A week has gone by since the "controversy" over the New Yorker cover featuring Barack and Michelle Obama broke and the media is still wringing their hands in excruciating microanalysis over it. The ironic thing is that the true target of the New Yorker wasn't even Obama and his wife. They meant to satirize a "simplistic rightwing" attitude about the Obamas. Or at least how the left thinks the right views the Obamas. At this point, your humble correspondent will cease comment on the New Yorker cover to avoid the risk of falling into the overanalysis of humor trap that the media has fallen into on this topic. Instead, let us now watch as Lee Siegel, writing in today's New York Times, presents an agonizing microanalysis of the Obama New Yorker cover (emphasis mine):
Good news! Despite the recent global warming alarmism in the media that Arctic ice might melt away completely from the North Pole this summer, the latest scientific observations show that Arctic ice has actually increased by nearly a half million square miles over this time last year. This is in stark contrast to the Chicken Little hysteria that was being promoted less than a month ago on the CBS Early Show as reported by Kyle Drennen on June 27 here in NewsBusters:
On Friday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Maggie Rodriguez teased an upcoming interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair about global warming: "Also ahead this morning, we'll talk about a disturbing new report from some scientists in Colorado who say that there is the very real possibility that for the first time we will see the ice in the North Pole melt away completely during the summer."
Susan Estrich, who is best known to the public for her fascinating psychological unraveling on Fox News on election night 2004, is now "nervous" about the electoral chances of Barack Obama. In the process she makes a startling admission that might cause her to lose friends in the mainstream media. First let us listen to Susan as she tells us why July polls are meaningless...or maybe not:
July polls don’t tell you who’s going to win in November. Just ask President Dukakis or President Gore, both of whom were well ahead in July and went on to lose in the fall (although Mr. Gore still doesn’t quite see it that way). Or ask President Clinton, who was running third in some polls after clinching his party’s nomination, and won comfortably in the fall. Polls are, at best, snapshots of the present, not predictors of the future.
Will we be forced to buy carbon credits from Al Gore in order to assuage our guilt over eating Big Macs or other types of hamburgers? Perhaps. As we saw recently in NewsBusters, there is a theory out there that Bovine "Burps" contribute significantly to causing global warming due to the release of methane by cows during their "burping" process. And now environmental whackos want us to cut back or eliminate our consumption of hamburgers in order to keep bovine methane from destroying our planet. Here are some excerpts from the July 16 article by Jim Motavalli in the San Antonio Current expounding on this subject:
Has global warming alarmism finally jumped the shark? If so, then perhaps its jump the shark moment can be traced to last Sunday when global warming alarmism was openly mocked in the Zippy the Pinhead comic strip.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Zipster, here is a brief biography... Zippy was born in a satellite dish outside of Cincinnati, Ohio. His mother is a Las Vegas pizza waitress and his father is a truck driver who works part time as a writer for People Magazine. Zippy's favorite meals often consists of corn nuts and polysorbate 80 followed by a delicious desert of yogurt covered with taco sauce.
Zippy is also the wonderful creation of cartoonist Bill Griffith and is easily the best comic strip out there. A key element in the humor of this comic strip is that Zippy processes all information with equal weight. A chili dog has the same impact on Zippy as a hydrogen bomb explosion.
Did you know that John F. Kennedy had a whole bunch of pets and now Barack Obama is planning on getting a pet dog too? JFK gave a speech in Berlin and now Obama is preparing to do the same. JFK also spoke at a stadium during the 1960 Democrat convention and guess what? Obama is also going to give a speech during the Democrat convention this August at Mile High Stadium in Denver. The parallels between Obama and JFK are unmistakable.
Okay, by now you are probably laughing out loud at the enormous stretch needed to draw the similarities between the two but the political writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, Carla Marinucci, makes this case in all seriousness in "Obama, JFK parallels - real or media hype?" As you can see in her article, Marinucci comes down firmly on the side of real, not hype:
He's fired up youth with eloquent oratory and a message of change. He has the pearl-wearing wife and two adorable little kids. He's making plans for a huge speech in Berlin.
So ask - or ask not: Is Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama channeling John F. Kennedy?
