Nigel Calder is probably not a household name in America, as he used to be the editor of the British science magazine New Scientist, and is more recently an author and BBC screenwriter. With that as pretext, he wrote a column for the Sunday Times in which he absolutely slammed the recent hysteria and junk science surrounding anthropogenic global warming (emphasis mine throughout):
When politicians and journalists declare that the science of global warming is settled, they show a regrettable ignorance about how science works. We were treated to another dose of it recently when the experts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued the Summary for Policymakers that puts the political spin on an unfinished scientific dossier on climate change due for publication in a few months’ time. They declared that most of the rise in temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to man-made greenhouse gases.
Calder wonderfully explained how a ten percent uncertainty in science is not something to be easily dismissed:
For someone who by his book title claims the mantle of "audacity," Barack Obama is a mighty timid guy. Will the MSM look beyond his rhetoric of inclusion and consider his actual positions? If so, they'll find that nowhere has he had the courage to break from the most doctrinaire, predictable brand of liberalism.
For my sins, I went through the text of his announcement speech of yesterday, ignoring the high-flown appeals, focusing instead on the policy implications. Here are annotated excerpts.
Of his time in the Illinois legislature, he spoke of "mak[ing] the tax system more fair and just for working families." Liberal code for making taxes more steeply progressive, with "working families" thrown in for good class-warfare measure.
Of the founding event of our country, the Revolution, he said "in the face of tyranny, a band of patriots brought an Empire to its knees." Beyond the factual error -- far from being brought to its knees the British Empire survived very nicely for more than another 150 years -- note how he casts the Revolution first and foremost as a struggle against imperialism rather than as a quest for individual liberty.
Of the great Depression, he said "we put people back to work and lifted millions out of poverty." That's a vote for the welfare-statism of FDR's New Deal.
The vicious anti-Catholic (and in general, anti-religious) bloggers hired by the John Edwards campaign came under surprising condemnation from liberal columnist (and PBS NewsHour pundit) Mark Shields and liberal NPR reporter Nina Totenberg on the Friday night TV talk show "Inside Washington." Shields said he hesitated to agree with Bill Donohue of the Catholic League, but he was "right." Shields dared go where media accounts have not, explicitly reading Amanda Marcotte’s sleazy joke about the sperm of the Holy Spirit and Mary aborting Jesus with the Plan B pill, saying "if she had written similarly about a Jewish person, an Islamic person, a gay or a lesbian, she would be banished to the outer darkness." Totenberg called it "disgusting."
Only Newsweek’s Evan Thomas seemed to try and make excuses for Edwards by slamming bloggers in general: "Read blogs. They're full of that kind of stuff."
Last week, NewsBusters bloggers Scott Whitlock (here and here) and Mark Finkelstein (here and here) separately addressed "Good Morning America" anchor Diane Sawyer's softball interviews with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
It's a shame it didn't come out before then, but this weekend Parade magazine released its 2007 World's Worst Dictators list. Al-Assad came in at number 10, up 6 slots from the 2006 list.
Oh well, I guess it's helpful to have the next time Sawyer enlarges her carbon footprint by flying around the world just to ask another thug completely innocuous questions while enjoying the touristy trappings of a Potemkin village.
Don’t expect to read about this in the New York Times, or have it discussed by Matt and Meredith on Monday.
A new book will be released next week making the case that global warming is likely much more caused by cosmic rays than any human activity. As reported by the Daily Telegraph (emphasis mine throughout):
Scientists say that cosmic rays from outer space play a far greater role in changing the Earth's climate than global warming experts previously thought.
In a book, to be published this week, they claim that fluctuations in the number of cosmic rays hitting the atmosphere directly alter the amount of cloud covering the planet.
I was curious as to how Neal Gabler would opine. Surely, there was no way the resident aggressive lefty at Fox News Watch would defend the odious statements of William Arkin, who in this column libeled the US military as "mercenaries" and claimed we treat them to "obscene amenities." As it turns out, Gabler didn't, even going so far as to call Arkin's statements "idiotic."
However . . . that doesn't mean that Gabler didn't find something to complain about in the way conservatives reacted to the column. Kvetched Neal:
"There are literally tens of millions of bloggers out there. Singling out this particular blogger is an instance of cherry-picking by Fox News, who've been on this story, by Rush Limbaugh. And what's worse, in my estimation, as idiotic as these words are, is then to ascribe these to ascribe these attitudes to the entire left, which O'Reilly has done, and which Rush Limbaugh has done, and that is idiotic."
As NewsBusters reported Friday, the Pentagon on Thursday released its much-anticipated analysis concerning prewar intelligence. It was pointed out that there was a wide array of takes on this report, and that, in particular, Walter Pincus of the Washington Post presented a rather negative impression of the Bush administration in his front-page story on this issue.
Well, it turns out that Pincus’s article incorrectly attributed quotes to this report that were actually taken from statements made inOctober 2004 by Democrat Senator Carl Levin. The Post has issued the following correction (h/t NB member Steve L., emphasis mine throughout):
It is a common maxim that sometimes those who most loudly decry a sin are in fact the most guilty of it. The trial of Scooter Libby has become a troubling affirmation of that maxim, at least from my vantage point in the media room at the Prettyman Courthouse.
The Washington press has been giddy since the name Joe Wilson was first thrust into the limelight by the tag-team of the New York Times opinion page and NBC's Meet the Press. This week's court proceedings reminded us how invested Big Media has been in the prosecution of White House staff over Wilson's now-debunked claims. Consider this excerpt provided by Libby's defense from an appearance by NBC's Tim Russert on the Don Imus show:
"It was like Christmas here last night," describing the anticipation of indictments coming down over the leak case. "Santa Claus is coming. Surprises! What's going to be under the tree?"
Regular readers know I'm not in the habit of choosing unflattering screencaps, but sometimes devotion to accurately portraying the tenor of an event demands it. Which it does in spades in conveying the vituperation unleashed on MSNBC today in an exchange over the Edwards blogger brouhaha between Dem strategist Julie Roginsky and GOP strategist Brad Blakeman.
Words don't come close to doing justice to the Roginksy vitriol. I urge you to view the video here.
Roginsky began the conversation by asserting that Edwards did the right thing in retaining the two bloggers with a history of making outrageous anti-Catholic statements, as detailed here. She called it a "pragmatic political decision."
Have you ever watched a book-based TV segment in which the hosts never mentioned the book's title? Fox & Friends Weekend pulled off the feat this morning -- presumably because the title of the cookbook in question was a bit too spicy for Fox's taste.
With Valentine's Day looming, Martha Hopkins was in to suggest some sensual dishes to share with one's sweetie. Her claim to expertise? She is co-author of a book entitled . . . "Inter Courses: An Aphrodisiac Cookbook." Hopkins treated the Fox hosts to two of her recipes: artichoke hearts and strawberries and whipped cream.
But while the camera flashed on her book sitting on the buffet, items were artfully arranged to obscure its full title. I'm providing a larger-than-normal screencap so readers can see the careful camouflaging. The book title once appeared briefly at the bottom of the screen, and a full image of the book was flashed at the end of the segment. But the two Fox hosts, Kelly Wright and Brigitte Quinn, managed to avoid ever mentioning its title.
My first vivid memory as a child is watching JFK’s funeral on television. The next one occurred less than three months later when the Beatles appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”
Of course, I wasn’t alone that night. It is estimated that 73 million Americans watched the show that evening, exactly 43 years ago, representing 45 percent of the population at that time.
Any way, without further ado, here is the video of that amazing night (h/t Hot Air). I hope it puts a tear in your eye, and as big a smile on your face as it does me. Watching this, I feel four years old again, without a care in the world, and nothing but a limitless future ahead of me.
Ron Reagan put his ballet background to use this evening, bending over backwards to avoid admitting the obvious: that the Edwards bloggers are anti-Catholic bigots. Appearing on Hardball, Reagan was matched against one of my personal favorites among conservative commentators: Terence Jeffrey of Human Events.
