Here’s something you’re unlikely to see in an American newspaper or magazine: global warming might actually be good for the planet and its inhabitants.
This radical idea was advanced Monday by the German magazine Der Spiegel which did something I can’t imagine a U.S. publication having the nerve to do in this highly politicized environment: offer readers a comprehensive, balanced view of the pluses and minuses inherent in a warming earth.
How delightfully extraordinary.
Unlike most American media reports on this issue, Spiegel, in an article ironically titled "Not the End of the World as We Know It," wonderfully began with a little history on the subject to put things in a proper perspective (emphasis added throughout):
Three of the six Fort Dix terror suspects are in the United States illegally, so I thought I'd look at how three major metropolitan newspapers reported that fact in today's papers.
Looking through coverage in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, and the Washington Post, I found that the first two put mention of the illegal immigration status of the Duka brothers one-quarter of the way through their respective articles, while the Post buried the mention more than halfway through the article, paragraph 14 out of 26 to be exact.
Here's how each paper reported the illegal status of three of the suspects:
... long live citizen journalism!
I ran across this article from the Guardian last week on Lightstalkers, and didn't really get a chance to sit down and read it through until this morning.
Is photography really dead? Andrew Brown, an accomplished English journalist in his own right, says it is. He points to the ease-of-use of modern photographic equipment, and lamenting the fact that it is "so easy" for the Everyman to take a photograph now, claims that the overall quality of pictorial stock is in decline.
In some ways, Andrew seems to be on the right track. It is infinitely easier to take a photograph today than it was, say, 50 years ago. The equipment necessary to take high-quality photographs even through the 1970s was cumbersome, difficult to use, and required a great attention to detail in order to get a professional picture. Of course, the Polaroid camera existed back then for the amateurs, so it's not like "easy to use" is really all that new.
As you'll see from the screencap, the cast of "Today" was really yukking it up this morning at George Bush's expense, recycling his "1776" gaffe on the occasion of the Queen's visit and updating the story with the Queen's retort. Between a show-opening tease and the subsequent smirk-a-thon, the show devoted no less than 1 min, 43 seconds of its opening 21-minute 7:00 AM half-hour to the matter.
But, at least during that crucial first half-hour, "Today" somehow couldn't find a second to report on either of two stories with negative implications for Dem presidential candidates Barack Obama and John Edwards.
Speaking in Virginia yesterday, Obama claimed that "ten thousand people died" in the Kansas tornado. He was only off by a factor of 1,000. Since we all know that Obama is brilliant, a Harvard law grad, why bother to pass along a story which doesn't fit the template?
Time magazine's list of "The Most Influential People in the World," or the Time 100, has already earned controversy for implausibly leaving President Bush off the list. But in a magazine stuffed with valentines to important people written by their friends, admirers, and family members, Time's staff writers promoted Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as not only influential, but naturally moderate. Karen Tumulty claimed Hillary "has always been a more moderate and pragmatic politician than either her admirers or her detractors believed." Joe Klein praised Obama for "conservative boldness," but he really meant that Obama's tone was cautious and reserved, devoid of red meat, since Klein also noted Obama "swims contentedly in the Democratic Party's mainstream" -- which everyone knows is not conservative.
Klein's Obama tribute carried the headline: "A young yet audaciously thoughtful U.S. Senator makes his run at history." This gooey article led the "Leaders and Revolutionaries" section. Obama "has attached himself to the notion of audacity....The whoosh of his candidacy, in the polls and in the amount of money raised, has been audacious as well."
It's so easy, the cave men did it? LiveScience.com staff writer, Dave Mosher, wrote an article on Yahoo.com titled "Climate Change, Not Humans, Trounced Neanderthals" about Francisco Jimenez-Espejo, a University of Granada paleoclimatologist who “says a lack of evidence has left climate change weakly supported—until now. 'We put data behind the theory,' he said, filling in a large gap in European climate records when Neanderthals faded out of existence.”
He concluded from a detailed examination of evidence that Neanderthals disappeared from Earth more than 20,000 years ago at least partially because of climate change. As in global cooling.
