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March 18, 2008

Does Anybody Take Responsibility Anymore?

Abu Ghraib cover girl Lynndie England tells a German magazine that it's the media, not her actions, that inflamed the insurgency:

Lynndie England, the public face of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, told a German news magazine that she was sorry for appearing in photographs of detainees in the notorious Iraqi prison, and believes the scenes of torture and humiliation served as a powerful rallying point for anti-American insurgents.

In an interview with the weekly magazine Stern conducted in English and posted on its Web site Tuesday, England was both remorseful and unrepentant — and conceded that the published photos surely incensed insurgents in Iraq.

"I guess after the picture came out the insurgency picked up and Iraqis attacked the Americans and the British and they attacked in return and they were just killing each other. I felt bad about it ... no, I felt pissed off. If the media hadn't exposed the pictures to that extent, then thousands of lives would have been saved," she was quoted as saying.

Asked how she could blame the media for the controversy, she said it wasn't her who leaked the photos.

"Yeah, I took the photos but I didn't make it worldwide. Yes, I was in five or six pictures and I took some pictures, and those pictures were shameful and degrading to the Iraqis and to our government," she said, according to the report.

Yep, it's not her fault, she wanted to keep the torture private. What a perfect Republican.

February 26, 2008

Yet Another FAUX Nooze Push Poll: Bin Laden As A Registered Voter Edition

Just a fair and balanced survey question:

Who does Usama bin Laden want to be the next president? More people think the terrorist leader wants Obama to win (30 percent) than think he wants Clinton (22 percent) or McCain (10 percent). Another 18 percent says it doesn’t matter to bin Laden and 20 percent are unsure

January 16, 2008

"Spade Work"

Sometimes the dog whistle is heard at a lower frequency than intended. From our favorite pillhead:

Limbaugh:…Obama is holding his own against both of them–doing more than his share of the “spade? work. Maybe even gaining ground at the moment. Using not only the spade ladies and gentleman—that when he finishes with the “spade? in the garden of corruption planted by the Clinton’s, he turns to the “hoe.? And so the spade work and his expertise using a hoe.

January 9, 2008

Hopefully My First And Last Post On The Primary

Let me be clear: I would rather sit out the election than vote for Hilary Clinton as president. But in a way I am kinda glad she won the New Hampshire primary since it is a firm rebuke against the useless media morons who spent all day Monday carping on how her voice seemed to break during a discussion with that state's women voters. If she lost because of that then there really is no hope for this country.

October 14, 2007

Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

The Washington Post editorial today:

A congressional study and several news stories in September questioned reports by the U.S. military that casualties were down. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), challenging the testimony of Gen. David H. Petraeus, asserted that "civilian deaths have risen" during this year's surge of American forces.

A month later, there isn't much room for such debate, at least about the latest figures. In September, Iraqi civilian deaths were down 52 percent from August and 77 percent from September 2006, according to the Web site icasualties.org. The Iraqi Health Ministry and the Associated Press reported similar results. U.S. soldiers killed in action numbered 43 -- down 43 percent from August and 64 percent from May, which had the highest monthly figure so far this year. The American combat death total was the lowest since July 2006 and was one of the five lowest monthly counts since the insurgency in Iraq took off in April 2004.

During the first 12 days of October the death rates of Iraqis and Americans fell still further. So far during the Muslim month of Ramadan, which began Sept. 13 and ends this weekend, 36 U.S. soldiers have been reported as killed in hostile actions. That is remarkable given that the surge has deployed more American troops in more dangerous places and that in the past al-Qaeda has staged major offensives during Ramadan. Last year, at least 97 American troops died in combat during Ramadan. Al-Qaeda tried to step up attacks this year, U.S. commanders say -- so far, with stunningly little success.

. . .This doesn't necessarily mean the war is being won. U.S. military commanders have said that no reduction in violence will be sustainable unless Iraqis reach political solutions -- and there has been little progress on that front. Nevertheless, it's looking more and more as though those in and outside of Congress who last month were assailing Gen. Petraeus's credibility and insisting that there was no letup in Iraq's bloodshed were -- to put it simply -- wrong.

Eye-Rack yesterday:

Iraq bombs and shootings kill at least 32

BAGHDAD (AFP) - A wave of violence across Iraq, including the bombing of a minibus filled with Shiite worshippers and a suicide truck bomb attack on a police station, has killed 32 people, officials said Sunday.

Dozens of people were wounded in the attacks, which came as Muslims were celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival that ends the holy fasting month of Ramadan, the officials said.

Ten people, including three women and two children, were killed on Sunday when a car bomb exploded next to their minibus as they were heading towards a Shiite shrine in northern Baghdad, Iraqi military officials told AFP.

Women and children were also among 18 wounded by the blast in Aden square, which was then sealed off to vehicles by the security forces.

and. . .

Washington Post Correspondent Dies in Iraq By Joshua Partlow and Amit R. Paley Washington Post Foreign Service Sunday, October 14, 2007; 2:54 PM

BAGHDAD, Oct. 14 -- A veteran Washington Post special correspondent was shot to death Sunday in southwest Baghdad while on assignment, the first reporter for the newspaper to be killed during the Iraq war.

Salih Saif Aldin, 32, was reporting on the violence that has plagued Baghdad's Sadiyah neighborhood Sunday afternoon when he was shot in the forehead. According to residents of the neighborhood and the Iraqi military officers at the scene, he was taking photographs on a street where several houses had been burned when he was killed. His wounds appeared to indicate he was shot at close range.

God, save us from our librul media.

September 18, 2007

Good News, Free Krugman

Bad news, free Friedman.

September 3, 2007

Surprise!

Bill Scher of Liberal Oasis obliterates the rhetoric and bullshit surrounding the chimperor's visit to Eye-Rack today:

It is unbelievable that for four years, the White House has been able to spin secret visits to Iraq as happy happy fun fun "surprise" visits, when in fact, they have secret trips because Iraq is too dangerous for normal visits.

Smell the progress.

The only way they get away with this is that we no longer have a free press.

(via Daily Kos)

July 31, 2007

George Bush Don't Black/Women/Disabled/Religious/Etc People

Congress today passed a bill that would reverse the Alito Court's infamous ruling on Ledbetter vs. Goodyear. Bush has threatened to veto the bill that protects against pay discrimination.

And along the mainstream media landscape, crickets are chirping.

(via Atrios)

July 19, 2007

Washington Post Advocates Attacking Nuclear-Armed Pakistan

Needless to say, Katherine Grahm must be doing cartwheels in her grave:

If Pakistani forces cannot -- or will not -- eliminate the sanctuary, President Bush must order targeted strikes or covert actions by American forces, as he has done several times in recent years. Such actions run the risk of further destabilizing Pakistan. Yet those risks must be weighed against the consequences of another large-scale attack on U.S. soil. "Direct intervention against the sanctuary in Afghanistan apparently must have seemed . . . disproportionate to the threat," the Sept. 11 commission noted. The United States must not repeat that tragic misjudgment.

And here, folks, are my favorite remarks from the WP's own comment thread:

Once again. the Post reveals its warmongering point-of-view, and a childish understanding of foreign policy. Someone needs to give the Post an "Olmert Award" for pseudo-macho stupidity. With our recored of inept military action in the area, the most likely result will be a nuclear-armed Islamic state. That will have unthinkable effects on India and the region. Will US troops go in to try to grab the nukes? And if that fails? I suspect American aircraft carriers and other military assets are within range. Attacking ANOTHER Islamic state is probably the stupidest thing possible, although one can never underestimate the neocons.


I’m not really surprised that the Post’s editors are stupid enough, after everything we've seen, to suggest attacking a country armed with nuclear weapons.