Asked by host Chris Matthews whether John Edwards should retain the controversial bloggers, Reagan responded:
"Yes, absolutely. If John Edwards had folded, everybody on the right would have known that John Edwards can be put in a defensive crouch."
Jeffrey: "Ron, did you actually read what they wrote?"
Reagan: "Yes I did. I did read."
Jeffrey: "Is it not anti-Catholic bigotry, Ron?"
Reagan: "I don't know what was on their mind. I can't give you a yes or no because I can't read their mind."
Making up for advancing the view that soldiers in Iraq are upset by anti-war opponents at home? Exactly two weeks after the NBC Nightly News featured a report from Richard Engel about how “troops here say they are increasingly frustrated by American criticism of the war,” Friday's NBC Nightly News ran a dispatch from Engel which showcased soldiers who want the war to end. Engel ran just one soundbite, from a Staff Sergeant with the First Infantry Division, who declared: “It is pretty much almost a lost cause. I mean, nothing it seems we do is doing any good. Every country goes through a civil war. So, I mean, maybe it'd be better for them to have a civil war and hash it out and then try to help them after that." Engel added about the unit he had traveled with which narrowly escaped an IED explosion: “They all told me it's time to end this war. And, Brian [Williams], the soldiers also asked why it seems from here there are no plans to end the war, just discussions of battle tactics?" (Screen shot is of Engel inside the Army convoy vehicle)
The answer, in part, photoshopped models. And no, I'm not referring to Katie.
...thanks to technology, often not even the models themselves can compare to their portfolios. Increasingly, photos for print are enhanced and perfected to an astonishing degree. Not only are moles, acne and subtle facial hair erased from already pretty faces, but retouchers are routinely asked by editors and advertisers to enlarge eyes, trim normal-size ears, fill in hairlines, straighten teeth and lengthen the already-narrow necks, waists and legs of 18-year-old beauties. "We're always stretching the models' legs and slimming their thighs," says a photo retoucher who works for a high-end Manhattan agency. In some cases, hands, feet or even legs are replaced in photos when the subject’s parts don’t add up to a perfect whole.
But the bigger danger, the Newsweek reporters insist, is that twiggy models are actually leading American women to bulk up:
A week after NBC's Law & Order aired an episode revolving around an Ann Coulter-like character (NewsBusters item with video) whose anti-embryonic stem cell research position so angered a student suffering from Parkinson's disease that he tried to kill her (but his gunshot kills an innocent student), tonight's (Friday) episode is inspired by the Ted Haggard case -- though with the added twist of murder. From TV Guide.com:
“A popular reverend is suspected of a gay actor's murder when it is discovered the victim threatened to out the pastor and expose his hypocritical stance on homosexuality.”
Tim Russert, Washington bureau chief of NBC News, walks with the aid of crutches as he leaves U.S. Federal Court, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2007, in Washington. Russert is key prosecution witness in the I Lewis 'Scooter' Libby CIA leak trial. (AP Phoito/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' inflammatory new campaign bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan will be retained by the campaign after making public apologies for past postings that were controversial, to put it mildly. In a surprise, the New York Times played the story on Friday's front page, albeit under the mild headline "Edwards Learns Campaign Blogs Can Cut 2 Ways").
Marcotte is notorious for a January 7 post on the Duke lacrosse "rape" case, one she later eliminated after it became an issue after her hiring: "Can't a few white boys sexually assault a black woman anymore without people getting all wound up about it? So unfair."
The left-leaning media are so predictable, aren’t they? Regardless of the well-documented recent failings of the United Nations – the Oil-for-Food scandal, the sex scandals, you name it – America’s press just can’t bring themselves to question anything that comes out of this corrupt body.
Such was certainly the case in devout liberal Ellen Goodman’s Boston Globe piece Friday concerning global warming (emphasis mine throughout):
By every measure, the U N 's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change raises the level of alarm. The fact of global warming is "unequivocal." The certainty of the human role is now somewhere over 90 percent. Which is about as certain as scientists ever get.
Game, set, and match for Goodman. Yet, this wasn’t nearly as unequivocal as she got: