With North Korea testing nuclear weapons and Democrats demanding that the Bush administration engage in bilateral talks with them, it should come as no surprise that the "Early Show" once again turned to Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institution for analysis. O’Hanlon, made his 17th appearance of the year on Thursday’s "Early Show" where he was sure to plug his book. "Early Show" co-host Hannah Storm conducted the interview and pondered why, if the Democrats and Kofi Annan and the North Koreans want the Bush administration to engage the North Koreans directly, why wouldn’t President Bush simply acquiesce:
"But first President Bush said Wednesday that negotiating directly with North Korea would not have stopped that country's nuclear tests, and he added there would be no one-on-one talks now, that's something that Democrats are calling for...Also, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has called for direct talks. The North Koreans has asked for it. Why does the president say no?"
Oklahoma Republican senator James Inhofe is continuing his campaign to educate Americans about the media's tendency to listen and repeat alarmist rhetoric about the environment. His latest Senate speech focused on the New York Times and its prepostrous flipping back and forth between believing in massive global cooling/warming:
My recent speeches detailing the embarrassing 100 year history of the media’s relentless climate hype and its flip flopping between global cooling and warming scares must have struck a nerve in the old gray lady of the New York Times. A significant portion of my 50 minute Senate floor speech on September 25th was devoted to the New York Times history of swinging between promoting fears of a coming ice age to promoting fears of global warming. Since 1895, the media has alternated between global cooling and warming scares during four separate and sometimes overlapping time periods.
The New York Times October 12, 2006 editorial accused me of possessing “a hysteria of doubt” about human caused catastrophic global warming. But in reality, there is no doubt that it is the New York Times that possesses a hysterical and erroneous history of climate alarmism.
Here is a quote from the February 24, 1895 edition of the New York Times reporting on fears of an approaching ice age: “Geologists Think the World May be Frozen Up Again.” But on March 27, 1933, the New York Times reported: “America in Longest Warm Spell Since 1776; Temperature Line Records a 25-year Rise” Then in 1952, the New York Times was back on the global warming bandwagon declaring that the “trump card” of global warming “has been the melting glaciers.” And a 1975 New York Times headline trumpeting fear of a coming ice age read: “Climate Changes Endanger World’s Food Output.”
On Thursday's The View on ABC, lead quad-host Rosie O'Donnell disclosed that Barbra Streisand invited her backstage following the Bush-bashing singer's concert the night before, and she was joined in the special access by Bill and Hillary Clinton as well as CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric. How cozy.
O'Donnell opened the October 12 program, aired live at 11am EDT, by giddily singing: “I saw Barbra! Again last night!” She added in a near whisper: “She was fantastic!” O'Donnell soon proceeded to excitedly recount how all week she's been attending Streisand's New York City concerts, which she didn't mention feature Streisand mocking and attacking President Bush, and finally got to go backstage on Wednesday night:
You have to hand it to the liberal media. The American government is prosecuting its first treason case in 50 years, but the press has managed to maintain its focus on more important issues. You know, like the Mark Foley email scandal. Such dedication in the face of silly distractions is truly admirable.
Justice Department officials denied the case was timed to
deflect attention from the fallout over lewd computer messages
sent by a former Republican congressman to young male aides, a
scandal that may help Democrats seize control of Congress in
the November 7 elections.
Hat tip to James Taranto who adds: "To our knowledge, Reuters has not denied that this is intended to deflect
attention from the fallout over Reuters' Ann
Last time I checked, DOJ officials haven't commented on whether they've stopped beating their spouses. I'll be waiting for Vicini's followup on this.
In Thursday's daily morning political chat at washingtonpost.com, Post National Political Editor and author John F. Harris professed "astonishment" that anyone would drag the Clinton adminstration's diplomatic legacy into the debate over North Korea. When pressed that obviously, the Clintons' designs on recapturing the White House add modern relevance, Harris still pooh-poohed that "these arguments about things that happened a decade ago can be a distraction to more vital contemporary debates." For those who might not know, Harris has been at times a very receptive water-carrier for Team Clinton. See an old article on that tendency here. Or here.
South Park's resident juvenile coffee addict would find little solace in today's "Early Show" where CBS's Rene Syler trumpeted a "shocking" report that found decaf coffee contains <gasp> caffeine.
Well, duh. Decaffeination removes most, not all the caffeine that naturally occurs in a drink such as coffee. And medical experts have known it for years. But that didn't stop Syler and correspondent Randall Pinkston from hyping the University of Florida study or to play up caffeine's health risks.
“Thousands of people do drink decaf because of health issues,” for medical reasons “but if you drink decaffeinated coffee because you think you’re eliminating” the stimulant, “think again,” cautioned Pinkston, pointing to a recently published study from the University of Florida.
