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?
Looks like "Couric & Co." are looking for summer interns for CBS's "Springboard" program. And college journalism students are in luck, they can write up an original story on global warming to get the job:
Here is how it works. First, create an original story based on one of three topics: climate change; the American Spirit; or Iraq war veterans. These are issues that have all received extensive coverage on the CBS Evening News and at CBSNews.com – but we want to hear YOUR take.
But wait, there's more. The "best submissions will be posted online." I'm curious just how balanced those "best submissions" will be. I for one am relishing the possibility of MRC summer interns dissecting the bias of CBS summer interns. [continued...]
[Note: Link to YouTube video showing Capitol spray-paint at bottom of post.]
In her March 18 article, the Washington Post's Brigid Schulte informed readers about why Gathering of Eagles counter-protesters set out to guard the Vietnam War Memorial on March 17 during the scheduled anti-war protests:
At a Jan. 27 antiwar rally, some protesters spray-painted the pavement on a Capitol terrace. Others crowned the Lone Sailor statue at the Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue with a pink tiara that had "Women for Peace" written across it.
Word of those incidents ricocheted around the Internet.
“That was the real catalyst, right there,” said Navy veteran Larry Bailey. “They showed they were willing to desecrate something that's sacred to the American soul.”
Yet a review of major newspapers in Nexis found few mentions of anarchist anti-war protesters who spray-painted the U.S. Capitol steps in late January. In fact, the New York Times yielded no reporting on the defacement, while the Washington Post only ran a brief item on page B2 three days after the fact.
Here's the 170-word squib from the Post’s Elissa Silverman in the January 30 paper:
A reader of the Washington Post wrote the paper today to tell editors they need to brush up on their military jargon:
Regarding the March 13 Metro section headline "City Council Considers Slavery Apology, Cadet Case":
Former Navy quarterback Lamar S. Owens Jr. is not a "cadet." He and all students at the U.S. Naval Academy are midshipmen. Midshipman is a rank in the Navy. Students at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., are cadets.
I would expect The Post to know this, given that the Naval Academy is in your back yard.
On the one hand, I have to give the Washington Post credit for frontpaging today's story on longtime Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe's campaign of police thuggery against opposition leaders.
Yet when I looked through the article, I found no mention that Mugabe is a socialist or leftist, nor was he labeled a dictator.
In fact, the only dictator reference came in a graph that noted that the latest high-profile victim of Mugabe's violence, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, has himself been accused by political rivals of having "dictatorial tendencies."
Before I started as NewsBusters managing editor, I finished up a study of the media's bias when it comes to reporting on prescription drugs. The study was released on March 14.
After the page break are some findings from the executive summary. Here's a link to the PDF version of the study.
Even when one new drug was hailed as a “major advance in combating
breast cancer” and a “major medical breakthrough,” its manufacturer was
given only a passing mention on one network. BMI looked at 132 stories
on prescription or over-the-counter drugs from the ABC, CBS, and NBC
evening newscasts between January 1 and Sept. 30, 2006.
CBS legal analyst Andrew Cohen seems to indirectly respond to my March 14 blog post with a March 15 salvo over at CBS's "Couric & Co." blog. [Scroll below for a NYT story from March 1993 that noted that it was unusual for the AG to be involved in the holdover resignation process]
Some cyber folks, trying to attack the credibility of eminent
professors Stanley Katz and Stanley Kutler, took the time to research
their campaign contributions. I do not know, and don’t necessarily
care, where the two professors I interviewed choose to spend their
Cohen may not care what their political leanings are, but the point is that he was citing these "eminent professors" to give an air of scholarly detachment to a decidedly antagonistic view of the attorney general. As such, it's legitimate to see if those sources are relatively non-partisan scholars dedicated solely to integrity and excellence in the legal profession, or if their political leanings might color their analysis. [continued...]
From a March 14 Washington Post live chat with Post associate editor Robert Kaiser (h/t Howard Mortman of extrememortman.com). Portions in bold are my emphasis:
Washington: How is the lobbying system not legalized bribery, and
wouldn't ending lobbying by the rich empower the rest of us and
revitalize our democracy?
Robert G. Kaiser: How would you end it? Isn't lobbying a form of speech? Isn't speech protected by the First Amendment?
keep in mind, though many lobbyists do represent rich corporations,
there are also many representing labor unions, teachers, non-profits,
environmental groups, civil liberties advocates and so on. Even
newspapers have lobbyists.
CBS legal pundit Andrew Cohen is back at it again with a new blog post at Katie's e-sandbox, "Couric & Co.":
always, thank you for taking the time to read my post and to write a
response. The more dialogue and discussion and debate we have on this
topic the better. It is true that Janet Reno, as her predecessors
before her had done, asked for the resignations of U.S. Attorneys. This
is standard operating procedure designed to allow the President to have
in place his own federal prosecutors. What is different about this
current episode is that a Republican White House sought to replace
Republican-appointed federal prosecutors mid-stream who were by all
accounts doing precisely what they had been asked to do. We now know,
from last week’s testimony, why in some cases this was so and the
answers we got make it clear that the reasons were not high-minded or
Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy condescended to the great unwashed of the District of Columbia in his March 14 column as he dismissed the desire to exercise one's 2nd Amendment rights as lethal childishness. Milloy was reacting to a federal court ruling that invalidated D.C.'s gun ban on Friday.:
Perhaps it's my inner child, but a part of me secretly cheers the
libertarian. Especially those wild and crazy guys at the Cato
Institute. The Washington think tank thinks government ought not try to
stop people from using whatever drugs they want -- cocaine, heroin,
alcohol, cigarettes, you name it -- or from gambling or watching porn
And now it's won its argument to let you keep a handgun
in your home in the District, one of the most violent cities in the
In a stunning news conference in August 2004, then-Governor Jim
McGreevey (D-NJ) acknowledged that he was "a gay American" and announced he
was stepping down as chief executive of the Garden State. At the time
McGreevey had some dark clouds hanging over his governorship, but the
gay subplot distracted media attention from his ethically-plagued
Standing by his side throughout the press conference was the wife and mother of his child, Dina Matos.
Now McGreevey wants his wife to pony up child support. You just can't pass up a story like that, so the Associated Press filed a story.
curiously, McGreevey's party affiliation went unmentioned. Also left
out of the article, McGreevey's sexual
advances on aide Golan Cipel, an Israeli citizen, was hardly scratching the surface of the scandal. Rather than a simple case of sexual harassment at the very least, Cipel's hire for a key homeland security post was inadvisable from the start. Cipel, it turns out, was granted the security-sensitive
post without the proper scrutiny. Indeed, Cipel, an Israel citizen, didn't even have an FBI clearance.
CBS legal expert Andrew Cohen took to the "Couric & Co." blog to blast Attorney General Alberto Gonzales as a Bush toadie, then turned to law scholars with a history of donating to liberal Democratic candidates to back up his claims.
We’ve indeed got trouble. Few attorneys general in recent history have
been more beholden to their President than Gonzales is to President
George W. Bush. In fact, two years ago, when asked by the Academy of
Achievement to list his role models, Gonzales listed his mother, his
father, and the President as the three people to whom he owed the most.
This would be more charming if the Attorney General had during the past
two years stood up to his hero-- on domestic surveillance, on
Guantanamo Bay, on protecting good federal prosecutors—instead of
simply defending or justifying White House policies and practices.
So, in essence, Cohen asserted that Gonzales has no independent thought on his own because Gonzales failed to act how Cohen thinks he should have. That is, Gonzales is at fault for doing his job: crafting and implementing the president's legal strategy for the war on terror.
Not content to leave his gripe with Gonzales as a matter of personal opinion, Cohen brought in two ostensibly politically neutral legal experts to lend credence to his attack on the attorney general's performance in office: Stanley Kutler of the University of Wisconsin and Stanley Katz of Princeton University.
Cohen was particularly enamored with Katz, quoting him as he closed his March 13 blog post:
...among other format changes under the new Rick Kaplan era.
PublicEye editor Brian Montopoli passed along the usual talking points senior management in broadcast news outlets always give when they are trying to save a sinking ship. You know the drill. "This time, more hard news. We swear!"
Unfortunately Montopoli left out some hard news in his own March 12 blog post:
NewsBusters previously reported that the AP, NBC's "Today," and ABC's "Good Morning America" reported as a curiosity some Mayan priests who complain that President Bush brought evil spirits with him to Guatemala.