Gee, how can that be? Just last month, the Newsweek poll showed Barack Obama with a large 15 point lead over John McCain which Newsweek announced as "Barack's Bounce." However, there is now trouble in River City as you can tell by the headline of the latest Newsweek poll story, "Glow Fading?" Yes, poor Obama has taken a big tumble in the latest Newsweek poll:
A month after emerging victorious from the bruising Democratic nominating contest, some of Barack Obama's glow may be fading. In the latest NEWSWEEK Poll, the Illinois senator leads Republican nominee John McCain by just 3 percentage points, 44 percent to 41 percent. The statistical dead heat is a marked change from last month's NEWSWEEK Poll, where Obama led McCain by 15 points, 51 percent to 36 percent.
Newsweek seems to find this dramatic poll drop for Obama very puzzling (emphasis mine):
It looks just like the type of story that would appear in The Onion but the funniest thing about this Reuters story about the effects of cow "burps" on global warming is that it was covered with a completely straight face. According to this story, methane released by cow "burps," not humans, might be the culprit in causing the rise in greenhouse gases. A scientific study on this phenomenom is being undertaken via cow "burp" collection:
Argentine scientists are taking a novel approach to studying global warming -- strapping plastic tanks to the backs of cows to collect their burps.
Researchers say the slow digestive system of cows makes them a producer of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that gets far less public attention than carbon dioxide in efforts to fight global warming.
Scientists around the world are studying the amount of methane in cow burps and Argentine researchers say they have come up with a unique way.
The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have formally disbanded and ceased all operations as of May 31, 2008. I repeat. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth no longer exists. Somebody need to send that message to the New York Daily News because they are creating the false impression that 527 group is still out there as you can see in their completely misleading headline, "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth gear up for 2008 White House race." The strangest thing is that the Daily News article contradicts its own headline (emphasis mine):
The swift boats are coming.
They'll go by different names this year, but the largely unregulated interest groups like Swift Boat Veterans for Truth - which in 2004 torpedoed Democrat John Kerry with allegations he'd inflated his war record - are gearing up for the 2008 White House race like never before.
So far this year, so-called 527 groups - named for a section of the IRS tax code - have raised a staggering $210 million, up from $182 million at this point in 2004.
You can almost hear the violins playing while reading U.K. Guardian writer Zachary Roth bemoan the "swiftboat" labeling of Barack Obama by those wascally Republicans:
Over the last few months, Barack Obama has been variously labelled an "elitist", a naïve softie and simply "out of the mainstream" in his lifestyle and associates. And lately, in what appears to be the centrepiece of the GOP's attacks, Republicans have focused on portraying Obama as arrogant and self-interested.
...The "arrogant" label could well damage Obama. That's partly because, as with Kerry's rep for flip-flopping, it might contain a kernel of truth. At the very least, Obama is prone to gestures that can come off as cocky: his fist bumps, his habit of running up the steps to the stage before a speech, even his tendency to address a crowd by the name of their city or state ("Understand this, Houston,") as if he were in a rock band on tour ("Hello Cleveland!").
Barack Obama has an Iraq problem and New Yorker writer George Packer is worried. The problem is that the surge has been a great success:
In February, 2007, when Barack Obama declared that he was running for President, violence in Iraq had reached apocalyptic levels, and he based his candidacy, in part, on a bold promise to begin a rapid withdrawal of American forces upon taking office. At the time, this pledge represented conventional thinking among Democrats and was guaranteed to play well with primary voters. But in the year and a half since then two improbable, though not unforeseeable, events have occurred: Obama has won the Democratic nomination, and Iraq, despite myriad crises, has begun to stabilize. With the general election four months away, Obama’s rhetoric on the topic now seems outdated and out of touch, and the nominee-apparent may have a political problem concerning the very issue that did so much to bring him this far.
Packer then casts aspersions upon Obama's foreign policy judgement:
Today is the official publication date of The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment by Paul and Anne Ehrlich. The release of this book was timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the publication of Paul Ehrlich's once exceedingly popular "The Population Bomb" in 1968. If you expect to see much about either of these books in the mainstream media, you are in for a big disappointment. The MSM is avoiding the whole subject of Paul Ehrlich and his apocalyptic "The Population Bomb" like the plague nowadays. The reason is probably because it might draw embarrassing attention to the fact that apocalyptic visions, despite their popularity at one time such as the current global warming alarmism, are usually proven to be flat out wrong.