In running some amazing microscopy photos of a developing baby, NBC's Today show, probably inadvertently, undercut the arguments of their friends on the pro-abortion side. On this morning's Today co-hosts Meredith Vieira and Matt Lauer oohed and ahhed as they ran dramatic photos of a 24 week old fetus with Vieira even calling it a "child," something the abortion-on-demand types are loath to do. Interestingly neither Lauer or Vieira even mentioned the abortion word during the entire segment.
The following is a full transcript of the Ron Mott segment and ensuing discussion that took place in the 7:30am half hour of the October 12th Today show. First, some segment teasers:
Al Roker: "Also ahead some dramatic pictures from a groundbreaking book. This is the hand of an 11-week-old fetus."
On Wednesday night, the controversial cartoon program “South Park”, now in its tenth season, lampooned all the, um, conspiracy-minded in our country (which is putting it nicely!) who believe that the Bush administration was someone involved in the attacks on 9/11. Our friends at Hot Air have a video clip of the episode which AllahPundit set up with the following:
It picks up in the oval office, where Stan, Kyle, and a 911Truth idiot have been brought by the CIA after finding out too much. But what transpires there proves to be a ruse, and only later do they learn the shocking truth — that the Truthers themselves are part of the conspiracy.
In today's DC Examiner, Olbermann Watch blogger Bob Cox sounds the alarm against what he (correctly) perceives as the conservative movement's failure to sufficiently become involved in creating the next generation of the internet. Now that the web has become a commodity, most conservatives have given up trying to be technology leaders, effectively allowing the left to create and control all of the major "web 2.0" resources like Technorati, Wikipedia, YouTube, and others.
The failure of the Dean campaign has led too many conservatives to dismiss technology leadership as an overhyped part of a political campaign. But that's only half the story. In truth, superb technology can never compensate for a bad candidate, but it can sure do wonders for one. And as part of a larger overall popular movement, technology is vital. For too long, conservatives have stood outside society's institutions clamoring for change. Isn't it about time that we went in?
In the waning days of Howard Dean’s abortive presidential campaign,
I met many of the talented folks who played a role in turning the Dean
Web site into a powerful fundraising tool that propelled an unknown
candidate into the national spotlight. At various blogging conferences
since, I have had the opportunity to observe many of these bright minds
strategizing on how to best leverage the emerging world of blogs and
other “social networking” services known as “Web 2.0” to advance their
liberal political agenda and win elections.
Their common refrain: “We need to own the Internet the way the right owns talk radio.”
got me wondering whether the online “conservative elite” was aware of
what the left had in mind and, if so, whether they were concerned.
Fox News correspondent Steve Centanni logged his first report Wednesday after having been kidnapped and held hostage by Palestinians in Gaza back in August. Please join me in giving hearty congratulations and warmest wishes to Steve and his family.
Here is a video of Centanni's first report since being released by his captors on August 27 courtesy of our friend at Ms Underestimated.
Barry Hess, the Libertarian candidate for governor in Arizona is so upset with the "blatant and shameless" bias of his state's biggest newspaper, the Arizona Republic that he's embarking on a new effort to run ads--against the newspaper.
Judging from Hess's media bias section on his site, it seems his biggest complaint isn't necessarily about issues and more about that the paper's refusal to give coverage to other candidates besides the Democrat Janet Janet Napolitano and Republican Len Munsil. Still, this is the first time I've ever seen a candidate of any party want to run advertisements against a media outlet.
There is another interesting item in this story as well. Hess had an email exchange with Ken Western, the Republic's editorial page editor. In a reply to Hess after the candidate has expressed frustration with being called a "spoiler" by a Republic reporter, Western explicitly states that Hess should refrain from criticizing reporters since doing so will result in bad publicity for himself. Here's the relevant part of the page:
The MSM had a field day Wednesday with two reports. The first was by a Johns Hopkins scientist, suggesting that there have been more than 600,000 civilian deaths in Iraq during the current conflict - a full order of magnitude greater than the US-government estimate of 30-50,000. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic & International Studies criticized the way the estimate was derived and noted that the results were released shortly before the Nov. 7 election."They're almost certainly way too high. This is not analysis, this is politics," Cordesman said.
The second report was one suggesting that the Army was planning to maintain current troop levels in Iraq through 2010.
Howard Kurtz profiled White House press secretary Tony Snow for Thursday's Washington Post. He emphasized his talk-radio style of combat with reporters, and his availablity for GOP fundraisers: "It's Gloves Off (and Pass the Hat) for Bush Spokesman." That sounds a little like he's taking a collection for his personal use. White House reporters asked for comment in the piece come across as, surprise, hard-bitten and cynical:
"He definitely likes the combat," says Martha Raddatz, ABC's White House correspondent. "One of his devices is he stops and smiles at you. The megawatt smile is supposed to punctuate his sentences, but it hasn't worked as well for him lately. It's a pretty tight-lipped administration, and that hasn't changed."
