reason to conclude that they...

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Monstrous

0 Comments | Posted March 7, 2008 | 12:09 PM

The resignation of the brilliant Samantha Power from the Obama campaign is a bit sad. She is a superior thinker, a great mind, a first rate writer and human rights' actvist, who has illuminated dark truths in the world, notably in Africa -- and whose credentials far outshine those of...

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Beyond the Shark Nets; the Panic in the Clinton Camp

0 Comments | Posted January 7, 2008 | 1:02 PM

Once, many years ago, around 1975, I was (laughably) on a short-board in the water off Durban, when I realized I had drifted way too far out, near the shark-nets which were there to protect the (white) swimmers. I imagined the sharks just waiting beyond the nets, eagerly anticipating lunch....

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The Shock of the New: Obama in Iowa

0 Comments | Posted January 4, 2008 | 12:39 PM

Last night we saw it, the American Dream -- shared, not deferred, at least for a moment. Barack Obama soared. A stunning win. His glorious speech was cause for pride, for tears of joy, and yes, for even more hope. When was the last time you could say that?

Something...

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The Year of The Dreamer

0 Comments | Posted December 31, 2007 | 3:40 PM

For me, 2008 means a return to dreams, and a rejection of the raw and brutal pragmatism that has coarsened American life so much in the past half dozen or so years. It is a modest -- and of course -- Quixotic resolution, but at least one that is easy...

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Mike Huckabee and the Evolving Blood-Sport of Pious One- Upmanship

0 Comments | Posted December 18, 2007 | 2:45 PM

Watching Mike Huckabee's warm new campaign ad this morning on MSNBC's marvelously hallucinatory Morning Joe at 6:30 a.m., I was filled with a warm feeling of my own as he talked about Christmas being about Jesus. A warm feeling, which I recognized not so much as comfort but rather...

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A Very Good Dog Who Taught Me Some New Tricks.

0 Comments | Posted December 12, 2007 | 12:20 PM

Read more strike coverage on the Huffington Post's writers' strike page.


I have learned a few tricks from my exceptionally sweet-natured dog, Trip, who is a three-legged pit-lab-something mix.


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He was given to me four years ago, when...

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"Prodese Quam Conspici"

0 Comments | Posted December 7, 2007 | 7:00 PM

A day and a half ago, I wrote the following:

"As this week ends and an agreement is not reached, I wouldn't look to any day in what is left of this unfortunate year for a resolution. The hard candy of bad faith negotiating and slightly amateurish pageantry from...

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They Were Wrong

0 Comments | Posted December 5, 2007 | 8:10 PM

My first job in Hollywood was as a gofer for a fading Hollywood producer in 1981. He resembled a sartorially driven Toad of Toad Hall, and he had made and lost a few fortunes in both the music and movie business from the early sixties up until the late seventies....

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Thanksgiving 2007: The American Predicament

0 Comments | Posted November 21, 2007 | 10:46 PM

After five years of being mostly in L.A. where Thanksgiving generally happens under the harshest of desert suns, I am back home in New York, which pleases me. I was considering sharing my mother's marvelous and slightly eccentric recipe for turkey, bathed in garlic and a good olive oil and...

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Rigor & Reason & The Ticking Clock

0 Comments | Posted November 16, 2007 | 5:50 PM

2007-11-16-strike.jpg We are several days into the WGA strike as I write. When are the studios' negotiators going to be sent back to the table by their bosses? The WGA position has been quite clear. We are waiting. We are here. Whenever you are ready.

...
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All the Views Fit to Print? Charles Isherwood on Whither the Playwrights (Plus a P.S.)

0 Comments | Posted November 14, 2007 | 4:06 PM

Yesterday, Charles Isherwood, one of the two main theater critics at the New York Times, published an interesting essay about how it was time for playwrights who have abandoned the New York theater for TV to come back to the form they love, and write a play during the...

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