UPDATE/retraction (April 2 | 14:48 EDT): So re-reading and re-reading again Rogers' posts, I've realized he was cleverly playing with and playing up both April Fools pranks by Google. It is notable, of course, that Rogers does regularly blog about all things Google on a regular basis and that his posts, dated March 31 shortly before midnight, were not explicitly marked as satirical or as April Fools writeups. My apologies for not double checking.
ZDNet blogger Garrett Rogers appears to have fallen for not one but two April Fools gags by Google. Happens to the best of us, I suppose, but it's still amusing. One had to do with Google offering a broadband Internet access via the toilet, the other with Google offering to snail mail you any and all emails in your account that you want a hard copy of.
I didn't think anyone could really be offended by Karl Rove's "dancing" to a comedic rap routine at this week's Radio and Television Correspondents Association Dinner. Well, aside from maybe Julia Louis-Dreyfus (whose "Seinfeld" character Elaine Benes has been dethroned as World's Worst Dancer).
A popular listserv for the younger members of the National
Association of Black Journalists (which this reporter is a member of)
was abuzz early Thursday morning: Was it funny, offensive or just
Some compared the sketch to a modern-day minstrel show, others tried
and failed to muster indignation against it and still others wondered
whether the critics were simply over-thinking.
On Monday, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) got a "town hall" meeting with a hand-picked audience on "Good Morning America."
But the royal treatment Clinton receives in the mainstream media isn't shared by even some staunch liberals who make ink in the nation's newspapers everyday. Including at least one who pays the bills with the cartoonist's pen, generally liberal artist and blogger Darrin Bell, creator of "Candorville."
It's not the first time Bell has lampooned Clinton, but check out the March 30 installment, where he makes fun of Hillary's penchant for trying to be all things to all constituents, envisioning Clinton trying to pander to a Palestinian-American and an Israeli-American at the same time.
Bell's cartoon follows two days after the March 28 "'South Park," in which Clinton was portrayed unflatteringly, sporting rather large hips (calling to mind radio host Mark Levin's label "Her Thighness" ) and speaking in a faux Southern drawl.
TownHall blogger/vlogger Mary Katharine Ham and trusty sidekick Katie Favazza attended our 20th Anniversary Gala and DisHonors Awards ceremony last night. They produced a special MRC Gala edition of the HamNation vlog showing the highlights of the evening.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani is in for a world of hurt from his former constituents should he center his 2008 campaign on his handling of 9/11 and its aftermath, the Associated Press is reporting. But in his March 30 article, reporter Larry McShane left out some crucial facts about two people he cited in his story to bolster that point: Sally Regenhard and Hank Sheinkopf.
Let's begin with Regenhard. She's portrayed merely as the angry, distraught mother of a NYC firefighter who perished on 9/11.:
"If Rudolph Giuliani was running on anything but 9/11, I would not
speak out," said Sally Regenhard, whose firefighter son was among the
343 FDNY members killed in the terrorist attack. "If he ran on cleaning
up Times Square, getting rid of squeegee men, lowering crime _ that's
"But when he runs on 9/11, I want the American people to know he was part of the problem."
Thank you all very much. I know it's late. Brent told me to cut my
speech to forty-five minutes, rather than the hour and a half I was
going to go. I, there have two references tonight to my humility, and
I'm sorry the cover's blown.
Cal Thomas had to
leave. He had to catch a plane, but he came by and told me he wasn't
going to be able to hear my humble remarks. Brent has referred to it.
I, I'm a little stunned by it, because it's, it's been referenced also
tonight I think by Cal that I do satire. And the humility that, that,
that I, I think I bring to what I do is borne of really the roots of
When, when Brent called me and said we've, we've got
this new award, the William F. Buckley, greatest conservative in the
world award, and you've won, won the first one. I think that's what he
said when he first posed it. And I said, 'well, that fits.' A little
I said that is amazing, I, you know, we
conservatives don't get many awards, but we actually have an audience.
These PBS people and NPR people give themselves all these awards, but
nobody's ever seen the shows that get awarded.
have an audience, and so we are a threat, and we don't get awards. It's
an honor to get an award. It really is.
MRC's Gala is the "conservative Oscars," the MRC is a "important resource," and Keith Olbermann is about as popular as Haman at a Purim celebration. Those are just some of the observations from conservative bloggers about the MRC's 20th Anniversary Gala.
Media strategist David All called our Gala featuring the DisHonors Awards the "Conservative Oscars" and added these observations right after the dinner:
UPDATE 11:03 PM: A few quick random thoughts… …Wheel…of…fortune… Pat
Sajak, yes, that Pat Sajak, totally owned (PWN3D?) the audience. He
made a joke about YouTube, which of course grabbed my attention. And he
made quite a few tasteful fat jokes about Al Gore. Honestly, tough to
believe, but the guy had us all rolling.
