With many internet companies such as Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft knuckling under pressure from the rulers of China to censor their content, it's refreshing to see it when one takes a stand against political censorship (h/t: Caine Starfire):
The founder of Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia written by its
users, has defied the Chinese government by refusing to bow to
censorship of politically sensitive entries.
Jimmy Wales, one of the
100 most influential people in the world according to Time magazine,
challenged other internet companies, including Google, to justify their
claim that they could do more good than harm by co-operating with
Wikipedia, a hugely popular reference tool in the West,
has been banned from China since last October. Whereas Google,
Microsoft and Yahoo went into the country accepting some restrictions
on their online content, Wales believes it must be all or nothing for
As badly as the American press leans leftward, the Canadian press is actually worse in its bias against things conservative. That's ironic since Canada's prime minister, Stephen Harper, is actually a conservative which has caused a good amount of friction with intolerant liberals up north.
Facing an entire press corps as impartial as Keith Olbermann, Harper has had no choice but to play tough with reporters who despise him, snubbing their little award ceremonies, and denouncing their desire to pontificate at news conferences. "They don't ask questions at my press conferences," he said in May.
As of today, The Parliamentary Press
Gallery has called off its five-month-old boycott of Prime Minister
Stephen Harper's news conferences.
Officially, its only a
temporary suspension of the boycott to let Harper think about the error
of his ways and to reach a new protocol for holding press conferences.
But the PPG members know the jig's up.
Michael Moore hasn't taken time off from making films to please liberals. FoxNews.com reports he'll soon be releasing two movies (neither of which will ever be vetted for accuracy by the MSM).
In the story, Moore is also quoted defending actor Tom Cruise, saying "his religion is his own damn business." Two paragraphs later, though, the corpulent moviemaker makes fun of actor Mel Gibson's religion:
Controversial filmmaker Michael Moore unveiled two new projects last
night in Toronto: a documentary about the health insurance business
called “Sicko” and film that chronicles the aftermath of the 2004
election, entitled “Slacker.”
Moore showed clips from both
films as part of a special two-hour presentation at the famed Elgin
Theater. Larry Charles, director of the new comedy “Borat” and
well-known from his work on the TV show “Seinfeld,” conducted the
program that also consisted of a long, funny and intimate live
interview with Moore.
The evening was almost marred by a
faulty projector that caused Moore’s clips to be interrupted several
times. The same thing apparently happened one night earlier during a
screening of “Borat.” Moore jumped on stage and did shtick with Charles
for the packed house. Last night, Charles returned the favor.
while clips from both new Moore movies looked tantalizing, it was the
director himself who made the biggest headlines with revelations about
his life since becoming a lightning rod for controversy with “Roger and
Me” some 17 years ago.
[After being called out by NewsBusters, Matthews ended his boycott late Friday. Be sure and read updates to this post below.]
Since the revelation that Richard Armitage, a former high-ranking official in the State Department, was the source of the much-ballyhooed Valerie Plame "leak," many in the media have refused to touch the story with a ten-foot pole. This was quite a turnaround since before the Armitage involvement was known, many journalists believed the CIA leak story was one worth pursuing on a daily basis. Some even believed it could bring down the Bush White House, or at least end the careers of Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.
One of the biggest media figures boycotting the Plame story has been MSNBC host Chris Matthews, who has yet to mention the scandal at all since the Armitage report broke, a dramatic contrast to the 27 times he mentioned the "scandal" in the five months leading up to it.
Like P.J. Gladnick, I couldn't help but notice Matthews's strange flip. So I decided to ask him about it. His answer revealed an animus toward Vice President Dick Cheney and a fear of being asked to answer tough questions himself.
Last night, I went to a press conference/party held by MSNBC and National Journal celebrating a new venture the two media outlets are launching together. Quite a few NBCers were there, including Chris Matthews. I struck up a conversation with the host about the topic of Plame and why he hadn't talked about the story at all. Here's a rough transcript of our discussion which I wrote down shortly thereafter:
Four would-be committee chairmen, all Democrats in the House of Represenatives, just sent ABC a letter demanding that the network review its upcoming miniseries, "The Path to 9/11." No overtly threatening language is used in the letter (reprinted below the fold) but the implication seems pretty clear: If Dems take control of the House in November, ABC should expect hell from the various committees John Conyers, John Dingell, Jane Harman, Louise Slaughter head.
Which party was it that advocates censorship of "incorrect" speech again?
As regular readers of NewsBusters know, a fairly large number of
leftists in this country are convinced that George W. Bush is hell-bent
on destroying America and turning it into a dictatorship where
mandatory worship of "neocons" is required and media outlets are
censored. Liberal figures such as Al Gore, Keith Olbermann, and regulars at places like Democratic Underground and Daily Kos routinely make such statements.
exposing leftist paranoia for public ridicule is amusing, I think it's also
worth noting just how far from reality these claims really are. Last
month, we saw how real media repression occurs every day in Fidel Castro's Cuba. But Cuba is far from the only place where this happens. Over at PBS's MediaShift, Mark Glaser and Zimbabwean journalist Frank Chikowore talk about how that country's government imprisons and censors reporters who dare criticize it:
government shuts down independent newspapers. It jams radio signals
from outside the country. Internet access is sporadic. Inflation is out
of control. A bill is in Parliament that would allow the government to
censor private email communications.
Welcome to Zimbabwe,
the south African country born out of the former Rhodesia in 1980 and
led by strongman President Robert Mugabe every day since its
independence from British colonialism.
Last month, bloggers
(including NB's Bob
Owens), caught the BBC flat-out admitting its complicity in a
staged photo shoot with a Lebanese boy posing next to what the
broadcast said was an "Israeli bomb lying unexploded" in someone's
Admitting to participating in news manipulation was bad enough and
doing it while endangering a child was even worse. Further compounding
things, though, was that in an accompanying photo essay, the Beeb
breathlessly identified another Israeli munition left behind in a
Lebanese house as an anti-personnel mine. Trouble is, it wasn't:
SUSANNA BRANDON, copy editor, USA Today: BBC correspondent Martin
Asser, reporting Aug. 21 from Southern Lebanon, caused something of a
photo-staging and child-endangerment stir when he informed readers:
"The shell is huge, bigger than the young boy pushed forward to stand
reluctantly next to it while we get our cameras out and record the
scene for posterity."
But deeper into the accompanying photo
essay, titled Lebanese Villagers Return Home, was something equally
amiss: a device breathlessly identified in photo No. 9 as an
anti-personnel mine. One is led to assume that the mine was left behind
by the Israelis to maim these innocent civilians returning home.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann often laughablydenies being a partisan liberal Democrat, fancying himself a 21-century truth-teller speaking truth to power in the liberal courageous tradition of Egbert Murrow. Apparently no one at MSNBC believes him.
In an ad for MSNBC's coverage of the 2006 congressional elections, a certain "reporter" was conspicuously absent from the promo, according to Olbermann Watch.
The many failures of the anti-gun movement has caused it to turn to other means of pushing its agenda, including the creation of sock puppet "moderate" gun groups. The strategy is nothing new among left-leaning groups who have historically tried to pass themselves off as "moderate." But a liberal pseudo-moderation ploy can never work without a media component; this case is no different as Cam Edwards (HT: Glenn Reynolds) notes:
When is an anti-gunner a pro-gun advocate? The obvious answer is never,
but that’s too simple a response. The actual answer is “any time a
member of the media wants to portray the anti-gunner in a pro-gun
light”. Take, for example, a new article in The New Republic entitled
“Gun Crazy: The Revolt Against the NRA” by Michael Blanding. Blanding,
a freelance writer from Boston, profiles the group calling itself
American Hunters and Shooters Association. AHSA bills itself as a
“moderate alternative to the NRA”, but in reality it’s an organization
founded by leaders in the anti-gun movement who have strong ties to the
Blanding’s article calls John Rosenthal, the
president of AHSA’s foundation, a “Boston real estate developer who
served a stint on the board of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun
Violence.” But the article also quotes Rosenthal as saying he left the
Brady Campaign because of the organization’s “extreme anti-gun stance”.
Blanding leaves out any mention of the fact that Rosenthal created, and
still runs, the Massachusetts-based outfit known as Stop Handgun
Violence. Despite the fact that Blanding is from Boston, I was willing
to give him the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps Rosenthal didn’t
volunteer that information and Blanding simply didn’t do his research.
Then I found an article in Boston Magazine from February 2006 entitled
“Straight Shooter”. It’s a glowing profile of John Rosenthal, complete
with many mentions of his work with Stop Handgun Violence, and Michael
Blanding wrote it.
First it was "asian men" behind the plot to blow up British airlines headed for America, now it seems "men under the age of 30"
were plotting terrorist attacks in Denmark, at least according to the
BBC where informing readers of the religious identity of fanatical
Muslims seems to be taboo.
Danish police have arrested nine suspected terrorists, the country's security intelligence service says.
The suspects, believed to be all men under the age of 30, were picked up during overnight raids in Odense, Denmark's third largest city.
The country's Justice Minister, Lene Espersen, said it was likely they were planning an attack in Denmark.
According to less-timid news sources, the men arrested were Islamic fundamentalists.
The BBC knows this as that information is public domain. It could
easily have been included in the article linked above when it was
written or updated subsequently. I guess it's about the public's right
not to know. (Hat tip: LGF.)
The Wall Street Journal has a good editorial on CBS's latest ratings ploy, dividing contestants on its "Survivor" show up by race. The board argues, correctly in my view, that this isn't good for America:
Last week CBS revealed that its reality program "Survivor" would divide
competing teams (or "tribes") by race. Sometime this fall we could thus
be treated to an announcement like, "The white team has managed to vote
the black team off the island."
To more than a few people,
not surprisingly, this didn't exactly seem like a great idea. In fact,
it seemed like a very bad one, playing up identity-politics divisions
in a crude and potentially rancorous way. "This idea is so
ill-conceived that it would be funny--but for the fact that racism does
still sometimes rear its ugly head," New York City Councilman John Liu
Still, network executives have not backed down, even
when GM, a major "Survivor" sponsor, announced this week its decision
to pull its advertising from the program. (GM claims this had nothing
to do with the show's new season.) Mark Burnett, the producer of
"Survivor," has defended his race-based concept by noting that the show
has been criticized in the past for not having enough diversity. "We're
always hearing about how we only have two token blacks on the show."
surely Mr. Burnett and his colleagues realized that their new effort at
"diversity" would not pass without controversy. They probably welcomed
it, for the show's ratings are in need of a boost. And, like it or not,
the ploy will probably work. You don't have to survey every American
family, or even every Nielsen family, to find out that people like
watching people who look like themselves on TV. Many "Survivor"
watchers may well find themselves cheering on "their team." Mr. Burnett
suggests that his program is simply presenting life as it really is:
"Even though people may work together, they do tend in their private
lives to divide along social and ethnic lines."
At a recent journalists convention in Israel, the assembled representatives of the world's elite media realized that press's coverage of the recent war in Lebanon has been flawed. And that it was Israel's fault. See NRO's Media blog for details, then read the rest of this article (h/t LGF):
In short, much of the most incendiary
media coverage of this war seems to have been either staged or
fabricated. The big question is why the western media would perpetrate
such institutionalised mendacity. Many ancillary reasons come to mind.
There is the reliance upon corrupted news and picture agencies which
employ Arab propagandists as stringers and cameramen. There is the herd
mentality of the media which decides collectively what the story is.
There is the journalists’ fear for their personal safety if they report
the truth about terrorist outfits. There is the difficulty of
discovering the truth from undemocratic regimes and terrorist
organisations. There is the language barrier; there is professional
laziness; there is the naïve inability to acknowledge the depths of
human evil and depravity; there is the moral inversion of the left
which believes that western truth-tellers automatically tell lies,
while third world liars automatically tell the truth.
But the big answer is that the western media transmit the lies of
Hezbollah because they want to believe them. And that’s because the Big
Lie these media tell — and have themselves been told — about Israel and
its place in history and in the world today has achieved the status of
unchallengeable truth. The plain fact is that western journalists were
sent to cover the war being waged against Israel from Lebanon as a war
being waged by Israel against Lebanon. And that’s because that’s how
editors think of the Middle East: that the whole ghastly mess is driven
by Israel’s actions, and that therefore it is only Israel’s aggression
which is the story to be covered.
I think it's safe to say that Kyra Phillips's bathroom break embarrassment was not entirely her fault. But you do have to wonder why it took so long for someone to cut off her mic. On his radio show yesterday, Rush Limbaugh wondered if perhaps the whole affair was due to someone not liking the CNN anchor:
What was the techie at the CNN control booth doing for 90 seconds? It's
obvious they weren't listening to the Bush speech. It's obvious that
nobody at CNN was listening to this. Somebody caught her. Oh, the
anchor that was on, Daryn was on, and she finally, when this
conversation finally started getting into sisters and brothers and
control freaks and so forth, while Bush was speaking, "And you're
listening to President Bush, who is talking from New Orleans today,"
and then apparently Kyra came back, she's going to take over at one
o'clock, Daryn is still sitting there and she comes back and her mic is
still live when she approaches the set, because she says, "Well, I'm
here. I'm ready," and that went out.
It got me to thinking.
Does somebody there not like Kyra Phillips? I mean how does this just
happen? How in the world can audio and video go out when nobody intends
for it to? But then when it does, you can imagine... I mean, look, I
know broadcasting and broadcasting is me, and these accidents can
happen. Somebody can bump into a switch. But for 90 seconds nobody knew
it in the control booth at CNN, which means they we were the listening
to what was on their own, quote, unquote, air, which was a Bush speech.
I mean Kyra Phillips is innocent in this. I mean, she just had her
whole personal conversation in a bathroom broadcast all over cable news
yesterday afternoon for a minute and a half.
Call me self-interested, but it seems to me that there is a definite
anti-male bias in much of the media. Commercials, sitcoms, and cinema
often mock dopey, arrogant male figures while lauding spunky women who
can do anything a man can.
This attitude (which got so bad it prompted a book The War Against Boys)
also extends to news coverage. Usually the bias consists of
cheerleading for girls and women, often to the exclusion of men.
Ironically, it's not just female reporters who exhibit such behavior as
ABC reporter John Berman demonstrated on Wednesday's "World News."
His report on this year's SAT scores (available in video or a less-biased text version) ignored many key aspects of the high school test and focused more on how girls did better in a new essay portion than boys.
Writing at TCS Daily, Glenn Reynolds wonders about the net effect of the exposure of the fact that fake news is more common than previously supposed:
In a democratic polity -- or even one that's driven by things like "world opinion" -- faked news poses a real threat to decent decision-making. Worse yet, the likely outcome of widespread fakery will be a tendency on the part of people to simply dismiss news that they don't want to hear. (And we already see enough of that phenomenon as it is). [...]
Once again, as I've said in previous columns, it boils down to whom you can trust. And although it seems that Big Media outfits, which want to make money and be around for the long term, would have a sufficient investment in their credibility not to fake news themselves, or to pass along fake news except in extraordinary circumstances, the evidence of recent weeks is that journalism is rife with fakery, and that we're seeing more of it now mostly because it's easier to spot now that lots of people can examine the evidence and compare notes. [...]
Context is key. And one of the lessons of these various affairs is that neither the photo, nor the purveyor of the photo, should be given unquestioned authority. Instead, we have to think for ourselves, and make up our own minds. Because it turns out that we can't trust, well, much of anyone.
He's right, of course. But realizing the need to think critically is only
part of the solution. Despite the fact that a
great many interactive web participants (bloggers, blog readers, and forum
users) realize the value of not buying into everything you see, many do not.
A still larger group aren't even reading blogs or forums, which presents a
bit of a problem.
Starter topic: Mark Tapscott thinks John McCain doesn't have a chance for the GOP nomination unless he renounces his campaign finance regulation bill:
If the Republican Party nominates Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, for president
in 2008 without his official apology for and repudiation of
McCain-Feingold, plus introduction of legislation to repeal that
monstrous outrage against the First Amendment, no conservative,
libertarian or honest liberal can support him for the White House.
I tend to agree. How about you?
UPDATE 12:19. Different topic: In case you've been trying to access one of the blogs on mu.nu, they've crashed but hope to be back later today.
UPDATE 12:58. Ace emailed me and says mu.nu is fixed.
Faking news photos isn't just for Islamic propagandists any more.
A TVNewser reader has caught CBS in the act, altering a photo to make new anchor Katie Couric's waistline appear slimmer than it really is.
Question: Is CBS doing better now that it's only faking news to make its anchor look skinny, or is it doing worse now that it's making phony pictures instead of relying on nutjobs to do it?
UPDATE 11:21. Commenter 1sttofight correctly points out that Couric's face is also slimmer. It seems her arms are, too.
UPDATE 08:30 by Mark Finkelstein: CBS has now admitted that it "retouched" Katie's photo, but claims it was done "without the knowledge of Katie Couric or CBS news management," and Couric is quoted as claiming "she prefers the original photo 'because there's more of me to love.'"
Elsewhere on the fake Middle Eastern news front, the Second Draft has two must-see videos (HT: Instapundit) that look at a famous "news" item from 2000 in which a young Palestinian boy is reportedly shot by Israeli soldiers while crouching behind a barrel. The footage was filmed by a Palestinian cameraman working for a French television station. Upon further examination, like many pictures from that part of the world, the video appears to not be what actually happened.
The documentary looks at other video shot by cameramen sitting behind the boy and his father, right in the line of Israeli fire who did not sustain any injuries, leading to the conclusion that the boy was not killed by Israelis but by Palestinians. Follow the link above for the second video. Both are downloadable on the Second Draft site for those unable to view Flash.
With the recent disclosure
that Richard Armitage, an anti-Iraq war deputy of former secretary of
state Colin Powell, was Bob Novak's source for the Valerie Plame leak,
the political scandal that never should have been may finally be
wrapping up. All that seems to remain is a three-and-out trial of
departed White House aid Scooter Libby.
Byron York has a long piece summarizing the recent developments and putting them in the proper context:
No one in the press corps knew it at the
time, but if a newly published account of the CIA-leak case is
accurate, Powell knew much, much more than he let on during that
session with the press. Two days earlier, according to Hubris, the new book by the Nation's David Corn and Newsweek's
Michael Isikoff, Powell had been told by his top deputy and close
friend Richard Armitage that he, Armitage, leaked the identity of CIA
employee Valerie Plame to columnist Robert Novak. Armitage had, in
other words, set off the CIA-leak affair.
the time, top administration officials, including President Bush, were
vowing to "get to the bottom" of the matter. But Armitage was already
there, and he told Powell, who told top State Department officials, who
told the Justice Department. From the first week of October 2003, then,
investigators knew who leaked Valerie Plame's identity — the ostensible
purpose of an investigation that still continues, a few months shy of
three years after it began. [...]
Former veep Al Gore continues to get slavishly great press (the kind
a Republican could only get by switching parties à la Jim Jeffords),
for a speech he gave in Scotland claiming that "democracy is under
attack" from media consolidation. I'm doubtful that he mentioned
similar dangers from ultrarich leftists like George Soros trying to buy
their own governments in various countries.
The first few grafs from AP reporter Jill Lawless are relatively straightforward (minus the fact that she did not ask other media thinkers to counter Gore):
is under attack," Gore told an audience at the Edinburgh International
Television Festival. "Democracy as a system for self-governance is
facing more serious challenges now than it has faced for a long time.
is a conversation, and the most important role of the media is to
facilitate that conversation of democracy. Now the conversation is more
controlled, it is more centralized."
One of the worst aspects of journalism is that its bias of access. Few journalists ever tell readers what they do to get a story or a picture. As we've learned during the ongoing fauxtography scandal, the Western press has often been complicit or worse in the attempts of terrorist organizations to manipulate the news.
Writing in the New Republic (hat tip: LGF), free lancer Annia Ciezadlo exposes more of Hezbollah's news manufacturing apparatus. The disturbing thing is that until bloggers blew the story open, we heard more complaints about the Bush Administration staging news events than we did about terrorists doing so. We're at the point here where even moral equivalence would be desirable:
Who says Lebanon's tourism
industry is dead? Come to Beirut these days and you can take a guided
tour of Hell, with Hezbollah as your escort. Every day, the Party of
God welcomes visitors to Haret Hreik, in the heart of the city's mostly
Shia southern suburbs. Once home to Hezbollah's headquarters and
Beirut's most densely populated neighborhood, Haret Hreik is now a
smoking swath of wreckage. For the thousands of families who used to
live here, the devastation is almost unimaginable. But, for Hezbollah,
the ruins of this once-bustling neighborhood have become a tourist
attraction--and an invaluable propaganda tool.
Here's a story you're not likely to see covered by today's MSM TV: the story of a Palestinian boy band who made it big...by writing up a song praising Hezollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah. (Click here for an MP3 of it.)
The song, "Hawk of Lebanon," is mostly a 10-minute repetition of the phrase "Yallah, Nasrallah" along with other delightful lyrics such as "I hope we can destroy your life and make you worry, Zionism and Zionists are the biggest poison in Arab land."
It's taken the Palestine by storm. AP reporter Sarah El Deeb has more:
They were struggling in a boy band, working the West Bank wedding circuit and dreaming of stardom.
Now the five singers who make up the Northern Band have come a little
closer to their goal, with help from an unwitting ally — Hezbollah
guerrilla chief Hassan Nasrallah.
At the height of the
Israel-Hezbollah war, the band wrote new lyrics, in praise of
Nasrallah, for an old tune. The Hawk of Lebanon song tapped into
Nasrallah's huge popularity among Palestinians and became an instant
The song is being played on Arab TV networks, used as a
ring tone for cell phones, passed around on e-mail and distributed on
pirate CDs and tapes.
Since today's open thread dealt heavily with the topic of censorship and trolling as several new or dormant liberal commenters began posting complaints, I think it's worth saying a little bit officially about the subject to give a little background to everyone.
Any conservative site is going to be the target
of juvenile liberals who not being able to abide by the rules of logic
and decorum, make it their goal to leave inane remarks that they can't
For quite some time, we've had our eye on a particular
group run by the banned NB user Hater who has become quite obsessed as
you can see reading this thread he posted at a Howard Stern fan site after he was banned for the second time. It's a must-read look into the mind of the deranged left. The insanity and sheer hatred expressed by Hater and his little friends is both hilarious and disturbing.
In her latest column, Michelle Malkin talks about how cosmetics maker M.A.C. experienced a huge backlash after it hired left-wing comedian Sandra Bernhard to flack its wares. As you might expect, Bernhard couldn't resist turning makeup advertising into a political issue:
Dear High Fashion Cosmetics Manufacturers:
I want you to know that I am a conservative woman who shares something in
common with your millions of treasured liberal female consumers: the need
for a quality skin-care regimen. Perhaps this comes as a shock to you, but
conservative women also suffer chapped lips, rough elbows, undereye circles,
and ragged cuticles. (I speak with Absolute Authority on this.) The quest
for a good moisturizer transcends partisan politics. Our money is green,
like everyone else's. Oh, and we have feelings, too.