U.S. News & World Report is traditionally known as the staid sister of Time and Newsweek, so it’s a little shocking to see these harsh words on the cover this week: "Bush’s Last Stand: He’s plagued by a hostile CONGRESS, sinking POLLS, and an unending WAR. IS HE RESOLUTE OR DELUSIONAL?" (Capitals theirs.) The cover story by Kenneth T. Walsh is loaded with Bush-bashing quotes from named and anonymous sources. Walsh began by noting Bush has compared his trials to those of Abraham Lincoln and Harry Truman, and the diagnosis that Bush is mentally ill emerges from DNC chairman Dr. Howard Dean: "This is delusional – comparing yourself to two of our greatest presidents!" Liberal historian Robert Dallek added, "a great majority see him as stubborn and unyielding...And everything he touches turns to dust."
On Tuesday night, following a week in which the CBS Evening News attracted the fewest viewers in decades, the producers decided the Katie Couric-anchored newscast needed an injection of an Olbermann-esque twist: The arrests of six Islamists, for plotting to use automatic weapons to murder troops at Fort Dix, matches the hype around previous captures which fizzled. Armen Keteyian framed his story around how since 9/11 “more than 400,000 names have come under one form of government surveillance or another -- from watch lists to wiretaps. But only a handful of terrorists have been convicted in cases with concrete ties to al-Qaeda.” Keteyian highlighted how cases that “start out as larger, bolder terrorism cases, turn into lesser offenses. According to a study by the NYU Center on Law and Security, of the 550 terrorism cases since 9/11, only 163 individuals have been prosecuted on terrorism charges.” The group's Karen Greenburg then asserted: “The conclusion would be that we've made a lot of hoopla about a number of cases on the grounds of terrorism at the beginning, and they haven't panned out to be terrorism cases.”
But Keteyian didn't bother to alert viewers to the Center for Law and Security's agenda. Greenberg, the Executive Director featured in a soundbite, is “co-editor of The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib” and “she is a former Vice President of the Soros Foundation/Open Society Institute,” according to her online bio. Amongst the Fellows at the organization: infamous Clinton sycophant and conservative-basher Sidney Blumenthal and on the Board of Advisers: Dana Priest, the Washington Post reporter who exposed the secret overseas CIA sites to interrogate terrorists. The topic of the group's most recent forum, “The Hidden Roots of War: Christian Zionism and the Neocon Fundamentalist Alliance in America.”
The Katie Couric as “CBS Evening News” anchor experiment appears to be failing, and failing miserably.
As TV Week reported Tuesday (h/t TVNewser): “The news is not good for third-place ‘CBS Evening News With Katie Couric,’ which in the week of April 30 hit its lowest total viewership since at least 1987.”
According to TVNewser’s Brian Stelter, the “at least 1987” qualifier refers to Nielsen ratings not going back any further.
The news wasn’t any better for one of Couric’s competitors either:
Well, here's an update. It appears they still are.
As of 7:00 p.m. EDT tonight, both FoxNews.com and CNN give the Fort Dix terror plot story prime real estate. Not so for MSNBC. See MSNBC screencap below and check here and here for Fox and CNN screencaps respectively.
A new study by my alma mater, the University of Maryland, looked at the online divisions of 19 major traditional print and broadcast media:
... to see
which ones gave the users of their RSS feeds the same number of
stories, the same range of news sources, in as timely a fashion as
could be gotten if those users went to the individual website.
The Los Angeles Times, ABCNews.com, and Foxnews.com fared among the best RSS providers while the New York Times was among the worst. But the bottom line, the study concluded, was that:
... if a user wants
specific news on any subject from any of the 19 news outlets the
research team looked at, he or she must still track the news down
website by website.
The main reason? The paucity of information RSS feeds give the reader:
Tonight's (May 8) episode of ABC's “Boston Legal,” the 10pm EDT/PDT drama set in an unorthodox Boston law firm, will seemingly take up the topic of a man “tortured” by the U.S. at Guantanamo Bay. The ABC.com summary of the plot relays that attorney “Alan Shore,” played by James Spader, “sues the United States on behalf of a client who was tortured for two years at a detention camp.” The title of the episode: “Guantanamo by the Bay.”