Bloggers …Lots of YouTube references throughout the night, though
oddly, not a single reference to a blog. There was however practically
a standing applause when Neal Boortz said that, “thanks to alternative
media, we don’t need [the mainstream media] anymore.”
Two days ago, I blogged about how the Washington Post's Jeff Birnbaum believes that "without question," Reagan's tax cuts went "too far."
In today's Post, Slate's Timothy Noah went a few steps further in his negative review of John Patrick Diggins's Reagan biography "Ronald Reagan: Fate, Freedom, and the Making of History."
Noah tried his hand at being a shrink, attributing psychosexual motives to Reagan's economic policy. Emphasis mine.:
...Reagan, like just about every other actor who ever passed through Hollywood, had a very hard time viewing sex as something to repress. This genial hedonism would later express itself in Reagan's embrace of supply-side economics. Tax cuts would pay for themselves, he told himself, and when they didn't, he left to his two White House successors the drudge work of reducing the huge budget deficit.
I suppose it's possible she could defensively argue that this refers to Iran's Ahmadinejad or North Korea's Kim Jong-il, but in context it seems NY Post columnist Liz Smith refers to President George W. Bush in her March 29 article "Cruise-ing to WWII":
March 29, 2007 -- 'EVERY SECOND is a door to eternity. The door is opened by perception," said Rumi.
does a nation's elite rid itself of a deranged chief executive or
commander who is bent on leading the country astray? No, we're not
talking here about our own life and times. We're talking Nazi Germany.
Smith's piece was syndicated to other papers, including The Toledo Blade, where NewsBusters reader John Page noticed the item and forwarded it to me. The Blade headline for the Smith item: "Tom Cruise to star in film about Hitler."
Did I mention that legendary radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh will be there?
Rush told his listeners as much in his opening dialogue a few minutes ago, and we at the MRC are very much looking forward to Rush and other friends of the conservative movement sharing the evening with us tonight as we mark 20 years of the Media Research Center busting liberal media bias.
Remember, you can check out the live Webcast at MRC.org starting at 8 p.m. EDT tonight. We'll also have a comment thread open at NewsBusters so you can add your comments in real time.
This is a developing story, so there's room for it to play out a bit, but the law firm congressional Democrats are hiring to help plow through the U.S. attorney firings, Arnold & Porter, has a history of heavy donations towards Democrats.
For today's lesson in bias by labeling, class, turn to today's "Annapolis Notebook" in the March 28 Washington Post.
It's there that reporter Lisa Rein skewed her portrayal of a debate over tuition for illegal aliens in favor of the liberal Democrats in the Maryland General Assembly, with everything from watering down the label "illegal immigrant" to painting Republicans as angry partisans and Democrats as righteously angry protecters of the underprivileged.
No, it's not bias per se, but it is a bit of a pet peeve when the media are sloppy with terminology that relates to the military.
This morning, CNN has been reporting on how Iran may release the female sailor that was captured along with 14 of her comrades. But in doing so, the CNN chyron referred to her as a "troop."
"Troop" is not used in the singular to refer to a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine. "Troop" traditionally refers to a unit of soldiers, although in modern usage "troops" may refer to soldiers collectively irrespective of a unit organization.
CNN would be correct to say that Iran has said it will release the female sailor among the 15 captured British military personnel, as the woman in question serves in the Royal Navy.
me say that I did some self-cringing last week, when I choose to
describe Tony as the "most fun" press secretary of the administration.
I was looking for something non-controversial, non-partisan and true to
say about the guy. "Fun" seemed like something he'd appreciate -- he is
fun. The biggest change in the press operations of the WH since he's
gotten there is that the briefings are no longer thuddingly boring. So,
really, "most fun" was kind of a low bar.
He's also a class act.
He clearly respects the press, and his tangles with them are leavened
with a humor and self-awareness that make him hard to dislike, even
when you violently disagree.
I -- and I'm sure my fellow bloggers here -- wish him well.
I'm guessing Cox's successors at Wonkette didn't get the memo. Emphasis mine, expletive edited for content:
Yesterday's indictment of former Reagan budget director David Stockman was cause enough for the Washington Post's Jeffrey Birnbaum to use Stockman's personal ethical and possibly criminal lapses in the private sector as a way to lodge liberal attacks on the Reagan tax cuts. But that was just the beginning for Birnbaum, who, in a Washington Post chat later that day, said that "without question, the Reagan tax cuts went too far."
Four paragraphs into his March 27 Business section story, Birnbaum found a Stockman critic to assail the Reagan fiscal policy that Stockman defended in the late president's first term.
"I have vivid memories of his misusing and misstating data and using
obviously phony economic forecasts," said veteran budget analyst
Stanley E. Collender. "You wonder if those were habits that stuck with
him when he became a Wall Street deal-maker."