So when corporate boneheads in your industry (such as the ones at MAC
Cosmetics) hire left-wing celebrities (such as offend-a-holic Sandra
Bernhard) to hawk lip-plumping products by hurling epithets at us (such as
"little freaked out, intimidated, frightened, right-wing Republican
thin-lipped bitch"), we are not just going to roll over like tubes of
mascara across a make-up counter.
This isn't exactly media bias, but since the myth of the conservative corporation is one of my personal favorites to demolish, I couldn't help but link to a Human Events study showing that conservative groups get far less money from Fortune 100 companies than liberal groups do. Here's an excerpt:
Have liberal journalists gotten more than they bargained for after hyping up the Valerie Plame Wilson leak "scandal?" Ed Morrissey argues that this is the case in light of yet another leak investigation, this one about CBS and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee:
The media, especially national organizations, used to have a silent
immunity from these kinds of investigations, but two developments
changed all of that. First, the media used to understand the impact of
the disclosures they made and to coordinate them with the federal
government to minimize the damage. That era appears to have ended,
largely with the New York Times, which has blown several intelligence
programs during wartime despite the warnings of the White House and
members of Congress.
Secondly and more importantly, the press brought it on themselves in
the Plame leak. The New York Times, hypocritically, took the lead in
hysterically demanding a federal probe into the kind of leak that they
regularly publish on their front pages. Somehow the media mavens who
took their lead from the Gray Lady never considered the fact that an
investigation into leaks would require subpoenaed testimony from the
reporters that received them.
Too late, they realized that the public storm they created would
rain down all over themselves. They have tried to paint the subpoenas
and the resulting contempt-of-court threats as an indication of an
oppressive Bush administration, declaring war on the media. This order
by Judge Ellis should put an end to that misapprehension. The media
created this demand for investigations into leaks of classified
information, and jus because they were too foolish to understand that
all roads led back to them is no reason to feel much sympathy for their
Agence-France Press, the French press agency, must be violating child labor laws. That can be the only possible conclusion one can reach after reading this Allahpundit post at Hot Air which chronicles the petty and immature oeuvre of its photographer Paul Richards who seems unable to take a picture of George W. Bush in which the president is not making a ridiculous or sinister gesture.
Now it's true that some unreasonable, unclear-thinking Americans out there might believe AFP to be politically biased. But that is completely impossible. Therefore, one must come to the conclusion that Richards is 11 years old.
The Palestinian kidnapping of Fox news correspondent Steve Centanni and camerman Olaf Wing is now in its fifth day, and it's interesting to note the flabby response from both the media and so-called journalism "protection" organizations -- which are usually quick to condemn Israel and the U.S. authorities in Iraq.
The usually garrulous Committee to Protect Journalists issued a tepid statement expressing "concern," and the media generally has kept its distance. The New York Times, typically, buried a tiny reference to the kidnapping in a news roundup two days later. Obviously the Times was hoping that Centanni would be swiftly released, and delayed mentioning the kidnapping in the hope that it could report news of his release at the same time. Mustn't upset the myth of Palestinian moderation!
Have you heard the news of the latest celebrity political pronouncement?
For those living in a cave, Bernie Mac, Nicole Kidman, Michael Douglas, Danny De Vito, Bruce Willis, and a host of other celebs recently signed an issue ad taking a stand…against terrorism.
Didn't hear about it? That's no surprise. According to Nexis, not a single American news organization other than Fox News Channel has covered it.
Say what you will about celebs "shutting up and singing," but the fact that this isn't getting nearly the coverage given to anti-Bush and anti-American rants of lesser lights like the Dixie Chicks or Michael Moore is a yet another nail in the coffin that the media in this country is sorely lacking in political diversity. (Full text and signers here.)