Better secure your computer from all combustibles, potables, and sharp objects, sports fans, for the Washington Post published a Letter to the Editor on Friday that is guaranteed to elicit uncontrollable fits of laughter.
Are you ready? Good.
In response to David Broder’s Thursday column about the horrible job Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nevada) is doing as Majority Leader – a sentiment likely an overwhelming majority of Americans share – Senate Democrats actually wrote the Post a complaint letter.
I kid you not.
As the Post didn’t feature this correspondence on the front page – instead including it with the other four “letters” published that day on page A22 – and since Broder wasn’t asked to make a correction or retraction, it doesn’t seem that this puff piece, hysterically titled “Sen. Reid’s Fine Leadership,” was taken very seriously (emphasis added throughout):
The Federal Communications Commission defined broadcast indecency in 1987 as "language or material that, in context, depicts or describes, in terms patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards for the broadcast medium, sexual or excretory organs or activities."
Brent Bozell’s culture column this week reports that ABC’s "According to Jim" had an entire plot revolve around the gag (and "gag" is probably the right word) that the Jim Belushi character ate his wedding ring and his wife waited to catch him in the act of pooping it out. It apparently lands with a "clank." His wife and her siblings then pop out of the shower with an a-ha. Brent writes: "This is certainly a plot based on (implied) excretory activities, but it’s certainly not what the regulators had in mind. I suspect that when these rules were written there wasn’t a soul at the FCC who believed ‘humor’ would ever come to this."
ESPN's Chris Berman likes to say "no one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills." He might add "or the Boston Globe." Its editorial of today, A telling admission, heaps of paeans of praise on Marilee Jones, who resigned her position as MIT Dean of Admissions after an investigation revealed that she earned none of the academic degrees she had claimed.
The Globe quickly gets out of the way its acknowledgement that "no doubt, Marilee Jones did the wrong thing." But you'd hardly know it from the rest of editorial:
"I misrepresented my academic degrees when I first applied to MIT 28 years ago," she said in a statement, "and did not have the courage to correct my resume when I applied for my current job or at any time since." Admitting to that lack of courage means being brave enough to be oneself, even if one is short on credentials but long on potential.
She deserves credit for her straightforward apology.
This forthright admission stands in contrast to others who have denied, delayed, or justified. Last year, David Edmondson, chief executive of RadioShack, said he planned to stay in his job even after it was revealed that he had not earned two college degrees listed on his resume. Days later he resigned.
Jones has had to face her own messy truth. She has done so in a commendable way.
The Globe comes close to excusing others who tell similar lies:
Cam Edwards at NRANews.com tipped me Friday night: The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence will have another $250-a-plate fundraiser in Washington on May 15, like their 2005 event at the French Embassy celebrating the 80th birthday of liberal political humorist Art Buchwald (one major toastmaster was CBS News legend Mike Wallace).
An ad on the Brady Campaign home page for this year’s "Stand Up For A Safe America" fundraiser (honoring Democratic Rep. Rahm Emanuel) shows this year’s Master of Ceremonies is ABC News legend Sam Donaldson. Sam just wisecracked on This Week that gun owners have their weapons "to shoot the paperboy and the relative coming home late at night."
With “Today Show Bound?” as the on-screen header under video of Rosie O'Donnell, Access Hollywood co-anchor Nancy O'Dell on Friday advanced idle speculation about how “we have new information about her possibly joining the Today show.” But the “new information” was that she won't, though Today co-host Matt Lauer thought O'Donnell on the show “might work well for us.” Setting up a soundbite from Lauer at a Thursday event at the Museum of the Moving Image, O'Dell asserted: “And you can forget about Rosie being on NBC's fourth hour of Today beginning in September.” Viewers of the NBC-produced nightly entertainment news show then heard from Lauer: “Being a news show, we do have to walk a little bit of a tighter line than she's used to walking and so it might work well for us, but I don't know how well it would work for Rosie.”
On Friday's NBC Nightly News, former anchor Tom Brokaw ridiculously implied that conservatives who have cited former CIA director George Tenet's "slam dunk" comment about WMD in Iraq had in fact claimed that the comment was a prediction that the war itself against Iraq would be a "slam dunk." The former NBC anchor filed a report detailing Tenet's criticisms of the Bush administration from Tenet's newly released book At the Center of the Storm.