There's a saying along the lines that liberals will always oppose the use of US force - except where US security interests are not at stake. The New York Times editorial of this morning, The Age of Impunity, provides a perfect case in point.
The central thesis is this:
"Bush has squandered so much of America’s moral authority — not to mention our military resources — that efforts to shame or bully the right behavior from adversaries (and allies) sound hollow."
Along the way, the Times recommends that Pres. Bush pander to the rogue regimes in Pyongyang and Tehran by making "a clear pledge — no caveats and no fingers crossed behind his back - that he would not try to overthrow" their governments.
On Wednesday's Late Show with David Letterman, guest Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show mimicked President Bush's news conference performance, comparing his style of answering reporters' questions to "an eight-year-old when they didn't read the book." Imitating Bush, Stewart mocked Bush's answer about Dennis Hastert: "Speaker of the House, known him ten years, his father's a coach, he has an epidermis, covers his whole body, he's a mammal..." Stewart went on to joke that while people say "I think President Bush is stupid," that in reality Bush "talks like he's talking to someone who's stupid, which means -- we're stupid." Stewart also remarked that Bush's manner was "becoming particularly odder as it goes along."
According to the AP's report on the Conference on School Safety which was ordered and attended by President Bush this week in the wake of the three most recent school shootings in Colorado, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, Democrats "mocked the event as a photo opportunity with little substance."
Excuse me? Little substance? Would they say that directly to the face of Columbine survivor Craig Scott who was there and told the "wrenching story of the day his sister died"? Craig was in the Colorado school when two students killed 13 people, including his sister Rachel.
Craig asked, "Please take my words to heart today. They were bought at a high price."
Clearly the Dems failed to take Craig's words to heart. Instead of valuing what he had to say they used the event as an opportunity for partisan politics. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J. said, "It seems every week we learn of yet another school shooting, and all the president is willing to do is hold a summit."
After his May 8 prediction that White House aide Karle Rove "will, in fact, be indicted" blew up in his face as investigators into the Valerie Plame non-scandal told Rove he would not be charged, you'd think MSNBC correspondent David Shuster would have stayed away from making prognostications based on his own reporting.
If you predicted that, however, you would've been wrong.
Last Wednesday, Shuster confidently asserted that his sources told him that GOP House Speaker Dennis Hastert would be ousted from power by a week. Well, it's Thursday now and Hastert is still very much in the Speaker's Chair. Will Shuster trouble himself to issue a retraction? Perhaps the perpetually inaccurate Keith Olbermann might bestir himself to force one since he now seems slightly more interested in accuracy, especially since Shuster's remark was made on his show.
In any case, Shuster should definitely consider developing some better sources since they've steered him wrong rather profoundly on two instances in less than six months' time.
Full text of Shuster's comment is below the fold. Tip of the hat to Olbermann Watch for reminding me of when Shuster made his false prediction.
The headline from this Associated Press story reads, "Army: Troops to stay in Iraq until 2010." Yikes! The Army has decided that we need 141,000 troops in Iraq at least through 2010? Surely, this is a clear indication that the situation is much more dire than the American public has been lead to believe?
Actually, no. The information in the story doesn't match the headline.
Despite how the estimate of 665,000 Iraqi deaths caused by violence since the war began -- a number forwarded in a new report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health -- represents quadruple the highest monthly rate as tracked by the UN and is 13 times larger than the total compiled by the Iraq Body Count group, CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric set up a Wednesday story on the guesstimate by declaring as fact: “Now we're learning that the war has been a lot more deadly than we knew.” David Martin proceeded to treat the number as perfectly reasonable as he put the blame on the U.S.: "A new and stunning measure of the havoc the American invasion unleashed in Iraq. A study published in the British journal Lancet estimates 655,000 Iraqis -- 2.5 percent of the entire population -- have died as a consequence of the war. To understand how large, consider this: The same percentage of the much larger American population would be 7.5 million dead.”
Martin noted how, at his press conference, President Bush disputed the accuracy of the estimate, but that treated it as merely a political spat. Martin, as well as ABC and NBC, failed to note the imprecision of the number extrapolated from interviews with about 1,800 Iraqi families, or expert doubters of the methodology, some of whom were cited in the Wednesday New York Times story which featured this pull-out statement in the middle of the printed article: "It's not a precise count, and the margin of error is wide." In a larger story, NBC's Jim Miklaszewski gave an air of authority as he relayed: "An independent study released today by Johns Hopkins University claims that more than 650,000 Iraqis have been killed in the war...”