This will hardly be the first time the ABC show, starring William Shatner and Candice Bergen, has centered episodes around advancing liberal causes. See the January 17 NewsBusters posting: “ABC's 'Boston Legal' Takes Cheap Shots to the Right.” Also check a NewsBusters posting from March of 2006, “ABC's 'Boston Legal' Airs Anti-Bush Tirade, Takes Shot at FNC & Raises McCarthy Era,” which features two video clips.
We’ve now finished the first two presidential debates, both on MSNBC. Pundits are debating whether they will make a difference in the race, but one thing is very clear: it’s business as usual for the media moderating these things. The Democrats were treated to an amiable chit-chat among friends. The Republicans took round after round of hostile fire from enemies. Nothing ever changes. The Democrats are spoiled like rotten kids, and the Republicans are invited to sleep on a bed of nails, and do so willingly.
But the dynamic now has been made even worse by the petulant petitions and protests of the censorious left, the ones who claim to be "democrats" but want to remove Fox News Channel from the news media. Leftists believe in a media strategy with all the sophistication of holding your breath and turning blue. Fox hatred is required. On the Huffington Post, author Carol Hoenig argued the Democrats should debate on Fox. Even so, her article was headlined "Fox News: A Cancer On Society."
Apparently, CNN can't get enough of Kathleen Sebelius, the Democrat governor of Kansas. She made two appearances on CNN on Monday, once on "American Morning," and the other time on "The Situation Room." Both times, she tried to blame the Iraq war for any hampered reactions to the devastation caused by a tornado in Greensburg, Kansas. The same evening, the "Paula Zahn Now" program featured another segment on the supposed equipment shortages Governor Sibelius has highlighted in her media appearances. Even though the segment's sound bytes supported the governor's line, CNN Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre and Major General Tod Bunting of the Kansas National Guard made several points that reveal the truth of the situation.
The Greensburg tornado disaster was just the perfect excuse for another global warming item on ABCNews.com.
After all, the Associated Press and CNN have focused on an Iraq angle to devastating tornado damage, but finding an Iraq angle to everything is so, I dunno, 2004.
At any rate, on his "Science and Society" blog at ABCNews.com yesterday, reporter Ned Potter set out to find why tornado touchdowns have increased in the past few years.
I called the National Weather Service, which says that as of today it
knows of 69 dead in tornadoes since Jan. 1, compared to 49 up to this
point last year, and 38 deaths for all of 2005. It's worth looking
around NOAA's Storm Prediction Center site; find it HERE.
there a reason? Shifting weather patterns? Shifting population
patterns? Global climate change? Clayton Sandell was asked to put
together some notes.
With Rosie O’Donnell’s announced departure of "The View" other networks such as NBC and CBS are apparently interested in the very controversial comedienne. Broadcastingcable.com reports that Rosie may offer commentary on "The Early Show" in an effort to boost its third place ratings.
"Sources say O'Donnell will meet with CBS brass soon to discuss its offer, which could open the door to regular guest appearances on The Early Show. Her views have generated the type of buzz that could allow CBS to finally lift the perennial third-place program out of the morning-show cellar."
The New York Times is still adjusting badly to conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy's big win in the French presidential election over Socialist candidate Segolene Royal, judging by reporter Craig Smith's report from Paris on the thuggish violence that occurred after Sarkozy's big win ("Hundreds Are Arrested in Post-Election Riots Across France").
Instead of blaming the rioters, Smith implied that furthur violence could be blamed on Sarkozy keeping his campaign promises.
"Violent protests against the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France ended early Monday after hundreds of people were arrested, hundreds of cars gutted, and hundreds of windows smashed in several cities across France.
Anti-conservative bias in the media is not unique to America. Agence France-Presse (AFP) practically portrayed French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy as a modern day, Gallic incarnation of Nero, fiddling while France burns (emphasis mine).:
France's next president Nicolas Sarkozy holidayed Tuesday in Malta
ahead of launching a radical reform programme, while back home cities
across the country were hit by more violent "anti-Sarko" protests.
A few paragraphs later, the AFP article --bearing the loaded headline "Sarkozy rests as France braces for reform -- continued to hold Sarkozy in a sinister light.: