Editor & Publisher editor Greg Mitchell is hot on the trail with a year long E&P tribute to local newspapers that are covering "the shocking number of suicides among U.S. troops in Iraq or after they return home". At first I figured this was a strange tribute to be making, especially considering that Mitchell didn't bother to present any facts when implying that the war is to blame for such tragic deaths. Instead Mitchell follows it up with an AP story about the apparent suicide of Army veteran Tyler Curtis and presents this incident as further proof to bolster the claim.
NEW YORK For the past year, E&P has paid tribute to local newspapers, sometimes quite small ones, that have covered extremely sensitive and revealing stories that previously gained little attention: the shocking number of suicides among U.S. troops in Iraq or after they return home. Recent studies suggest the figure, once in the hundreds, is now in the thousands.
Fox TV's The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet ran a segment this morning that promoted the Rutgers University Sex, ETC. site for teens. Unfortunately I was not able to watch the program so I can not comment on the specifics of the segment but I can provide some background on the site that should have every parent concerned about the effort to circumvent parental involvement in teaching their teens, and yes, pre-teen children about sex within the context of a parent's perspective.
The first item you may not be surprised to learn is that while the site runs under the subtext of "a website by teens for teens" that it is heavily influenced by adults with a particular agenda. Adults such as Nora Gelperin who is the training coordinator for the Network for Family Life Education based out of Rutgers University. The organization has been renamed to the more child friendly name of Answer and has been the recipient of government sponsored earmarks for the New Jersey Teen to Teen education project.
The mainstream media has glommed onto another narrative courtesy of activists within the State Department who object to “the potential” assignment to a post in Iraq. Opponents within the State Department and their union representatives have characterized the staffing assignments as being “forced” to take a position that is a “potential death sentence”.
“It's one thing if someone believes in what's going on over there and volunteers, but it's another thing to send someone over there on a forced assignment,” Mr. Croddy said. “I'm sorry, but basically that's a potential death sentence and you know it. Who will raise our children if we are dead or seriously wounded?”
Headline writers in the MSM newsrooms are more than happy to run with this lead despite the fact that Foreign Service Employees in the State Department are required to accept assignment on a worldwide basis at the discretion of the department officials per their employment agreement.
In other words, the media is both slanted to the left and under performing in terms of public expectations on election coverage. The notable exception on left leaning bias is in talk radio; the one media outlet that is under attack by certain Democrats in Congress for emphasis on “fairness”.
James Walton has been through a lot recently. The 70 year old senior citizen shot and killed 2 suspected burglars within a three week span at his business and place of residence in Dallas. This prompted a Fox News reporter to track him down and berate him on camera until he broke down and cried.(h/t Malkin, Riehl World View)
The reporter, Rebecca Aguilar, tracked the man down in a parking lot where he was buying a new shot gun to replace the one that was confiscated by police as evidence in the latest incident. From there she followed the man to his car where she stood over him and berated him with questions such as "Are you a trigger happy person? Is that what you wanted to do; shoot to kill?" (video here).
What is a divorced father with a devout Evangelical Christian daughter to do when his anti-religious beliefs come between his daughter and his visitation? If you are mainstream media advice columnist from Slate.com he should discuss his views about science and homosexuality; even though he never mentioned that he had such views.
In addition to furthering her "open minded" views on religion and homosexuality the columnist quips with the typical broad brushed generalization of how rude these religious people can really be; “I get a disturbing number of letters from nonreligious relatives of religiously raised children saying that the kids have been warning them of eternal damnation, and even threatening to stop seeing them, unless the relatives repent their Godless ways. Isn't it rather devilish, however, to raise children to be rude, and cruel, to loving family members?”
Tavis Smiley Publicist Promotes Justice Clarence Thomas Book Discussion with Character Bashing E-Mail
I received an e-mail this week from Brian Steffen who is the online publicist for Tavis Smiley. The e-mail was a promotion for a PBS airing of a panel discussion on "My Grandfather's Son," the new book by Justice Clarence Thomas. The e-mail consisted of an advance set of excerpts that were designed to entice me to watch the program. The only problem was that every excerpt in the e-mail took a pot shot at Justice Thomas by attacking his character, without substance of course, very much in line with most of the criticisms that Thomas has had to endure mainly because he is a black conservative.