Collender may be a crack budget analyst, but he's also politically active. A search of OpenSecrets.org found Collender gave $1,000 to Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) in her first Senate race in 2000.
Writing in the "Swampland" blog for Time magazine today, Karen Tumulty insisted the U.S. attorney firings deserved"massive commitment of journalistic resources" before going on to cite a study showing that media attention in the past few weeks has skewed heavily towards the non-scandal scandal:
before all our commenters jump on me, let me stipulate: I think the
unfolding U.S. Attorneys story is a huge one, it deserves a massive
commitment of journalistic resources, it is not likely to go away any
time soon and I'm skeptical that Alberto Gonzales is going to survive
it. I also believe that history has shown us many times that the
broadest measures of public interest are a lagging indicator of the
significance of a story. Finally, the blogosphere deserves huge credit
for leading the way on it.
Translation: "the public don't know it yet, but this is an important story, we're going to make it an important story, and, kudos to liberal bloggers for making a fuss over it."
In 1993, Time magazine didn't show the same interest in blowing up the Clinton/Reno firings into a story the public would care about. [continued...]
In much of the mainstream media reporting on the firing of eight U.S.
attorneys, the focus has been on stoking a political controversy from the story, ruminating on Alberto Gonzales's shelf life as attorney general, etc.
Largely left by the wayside in mainstream media reporting have been legitimate deviations the fired attorneys exhibited from Bush Justice Department priorities, such as immigration enforcement -- for instance, San Diego-based attorney Carol Lam's prosecution of immigration cases reportedly bothered the decidedly unconservative Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) -- and pushing for the death penalty in capital cases.
It took a while but at least one major media outlet is reporting that a reluctance to pursue the death penalty might have been a factor in at least three of the firings. [continued...]
On Friday morning, news broke that 15 British servicemen (eights sailors and seven Royal Marines) were seized by Iran. Not the regular naval forces of that country, mind you, but the Revolutionary Guard naval corps, a wing of the military closely controlled by the country's extremist Islamic clerics.
Happening as it did one day before the UN voted on new sanctions on the nuclear power-hungry, terrorist-funding Islamist regime, you'd think the story would be worthy of front-page coverage in the largest broadsheet in Washington, D.C., right?
Wrong.The story earned page A11 real estate in the Saturday Post and a follow-up story was buried below the fold on page A12 in the March 25 edition. [continued...]
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow is set to undergo an operation. The Associated Press reports the surgery is to "remove a growth" in Snow's lower abdomen. Snow, you may recall, is a surviver of colon cancer.
Dean Barnett at TownHall.com noticed that outpouring of well wishes from Huffington Post commenters:
Here's how Rev. Randall Balmer yesterday blogged his decidedly unorthodox read of Scriptural texts:
fundamentalist, I spent a lot of my childhood thinking and worrying
about the end of time as predicted in the New Testament book of
Revelation. I was taught that history would come screeching to a halt
and the world as we know it would dissolve in some kind of apocalyptic
Today's Edwards announcement is an object lesson in how easy it is for us in the blogosphere to run with something juicy without double-checking the facts and/or being very, very careful to precisely word our posts so that we don't tell readers to take something to the bank that hasn't been confirmed.
It's also a lesson in how to promptly and gracefully face the music and admit error.
Earlier today, Politico's Ben Smith ran with a single anonymous source today at shortly past 11:00 a.m. saying that former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) would suspend his presidential campaign so he could tend to his wife, Elizabeth, as she battles breast cancer.
That source turned out to be wrong. Edwards will continue his campaign and Smith promptly admitted and apologized for his error (his blog post was submited at 12:34 EDT, just after the Edwards announcement). [continued...]
Time's Joe Klein is pleased that Al Gore isn't squishing out on global warming in order to make a 2008 campaign run more palatable for the American people.
As if that wasn't a liberal-enough talking point, Klein's March 22 "Swampland" blog post describes Gore's willingness to resort to the usual tax and spend policies as "putting his [Gore's] money where his mouth is." Portion in bold is my emphasis.:
Yesterday, I wrote--based on incomplete reporting of ongoing testimony
(no criticism of live-blogger Brian Beutler; the hearing was in
midstream when I posted)--that Al Gore seemed to be backing away from
his carbon-payroll tax swap. I haven't seen the complete testimony, and
the press reports are not sufficiently wonky to give all the relevant
details, but it appears that Gore is still up for the tax swap (an idea
I supported in this column last year). In fact--no surprise--he's for a
very tough global warming regime, including a ban on new coal-fired
power plants and an intense cap-and-trade regime.
yesterday that if he stepped away from the tax swap, it might mean that
Gore has political plans--but that speculation obviously was idle and
kind of dumb. In 2000, Gore proposed spending $150 billion on global
warming over the next 10 years (essentially, he wanted to spend the
entire budget surplus on global warming...you remember the budget
surplus). So he isn't averse to putting his money where his mouth is on
this issue, even when running for office. Is he running? Dunno. But, as
Jake Barnes once said to Lady Brett Ashley (or vice versa), it would be
nice to think so.
