To those of us who see the Castro regime as an ugly dictatorship whose people are mired in poverty due to the communism it has imposed, little is more annoying than to hear the MSM tout the glories, as reported here by MRC, of Cuba's 'free health care,' and low illiteracy and infant mortality rates. Beyond the dubiousness of the statistics cited, are the media suggesting that trading freedom for a bowl of government porridge is a good deal?
In any case, judging by this morning's Today show, it looks as if the MSM have finally found a communist dictatorship they will not extol. The media have drawn the line at, well, the DMZ line separating South from North Korea.
Ken Lay deserves outrage for his corrupt tenure at Enron, but it's fair to say there is more outrage on the left, as liberals tried desperately to connect Enron to Bush in the 2002 election cycle. In the Washington Post today, in a piece titled "Ken Lay's Last Evasion," Style section essayist Henry Allen channeled the rage that Lay cheated the world by dying with an overwrought revenge fantasy:
But now that he's died of a heart attack in the luxury of his Colorado getaway while awaiting sentencing for his crimes, none of his victims will be able to contemplate that he's locked away in a place that makes the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel look like Hawaii; that he might be spending long nights locked in a cell with a panting tattooed monster named Sumo, a man of strange and constant demands; and long days in the prison laundry or jute mill or license plate factory, gibbering with anguish as fire-eyed psychopaths stare at him for unblinking hours while they sharpen spoons into jailhouse stilettos.
Today (Wed. July 5, 2006), the Los Angeles Times continues its practice of taking cheap shots and providing erroneous information about the Catholic Church (other recent examples are here, here, and here). In an oddly timed editorial, "The Vatican's Archives,"* the Times calls for more "openness" from Pope Benedict XVI and the Church regarding the Church's actions during the rise of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. Ignoring the fact that the Times' position could be based on misinformation it published last month (read this), the paper has also published a flat-out error about the Church's belief of papal infallibility.
All coffee cups and drinking vessels down, please. This is toooo good.
The New Zealand Herald is reporting (side-splitting hat tip to Drudge): “A New Zealand peace activist is facing serious assault charges after he allegedly punched a rock singer in London, leaving the man in a coma.”
Shhhh. Wait. It gets better (emphasis mine): “Christiaan Briggs, 30, who spent three weeks in Iraq with the Truth Justice Peace Human Shield Action Group in 2003, appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court on Tuesday to face a charge of grievous bodily harm.”
Safe to say Briggs isn’t an effective “human shield” anymore. But I digress:
The American Spectator published an article Wednesday thoroughly refuting claims by the New York Times that counterterrorism information revealed in its June 23 exposé was common knowledge. Moreover, to discourage it and the Los Angeles Times from publishing these reports, both were informed of three ongoing investigations using information from SWIFT:
According to Treasury and Justice Department officials familiar with the briefings their senior leadership undertook with editors and reporters from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, the media outlets were told that their reports on the SWIFT financial tracking system presented risks for three ongoing terrorism financing investigations. Despite this information, both papers chose to move forward with their stories.
"We didn't give them specifics, just general information about regions where the investigations were ongoing, terrorist organizations that we believed were being assisted. These were off the record meetings set up to dissuade them from reporting on SWIFT, and we thought the pressing nature of the investigations might sway them, but they didn't," says a Treasury official.
Without giving away vital secrets, these briefings were detailed enough to convince both news organizations of the effectiveness of this program:
As James Taranto suggested Monday in his WSJ 'Best of the Web' column, at some point you can question a person's patriotism. Cindy Sheehan surely crossed that Rubicon long ago. But just in case there was any doubt, Sheehan made things perfectly clear this evening, flatly stating that she'd rather live under Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez than George Bush.
Sheehan made her comments during a Hardball appearance, during which guest host Norah O'Donnell, sitting in for Chris Matthews, gave her a surprisingly rough ride. At one point, O'Donnell asked: "Why go stand by side by Hugo Chavez in Venezuela? Why do that? Would you rather live under him than George Bush?
Ouch! Norah O'Donnell knows how to get a guy where it hurts. And Kim Jong Il might be feeling 'ronrier' than ever.
On this evening's Hardball, Norah, guest-hosting for Chris Matthews, discussed the failed North Korean missile tests with three separate panels. In each case, she used the same Freudian-fraught metaphor for failure:
To her first panel, composed of congressmen Dan Burton [R-IN] and Bill Pascrell [D-NJ], Norah noted:
"We saw the Taepodong missile essentially exploded and went limp into the sea of Japan after 45 seconds."
Next, with guests Michael Scheuer and Tyler Drumheller - both former CIA officials - she mentioned:
The media usually leaves Hollywood out of the class warfare it engenders, but NBC's Michael Okwu found a sore spot among union members angry at Hollywood hot shots like George Clooney: Top dollar celebrities pulling down millions to voice over commercial spots.
“Let’s put it this way, there are some people that are
making a million dollars an hour,” announcer Tom Kane griped. Okwu told viewers
Kane is paid “a lot less.”
“Just go make
your movies. Let us do our commercials and no one gets hurt,” Kane told Okwu.
But Kane is far
more successful than the average union dues-paying announcer and he himself has
starred in a few animated movies.
A look at Kane’s
professional Web site and his profile at the Internet Movie Database
(imdb.com), tell of a career voicing over television shows, video games, and
trailers to movies such as “Booty Call,” “Ice Age 2,” and “Jimmy Neutron.”
According to Wallsten, the campaign be difficult for the congressman from "liberal Memphis," but "Ford argued that the old labels do
not apply -- not to this centrist, pro-war, anti-gay-marriage, deficit
hawk of a social conservative. . . "
Centrist? Let's see. For 2005, Mr. Ford received a score of 100 percent in the National Education Association's ratings. He was also perfect with the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees. The National Organization for Women gave him an 86, the AFL-CIO awarded him an 83 and he received a solid 80 from the Americans for Democratic Action.
If only they had decided the story was not worth printing before they decided to run with it.
Michelle Malkin writes in her syndicated column that the New York Times has decided the "secret" it exposed was not so secret after all. All that fuss over a story that, it turns out, everbody already knew.
When is a "secret" not a secret? When The New York Times decides, in the interest of saving its old gray hide, that it is not.
On June 22, the paper trumpeted its expose of "a secret Bush administration program" to track terror finances. The banking program, reporters Eric Lichtblau and James Risen made unmistakably clear, was a "closely held secret." The front-page story referred to the secret nature of the program no less than eight times. A Times-produced Web video featuring Lichtblau promoted a brief interview in which he "reveal(ed) a secret Bush administration program to access financial records."
Don't know if it will still be up when you go there, but when I went to Google News Top Stories at about 2:25 PM EDT, this is the photo of Rush Limbaugh that I found, accompanying the various stories reporting that Rush will not be charged in the discovery, when recently going through customs, of a prescription medicine not in his name.
NewsBuster Noel Sheppard has written elsewhere about Google's censorship of conservative web sites, and others have accused it of a liberal slant in its selection of stories.
On the 7pm hour of CNN's The Situation Room on Tuesday afternoon, Jack Cafferty admitted President Bush "might have been on to something" when discussing the Axis of Evil in his 2002 State of the Union address (video link from Expose the Left to follow). The topic of the hour was North Korea's long-range missile "testing". North Korea is a country in Bush's Axis of Evil.
CAFFERTY: That was January 2002, the president referring, of course, to Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Fast forward four years. The U.S. has now been involved in the war in Iraq for well over three years with no end in site. Iran continues its efforts to enrich uranium, insisting it's just for peaceful purposes while many around the world fear they are actually embarking on a nuclear weapons program. And now we have North Korea going ahead today with test missile launches, including the failed launch of at least one long- range missile today. Looks like President Bush might have been on to something, doesn't it. Here's the question, which country from President Bush's axis of evil, Iraq, Iran, or North Korea poses the greatest threat to the United States. E-mail your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. John?
Where did he go wrong? Syndicated sports columnists Norman Chad was trying to lecture that there were not enough black sports editors in America, only 4 of 305. As Tim Graham noted, he even managed to get in a dig at Newt Gingrich: "We're whiter than Newt Gingrich's Fourth of July barbecue."
But later in the piece, he said he knew one of those few black editors, Garry D. Howard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
I actually know one of them pretty well — Garry D. Howard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which carries my column.
I noticed Howard was black the first time we met, largely because of his skin color. But once I got by that I realized he spoke English somewhat satisfactorily and understood sports and journalism reasonably well.