Michelle Boorstein, writing in the Washington Post's The Trail, sounded more like she was presenting a glowing Barack Obama campaign press release than a political story when she announced the hiring of Obama's new religious affairs adviser:
Shaun Casey, who teaches religion and politics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., has been hired by the Obama campaign to focus on outreach to evangelical voters.
Casey, who has been informally advising the Obama campaign on faith issues for a year, next month will become a formal part of the faith outreach staff, Casey said today. His title will be senior adviser for religious affairs.
The word first popped up in a big way in the 2004 election to explain John Kerry's flip-flops on the issues. See, according to the liberals when a Democrat flip-flops it is really a matter of perception. He hasn't really changed his views since they are "nuanced." And if we think he has flip-flopped that is only because we yahoos just aren't enlightened enough to understand the complicated "nuance." This word has been resurrected again by McClatchy writer, Margaret Talev, to explain Barack Obama's recent flip-flops.
Talev does a good job explaining why some of us unenlightened types might perceive Obama's recent dramatic shifts on the issues as flip-flops:
From the beginning, Barack Obama's special appeal was his vow to remain an idealistic outsider, courageous and optimistic, and never to shift his positions for political expediency, or become captive of the Inside-the-Beltway intelligentsia, or kiss up to special interests and big money donors.
In recent weeks, though, Obama has done all those things.
It wasn't exactly an obituary but it sure sounded like one when Palm Beach Post publisher Doug Franklin announced staff cutbacks at that newspaper today much larger than anyone had expected. The worst case scenario projected a cut of no more than 100 newsroom staff but, as posted in Bob Norman's The Daily Pulp, the final number was much larger:
-- 300 jobs will be cut company-wide. -- 130 newsroom jobs will be cut. -- Buyouts are being offered to employees with at least five years vested in the pension plan.
Here is the obituary-like memo from publisher Doug Franklin announcing the near death experience of the Palm Beach Post:
June 25, 2008
To: All Employees of Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc. Re: Reduction in Workforce Plans
I am writing today to advise you of the changes that will begin taking place throughout our company this week.
The Orlando Sentinel, in line with the directive of its cost-cutting owner, Sam Zell, has had major cosmetic changes starting with the Sunday edition. Here is how it was described in the Wall Street Journal:
The Orlando Sentinel landed on newsstands Sunday with a new layout featuring more graphics, quick-read digests of top news, blog summaries and other changes aimed at making the newspaper more appealing to harried readers.
Orlando is a proving ground for Sam Zell's effort to reinvent floundering Tribune Co., owner of a string of television stations and newspapers, including the Sentinel, the Chicago Tribune and the Los Angeles Times. Between now and the end of September, Tribune plans to roll out redesigns at its papers. Accompanying the makeovers will be scaled-back page counts and further paring of employees.
Mr. Zell took control of the company in December after leading an $8.2 billion deal to take Tribune private. The buyout left Tribune saddled with debt amid an industrywide meltdown in newspaper advertising, but Mr. Zell and his new management team of radio and TV executives have promised a revival built on fresh ideas.
If there were ever a reason that illustrates why newspapers are dying and the mainstream media isn't trusted by many people, this story from the Babalu Blog is a perfect example. Last February, your humble correspondent posted a Newsbusters blog about the studied incuriosity of the MSM over the Che Guevara flag hanging in the office of Barack Obama campaign volunteer, Maria Isabel. This flag was discovered when Houston Fox News 26 reported on the opening of an Obama campaign office as you can see in this video.
Please forgive your humble correspondent if he takes a bit of pride in being the first to recognize the inadvertent comedy genius of Lee Abrams, the Chief Innovation Officer of the Tribune Company. Since I first reported on the hilarious antics of Abrams back in March, more and more people, especially those in the newspaper business, have learned to appreciate the comedy material provided by his many memos consisting of a bizarre mixture of upbeat optimism and New Age psychobabble.
