This weekend, we're doing two pictures for the captionfest. Here's the original of the first: "TV cameramen film a photograph displayed at a press conference in
Baghdad, Iraq purporting to show the body of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the
Second: "A Pakistani Muslim reads a newspaper splashed with headlines of the
killing of al Qaeda militant Abu Musab al Zarqawi in Peshawar June 9,
With Rick Kaplan out at MSNBC (fired, just as I surmised), TV news observers are wondering what's next for the third-place cabler.
Word has it that Phil Griffin, a veep at the network's broadcast parent NBC, might be given the MSNBC healm. Previously, he was MSNBC's primetime veep.
During his tenure, Kaplan tried his hand at a number of new projects, none of which succeeded particularly well. He also seems to have stubbornly clung to things that less ideological (Kaplan is outspokenly liberal) president would've canned, such as the retaining the increasingly unhinged Keith Olbermann. Observers also say he gave host Chris Matthews too much latitude over his show "Hardball."
MSNBC president Rick Kaplan has resigned from the network. TVNewser is on top of all the latest developments. Here's Kaplan's fairwell note:
I want to let you all know that today I'm leaving MSNBC. It is not
often in professional life that someone has the opportunity to end his
tenure on such a high note. I couldn't be more proud of the progress
we've made together over the last 2 and a half years.
we've increased MSNBC's viewership 25% in primetime and 19% in dayside.
Over just the last year, we've had great success across the board, with
Hardball and Countdown coming into their own. All of our primetime
programs have improved tremendously in their production and content.
Together we had a great election year in '04 and you're poised to
improve on that excellence this fall.
Writing at Editor and Publisher, the bible of the newspaper industry, senior editor Joe Strupp blasts newspapers for not doing enough to promote gay marriage:
The gay marriage debate has wasted time, energy and
effort long enough. It barely shows up in a list of issues that concern
Americans in a Gallup Poll released in the past week. And the current proposal for a constitutional ban on gay marriage may be the height of abuse.
It is bad enough that newspapers have not taken a
harder stance in favor of gay rights in the past. But to allow this
short-sighted misuse of the Constitution to move ahead without
condemnation would be the ultimate irresponsibility.
One hopes this Time mag profile of leftist blogger Markos "Kos" Moulitsas from ex-pseudo blogger Ana Marie Cox (occasionally formerly of wonkette.com), is not allowed into the magazine lest more innocent people will be exposed to its fatuousness.
Compact and wiry, Moulitsas, 34, exudes quivering intensity. He speaks
in staccato paragraphs, punctuated by intense stares and a raised
eyebrow. His eyes bulge slightly outward, as if reacting to the
pressure of all the ideas inside his head. Many of those ideas find a home on Daily Kos. A
clearinghouse for liberal screeds and progressive perspective on the
news, the site claims to get more than 500,000 unique visitors daily
and more than 10,000 members maintain their own sub-blogs (called
"diaries") within its reaches.
In other words, he's nuts but it's in a good way. The nonsense hardly stops there, though:
Moulitsas’s rhetoric and passion have made him a posterboy
bomb-thrower. He's the left's own Kurt Cobain and Che Guevera rolled
into one, dripping sex appeal for progressives for whom debate has
become synonymous with losing, who need a muscular liberal answer to
the cowboy swagger adopted by the Bush Administration and its fans.
Original caption to this AP photo: "President Bush answers a reporter's question during his meeting with
Rwanda's President Paul Kagame in the Oval Office of the White House
Wednesday, May 31, 2006 in Washington."
Robert Samuelson has an interesting column today (hat tip Captain's Quarters) on how the media have completely failed to report a significant fact about the Senate's recently passed immigration bill, that it likely will double the number the number of legal immigrants coming into the United States each year. Nowhere was this fact prominently reported.
The Senate passed legislation last week that Sen. Edward Kennedy
(D-Mass.) hailed as "the most far-reaching immigration reform in our
history." You might think that the first question anyone would ask is
how much it would actually increase or decrease legal immigration. But
no. After the Senate approved the bill by 62 to 36, you could not find
the answer in the news columns of The Post, the New York Times or the
Wall Street Journal. Yet the estimates do exist and are fairly
startling. By rough projections, the Senate bill would double
the legal immigration that would occur during the next two decades from
about 20 million (under present law) to about 40 million.
Does Osama bin Laden read the work of left-wing media figures and bloggers? It's quite possible, argues Brendan O'Neill:
When Al Jazeera broadcast Osama bin Laden's latest audiotape in January, it provoked the same sense of déjà vu as Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden, recently published by the leftist publishing house Verso.
The book is a collection of every public utterance made by the Al Qaeda leader from 1994 to 2004. According to The Observer's excitable reviewer, it shows that he is a "charismatic man of action, an eloquent preacher, a teacher of literature and a resilient, cunning, wonderfully briefed politician." To me, however, there was something irritatingly familiar rather than surprisingly eloquent about his tone and turns of phrase.
Then it struck me: Bin Laden is a blogger. Not literally, of course, but he certainly speaks the language of the blogosphere. He references Robert Fisk and Michael Moore, those darlings of the anti-war Web. His latest statement recommends that people read Rogue State by William Blum, whose e-mail newsletter, Anti-Empire Report, is frequently republished and discussed in the left-wing blogosphere.
Over the weekend, Iraq's foreign minister, Hoshyar Zibari, and Iran's foreign affairs chief held a meeting to discuss, among other things, Iran's nuclear program. Afterward, the two held a press conference. CNN reported on the conference but instead of reporting that Iraq wanted Iran to guarantee its program was for peaceful purposes, the network implied that Iraq was backing its neighbor entirely.
Iran doesn't claim that they want to obtain a nuclear weapon or a nuclear bomb, so there is no need that we ask them for any guarantee now.
Here's what he actually said, as translated by Omar from the Arabic original:
We respect Iran's and every other nation's right to pursue nuclear technology for research purposes and peaceful use given they accept [giving] the internationally required guarantees that this will not lead to an armament race in the region.
Original caption of this AP photo: "Journalist Helen Thomas, left, receives a plaque honoring her as a
Michigan Walk of Fame inductee from Kelly Rossman-McKinney, Thursday,
May 25, 2006, at the Michigan Historical Center in Lansing, Mich.
Twelve 2006 inductees were recognized for their contributions to
Michigan history and culture. Bronze plaques honoring the inductees'
accomplishments will be placed in Lansing sidewalks this summer, much
like Hollywood's famous sidewalk stars honoring entertainers."
Stephen Harper, Canada's Conservative prime minister, has stepped up his criticism of that country's elite media, stating flatly that they're dominated by left-wingers and he won't have anything to do with them:
Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the national media are biased against him so he will avoid them from now on.
The prime minister says the Ottawa press gallery seems to have decided to become the opposition to his Conservative government.
He told a London, Ont., TV station Wednesday that he is having
problems with the media that a Liberal prime minister would never have
So Harper says he will take his message out on the road and deal with the less hostile local media.
After successfully putting the kibosh on a "South Park" episode that made fun of scientology and himself, actor Tom Cruise has expanded his censorship efforts overseas where he's succeeded in getting the same episode pulled in the U.K.:
The South Park episode "Trapped In the Closet," which
mocks actor Tom Cruise's rumored homosexuality as well as his belief in
the controversial religion Scientology, has finally been seen by the
English. The episode had been banned from UK broadcaster Channel 4
after Cruise had complained.
According to the World Entertainment News Network, London's National Film Theater screened the episode on Monday, May 15. After the showing, South Park
creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker spoke about the necessity of free
speech. The event concluded with free copies of the episode being
handed out to attendees.
In regards to possible action by the litigious Cruise, a spokesman for
the Theater said, "If we were charging [for tickets] there may have
been legal problems, but it was a free event, so it should be fine."
Patriotic American users of Microsoft's Hotmail service may be surprised when trying to obtain an email address. The company does not allow new users to sign up for a user name containing the word "american."
At first glance, it seemed that Hotmail is taking precaution to limit phishing attempts which often rely on official-sounding addresses to trick recipients into paying money to people posing as governmental entities. However, my quick check showed that names with "canadian," "francais," "german," "australian," "english," and "deutsch," are all allowed.
In the aftermath of Memogate, Rather's relationship with his fellow CBSers completely disintegrated. Years of pent-up frustration at Rather's autocratic management style and personnel control of CBS News came to an abrupt end as remnants of the old Cronkite guard and new-school suits coalesced to throw Rather from the anchor's chair and cast him as an occasional reporter on "60 Minutes."
It seems now that Dan may have had enough of the demotion, and that CBS is just fine with cutting the cord. Rumors are starting to spread that Rather, whose contract with CBS expires in November, is not coming back to the network. And that it's a mutual decision. CBS head Les Moonves, having succeeded in revamping his entertainment division long wanted to turn his attentions to news, only to be stymied by the prickly pear Rather, who loudly and publicly declaimed any attempts to rein him in as "destroying hard news."
This weekend's captionfest features a picture of Joe Wilson, media dahling, with his supersecret paperpusher wife Valerie Plame, heading to the DC premier of Al Gore's environmentalist movie "An Inconvenient Truth."
Original Reuters caption, complete with false information on Plame's "agent" status: "Former diplomat Joe Wilson and his wife, former CIA agent Valerie
Plame, attend the East Coast premiere of the movie 'An Inconvenient
Truth' in Washington May 17, 2006. 'An Inconvenient Truth' tells the
story of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore's commitment to expose the
myths and misconceptions that surround global warming and inspire
actions to prevent it. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts."
Most Americans don't care one whit about news from Canada,
justifiably so. I think at least some Americans, namely the press folk
in the Bush White House, are keeping an eye on how Stephen Harper, the
new Conservative prime minister (whose party is in power after decades
of Liberal dominance) is taking no prisoners when it comes to dealing
with a press that is actually further left-biased than the one in this
There are two effective ways of dealing with the press,
neither of which has been pursued by the Bush White House up
until new press secretary Tony Snow started practicing the
One gets the impression that Harper and his staff are pursuing the "bad cop" route, based on
the conclusion that making nice with journalists who despise you, your
party, and your policies, doesn't do much good.
John Green, the ABC producer who became somewhat notorious for his statement that President Bush "makes me sick," is now back on the job according to the New York Post:
He's baaack! Weekend "Good Morning America" executive producer John
Green - suspended more than a month ago after partisan e-mails and
voice messages denouncing President Bush and claiming Madeleine
Albright had "Jew guilt" were leaked to the media - has returned to his
post a changed man. Insiders say he is "tanned, rested and ready, and
boasting he's 15 pounds lighter after a month of suspension and
'vacation' in Europe." Green urged the staff to "take all of their
vacation time this summer because it's so good for the mind and body."
"There was a terrific late night out at the 72nd Street Boat Basin to
celebrate his return," a TVNewser tipster adds. "And he got a big ovation at the morning meeting."
More grist for the media-corporations-are-conservative crowd, proving that life is a little more complicated than Noam Chomsky preaches:
"This is how poisonous it's gotten in Washington," says a consulting
lobbyist for a broadcast network. "You have Republicans taking money
from companies and firms working to end their control of Congress, and
even worse, working with outfits like MoveOn.org. And they are taking
this money to not only help groups dedicated to defeating Republicans,
but also for legislation that would regulate the Internet." [...]
makes [Republican lobbyist Vin] Weber's cynical support of the
legislation even worse, say Republican Hill staffers, is that his
activities also aid MoveOn.org, the extremist, left-wing organization,
which is now being financially backed by Google so that MoveOn can help
Google with "Net Neutrality." Google has become the single largest
private corporate underwriter of MoveOn. According to sources in the
Democrat National Committee, MoveOn has received more than $1 million
from Google and its lobbyists in Washington to create grassroots
support for the Internet regulation legislation. Some of that money has
gone to an online petition drive and a letter-writing campaign, but the
majority of that money is being used to fund their activities against
Republicans out in the states.