Rush H. Limbaugh, Sr., only had a storied legal career, the respect of Missouri Democrats and Republicans, and a stint of service to his country as Eisenhower's ambassador to India.
But to Newsweek's Holly Bailey, President Bush signing a bill naming a federal courthouse in honor of Rush Limbaugh's grandfather was a substantial distraction from the real "people's business" in Washington:
Never mind the whole U.S. attorneys' mess: President Bush is busy doing
the work of the people. What's he up to? On Wednesday afternoon, the
White House press office forwarded reporters this nugget from the
STATEMENT BY THE PRESS SECRETARY
On Wednesday, March 21, 2007 the President signed into law:
342, which designates the United States courthouse in Cape Girardeau,
Missouri, as the Rush Hudson Limbaugh, Sr. United States Courthouse.
Bailey cleared up any confusion for readers who might be unaware that Rush Limbaugh is the third in a line of Rush Hudson Limbaughs, and that his grandfather was a hard-working and well-respected pillar of the legal community in southeastern Missouri who died 11 years ago at age 104.
But in closing her March 21 "Gaggle" blog post, Bailey snarked that it's "Good to know that the president isn't letting another little scandal distract him from the people's business." [continued...]
Perhaps channeling her youthful experience as a cheerleader, CBS's Katie Couric pumped her rhetorical pom poms for Al Gore in a "Couric & Co." blog today.
Below you can see how she lauded his "triumphant" return to Congress on her "Couric & Co." blog at CBSNews.com, all the while insisting "scientific consensus" is on Gore's side and that Congress should "act boldly" on the issue.
Cox began her March 21 post by pointing to a post in The New Republic's blog "The Plank":
Michael Crowley makes a point over at TNR's blog about McCain's senior
moment regarding condoms (Do they prevent AIDS? “You’ve stumped me.”)
and how his "old fashioned" bus-tour-talkathon is a bad fit with this
whole "blogging" phenomenon:
In time for the Persian New Year, CBS's Melissa McNamara trawled the blogosphere (including MySpace blog entries) and found bloggers who think Iran's Islamic extremist government has a point about "300" being "anti-Persian." In doing she, she produced a handful of blogs that appear to generate light traffic and in at least one case is just a rambling screed.
McNamara told readers that the "Islamic Republic News Agency" (IRNA) finds fault with the film's version of historical events. She left out that IRNA is Iran's official state-controlled news/propaganda service. CBSNews.com's resident "Blogophile" also noted objections from an Iranian newspaper, Hamshahri, which she described simply as "Iran's biggest circulation newspaper."
That's akin to a journalist during the Cold War describing Pravda as simply the Soviet Union's best-selling newspaper. Hamshahri co-sponsored a political cartoon contest that the Iranian government held last year that generated hundreds of entries that were anti-Jewish or anti-Israeli. Portions in bold are my emphasis:
First, Congress should relent and allow these sessions to take place in private. Sure, I would love to see Rove grilled in public— who wouldn’t? I mean, watching Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, question Rove could be a pay-per-view event in many parts of the country. A long, savory public hearing would be good for my career, I suspect, and sure would beat talking more about the paternity hearing for Anna Nicole Smith’s baby. But I am willing to get behind private sessions if it gives the President a measure of comfort about releasing his subordinates to talk candidly about who did what to whom and why when it came to firing those eight federal prosecutors. So, Point One of my Plan is: Private Hearings.
What do you do when you're a liberal columnist and there's a pet issue of yours the media aren't being biased about (stem cells) because they haven't covered it, because, well, they're too busy being biased about other stories (Alberto Gonzales, Iraq)?
If you're Slate founding editor and former "Crossfire" host Michael Kinsley, you hack out a blog post about it.
Mucking around Time's "Swampland" political blog, Kinsley expressed frustration at a new development in the stem cell funding issue he thinks has gone underreported in the mainstream media:
Elias Zerhouni, the head of the National Institutes of Health,
testified to a Senate committee that he favors a lifting of Bush's
limit on stem cell research. It leaves us fighting disease (and foreign
competition) "with one hand tied behind our back," Zerhouni said.
Clearly prepared to say what he said, Zerhouni offered a vivid
metaphor: he called stem cells the "software of life."
story did not seem to make the paper editions of either the New York
Times or the Washington Post. (The Wall Street Journal had a very short
blurb on page one and no longer story.) All the papers had it on-line,
of course. But isn't this a pretty big deal?