After the pre-recorded report had covered some of Tenet's criticisms of Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice and Richard Perle, Brokaw turned to Tenet's claim that his "slam dunk" comment was taken out of context by Bush defenders. After a a clip of Cheney claiming that Tenet said "the case against Saddam on weapons of mass destruction" was a "slam dunk," Brokaw appeared live to conclude his report, and delivered his own distortion of how conservatives have used the quote. Brokaw: "Former director Tenet ... insists that he was talking about assembling a stronger case to take to the public so it would have a better understanding of what the CIA believed to be true. He was not, he says, saying that a war against Iraq was a slam dunk." (Transcript follows)
It becomes more evident as time goes by that if a stem-cell development isn't based on embryonic research, it probably won't get the attention of the Formerly Mainstream Media.
The announcement early last week by Cellerant Therapeutics appears to involve a company more interested in advancing human health than in generating unsupported hype. Because it represents real progress, Cellerant's announcement (of course) involves adult stem cells (link to dictionary definition of "hematopoietic" added by me):
April 23, 2007 10:13 AM Eastern Daylight Time Cellerant Therapeutics Reversed Autoimmune Disease in Lupus Mice with Transplant of Purified Donor Blood Stem Cells
Yet a review of the questions to Craig betrays Couric's leanings towards Helmke's pro-gun control position as well as some ignorance of the modern history of gun control (see her 10th question, for example).
Below are the questions to Craig with my comments/snark included in italics. Portions in bold are my emphasis:
Just like David Broder's analysis in the Washington Post news section today, NBC Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert offered praise all around for the Democratic field after the Orangeburg debate. The Democratic field are not "pygmies," and everyone, including Mike Gravel, cheered on by Sam Seder on Air America radio this morning for "making Dennis Kucinich look moderate," earned stars on his forehead from NBC:
RUSSERT: Democrats overwhelmingly are very happy with the field. Almost 75 percent of the party members say we like this group. Only 50 percent of Republicans like their group. So I think that if you are stepping back and looking at the 2008 field, it’s not, in past years people say, well, it’s pygmies, they can't possibly step up. I think people can envision several of these people sitting in the Oval Office.
We expect our political pundits to be masters of campaign history, but that isn't always the case. On The Early Show on CBS this morning, newly arrived political correspondent/analyst Jeff Greenfield ended his story on the Democratic debate by telling co-host Harry Smith, "this was, by far, the earliest presidential debate in the history of our political system. You want to know how early? A child conceived last night would be a month old before the people of South Carolina got to vote in their primary."
You don't have to know ancient history to know Greenfield's wrong. In the last election cycle, Democrats held a very early debate in South Carolina just like this one -- on Saturday, May 3, about a week after this one on the calendar. Greenfield analyzed it for CNN on the May 5, 2003 American Morning:
Rosie O'Donnell is photographed through a closed window as she is driven from the ABC television studios after the taping of 'The View,' Wednesday, April 25, 2007, in New York. O'Donnell announced at the show's start that she would be leaving.
Matt Sheffield is in Philly today at Heritage's Resource Bank. As such the usual Friday Open Thread joke is taking a holiday. Maybe in the future, should I have the pleasure of meeting some of our loyal NB readers in person at a happy hour, I can give you my killer standup routine. It always leaves the crickets chirping in delirious glee.
Anyway, use this thread to pontificate and bloviate, or to audition to become a future NB blogger (by writing a pithy, relevant take on an instance of media bias). If it's the latter, follow our style guide and shoot me a private message with the link to remind me to check it out.
One more thing. Heritage Foundation sponsors one-day "boot camps" in "Computer-Assisted Research and Reporting." They have five more scheduled in 2007 at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. It's a great resource for current and aspiring bloggers and online journalists, and best of all, it's free of charge.
Since the VT shootings in Blacksburg, Virginia, we have seen all manner of wild-eyed, anti-gunners come out of the woodwork to cynically use this crime as a chance to beat their gun grabbing drums. But, proposing that we send government Stormtroopers to smash down the doors of every home with a gun in it to confiscate their Constitutionally legal firearms is a step I haven't seen in a purportedly responsible newspaper. That is, until the Toledo Blade published a proposal for taking away our right to self-protection that included "Special squads of police" with unlimited powers to confiscate all guns. A hit squad that would traipse about the country invading homes at will and accosting peaceful citizens everywhere.
The author of this tyrannical proposal is Dan Simpson, who is described as "a retired Ambassador" and a "member of the editorial boards of The Blade and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. " He is a former US Ambassador to various African states... which can easily be read to mean one who thinks government knows best, darn the citizen's rights, apparently.
The mini-scandal got buried by the Imus flap, but a few weeks ago CBS fired a Couric producer for plagiarizing from a Wall Street Journal column. The offending item was the vlog script she wrote for Couric's April 4 "Notebook," wherein Couric waxed nostalgic for childhood and worried that today's kids aren't as enamored with the public library as she was.
I was reminded of Katie's ghostwritten blog when I saw the April 26 edition of "Dilbert." In it, Dilbert's buffoonish pointy-haired boss announced to his long-suffering secretary that he was starting his own blog. Of course, he expected her to write it up herself by noon, cooing that he "can't wait to see what I'm thinking."
Assume for a moment that you were the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination in 2008, and that one of your competitors had recently created a bit of a brouhaha for having hired a couple of liberal bloggers with "tainted" records.
Would you want to post an article at a website that got itself in some trouble of its own last year when it featured an offensive, Photoshopped picture of Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut) in blackface?
Well, on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton (D-NY) posted an article at Firedoglake, the very website guilty of publishing the offensive picture of Lieberman as reported by NewsBusters.
The Washington Post's Mary Ann Akers reported that some Democrats are quite concerned this decision could come back to haunt the junior senator from New York (h/t Glenn Reynolds and Beltway Blogroll):
Do you remember that Washington Post guy who somehow managed to wiggle himself into the Scooter Libby trial? Well it looks as though someone from NBC has managed to sneak himself into another high-profile trial:
The murder trial of famed record
producer Phil Spector is set to open this Wednesday in a downtown Los
Angeles courtroom. The legendary rock and roll music producer is
charged with killing actress Lana Clarkston at his Alhambra mansion
February 3rd 2003.
presiding Judge, Larry Paul Fidler, has agreed that cameras will be
allowed in the courtroom and the trial will be televised. Judge Fidler
said that he believed it was time to be able move on from the OJ
Simpson murder trial. "We have to get by that case," he said. "There's
going to come a timethat it will be commonplace to televise trials. If
it had not been for Simpson, we'd be there now," Fidler concluded.
I would never suggest that the presidential campaign isn't Page One material, but it's not exactly a compelling news story when the summary of a Democratic debate (in today's WashPost) is "Candidates Unite In Criticizing Bush." How is that notably different than any other day of the Bush presidency? Readers ought to see in this an undercurrent of It's-Our-Party politeness, as in "we wouldn't want any of our plausible contenders to be nicked up this early."
But the real puffery came in David Broder's "analysis" on page A6, headlined "Democratic Hopefuls Show Political Heft." These were no eight "dwarves," but a bevy of better-than-Bush giants: "the overall impression from the first formal debate from this early-starting campaign is that the Democrats have a field of contenders that, by any historical measure, matches in quality any the party has offered in decades."
Putting aside the obvious question ("Why are you an LA Times reader?") for the moment -- Apparently you'll get closer to the truth of what's happening in Iraq by reading a Times columnist than you will by reading reports from Times reporters actually assigned to deliver that information.
An Iraq success story Once-violent Ramadi, which now enjoys relative calm, shows that Iraqis can achieve peace -- with our help. April 24, 2007
'A FEW WEEKS ago you couldn't drive down this street without being attacked. When I went down this street in February, I was hit three times with small-arms fire and IEDs." Col. John Charlton was describing Ramadi as we drove down its heavily damaged main street, dubbed Route Michigan by U.S. forces. Even though this was an unlucky day — Friday the 13th (of April) — we did not experience a single attack on our convoy of Humvees.
Over at The Hillary Spot on NRO, a great spot for keeping up with the presidential campaign, Jim Geraghty found that Chris Matthews wasn't exactly playing "Hardball" before the Democratic debate. But he did imply that Bush was a little racist because he was faster to arrive on the scene at Virginia Tech than in New Orleans after Katrina. (Question to Chris: Do you think no blacks were gunned down at Virginia Tech?) Geraghty thought Matthews sounded like a DNC press aide:
Chris Matthews' first question to Elizabeth Edwards on Hardball: "What's the difference between having a Democratic President and a Republican President?"