I just cannot believe that that so many readers are falling for the same old tricks all over again.

Actually, scratch that. I do believe it. I never believed that most of my fellow commentators here really opposed the Iraq war in 2003. They just turned against it when they finally realised they were losing.

Now, Cheney is pushing for war against Iran, but others in the Administration resist. Yet they all agree it would be politically smart to stimulate a bit of US jingoism in time for the election campaign. They feel the urge to double down…why not compromise on Waziristan?

Given the time necessary to place troops and pump up the war fever, the drumbeat would have to start about now. Let the word go forth to the neoconservative outlets that sold the Iraq war. Just do what you did in 2002-3. The lemmings will follow...trust us.


It is incredible that the Post can run this editorial and not once mention the impact the war in Iraq has had on our ability to conduct military operations in Pakistan or Afghanistan. Not only is it incredible, it is hypocritical for your editorial to run this editorial while backing Bush on Iraq. Sometimes I wonder if the editorial board reads the news stories that the Post runs.


What kind of nuts are you guys at the Post? Attack a nuclear nation? Overturn an unstable Pakistani government and perhaps turn it over to the supporters of al Qaeda? That's what's likely to happen if we start attacking inside Pakistan. My, wouldn't Qaeda love to have nukes for its terror operations! What is it about the Post and Bush that lead them into moves that empower our worst enemies?

Of course, if Pakistani terrorists nuked us, we'd nuke them back to the stone age. But is that a process we want to go through?

(via Kevin Drum)

July 10, 2007

Michael Moore: 1, CNN: 0

Michael Moore fact checks the "fact checkers" at "The Most Trusted Name In News" and finds them wanting. Some of the mistakes are pretty embarrassing, like how they misquoted a statistic in Michael Moore's movie. Did they even watch that film?

Once again, Michael Moore demonstrates what every honest person must do with these clowns each and every time they are in front of their camera: call them out on their complicit bullshit.

July 6, 2007

Do Democrats Cause Cancer?

Once again, the bushbots over at FAUX Nooze are imitating satire with their more incredulous than usual comparison of national health care with terra-ism. But it was this detail that slayed me:

The chyron, by the way, told viewers during the segment, "National Healthcare: Breeding Ground For Terror?" It was in all caps, and it wasn't trying to be funny.

Really, do these people have no shame?

June 28, 2007

New FAUX Nooze Push Poll

And the question du jour is: who do you trust more to wage a war between this country and Islamofascists, those Democrats or Republicans (because you know how all wars are partisan efforts):

If there is an all-out war between the United States and various radical Muslim groups worldwide, who would you rather have in charge — Democrats or Republicans?

Democrats 41%

Republicans 38%

Both the same(not listed) 9%

Don't know (not listed) 12%

Well, if Eye-Rack was any indication, what would you expect.

Update: WorstPresidentEver also falls to a new low of 31% in the same poll.

June 27, 2007

A Very Slow News Day

My first and only post on Paris Hilton's incarceration and release from jail will be written in regards to the fact that CNN filled their newstime covering details surrounding her exclusive post-imprisonment interview with. . .CNN:

Talk about milking the story: Just a few minutes ago at 5:45 pm, CNN covered Paris Hilton arriving at CNN studios for her interview with Larry King. Tracking her from her car into the building — with two cameras, so no angle was missed — CNN ran a full segment catching viewers up with what Hilton had been doing since getting out of jail yesterday (holing up at home; giving an exclusive interview to People for $300,000 undisclosed terms, if any — a magazine which also happens to be owned by Time Warner, just like CNN. Oops, they didn't mention that.) Looking like he wished he could be anywhere else, Wolf Blitzer cut his interview with Bill Cosby about inner city poverty to throw over to Carol Costello who was "watching another story" — the story being the live shot of Paris Hilton getting out of her car, aka the Most Important Story of the Day for which all other stories are totally cut off.

I'm going to go throw up now.

(via ThinkProgress)

June 22, 2007

Another Story More Important Than Eye-Rack

According to Oh'Really, we must watch out for roving gangs of gun-toting lesbians.

Yes, they get their news tips from Cinemax.

McClatchy's New Motto

Joshua Micah Marshall says that the McClatchy newspaper chain deserves their motto for their new website, "Truth to Power", but I say they still have to answer for their insistence on printing drooling conservative codpieces in my newspaper, and later dumping one of their most outspoken newspaper to a heartless corporation that is now gutting that institution into a mere vestige of what it was.

(via Dover Bitch at Digby's Blog)

June 20, 2007

Glenn Greenwald Uses Richard Cohen As A Metaphor For The Entire Meretricious Press

Yep. Copying and pasting a piece of this commentary would do a disservice to the rest of this masterpiece, so as they say, read the whole thing.

June 14, 2007

The Role Of The Media During The War

Bile O'Reilly placed in his two cents on the fact that FAUX Nooze is the number one network when it comes to NOT reporting the Eye-Rack war. Sure, his commentary is, per usual, over the top and demeaning, but it reflects a larger illness infecting most of the media. It's always mystifying that the news organization feels pressured to only report the good news coming from a war zone and not "embolden the enemy" or "undermine morale". If they think they are helping the republic by underreporting the war or sanitizing the coverage, they are dead wrong. If there are victories, then report the victories. But if there are losses - especially if there are losses - the media has a singular duty to expose those losses and why they occured, warts and all. The public has the right to know how the armed forces that is designed to protect them is performing so that they can pressure their elected officials to change tactics if things do not go well.

Imagine if we are in a real war and we are losing a lot of battles to the enemy, would our nation be served by a media that only spouts propaganda? The Germans who were able to flee the invasion of the Red Army knew they were losing because the "victories" they've heard on the propaganda broadcasts kept coming "closer and closer". The unfortunate Germans who swallowed the propaganda whole were left to fend for themselves while they were raped and pillaged. For now, we don't have to worry about an invasion by a foreign power, but just the same we are not well served by a media that refuses to report and detail the truth. The only time soldiers' lives are in danger is if we broadcast sensitive information like an army's position or battle plan. Nobody' gets killed by reporting the outcome, and in the end we might even learn from any mistakes that may have resulted. So that is why people like Bill Oh'Really are not reporters, just television personalities. They may be good for clownish entertainment, but when it comes to news that really matters, it is best to look for more honest sources.

Taxicab Confessions

Attywood documents a eye-rolling moment of journamalism courtesy of "The Most Trusted Name In News":

OK, you can't say that CNN and its diplomatic reporter, Richard Ross, don't care about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur. In fact, just seconds ago "Your Trusted Name in News" just aired one of the few full-length reports I've seen on the situation in Darfur, or more accurately the situation on 42nd Street in Manhattan, since the story was merely an interview with a cab driver who happens to have immigrated from Darfur.

Apparently Tom Friedman, the Pulitizer Prize winner of global cabbie journalism, is advising CNN now.

I kept waiting for the twist in the story, but there was no twist. That was the entire story. CNN found a guy from Darfur who now drives a cab in New York. (Although, as I learned from the story, there are apparently 100 others like him.)

I tried to capture some of the highlights of the interview -- here's one:

"Do you get bigger tips because you're from Darfur?" "...No."

A well-dressed woman enters the man's (unfortunately I didn't catch his name) taxi:

"When did you come here?"
"Eight years ago."

"Oh, before the genocide."

A-Oh-Hell/Time Warner gets billions of dollars in revenue, but can't afford a fucking plane ticket to the Sudan? And the wonder why less people bother to watch or read the American press nowadays?

(via Crooks and Liars)

June 12, 2007

"We [Don't] Report, You Decide"

So what do you do if you are the media arm of the Bush-Republican agenda and Eye-Rack is such a shitstorm? Why ignore it, of course, because who needs to inform the 85% Republican audience of the reality of the situation?