For example, MoveOn is said
by one DNC source to have funneled at least $100,000 "Net Neutrality"
money to its operations in Pennsylvania (where MoveOn is organizing
against Sen. Rick Santorum). It has also sent funds to Florida, Ohio,
With gas prices likely to head higher over the summer, expect urban
liberal journalists to step up their campaign to get everyone to not
just vote like them, but to live like them as well. The suburbs aren't
going away anytime soon, though, regardless of what Iran or Katie
Couric might do.
Kotkin has an interesting article in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle which argues
that high gas prices will not only not kill off suburbia, they will actually
make more people want to move in.
Predictions of the demise of suburbia, choked to death by high gasoline prices, may be greatly exaggerated.
wisdom suggests that high prices at the pump mean less driving and,
hence, the withering of far-flung suburbs, whose residents must drive
to jobs, shopping and recreation. [...]
Inquirer commentary page editor John Timpane, for example, suggests
that high prices at the pump will lead to a return to the much
mythologized urban past. He calls it, "Driving us back to the way we
were." [...] CNN
recently published a study that suggested that the "best cities" in an
oil crisis are those much-loved traditional cities such as San
Francisco, New York, Boston and Chicago.
It's that time of the week again and since Wednesday was Scott McClellan's last day on the job, we figured we'd use this photo for the weekend captionfest. Original AP wording: "Press Secretary Scott McClellan passes out brownies to members of the press during the flight back to Washington on Air Force One, Wednesday, May 10."
Apparently it's old news week at the broadcast networks. After hyping the year-old revelation
about the NSA's telephone record program, CBS has invited the Dixie
Chicks, the formerly popular country music group whose penchant for
spouting liberal platitudes alienated their fan base, to talk about
death threats they received in 2003.
Ostensibly, the purpose of the
on "60 Minutes" this Sunday is to promote a new
album, but the lead of CBS's online promotional piece about the
interview focuses entirely on three-year-old threats.There's apparently
an effort to "make news" here most likely, but it's so feeble as to be
Any person who cuts even a slightly bigger-than-average public profile has received death threats. Doing
a story on them is of questionable value; doing one on threats received
in 2003 can only be attributed to the fact that the Dixie Chicks are
liberal. Much-reviled conservative women like Linda Tripp or Katherine
Harris both received many death threats but were never granted
interviews with "60 Minutes" to talk about their experiences in a
Yesterday, NB's Megan McCormack noted the Oprah Winfrey web site asking viewers to tell show producers how CNN host Anderson Cooper has "encouraged you to make the world a better place." After word spread about it on the web, the solicitation soon disappeared, the NY Post (ht: TVNewser) notes:
But by late afternoon yesterday, the query had been mysteriously removed from the site.
And no one was saying who or why it had been pulled down.
"Anderson is coming on to talk about his book and it will air sometime [this month]," a CNN spokeswoman said.
New White House pressec Tony Snow is taking a more aggressive line with the press corps, sending out emails critical of the elite media's coverage. The DC Examiner's Bill Sammon reports:
New White House Press Secretary Tony Snow is starting off in a combative mode against the press by issuing detailed rebuttals to what he considers unfair coverage of Bush.
“The New York Times continues to ignore America’s economic progress,” blared the headline of an e-mail sent to reporters Wednesday by the White House press office.
Minutes earlier, another e-mail blasted CBS News, which has had an unusually rocky relationship with the White House since 2004, when CBS aired what turned out to be forged documents in a failed effort to question the president’s military service.
“CBS News misleadingly reports that only 8 million seniors have signed up for Medicare prescription drug coverage,” Wednesday’s missive said. “But 37 million seniors have coverage.”
The runaway success of Rupert Murdoch's Fox News Channel, founded on
the premise that other news outlets are biased, is the source
of much anger to lefty journalists. Most elite journalists I've encountered hate the network and the fact that it's broken through the liberal glass ceiling of news.
A great example of this was a Monday column
in the LA Times by Scott Collins which instead of leading with a 38
percent ratings drop at CNN (something that's causing turmoil and
repeated personnel shifts), focused on a 17 percent drop at FNC.
Inside the article, Collins allows CNN president Jonathan "Pajamas"
Klein to comment on why the rival network has fallen [by half the
amount his has]. Perennial ratings dropout Keith Olbermann is also
Since Dan Rather left the "CBS Evening News" just over a year ago, the ratings for the show have increased. After years of being a distant third in the ratings race, CBS's nightly program is now battling it out for second place with ABC's "World News Tonight," Matt Drudge reports:
The CBS EVENING NEWS WITH BOB SCHIEFFER finished the week of May 1 only
310,000 viewers behind ABC’s “World News Tonight,” narrowing the gap
with ABC by 1.64 million viewers and with NBC’s “Nightly News” by 1.03
million viewers compared to the same week last year. In households, the
CBS EVENING NEWS has cut the gap with ABC’s “World News Tonight” more
than 75% to -0.3 of a ratings point compared to a -1.3 rating point
differential for the same week last year. The CBS EVENING NEWS also
halved the gap with NBC’s “Nightly News” to -0.8 rating point compared
to -1.6 for the same period last year. The CBS EVENING NEWS is also the
only network-evening newscast to post year-to-year and season-to-date
gains in total viewers and households compared to the same period last
I know this is a long shot, but it's worth a try. This month I attained
my B.S. degreee in journalism with a minor in marketing. I hope to one
day soon be a leading broadcast journalist, but feel that my small
chest is holding me back.
I am seeking understanding, kind-hearted people who are willing to
invest in my A-cup breasts and help me finance a breast augmentation
surgery and advance my career in broadcast journalism.
The surgery will cost $3,000 and get me up to a full C-cup. I believe
that this is the final piece that I need to have more self-confidence
and gain better job opportunities.
In this day and age, I know how important looking good is for any
career. I know this surgery will increase my chances three-fold on top
of my education, experience and talent.
Please reply if you can help. This is not only an investment in my
confidence; It is an investment in my fruitful career. Thank you.
CNN Headline News is set to debut a new show tonight (7pm ET) featuring radio host Glenn Beck. Already, liberals are up in arms about their sacred turf of non-FNC television being invaded, Broadcasting and Cable reports.
New CNN Headline News host Glenn Beck is already asking his fans to
guess when his show will be canceled, and it doesn't even debut until
The subject of an e-mail campaign from the left, the conservative talker is launching one of his own.
Web site, glennbeck.com, has a link to an online form that lets surfers
guess when his talk show--weeknights, 7 and 9 p.m., starting May
8--will be off the air. His own staff gives it "three weeks," according
to some streamed behind-the-scenes video also linked to Beck's Web site.
Eleanor Clift, Newsweek's resident genius, had another stroke of brilliance
Sunday with a column on the many similarities between Hillary Clinton
and Ronald Reagan. Aside from that very arguable point, I couldn't help
but notice this gem that somehow worked its way through Newsweek's
legions of fact-checkers:
The late great Jerry Garcia
used to say the Grateful Dead were like black licorice. People who
loved them loved them a lot. People who hated them really hated them.
"Hillary Clinton is black licorice," says a Democratic strategist.
"There's a huge upside, and there's a huge downside. And we don't know
how it will balance out."
When was the last time we had such a
dominant front runner this early who raises such anxiety about
electability? The answer is Ronald Reagan. It took a leap of
imagination to believe an aging grade-B movie actor with orange hair could win the presidency.
For comment on the substance of the piece (such as it is), head over to Captain's Quarters.