Although the author or authors are anonymous, one suspects the parody memos were written by a journalist in the Tribune organization upon whom the budget axe might soon fall. Here are some Lee Abrams parody memo excerpts from Poynter Forums:
The Boston Globe published a really weird, yet inadvertently hilarious, editorial in which they claim that because Barack Obama broke his promise to accept public financing of his campaign...that means we need even more campaign finance reform in terms of both more money and legislation. I kid you not. First the obligatory knuckle rap on Obama by the Boston Globe for going back on his word:
SENATOR Barack Obama has presented himself as the candidate of change, but the change he announced yesterday is a throwback to the no-holds-barred rules of campaign finance that prevailed before Watergate. Obama will be the first major party candidate since Watergate to reject public financing in the general election, instead relying on his base of more than 1.5 million donors for a war chest that could easily double or triple the $84.1 he would get in public financing. His decision deals a body blow both to the system of campaign finance and to his own reputation as a reform candidate.
Imagine the reaction from the mainstream media if some conservative group, no matter how fringe, had called for the trial of Barack Obama on unproven charges. Does anybody doubt that they would focus on such a story in a very big way? Well, something like this has happened except it is the dean of the unaccredited Massachusetts Law School at Andover, Lawrence Velvel, who has called for a conference this September to plan war crimes trials against members of the Bush administration. Of course, the MSM is ignoring this story because it would hurt the Obama campaign. Here is what the ABA Journal has reported about this proposed conference (emphasis mine):
The dean of Massachusetts School of Law at Andover is planning a September conference to map out war crimes prosecutions, and the targets are President Bush and other administration officials.
Miami Herald employees, worried about retaining their jobs due to severe cutbacks in the newspaper industry, have now looked to a Santeria 'rooster' (photo) for help. The rooster is actually a life sized replica with a note attached that says:
Brought in by a Santeria priest (the real deal from Hialeah) to help save our jobs. Leave an offering.
The rooster and the offerings were placed on a fifth floor counter last Thursday facing an elevator bank in the Herald building in Miami. Among the offerings placed on the counter by the end of that work day were coins, cigars, and a Virgin de Guadalupe candle. Perhaps the Herald employees need to make even more offerings since the McClatchy Company which owns the Miami Herald just announced big layoffs today:
The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) announced today that it plans to reduce its workforce by about 10% as the company accelerates efforts to manage through today's difficult advertising market and position itself for future success in an increasingly competitive environment.
A profile of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann by Peter J. Boyer in the current edition of the New Yorker gives us a good clue as to why the man known for his laughable impressions of Edward R. Murrow is so antagonistic towards CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric. She beat him out of a job as anchor at CBS. Yes, you read that right. In fact I had to read it twice in amazement when the article, "One Angry Man," stated that the CBS execs actually considered Olbermann for the anchor position (emphasis mine):
Miami Herald columnist, Andres Oppenheimer, is like a high school football player who just scored a touchdown. You can spot him in the end zone triumphantly spiking the football and performing his over the top victory dance. However there is something a bit too overenthusiastic about Oppenheimer's self-celebration as if he knows there is a huge caveat to his "victory."
You can read his not quite convincing "celebration" in his Miami Herald column, "About time! Reckless TV anchors put on spot:"
Bravo! A new study has found widespread fear-mongering and reckless journalism by cable television hosts such as CNN's Lou Dobbs and Fox News' Bill O'Reilly, who have made a career of bashing Hispanic undocumented immigrants and their home countries.
Gee! Doesn 't that sound impressive? However guess who did this "study?"
The study by Media Matters Action Network, a watchdog group, says Dobbs, O'Reilly and CNN's Glenn Beck serve up steady anger, resentment and myths ``seemingly geared toward creating anti-immigrant hysteria.''
In yet another in the series of "guess the missing party label" we once again present the case of imprisoned former Broward County (Fla.) sheriff Ken Jenne. As we have seen before, the South Florida news media is extremely reluctant to apply a party label to the disgraced Jenne, who was convicted of mail fraud and tax evasion while in office, despite the fact that the Broward sheriff office is most most important political post in the county. A hint as to what is Jenne's political label is the fact that if he had been a Republican, we would have seen that fact in almost every news story about him.