NEW YORK - On a winter day when bomb blasts at an Iraqi university killed dozens and the United Nations estimated that 34,000 civilians in Iraq had died in 2006, MSNBC spent nearly nine minutes on the stories during the 1 p.m. hour. A CNN correspondent in Iraq did a three-minute report about the bombings. Neither story merited a mention on Fox News Channel that hour.

That wasn't unusual. Fox spent half as much time covering the Iraq war than MSNBC during the first three months of the year, and considerably less than CNN, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism. The difference was more stark during daytime news hours than in prime-time opinion shows. The Iraq war occupied 20 percent of CNN's daytime news hole and 18 percent of MSNBC's. On Fox, the war was talked about only 6 percent of the time.

The independent think tank's report freshens a debate over whether ideology drives news agendas, and it comes at a delicate time for Fox. Top Democratic presidential candidates have refused to appear at debates sponsored by Fox. Liberals find attacking Fox is a way to fire up their base. "It illustrates the danger of cheerleading for one particular point or another because they were obviously cheerleaders for the war," said Jon Klein, CNN U.S. president. "When the war went badly they had to dial back coverage because it didn't fit their preconceived story lines."

Fox wouldn't respond to repeated requests to make an executive available to talk about its war coverage.

June 5, 2007

Everybody Swears Cuz Everybody Does It

An appeals court finally brought some level of sanity surrounding the austere censorship being meted out by the FCC, and the best part is that the TV companies have Bush and Cheney's foul mouths to thank for the ruling:

WASHINGTON: If President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney can blurt out vulgar language, then the government cannot punish broadcast television stations for broadcasting the same words in similarly fleeting contexts.

That, in essence, was the decision Monday, when a U.S. federal appeals court struck down a government policy allowing stations and networks to be fined if they broadcast shows containing profanities.

Although the case was primarily concerned with what is known as "fleeting expletives," or blurted profanities, on television, both network executives and top officials at the Federal Communications Commission said the opinion could gut the commission's ability to regulate any speech on television or radio.

. . .The decision, by a divided panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York, was a sharp rebuke to the FCC and to the Bush administration. For the four television networks that filed the lawsuit - Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC - it was a major victory in a legal and cultural battle they are waging with the commission and its supporters.

June 1, 2007

Shorter Bill O'Reilly And John McCain: "Rahowa!"

Bill-O, once again, has been caught slipping over his apoplexy over the "immi-gants" and has revealed his true colors:

Bill O'Reilly: But do you understand what the New York Times wants, and the far-left want? They want to break down the white, Christian, male power structure, which you're a part, and so am I, and they want to bring in millions of foreign nationals to basically break down the structure that we have. In that regard, Pat Buchanan is right. So I say you've got to cap with a number.

John McCain: In America today we've got a very strong economy and low unemployment, so we need addition farm workers, including by the way agriculture, but there may come a time where we have an economic downturn, and we don't need so many.

[crosstalk]

O'Reilly: But in this bill, you guys have got to cap it. Because estimation is 12 million, there may be 20 [million]. You don't know, I don't know. We've got to cap it.

McCain: We do, we do. I agree with you.

Actually, he wasn't slipping, he actually believes in his crusade to protect the interests of the poor, oppressed white males. If this were the 1850's, I'll guarantee you my left eyeball that both O'Reilly and McCain would quickly change their tune concerning the immigration debates they had during that time.

You all can see it for yourself in all its glory:

May 12, 2007

What Liberal Media?

Yes, we can have half-wits and blowhards paid to spew lies on our televisions all day, but a retired general who is passionate about ending a quagmire gets the axe.

What, you're surprised? Here's what Batiste's former boss had to say about supporting Bush for financial gains:

With the scandal at CBS still festering, questions are being raised about whether a felony was committed when the network broadcast apparently forged memos in an attempt to discredit George W. Bush. Yesterday, the chairman of CBS's parent company chose Hong Kong as a place to drop a little bomb. Sumner Redstone, who calls himself a "liberal Democrat," said he's supporting President Bush.

The chairman of the entertainment giant Viacom said the reason was simple: Republican values are what U.S. companies need. Speaking to some of America's and Asia's top executives gathered for Forbes magazine's annual Global CEO Conference, Mr. Redstone declared: "I look at the election from what's good for Viacom. I vote for what's good for Viacom. I vote, today, Viacom.

"I don't want to denigrate Kerry," he went on, "but from a Viacom standpoint, the election of a Republican administration is a better deal. Because the Republican administration has stood for many things we believe in, deregulation and so on. The Democrats are not bad people. . . . But from a Viacom standpoint, we believe the election of a Republican administration is better for our company."


Here's Hoping

bushresignsmay11.jpg

If only it were true.

May 10, 2007

Codpieces

So that explains why I had to put up with Jonah Goldberg and Mona Charen in the Strib each week. Overall, it really is a shame that the Wall Street corporations that currently control most of the print media are hellbent in destroying their product whenever they lose a little revenue to an emerging media.

(via Atrios)

May 2, 2007

Nit-Picklering Bush

My, as that one long-haired, freak-o, hippie singer once said, the times they are a-changin'. You all remember AP political reporter Nedra Pickler, who was notorious for writing outrageously biased wire reports against Democratic candidates for president during the 2004 election. Her modus operandi would be to say that Candidate A said something but "failed to mention" some right-wing Republican talking point that seemed to refute what s/he was saying.

Anyways, it looks like The Pickler has noticed the political weathervane has shifted against the chimp-in-chief and has sicced her considerable reporting skills on WorstPresidentEver:

WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidates made a point of reminding voters that Tuesday was the fourth anniversary of President Bush's speech declaring an end to major combat in Iraq.

. . .White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the president was aware of the anniversary, although he didn't mention it during a meeting in Florida with military commanders. She said the president has since acknowledged mistakes in Iraq, but Tuesday was a day to thank the commanders for the successes and talk about his new strategy for the war.

Heh indeed.

April 21, 2007

John Edwards Gets $400 Haircuts? Oh My!

Jumping down John Edward's throat and calling him some sort of hypocrite because he advocates for the poor while living an opulent lifestyle is a bit like criticizing someone who is concerned about AIDS in Africa for not getting AIDS and moving to Uganda.

This nation has suffered immensely because the media has successfully convinced enough people that Dumbya is the guy you'd rather have a beer with, despite his New England prep school and Ivy league pedigree. Why are so many quick to repeat the same mistakes again? Are old habit just too hard to shake off?

(via Atrios)

April 12, 2007

You're Shocked?

The good Roger Ailes is outraged that prominent media critic Howard Kurtz would admit he and his pals were part of the problem in enabling Don Imus's career in racial crudity and thus to our not-yet enlightened dialogue about race in this country. I, however, remember when Howard Kurtz blamed the Jayson Blair scandal purely on affirmative action and wondering if a similar white person would have gotten away with so much. And this was during the time when he and most of his media ilk have ignored the very structural problems that has led this country to a destructive and useless war. If that isn't an example of white know-nothingism that has led to the success of the likes of Don Imus, I don't know what is.

Only For My Boilerplate Multimillion-Dollar Contract Go I

Katie Couric is caught lying and plagiarizing on camera and what do they do? They fire the producer:

"CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric may vividly recall her first library card, but the network says she was unaware that her online video essay about the virtues of libraries was largely a work of plagiarism.

CBS News said this week the April 4 installment of "Katie Couric's Notebook" consisted mostly of passages lifted verbatim from a Wall Street Journal column by Jeffrey Zaslow that was published in March.

The producer responsible for Couric's piece was fired on Monday night, hours after the Journal contacted CBS News to complain, network spokeswoman Sandy Genelius said on Tuesday.

Although the text for the minute-long video was written in first person -- introduced by Couric with the line, "I still remember when I got my first library card" -- Couric did not compose the piece herself and was unaware that much of it was plagiarized, Genelius said.

If this is what passes for "journalism" and accountability, then Brian Williams has no right to complain.

April 7, 2007

Prudenizing, Washington Post Edition

While highlighting the uncomfortable fact that the Explosively Formed Projectiles (EFPs) are actually being made in Eye-Rack, and are not an export of Eye-Ran, and therefore a casus belli for an invasion, Atrios stumbles upon an example of the Washington Post doing what we in the media criticism business affectionately know as "Prudenizing." Apparently, an earlier version of a Washington Post story that appeared on its website was the one written by Reuters that included the fact that a raid turned up an EFP factory. The "official" version that will appear in the print edition excludes that pertinent fact. We haven't seen this type of manipulative, hawkish journalism since Hearst era.

April 6, 2007

One More Exit Until Morton Downey Juniorville

Yep, all this clip needs is a healthy dose of "Shut up! Shut up!!"

Boy, it's scary how someone can be so worked up over wetbacks.

(via Jim in LA of The News Blog)

March 26, 2007

Go To Hell, Couric

opus2007032349105.jpg
Berk Breathed has the right idea

Taegan Goddard of the Political Wire asks the only question one must ask of Katie Couric's 60 Minute interview with the Edwardses:

Why did Katie Couric keep pressing John and Elizabeth Edwards on 60 Minutes last night about their decision to continue his presidential campaign when she didn't give up her job as host of the Today Show when her husband was diagnosed with cancer?

Maybe if John Edwards gets a mammogram, then maybe they'll finally get off his back.

via Kevin Drum.

March 21, 2007

Thank You, David Ehrenstein

Because you have made a conscious decision to get hung up over Barack Obama's race in the way you never did for any other Democratic candidate running for president (except, perhaps, for Al Sharpton) you have given certain racist pillheads on the radical reich the plausible deniability to make fun of Obama based on his skin color.

I've said over and over again, Obama's problem is not with black voters, it's with white voters. If a ham sandwich was running as a Democrat, blacks would vote for it in droves, which is understandable considering the cavemen occupying the Republic party. The "he's not black enough" canard is just an excuse for commentators to race racial analysis without impugning the racial innocence of white people. Let it go NOW.

March 16, 2007

We're Waiting, Howard Kurtz

Glenn Greenwald wonders when Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz will write a hard-hitting expose on the homicidal fanatics dominating the fever swamps of the right-wing blogosphere. After all Kurtz made a big deal out of far less concerning the left-wing blogs.

March 14, 2007

A Tales of Two Surges™

The AP and Reuters offer two different views on how effective the surge has been in the past month. The AP gives a pretty glowing version:

BAGHDAD - Bomb deaths have gone down 30 percent in Baghdad since the U.S.-led security crackdown began a month ago. Execution-style slayings are down by nearly half.

The once frequent sound of weapons has been reduced to episodic, and downtown shoppers have returned to outdoor markets — favored targets of car bombers.

There are signs of progress in the campaign to restore order in Iraq, starting with its capital city.

But while many Iraqis are encouraged, they remain skeptical how long the relative calm will last. Each bombing renews fears that the horror is returning. Shiite militias and Sunni insurgents are still around, perhaps just lying low or hiding outside the city until the operation is over.

U.S. military officials, burned before by overly optimistic forecasts, have been cautious about declaring the operation a success. Another reason it seems premature: only two of the five U.S. brigades earmarked for the mission are in the streets, and the full complement of American reinforcements is not due until late May.

U.S. officials say that key to the operation’s long-term success is the willingness of Iraq’s sectarian and ethnic political parties to strike a power- and money-sharing deal. That remains elusive — a proposal for governing the country’s main source of income — oil — is bogged down in parliamentary squabbling.

Promising signs
Nevertheless, there are encouraging signs. Gone are the “illegal checkpoints,? where Shiite and Sunni gunmen stopped cars and hauled away members of the rival sect — often to a gruesome torture and death.

The rattle of automatic weapons fire or the rumble of distant roadside bombs comes less frequently. Traffic is beginning to return to the city’s once-vacant streets.

“People are very optimistic because they sense a development. The level of sectarian violence in streets and areas has decreased,? said a 50-year-old Shiite, who gave his name only as Abu Abbas, or “father of Abbas.? “The activities of the militias have also decreased. The car bombs and the suicide attacks are the only things left, while other kinds of violence have decreased.?

In the months before the security operation began Feb. 14, police were finding dozens of bodies each day in the capital — victims of Sunni and Shiite death squads. Last December, more than 200 bodies were found each week — with the figure spiking above 300 in some weeks, according to police reports compiled by The Associated Press.

Since the crackdown began, weekly totals have dropped to about 80 — hardly an acceptable figure but clearly a sign that death squads are no longer as active as they were in the final months of last year.

Bombings too have decreased in the city, presumably due to U.S. and Iraqi success in finding weapons caches and to more government checkpoints in the streets that make it tougher to deliver the bombs.

In the 27 days leading up to the operation, 528 people were killed in bombings around the capital, according to AP figures. In the first 27 days of the operation, the bombing death toll stood at 370 — a drop of about 30 percent.

Reuters, however, elected to go with a more tempered and sobering version of events:

Car bombs in Baghdad, at a record high in February, remain a serious concern despite a month-old U.S.-backed crackdown, a U.S. general said in a more sober assessment than one given by Iraqi officials on Wednesday.

Major General William Caldwell said murders and executions in the capital since the Baghdad security plan began on February 14 had been halved but that "sensational" car bombs blamed on al Qaeda and other Sunni Arab militants had spiked in February.

"We reached an all-time high there in February," Caldwell told a news conference, without providing a figure. He said U.S. and Iraqi troops were investing a "tremendous amount of effort" in finding car bomb factories in the Baghdad beltway.

While Caldwell said there had been a "positive" reduction of overall murders and executions since the plan got under way, he warned of a slight "uptick" of violence in the last seven days.

"We are concerned about any levels of violence that indicate an increase versus a decrease ... We are watching it very carefully," he said, adding it would take months before the plan makes a big difference in easing violence that has pushed Iraq to the brink of all-out sectarian war.

"The Iraqis have really shown restraint. They are not taking retribution," he said, referring to retaliatory sectarian violence that in the past has followed car bomb attacks.

But an Iraqi Sunni militant group said on Wednesday it had captured an Iraqi brigadier general and posted copies of Ministry of Defense credentials that identified him as a deputy director but did not describe him as an officer.

Ansar al-Sunna has claimed several abductions and killings since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

Earlier, Iraqi military officials offered a less cautious report than Caldwell's, saying civilian deaths and car bombs had fallen sharply in the first 30 days of the plan.

Iraqi military spokesman Brigadier Qassim Moussawi said the number of Iraqis killed by violence in Baghdad between February 14 and March 14 had fallen to 265 from 1,440 and that the number of car bombs was down to 36 from 56.

So one article says bombings have decreased, while the other say it is at an all-time high, what gives? In any case, the Reuters article is correct in noting how changes in troop concentration in any part of the country brings a predictable lull in violence while insurgents and death squads adapt and change their tactics. The Shiite death squads have until now decided to cooperate, but as the last post show, their patience has ended.

March 11, 2007

20/20 Finally Does Something Useful

The newsmagazine 20/20 has for a long time given itself to covering fluff pieces and nonsensical snifflings by that reporter-savant John Stossel, but now we see that it did something for the social good for a change:

March 10, 2007 — Its official: Tyrone Brown, the man sentenced to life in prison for violating probation with a single marijuana cigarette, will be a free man.

ABC News' "20/20" documented this story in November 2006. Brown is African American, poor and without connections. His harsh sentence was contrasted with the mercy shown a white criminal who murdered someone, then repeatedly violated his parole with cocaine.

The privileged criminal, who was the son of a Baptist minister and the brother-in-law of a U.S. congressman, was never sent to jail, and now even his probation has been lifted.

Brown was involved in an armed robbery that yielded $2. He, too, was first sentenced to probation, but when he violated it just once with a marijuana joint, he was sentenced to life. He has served 17 years.Both men were sentenced by the same judge, Keith Dean.

. . .After the "20/20" report, Dallas voters ousted Dean from the bench, and Friday Tyrone Brown was granted a "conditional pardon" by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

March 10, 2007

Democrats Finally Quit FAUX Nooze Debate

Sorry, why should people entertain entities that openly makes fun of them:

A month ago, the Nevada Democratic Party entered into a good faith agreement with FOX News to co-sponsor a presidential debate in August. This was done because the Nevada Democratic Party is reaching out to new voters and we strongly believe that a Democrat will not win Nevada unless we find new ways to talk to new people.

To say the least, this was not a popular decision. But it is one that the Democratic Party stood by. However, comments made last night by FOX News President Roger Ailes in reference to one of our presidential candidates went too far. We cannot, as good Democrats, put our party in a position to defend such comments.

In light of his comments, we have concluded that it is not possible to hold a Presidential debate that will focus on our candidates and are therefore canceling our August debate. We take no pleasure in this, but it is the only course of action.

Sincerely,

Tom Collins
Chairman, Nevada State Democratic Party

The comments he was referring to were these:

It is true that just in the last two weeks Hillary Clinton has had over 200 phone calls telling her in order to win the presidency she must stay on the road for the next two years. It is not true they were all from Bill.

[Laughter]

And it is true that Barack Obama is on the move. I don't know if it's true that President Bush called Musharraf and said, 'Why can't we catch this guy?'

Video here. Ailes also make vague threats against John Edwards that he risks "losing voters" if he doesn't come to the FAUX Nooze lions den they call a debate. It took em a while, but Democrats have finally decided not to play by their rules anymore.

March 7, 2007

I'm. . .Outraged?

New York TImes has a front page, above-the-fold exclusive that Barack Obama has bought and sold stocks in companies owned by two of his biggest political donors at a combined loss of $13,000. They also report that there is no evidence that his actions in the Senate led to the enrichment of the stock of those companies. But those mitigating facts are buried until the fourth paragraph since the Golden Child might have struck a quid pro quo deal, whatta story!

Look, the fact that Halliburton and its political enablers continue to exist relatively unscathed, the whiff of corruption do to Obama's actions or inactions are the least of our problems. But, hey, they can write whatever they want to tar a Democratic political candidate.

March 6, 2007

FAUX Nooze On Scooter Libby Verdict

Nope, you can't make this up:

fauxlibby.jpg

And it looks like they did their job well.

March 5, 2007

The Right Wing Noise Machine

Puh-thetic.

I'm sure someone like Howard Kurtz in the traditional media will give this story the attention it so richly deserves [/sarcasm].

(via Kevin Drum)

Update: Gee, that didn't take long at all, did it?

Update II: Per usual, FAUX Nooze manages to outdo the competition in mishandling the non-story (Lesbians speak in lisps? How did they come up with that stereotype?).

March 2, 2007

If A Republican Says "Faggot" In The Woods. . .

John Aravosis of Americablog notes how the mainstream media and the wires completely, seemingly willfully, ignored the way Anne Coulter called John Edwards a "faggot" in front of an audience in a lead conservative conference, an audience that includes the vice president and every major Republican candidate except John McCain.

One commentator on his blog puts it the best way:

Edwards/Kerry state the truth - that Mary Cheney is a lesbian - and all hell breaks loose.

Coulter calls Edwards a faggot.

[crickets]

Yep.

March 1, 2007

Nutpicking In Extremis

These lizardbrain conservative reptiles are so goddamn predictable you can set a watch to them. Glenn Greenwald noted on Tuesday how the reich-wing blogosphere is using the attack on Dick Cheney in Afghanistan as a blunt object to accuse liberals of wanting him dead, utilizing the practice of nutpicking in order to make that case. He predicted that the methane gas from the fever swamps will eventually permeate up to the graven stones of the "legitimate media".

Sure enough, on his blog Media Notes, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz gives these rantings the airplay they don't deserve (although he did emphasize eventually that the random and anonymous blog comments that these accusation of liberal treason are based upon shouldn't be taken too seriously.)

Once again, Glenn Greenwald does the legwork and argumentation necessary to put these clowns in line. I'm just giving him the airplay that he deserves.

February 21, 2007

Walter Reed Story Already Told Two Years Ago

The jokers at the Pentagon are having fits over the pair of bombshell stories in the Washington Post over the mistreatment and neglect of injured outpatient military personnel at the Walter Reed Hospital complex. Sorry boys, but you really fucked the dog on this, especially since this story was reported two years ago by Salon:

They shouldn't have been so surprised. In early 2005, Salon brought to the attention of Walter Reed officials disturbing information based on interviews, medical records and other Army documents which showed that soldiers receiving outpatient treatment for mental wounds were suffering from a shocking pattern of neglect. At that time, Walter Reed officials refused to discuss Salon's findings. Instead, they issued a statement saying it just wasn't so: "We are satisfied that there is a very high level of patient satisfaction with their treatment," the statement read.

In early 2006, Salon alerted Army and Walter Reed officials of a very similar set of concerns: some soldiers with traumatic brain injuries were not being screened, identified or treated. They were falling through the cracks. The Army and the hospital declined to talk with Salon about those issues, this time citing privacy concerns of patients. "I cannot arrange an interview," Lt. Col. Kevin V. Arata, an Army public affairs officer, wrote in an e-mail. In a separate written statement to Salon, Walter Reed said they had a good program to take care of brain injuries.

I guess when the Eye-Rackee shitmire has gone to shit, it's easier to expose how goddamn incompetent our millitary leaders are.

February 13, 2007

FAUX News: Completely Without Merit

John Amato at Crooks and Liars highlights a comment made by Rupert Murdoch that would be extraordinary if the content wasn't already known by those whose intelligence exceeds that of a sulfur mollusk:

Asked if his News Corp. managed to shape the agenda on the war in Iraq, Murdoch said: "No, I don't think so. We tried." Asked by Rose for further comment, he said: "We basically supported the Bush policy in the Middle East…but we have been very critical of his execution."

Sure, but what do you expect from a network that gives in and pays money to terrorists?

February 7, 2007

Nut-Picklering

Nedra Picker, who hails from the "they fail to mention. . ." school of opinionated political "journalism" is now playing stenographer to known bigot Bill Donahue in order to trash the John Edwards presidential campaign.

Via Glenn Greenwald.

January 26, 2007

Media Whore Of The Year, 2004-2005

When Mediawhoresonline.com was up and running, it had a contest to see who was the biggest Media Whore during the year. One person in particular won it two straight years, from 2004 to 2005. Can you guess who it is?

Continue reading "Media Whore Of The Year, 2004-2005" »

January 21, 2007

Black Hawk Down, Part. . . uh, I Stopped Keeping Count.

12 killed. Nineteen total today Saturday. And to think how the media raked Clinton over the coals for the same number of deaths in that other fabled Black Hawk Down incident.

The example of Time Magazine was the worst. Back in 1993 when the Battle of Mogadishu happened, the magazine wastes no time filling its pages with images of dead American soldiers being dragged in the street. This was just a couple years after they refrained from showing grisly photos from the first Gulf War. Now they are engaging in the same form of censorship with this war, except they are acting shocked, SHOCKED, that they would so "recklessly" give the Black Hawk Down incident so much unfiltered coverage at the time. They shouldn't be so shocked. It all depends upon which party the president is from.

Sorry for the digression, but it will be interesting how the librul media will handle this latest Black Hawk down incident.

January 19, 2007

Stephen Colbert Did Not Go Far Enough

It has now been confirmed that the White House Correspondents Association has chosen a well known safe humorist for their annual dinner with the president because they do not want a repeat of what happened last year. As Colbert said during his roast, I have nothing but contempt for these people.

January 16, 2007

Monday Night Massacres

I knew back during the Watergate era, purges of U.S. attorneys like this would be all over the news. More here.

Via Kevin Drum and Atrios.

January 11, 2007

New York Times Throws In The Towel

After weeks of dithering around the subject, the New York Times decides to say "fuck it" to the whole Eye-Rack war experiment and the impending escalation after they saw Bush's deer-in-the-headlights speech this night. This time they bring out the long knives:

President Bush told Americans last night that failure in Iraq would be a disaster. The disaster is Mr. Bush’s war, and he has already failed. Last night was his chance to stop offering more fog and be honest with the nation, and he did not take it.

Americans needed to hear a clear plan to extricate United States troops from the disaster that Mr. Bush created. What they got was more gauzy talk of victory in the war on terrorism and of creating a “young democracy? in Iraq. In other words, a way for this president to run out the clock and leave his mess for the next one.

. . .We have argued that the United States has a moral obligation to stay in Iraq as long as there is a chance to mitigate the damage that a quick withdrawal might cause. We have called for an effort to secure Baghdad, but as part of the sort of comprehensive political solution utterly lacking in Mr. Bush’s speech. This war has reached the point that merely prolonging it could make a bad ending even worse. Without a real plan to bring it to a close, there is no point in talking about jobs programs and military offensives. There is nothing ahead but even greater disaster in Iraq.

Indeed, now when will the rest of the media elite follow suit?

January 10, 2007

Democrats Pull A Boehner

Digby is right, Democrats can't win in the eyes of the reich-wing media. Apparently Steny Hoyer agreed to postpone congressional proceedings after minority leader John Boehner requested that he show his support for Ohio State in their bowl game against Florida. Did the reich-wing media hail this rare moment in bipartisan comity?

Nope:

Co-hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, and Brian Kilmeade made hay in their Monday show at the expense of Democrats, yucking it up repeatedly during the two-hour show over the fact that Democrats had broken their pledge to work five days a week by taking the day off Monday so members could attend the BCS title game between Ohio State and Florida.

Watch the video to see how they handle the fact Boehner was the one who requested the postsponement.

And how does Boehner thank his Democratic colleague for taking the political heat? Why by distancing himself from it:

"We just make the request - the majority makes the decision," said a spokesman for Boehner, a well-liked politico known for throwing A-list parties at the political conventions.

Snakes, all of them.

January 8, 2007

What The. . .!

The Strib has pulled one of my favorite comics from the comics page, 9 Chickweed Lane, and replacing it with a cartoon of (surprise!) some precocious kid who likes to annoy adults. I guess the sensual artwork and the gay relationship in Chickweed proved too much for the moral scolds, so out it goes. It's too bad, because it was a good one too:

chickweed27330500070108.jpg

Meanwhile the all-around terrible Mallard Fillmore gets to stay (BTW, does anyone else think it's in poor taste that the comic drawn by a guy just arrested for drunk driving is now featuring a weeklong theme where the title character appears with what seems to be a mug of beer in his hand?)

January 4, 2007

Washington Post Begins Series Of Hit Pieces Against New Democratic Majority

Can anyone out there remind me when this paper was this assiduous against the criminals and liars that dominated the Republican congress outside the Nixon administration?

Thought not.

January 3, 2007

Thomas Ricks Knew There Were No WMDs, He Just Waited Eight Friedmans To Say It.

Jonathan Schwartz at A Tiny Revolution takes Washington Post reporter and recent Eye-Rack war pessimist Thomas Ricks to task for opportunistically declaring he never believed there was a weaponsofmassdestruction program in Eye-Rack when we invaded:

TIME: On the eve of the war, which of you believed that we would go in and find no WMD?...Why did you feel that way, Tom? RICKS: I thought that at most they would find some old mustard gas buried out in the '91 war that somebody had forgotten about. I remember asking the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs about a week before the invasion, "You don't know where the stuff is, do you?"

Schwartz then proceeds to list several pre-invasion articles by Ricks in which he obsequiously repeats the Bush administration line about their certitude regarding Saddam's WMD program. Of course, Ricks would simply say he was doing "he said, she said" journalism and avoided inserting too much of his own views in the article, except there was a conspicuous lack of "she said" in his journalism back then.

via Brad Delong.

December 19, 2006

The Return of The Teflon Republican

Greg Sargent of the Horse's mouth reminds Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz why he should be skeptical about John McCain's supposedly sincere efforts to increase the troop levels in Eye-Rack, namely that this is the same St. John McCain who admitted on an earlier edition of Meet the Press that such a plan was unworkable.

Sure, we can remind these hacks that they should do their goddamn jobs and report what the candidates say, not what they feel about them. But, the exercise is truly sysiphean when you get statements like this:

Why not accept that McCain really believes this and is taking a political risk? Maybe his position is dumb and maybe it isn't, but it certainly doesn't appear to be safe.

So St. McCain is to be given a pass because he takes a position he himself had earlier discredited? A position may be incredibly stupid, but he has taken a stand, right?

And all the while, every statement made by Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, and now Nancy Pelosi is scrutinized, raked over the coals and second-guessed to no end and on every insignificant issue they can contrive? That's all good for the Democrats, but this type of blatant double standard turns a necessity in political reporting into a maddening conundrum.

December 7, 2006

The Time NBC Was Actually Right

When I think of how consummately inept and meddling network television executives can be, I think of how NBC treated The John Larroquette Show which premiered in 1993. The early offering was a brilliant show of which the actor of the eponymous show plays John Hemingway, a recovering alcoholic who is sent to manage a run-down, inefficient, urban bus station in St. Louis. The whip-smart scripting that bravely addresses uncomfortable issues dealing with class, race and other stereotypes. An iconic sequence was during the pilot when Larroquette's character Hemingway and Dexter the black proprietor of the bus stop cafe, were being held up at gunpoint in Hemingway's office. Dexter tells the black stick-up man, pointing to Hemingway, "Shoot him, he's white!" Hemingway responds, pointing to Dexter "Shoot him, you'll do less time!" The comedy is balanced by the pathos of the main character desperately trying to stay on the wagon while dealing with the type of problems that would push the best of us to the bottle.

But, nope, Cheers had just been cancelled and the suits at GE wanted to recreate that magic, so they forced the writers to tone down the cynicism and lighten the mood. In later seasons, the show was mostly based in the main character's apartment and might have been known as John Hemingway's Place. So the show eventually made an unmourned demise two years later, mission accomplished.

The year The John Larroquette Show premiered was the same year that Frasier also premiered, and one of the creators, Peter Casey, was kind enough to give us the inside scoop on how it happened while guest-blogging on Ken Levine's page. That time, the creators wanted to do a show with Kelsey Grammar that would play him as a highbrow, multi-millionaire publisher paralyzed from the waist down who had a "sassy" Latina for a caretaker who will show the crusty old bird how to be more human. Yes, I know, ugh. Fortunately (this time) the Jack Donaghys intervened and insisted that the Frasier character remain intact so that they will retain the following that watched Cheers. Being the creative geniuses that they are, David Angell, David Lee and Casey worked around that limitation and eventually put on a hit show that was in their own image. I recommend reading the whole three part series, it's really illuminating.