Via Romenesko, we learn that syndicated sports columnist/humorist Norman Chad was decrying the unbearable whiteness of sports section editors, but he encapsulated it with a political wisecrack: "We're whiter than Newt Gingrich's Fourth of July barbecue." (The column ran in the Washington Post on Monday.)
Since this is an attempt at humor, it's doubtful that Chad is trying to be factual, as if he has actually witnessed a Gingrich barbecue. But this is an odd joke, considering Gingrich has long been very Jack-Kempian in his reaching out to black audiences, supporting a Martin Luther King holiday and sanctions against apartheid-era South Africa in the 1980s, for example. Then there's his endorsements of black Republican candidate Dylan Glenn for Congress in his home state of Georgia. Are the liberals running out of easy GOP "bigot" targets?
On July 3, the D.C. Chapter of FreeRepublic.com and Accuracy in Media held a protest outside the Washington bureau of the New York Times. Michelle Malkin has pictures from the event.
The protest was reported on Fox News' "Special Report with Brit Hume."
BRIT HUME: The "New York Times" continues to take heat for its revelation, as we mentioned earlier in the "Grapevine," of a secret government program to track terrorist financing. As chief Washington correspondent, Jim Angle, reports attempts by the paper's editor to explain its action have not calmed the controversy.
PROTESTOR: Round them up for treason. Send them all to Gitmo.
"Fredo, you're my older brother, and I love you. But don't ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever." - Michael Corleone, The Godfather
Mark Hohmeister writes for the Tallahassee Democrat about picking editorial cartoons. While he admits to being liberal, he also notes that one shouldn't pick editorial cartoons based on your personal ideology. Last week he made the mistake of picking one where Uncle Sam was reading the New York Times with the masthead saying "All the Treason Fit to Print."
He heard back from unhappy readers, which didn't surprise me, but he also heard from his former publisher of the Democrat, who said:
"In more than 50 years of various responsibilities for newspapers and editorial pages, I've defended a lot of editorial cartoons. But this one is indefensible."
Just 74 words into its article announcing Ken Lay's death, the AP somehow found it pertinent to report that Lay was "nicknamed 'Kenny Boy' by President Bush."
The MSM has gotten more mileage than a 'Ford Excuse' coasting downhill out of W's 'heck of a job, Brownie' to then-FEMA Director Michael Brown in the wake of Katrina. Looks like they're going to stick with a winning formula, even when it comes to the dead.
AP is of course unsubtly trying to tie Pres. Bush to the Enron scandal. In doing so, AP ignores the fact that the Clinton administration had chummy dealings with Enron. Beyond that, the implication is that Bush only bestows sobriquets on good friends. As the WH press corps well knows, he has nicknames for many of them, including a good number whom no one would confuse for administration fans.
Q: Where is approximately 380,000 votes "the narrowest of leads" in an election?
A: In the New York Times, but only when the leftist candidate is trailing.
From James C. McKinley Jr. and Ginger Thompson's dispatch on the Mexican presidential race (emphasis added):
MEXICO CITY, July 4 — The Mexican electoral crisis deepened Tuesday, as the leftist candidate demanded a vote-by-vote recount and election officials acknowledged that up to three million votes had not been tallied in the preliminary results.
The ballots counted so far showed the conservative, Felipe Calderón, with the narrowest of leads, fewer than 400,000 votes, over his leftist opponent, Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
The Times backpedals a bit from its irresponsible story revealing a successful terrorist surveillance program involving international bank transactions. After playing it up as a lead story June 23, nine days later it's shrugged off as common knowledge by the very reported who trumpeted it on the front page.
Based on CNN's rush transcript, here's reporter Eric Lichtblau on CNN’s Reliable Sources from Sunday defending his bank spy scoop (emphasis added):
"I'm not claiming I know the mind of every terrorist, but I am claiming to know exactly what President Bush and his senior aides have said. And when you have senior Treasury Department officials going before Congress, publicly talking about how they are tracing and cutting off money to terrorists, weeks and weeks before our story ran. 'USA Today,' the biggest circulation in the country, the lead story on their front page four days before our story ran was the terrorists know their money is being traced, and they are moving it into -- outside of the banking system into unconventional means. It is by no means a secret."