Let us now watch the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reporter, Vanessa Blum, give us a somewhat tender account of inmate No. 77434-004:
It seems that the HBO fictional film Recount has triggered some horrible memories of vote suppression and fraud perpetrated by the evil Republicans. At least that is the allegation circulating in the leftwing blogosphere. One of the most specific of these allegations comes from the Democratic Underground where a DUer by the screen name of "Lorien" has made some rather shocking charges about betrayal by a high level Democrat campaign official and intimidation of minority voters by a racist cop in the Orlando FL area. Let us join Lorien as she lays out her charges in the DU thread, RECOUNT: My own Florida election day 2000 nightmare (emphasis mine):
I'll say one thing for the Tribune Company's new "Chief Innovation Officer," Lee Abrams. He might not be able to solve the declining newspaper circulation problems but he is absolutely irrepressible in a very funny way. On the heels of his recent suggestion that the Los Angeles Times could solve some of its problems by repainting its news vans, we have yet another of Abrams' famous memos which goes in all directions powered by a generous dose of psychobabble. You might need to channel the late Timothy Leary to interpret Abrams' latest memo, THINK PIECE: BUSTING DENIALS AND ASSUMPTIONS, issued last Monday which starts out with ideas about "re-imaging" the WGN Superstation, which is owned by the Tribune Co., and ultimately reaches the outer limits of the newspaper galaxy.
In stark contrast to the global warming alarmists, hurricane forecasters have now become almost comically vague in their forecasts. The problem for the hurricane forecasters is that their predictions can be checked for accuracy just months after the initial forecast. While global warming alarmists feel free to predict disaster years into the future, hurricane forecasters are now forced to be very very cautious, especially in light of their highly inaccurate 2006 hurricane season predictions.
On the heels of the very active 2005 hurricane season which many blamed on global warming, forecasters didn't even wait for 2006 to begin before issuing a forecast in early December 2005 which predicted a very active hurricane season:
Just days after the official close of the busiest Atlantic hurricane season on record and with one hurricane still churning in the Atlantic, the first 2006 forecast is out already. To the surprise of no one it predicts an active season.
Dan Abrams, apparently still smarting from the castigation he received in April from Karl Rove, just cannot let go. Despite the fact that the "high level" Republican operative, Jill Simpson, who accused Rove of orchestrating the prosecution of convicted Democrat former Alabama governor, Dan Siegelman, never actually met nor talked to Karl Rove and whose "high level" operative activities in her own words never rose above typical volunteer work, Abrams continues to wander into the swamp created by this much less than credible source. On Thursday, Abrams and Catherine Crier were salivating with glee on MSNBC's Verdict over the prospect that the House Judiciary Committee might issue something called an 'inherent contempt' arrest for Karl Rove (emphasis mine):
The Titanic has hit an iceberg and is sinking. Not to worry, just paint the lifeboats with a new color scheme and things will improve. As ridiculous as that sounds, it is not much different than the proposal of the Tribune Company Chief Innovation Officer, Lee Abrams, who proposed changing the color of Los Angeles Times vans:
Being too close to it. LAT has about 20 vans...but they're all Black? Hmmm. Maybe they should be painted in LAT colors. There ARE more than a few commuters driving around down there.
Apparently Abrams thinks basic black is not exciting enough but he seems to love the color green according to his internal blog post about changes at the Los Angeles Times obtained by LA Observed:
...They use soy based ink and recycled paper. Hmmm...maybe they should be bragging about that on every page as LA is the home of green.
Oh the outrage! The gift shop at Guantamo Bay sells a T-shirt that features a guard tower and barbed wire with wording that says: "The Taliban Towers at Guantanamo Bay, the Caribbean's Newest 5-star Resort." Another T-shirt from the same gift shop dares to praise, "the proud protectors of freedom". And yet another T-shirt shows an iguana with this "heartless" wording: "Greetings from paradise GTMO resort and spa fun in the Cuban sun." Does this even sound remotely like some cruel human rights abuse? Perhaps not to rational people but Daily Mail (UK) reporter, Angela Levin, works herself into a frenzy over these trinkets in her article, Greetings from Guantanamo Bay ... and the sickest souvenir shop in the world:
The sands are white, the sea laps gently and crowds of bronzed Americans laze in the Caribbean sunshine.
They have a cinema, a golf course and, naturally, a gift shop stocked with mugs, jaunty T-shirts and racks of postcards showing perfect sunsets and bright green iguanas.