December 1, 2006

The New York Times Gets Shrill

The usually boringly dry editorial writers at the Times have written a screeching editorial that calls out Bush for having completely checked out of any management of the shitmire in Eye-Rack. What's remarkable about the editorial is this concluding sentence:

This administration has been orchestrating a foreign policy disaster of epic proportions, and history will remember both that the president failed to hear the warning bells and that many others failed to ring them loudly enough.

Gee, maybe the "others" like the New York Times?

November 30, 2006

The Marketplace of News

TV Newser reveals that while NBC has finally started calling the Eye-Rack civil war a goddamn civil war, Fox is still stuck somewhere between May 2003 and April 2004:

iraqnov29.jpg

November 26, 2006

LA Times Finally Calls A Spade A Spade

This daily catalogue of the violence in Eye-Rack, courtesy of the LA Times, is unremarkable except for the first line:

BAGHDAD — Iraq's civil war worsened Friday as Shiite and Sunni Arabs engaged in retaliatory attacks after coordinated car bombings that killed more than 200 people in a Shiite neighborhood the day before.

It's simply unfair to the Iraqi people to avoid the obvious just to cover some political ass. I hope the rest of the media will finally start calling it as it is and go from there. John Roberts of CNN has the right idea although the "media watchdog" Howard Kurtz is being as much of a giant putz as he ever was.

via Daily Kos.

Continue reading "LA Times Finally Calls A Spade A Spade" »

November 14, 2006

FAUX's War On Terra-ism

While the new Al-Jazeera International is being blocked by major cable distributors from airing in this part of the hemisphere because they believe the propoganda that the network is a propoganda network (instead of a valuable media counterweight in the part of the world saturated with extremist, state-run media), it's been revealed that Fox News has funneled at least $1 million dollars to Palestinian terrorist groups in order to secure the August release of their two reporters. If they have any decency at all, they would remove all references to the American flag from their transistions, title designs and that litttle bug in the corner:

Palestinian terror groups and security organizations in the Gaza Strip received $2 million from a United States source in exchange for the release of Fox News employees Steve Centanni and Olag Wiig, who were kidnapped here last summer, a senior leader of one of the groups suspected of the abductions told WND.

The terror leader, from the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees, said his organization's share of the money was used to purchase weapons, which he said would be utilized "to hit the Zionists."

. . ."We used 100 percent of the money for one precise goal – our war against the Zionists," the Committees leader said.

He said weapons purchased included rockets.

via John Aravosis of AmericaBlog

November 13, 2006

Forsyth County Values

Crooks and Liars has put up a video showing contemporary evening news footage of Newt Gingrich's Republican takeover of the House and Senate in 1994. Notice how they relished the coming partisan witchhunts that will be conducted by Gingrich's henchmen and how the Democrats should be put on notice. Nothing about how such a campaign will "hurt" the Republicans or cause a backlash. Also notice, unlike how Nancy Pelosi is constantly characterized as representing "San Fransisco values", how Gingrich seems to be representative of "normal Americans" instead of representing a county in Georgia that is known for its violent Klan rallies.

November 7, 2006

Mwaahahahahahaa!

The pleasure of seeing a FAUX Nooze correspondent being waterboarded brings me a type of pleasure that should be sinful:

And the punchline at the end is that the moron ends up endorsing the procedure, saying that it's "efficient" and that you can easily recover from it. Yeah, waterboarding is safe unless it causes lasting psychological damage, or death if the trauma excaberbates a previous condition. It's so safe that that is why this country prosecuted people for conducting waterboardings as far back as 1901.

From Wonkette.

October 27, 2006

Dixie Chix Nixed

Anyone who says anything about a liberal media should be drug out to the street and shot:

The Weinstein Co. is claiming that NBC and the CW have refused to air national ads for the new Dixie Chicks docu "Shut Up & Sing."

But while the Peacock has specifically said it won't accept the spots because they are disparaging of President Bush, a rep for the CW strongly denies the Weinsteins version of events.


October 15, 2006

Less Reporters In Bed With Military

You know the situation in Eye-Rack is bad when there are less reporters being protected by the military in exchange for favorable press:

Fewer reporters embedded in Iraq By LEE KEATH and ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press Writers Sun Oct 15, 2:41 PM ET


The number of embedded journalists reporting alongside U.S. troops in Iraq has dropped to its lowest level of the war even as the conflict heats up on the streets of Baghdad and in the U.S. political campaign.

In the past few weeks, the number of journalists reporting assigned to U.S. military units in Iraq has settled to below two dozen. Late last month, it fell to 11, its lowest, and has rebounded only slightly since.

During the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003, more than 600 reporters, TV crews and photographers linked up with U.S. and British units. A year ago, when Iraqis went to the polls to ratify a new constitution, there were 114 embedded journalists.

"This is more than pathetic," said Sig Christenson, a reporter for the San Antonio Express-News and president of Military Reporters and Editors, a journalists' group. "It strikes me as dangerous" for the American public to get so little news of their military, said Christenson, who recently returned from an embedded assignment in Iraq.

Continue reading "Less Reporters In Bed With Military" »

October 9, 2006

Arsonists Promising To Be Better Firemen

This is getting ridiculous. Yesterday North Korea conducted its first underwater nuclear test, making it officially part of the nuclear club. This happened under the watch of the Bush administration and the reign of the Republican cabal, and Republicans are still claiming that they are better at protecting Americans than are Democrats. The thing that is ridiculous is not that Republicans are shameless in making that claim, but that the press is giving it the airtime and credibility that it doesn't deserve:

Within hours of North Korea’s proclaimed nuclear test yesterday Dennis Hastert, the Republican speaker in Congress, and John Boehner, the Republican majority leader on Capitol Hill, issued politically charged statements. With only a month to go before mid-term congressional elections many Republicans believe the tests could help restore their waning prospects.

“This reckless move by North Korea highlights the importance of a US missile defence shield capable of protecting America against madmen with weapons of mass destruction,? said Mr Boehner. “It is time for the Democrats . . . to abandon their long-standing policy of voting against missile defence programmes. It is now clear that such a position would put Americans in danger.?

Yep, no matter what happens, the Republicans ALWAYS stand to gain if we are to believe the media.

October 4, 2006

Eye-Rack & Roll

While the media is busy giving their viewers hot man-on-boy action courtesy of Mark Foley, here's what's been happening in Iraq for the past few days:


BAGHDAD, Oct. 4 -- Thirteen U.S. soldiers have been killed in Baghdad since Monday, the American military reported, registering the highest three-day death toll for U.S. forces in the capital since the start of the war.

The latest losses -- four soldiers who were killed at 9 a.m. Wednesday by small-arms fire -- are part of a recent spike in violent attacks against U.S. forces that have claimed the lives of at least 24 soldiers and Marines in Iraq since Saturday, the military said.

The number of planted bombs is "at an all-time high," said Maj. Gen. William B. Caldwell, a military spokesman, defying American efforts to stanch the vicious sectarian bloodshed in Baghdad that threatens to plunge the country into civil war.

"This has been a hard week for U.S. forces," Caldwell said. "Unfortunately, as expected, attacks have steadily increased in Baghdad during these past weeks." Independent databases showed the three-day toll for American troops to be the highest in Baghdad so far.

This is gonna be one tough Ramadan.

The FAUX Guarding The Henhouse

According to an AP article, the Fox News organization, as well as various right-wing Florida newspapers, were leaked emails that disgraced congressman Mark Foley, but decided not to run with them because, well, blaming Clinton for 9-11 is much MUCH more important.

