Tonight, I'm trying out a slightly modified Disqus look for the site. What do you think?
There are a few differences including the fonts. It is now easier to see discussions taking place in other NB comment threads by clicking the "Discussion" tab in the comments below. One other addition: the comments now live update as they are made.
You've probably noticed, but we've made the official transition over to our new, Disqus-powered comments on our blog postings. Please use this thread to ask any questions you still have about the switchover. I will be keeping an eye on it today and answering your inquiries.
Note: To make things easier, this blog post will allow for commenting by registered users of the old comment system.
By now if you've been reading NB over the past few days, you've noticed the long-promised addition of Disqus comments. Now that we've had a couple of days to let you try it out, I wanted to give everyone the opportunity to ask questions about the setup here in this posting. I will answer them in this thread.
Yesterday former Rep. Artur Davis -- who served in Congress as a Democrat but recently became a Republican out of frustration with the Obama administration -- was a featured guest of the Heritage Foundation's weekly blogger briefing.
Davis briefly discussed the similarities between the upcoming election and the election of 1980. He claimed that Ronald Reagan had to make the American people realize that what the Carter administration was doing was ruining the economy and that Mitt Romney will have to make a similar case regarding President Obama.
As regular readers of NB know, the site's notoriety and audience has grown over time. This has been a blessing in terms of influence but also a curse to our servers. To keep things faster, we are going to be moving soon to a new commenting system which will make for some important differences when it comes to commenting on NB.
One of the things this will mean is no more need to be logged in to NB to make a comment. That's because our comments will be stored on an external server operated by Disqus, making our servers be focused solely on processing page requests. If you are a regular NB commenter, you need to read this post.
Be kind to Bob Shrum. Perhaps the 68-year old is suffering from the not-so-early-onset of some dread memory-loss syndrome.
How else to explain his suggestion on Al Sharpton's MSNBC show this evening that the National Restaurant Association's settlement for a relatively modest sum, in today's litigious world, proves that Herman Cain must have done something wrong? Does the failed presidential campaign consultant's support of Bill Clinton, despite his much larger, $850,000 settlement with Paula Jones while "adamantly denying" her claims, fire any synapses in Shrum's cerebrum? Video after the jump.
You may not be aware of this but NewsBusters is unique in the blogosphere. Not only do we provide the most in-depth media analysis and have the deepest media archive out there, we also are owned by a non-profit organization.
That provides us with the ability to accept tax-deductible gifts but it also means that we are dependent on them.
A UK Independent item about an unreleased book by historian Frank Dikötter made me think about New York Times columnist NIcholas Kristof. Readers will see why shortly.
Amazon says that Dikötter's "Mao's Great Famine: The History of China's Most Devastating Catastrophe, 1958-1962" will be released on September 28. The Independent's Arifa Akbar relays Dikötter's core conclusion that "At least 45 million people were worked, starved or beaten to death in China over these four years." This is a significantly higher number than the highest previous estimate of Jung Chang, who asserted in her 2005 book, "Mao: The Unknown Story," that "38 million people were starved and slave-driven to death in 1958-61." The seven million extra deaths would move Chang's 2005 total of "more than 70 million" into the neighborhood of 80 million, padding Mao's lead over Stalin and Hitler as the worst mass murderer in human history.
The Independent's Akbar also writes that "Mr. Dikötter is the only author to have delved into the Chinese archives since they were reopened four years ago." If true, this reflects a startling lack of curiosity.
I hope Nick Kristof is just a little curious, and will peruse what Mr. Dikötter has documented when it becomes available. Perhaps it will move him to reach conclusions a bit different from those he reached when he reviewed Chang's book in October 2005 (bolds are mine):
Thank you everyone for being patient yesterday while we made the switch to the new server. A number of users have already contacted NB administrators regarding small changes in the comments sections and other minor issues. During yesterday's switch many of the site's settings were reset, and need to be brought back to standard NB settings.
If you have noticed any bugs or abnormalities today, please post something about it here. Staff will monitor this thread throughout the day and fix issues as they arise. Thanks!
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Considering the huge hit that Noel Sheppard's post about the posters of President Obama as the Joker was, we had to make some major server changes in order to accomodate the massive influx of readers (over 570,000 pageviews as of this writing).
Most of the changes haven't affected the site itself, however, there are a couple of bugs which we're still working on fixing. The first one is that you currently can't navigate through prior editions of the home page. To get around this, please use our Archive feature and navigate to the dates you're looking for.
The other bug is that the search engine is not working. You can get around that by going to Google and typing in your search terms and then follow it with site:newsbusters.org. For example, if I were looking up articles about Joe Biden, I would type this:
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Three years ago on August 9, 2005 was the first day of NewsBusters.
What a great three years it's been. In the intervening time since our start, we've been featured in every major American newspaper, launched a number of stories into the national news cycle, and had a lot of fun doing it.
We couldn't have done any of this had it not been for the fantastic institution of the Media Research Center that Brent Bozell has succeeded in building. Thanks also are due to MRC vice president Brent Baker who was able to see what NewsBusters could grow into, the first and strongest collaboration between a Washington political group and the blogosphere.
We're also grateful to the many conservative media figures who have promoted this site in their audiences.Thanks in particular to Rush Limbaugh who has stood up as a strong supporter of NewsBusters since day one. We're also grateful to the fair-minded journalists who realize that yes, even a bunch of evil right-wingers might occassionally have a point in our critiques. Thanks also to our fellow members of the blogosphere for being out there on the frontlines of new media reporting the news the MSM won't.
Finally thanks to you our readers. We couldn't have done it without your continued viewership, story tips, and your help in spreading the word about NewsBusters. Together we are making a difference.
I look forward to continuing to do that for many years to come.
Have the broadcast networks gone too far with their obvious infatuation with presumptive Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama?
If the Associated Press is starting to think so, maybe the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz was right on Sunday when he warned "Reliable Sources" viewers that "there could be a big backlash against news organizations if this trend continues."
On the other hand, wouldn't it be nice if the repercussions Kurtz presaged came from other media members similarly disgusted by what is passing for journalism this election cycle?
Consider what the AP's David Bauder had to say about this issue in an article published moments ago with the headline, "Is Media Playing Fair In Campaign Coverage?" (emphasis added throughout, h/t NBer nkviking75):
Quick note: the NB forums are having some issues on the tech side so they are disabled temporarily.
That's coincidental given the huge flamewars we've seen develop on them over people arguing for/against various religions in forum posts. I don't like the divisiveness that we've had from this and am half-way thinking that perhaps we should just not have religion discussions here on NB considering the mission of the site is about media bias, not promoting or attacking various religions (or lack thereof).
Update 07-10 15:47. After giving an amount of time for those interested to comment. I've settled on the policy.
Due to a bug in Internet Explorer 7, several NB readers have had trouble getting into the site. We're working on the issue. In the mean time, I recommend you download the Mozilla Firefox web browser onto your computer as it does not have the bug.
Update 19:23. The problem should be fixed now. Please post a comment on here if you continue to have troubles with IE 7.
The upgrade has completed successfully. If you're seeing this post, your computer has realized the change to the new NB.
Here's a quick run-down of some of the features:
The end to automatic logout. Before, the system logged you out after about 15 minutes of inactivity. Now, you must manually log out.
Pictures in accounts. To make one for yourself, go to "My account," click "Edit," and then scroll down to the "Picture" section. Use the form there to upload a tasteful picture of yourself or something you like.
Printer friendly pages. A link for a printer-friendly page of just the article is available at the bottom of every full article.