Well, CBS's Peter Maer didn't want to be left out apparently. He wrote up a little something at "Couric & Co.," Katie Couric's e-sandbox on CBS's Web site.
Maer's account, like the others mentioned, seems to leave out two key facts for their readers.
Now, as a lifelong resident of the Free State, I can attest that Maryland is a fairly liberal state and it spends at the state and county levels in a fairly liberal manner. Today's Washington Post characterized Democratic Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett's first budget proposal as detrimental to the county's public schools.
"Leggett to Offer Cautious Budget: 6% Increase Would Shrink School Request," read the headline to Miranda S. Spivack's Metro section front pager.
What makes the Leggett budget so cautious compared to the last one sought by his predecessor, former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Doug Duncan?
Perhaps because Duncan's last budget, Spivack noted, increased county spending by 9 percent. Of course both 6 and 9 percent growth rates for county spending well outpace the growth in the U.S. gross domestic product.
In the March 11 Washington Post, staff writers Elissa Silverman and Allison Klein took a look at the men and women behind a legal challenge to the Washington, D.C., handgun ban. But in doing so, it seems they buried the lede.
Information on one plaintiff came near the end of Silverman and Klein's 25-paragraph story:
Dick Heller, 65, said he became involved in the firearms debate in 1997 after he read a news story about a burglary in the District in which the homeowner shot the intruder -- and the homeowner was charged with a crime.
"That's what made us really livid," said Heller, who lives with his wife in Capitol Hill. "After that, I knew we had to be proactive."
That's the heart and soul of the case right there. The ban criminalizes law-abiding citizens who have a natural right to protect themselves, yet find that right severely undercut by District law which takes away a significant means of self defense: private ownership of a firearm.
But how crucial is Heller to the case? Without him, the case might well have been thrown out already:
The new media revolution brought about by the Internet Age leaves a constant vacuum to be filled for the traditional entertainment cycle on broadcast TV. You'll notice a lot of broadcast Web sites doing what they can to fill that void with extra footage, behind-the-scenes stuff, bloopers, "webisodes," and the like.
But let's face it, when the new episodes are exhausted on the networks, we're not likely to stick around for reruns. There's too many other things to do, and we've probably already rewatched the best clips of those shows on YouTube. There goes millions in advertising revenue for the nets.
Trying to find a way around that, NBC is taking that to the airwaves with "newpeats" of "The Office." (h/t TVTattle.com)
"Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar," Sigmund Freud is purported to have once said, cautioning that not everything has a deeper, hidden meaning to it. Well, sometimes a blockbuster blood-soaked action flick is just that, a blood-soaked, special effects-laden action flick.
Just try telling that to cynical, left-wing European journalists.
According to Entertainment Weekly, everyone from gay interest groups to foreign journalists have engaged in armchair psychoanalysis of director Zack Snyder's screen adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel "300.":
UPDATE (01:15 EST): Law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh addresses factual errors in reporting in the New York Times and Washington Post (h/t Instapundit).
How are your local TV news shows covering today's federal court decision overturning the D.C. handgun ban?
I live just outside Washington, D.C., and the station I most often watch for local news deployed a few typical media bias tricks: stacking the deck with sources aligned on one side (4 pro-ban, one anti-ban) and focusing on emotional aspects of a debate (highlighting emotional reactions to the court ruling rather than dealing with the legal merits).
Tonight's episode of NBC's "Las Vegas" apparently has an Iraq sub-plot that, at least the abstract below suggests, may carry an anti-war message.
SEASON FINALE-- Mike finds out that Sam has been kidnapped
by one of her whales. Meanwhile, Danny takes drastic measures to help a
friend avoid being deployed to Iraq. Elsewhere, Delinda learns
life-altering news for she and Danny. James Caan and Nikki Cox also
stars in this unpredictable and explosive season four finale. TV-14
In a previous season of "Las Vegas," actor Josh Duhamel's character (Danny McCoy) suffered post-traumatic stress disorder following a harrowing tour of duty with the Marines in Iraq.
Vegas co-star Molly Sims (Delinda) and creator Gary Scott Thompson will participate in a live chat at NBC.com following the program's 9 p.m Eastern (8 p.m. Central) airing. [continued after page break]