We Who Are Also Wrong

The Washington Post, in what is possibly the most unforgivable hit piece against the war critics masquerading as a "news piece", is saying that war critics aren't vindicated by the complete and utter disaster going underway in Eye-Rack because, um, some of them might not have predicted accurately how the events would unfold. Imagine what the Post would print if WMDs were found, a Jeffersonian democracy was founded right after The Fall of the Statue, and a neoconservative economic paradise had flourished in the Arab heartland, in other words, if we were actually wrong about the war:

Antiwar liberals last week got to savor the four most satisfying words in the English language: "I told you so."

This was after a declassified National Intelligence Estimate asserted that the war in Iraq was creating more terrorists than it was eliminating. For millions of people who opposed President Bush's mission in Iraq from the start, this was proof positive that they had been right all along. Yes, they told themselves, we saw this disaster coming.

Only . . . that isn't quite true.

One of the most systematic errors in human perception is what psychologists call hindsight bias -- the feeling, after an event happens, that we knew all along it was going to happen. Across a wide spectrum of issues, from politics to the vagaries of the stock market, experiments show that once people know something, they readily believe they knew it all along.

This is not to say that no one predicted the war in Iraq would go badly, or that the insurgency would last so long. Many did. But where people might once have called such scenarios possible, or even likely, many will now be certain that they had known for sure that this was the only possible outcome.

"Liberals' assertion that they 'knew all along' that the war in Iraq would go badly are guilty of the hindsight bias," agreed Hal Arkes, a psychologist at Ohio State University, who has studied the hindsight bias and how to overcome it. "This is not to say that they didn't always think that the war was a bad idea."

He added: "It is to say that after it was apparent that the war was going badly, they assert that they would have assigned a higher probability to that outcome than they really would have assigned beforehand."

The hindsight bias plays an important role in public debate, because it gives people a false sense of certainty. When people convince themselves that they knew something would happen, what they effectively ignore is how much that outcome may have been unpredictable.

In place of accuracy, what the hindsight bias seems to offer is a form of comfort. It is easy to be confident about the past, because one cannot be proved wrong.

Continue reading "We Who Are Also Wrong" »

May 5, 2006

Milbank To Colbert Fans: "Get A LIfe!"

To his credit, high profile writers don't usually publicly entertain comments from their readers, but the way he was dismissive of those who wonder why the larger press world fails to appreciate Stephen Colbert's performance at the Correspondents' Dinner really cements the fact that the aforementioned monologue is a Rorschach test that reveals who are the truly the comfortable and the afflicted:

Milwaukee, Wis.: Dana, your comments about the WH Correspondents Dinner on Olbermann Monday night were disappointing. You are a very talented journalist and funny. You are not, however, nearly as funny as Mr. Colbert. Colbert executed political satire, flawlessly at the WH Correspondents dinner. The press in attendance didn't like Mr. Colbert revealing the truth about their complicity with the White House. The situation in the entire Middle East can get a lot worse and the price of a barrel of oil can go a lot higher.

Dana Milbank: Excellent question. You are right on top of the big issues of the day, Milwaukee.

For those of you dealing with less significant issues than Colbertgate, here's what happened. The comedian was not as funny as usual when he spoke to the White House Correspondents Association Dinner Saturday. He had the bad fortune of following Bush, who had a body double with him on the stage who spoke the president's inner thoughts.

Monday night, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown, asked me:

Keith: "I like Stephen Colbert a lot and believe me, I'm all for smacking down presidents. I have done to one from each party in my tenure here. But was this the right tone at the right venue? Was there a line crossed here in some way?"

Me: "I don't think he crossed the line. I just think he wasn't terribly funny and had the misfortune of following Bush who actually did put on one of the better performances of his presidency."

Evidently, the full transcript did not arrive at the offices of Editor and Publisher, where Greg Mitchell decided that I had in fact said Colbert "was not funny." He neglected to mention that this misquote was uttered in the context of my defense of Colbert.

As you can see, this is all terribly consequential. Although I do think it says something about why the left is having trouble regaining power. There are so many fat targets out there, from gas prices to Iraq to health care. So what are the left wing activists doing? Attacking reporters for their views on whether a comedian was funny at a dinner.

Unsolicited advice for those who can't tear themselves from the Colbert criticism: Get a life.

Apparently Milbank expects a cookie because he bravely defended a comedian's right to obliquely criticize WorstPresidentEver.

Continue reading "Milbank To Colbert Fans: "Get A LIfe!"" »

May 2, 2006

"Truthiness" Isn't Funny

Everyone else is talking about Stephen Colbert's routine at the White House Press Whores Dinner, so I might as well jump in.

Welp, it looked like the media heathers didn't seem to appreciate Colbert's biting humor, but they yukked it up when Bush jokingly couldn't find the weaponsofmassdestructions back in 2004.

Colbert doesn't need the approval of these inveterate retards.

March 11, 2006

Twin Cities StarTribune & Pioneer?

McClatchy makes the top bid for the Knight-Ridder news chain. That conglomerate already owns the StarTribune, and now it's going to go after the Pioneer Press, creating a one-newspaper monopoly in the Twin Cities. Although I do like the Strib's liberal leanings, my respect for the Press is based on its independence from the former. Having a carbon copy across the river will just invite redundancies that's unhealthy for media consumption.

March 2, 2006

Nancy Grace: Worst Person In The World

At least according to Keith Olbermann and only on March 1st.

We all know Nancy Grace, that one-woman lynch mob of which every suspect is guilty as far as she's concerned. Af far as the criminal justice system, she only supports one side, the side of the victims, especially white female ones, and she vilifies those who would dare defend a suspect in a trial, likening them to prison guards at Auchwitz.

Her rise to fame rests upon her personal story of victimization when allegedly her fiancee was shot and killed by a random 24-year-old mugger, who had a history of crime but the liberal touchy-feely criminal justice system was too incompetent to lock up long enough. This animal also had the gall to claim innocence, yet Grace spared him the death penalty, an option he never left for her fiancee.

Well, the truth has come out, although it's already there except the credulous media kept believing her lies. That her fiancee was killed by man in Georgia now serving a life sentence, all that is true. But the fiancee was killed by a former co-worker, not a stranger. The guy was 19, not 24. The guy confessed to the killing, so it was an open-and-shut case with the jury convicting in a matter of hours, and the prosecuters couldn't get a death penalty because the guy was mildly retarded.

I know I shouldn't be harsh to those who lost a loved one, nevertheless. But if this doesn't stink of taking unwarranted advantage, or lying about a death in order to forward a retrograde agenda, then i don't know what this is.

February 27, 2006

The Hoodlum Vote

Rita Cosby, host of MSNBC blather show "Live & Direct", formerly known for her voice that needs a lozenge, is now known for that white triangular costume she keeps in the back of her closet:

COSBY: Yes, you know what? I do feel they are the good guys.

I am offended I think that churches would turn over their rosters. I think there needs to be this clear separation of church and state. Look, this is what our country was founded on.

And I also like what the Democrats are doing. I mean talk about a wacky thing. They are going after the, quote, “hoodlum vote.? I mean, that I think is very racist. Clearly they are going after the African-American vote, and I think on both sides it's pretty offensive.

MATTHEWS: Back up a notch. Going after the hoodlum vote?

COSBY: Yes, they're going after the felons. They are going after the convicted felons. They are going after these rosters saying that some of these felons should be able to vote.

So what they are doing in turn in saying OK the conservatives are going after the churches, you know, we'll get those lined. We'll get those voted of the folks who have had a criminal record. You know, come on.

Oh yeah, the only way she can explain this away is if she admits she's too stupid and white to know that it's racist.