But there is more going on here than the criticism of Justice Thomas as it appears in an unsolicited e-mail. The context of the comments reveal the true biases of liberal educators, certain representatives of black activist organizations and that of the media darlings that put these people on a pedestal. You will soon see that their bias feeds into the notion that the Supreme Court should be used as a tool to create policy and subvert the role of the other two branches of government that most readily represents the people. The bias also allows the panel guests to extend the cry for equal time under fairness doctrine like standards; a cry that is increasingly being used as a weapon to try and silence the free speech rights of conservatives in talk radio, on TV and the internet.
There was a time when professional journalists were driven toward their profession out of a desire to protect the interests of the public through thoughtful and informative information gathering and reporting. It was an honorable job in a profession that was kept on course by a civic responsibility and a "journalistic code of ethics". This concept has been around for so long that you will often hear the phrase repeated in schools and newspapers.
Every now and then you read something that is accepted in the MSM, or better yet, perpetrated upon its readers that literally leaves you speechless. The Gawker Jew bashing articles were my most recent examples. Until now.
The Washington Post has gone on a fact bashing mission over a stump speech that Presidential candidate Fred Thompson made in Iowa. The anonymous writer of 'the claim' zeros in on the following statement made by Thompson.
"You know, you look back over our history, and it doesn't take you long to realize that our people have shed more blood for other people's liberty than any other combination of nations in the history of the world.''
The New York Times will officially stop charging readers to access archives and select columnists at midnight tonight according to a release on the business section of their website.
The New York Times will stop charging for access to parts of its Web site, effective at midnight tonight. (src. NY Times)
In reality this isn’t so much of a celebration for me. I was quite happy to see some of the Times celebrity opinion makers sequestered behind the mighty corporate barrier to access. It held a certain sense of ironic justice. But as they say, all good things come to an end.
As expected, the Times can’t even report news about itself without filtering it through the editorial spin cycle.
The Times said the project had met expectations, drawing 227,000 paying subscribers — out of 787,000 over all — and generating about $10 million a year in revenue.
Happy Rosh Hashanah, Jews! It's time to celebrate the new year, eat apples and honey, blow the shofar, and, if you're lucky, blow some cute single guy you hook up with in temple! Apparently, these holy days are the genesis of a two-week f&%kfest amongst desperate single Jews who want to get their nagging mothers off their backs.
Most of you are probably sick to death of hearing Miss Teen USA Contestant Lauren Caitlin Upton stumble over a simple response to a seemingly benign question about geography. But after two whole days of watching the video and subsequent commentary take over the internet, TV and radio spectrum I think it's time to expose the question for the fraud that it is.
The question to Upton was stated as follows:
Recent polls have shown that a fifth of Americans can't locate the US on a world map. Why do you think this is?
I immediately suspected the veracity of the question from the moment I heard it. Recent Polls? What polls? I found this pretty hard to believe.
Nonetheless Lauren Upton's fumbled answer took center stage and allowed the question to be perpetuated as fact across message board, blogs, TV and radio talk shows. The perfect springboard to launch into the stupid American meme; and few seemed to be questioning the question.
The person close to the investigation said that Mr. Ahmed had sent an e-mail to his brother two hours before crashing the Jeep, but it was not opened until 90 minutes after the attack. On Monday, The Guardian newspaper reported Kafeel Ahmed had sent a text message to “a relative” with link to an e-mail and a password to access it, saying he was acting according to God’s will.
I had thought that perhaps the tide was turning on those who glorified Che Guevara as a revolutionary man of the people. I was wrong.
Over the weekend Chicago's local PBS affiliate aired a segment of a DVD box set that is being distributed by PBS called The British Beat. The DVD is a retrospective of the British Invasion and features Animals lead singer Eric Burdon donning a giant Che Guevara button down shirt at a 2005 concert where he stumps for PBS on stage. Note that this is a 4 disc box set and PBS could have chosen any number of segments to air for their pledge drive. (video at Webloggin, repeat airing on WTTW Channel 11, Chicago, Sunday, August 19, 3:30am)
Bob Murray is the founder and President of Murray Energy Corporation, the company that owns and operates the Utah mine that collapsed after an earthquake struck the area on August 6th. Apparently he has been under a lot of pressure from the mainstream media and various interest groups to accept blame for what he calls a natural disaster. But Mr. Murray is not taking the pressure sitting down. This morning he held a press conference to cast away any doubts as to the cause of the collapse, clear up any misconceptions about the mine's safety record and put the American people on notice that they should not depend on the Associated Press for any truths. He also took a swipe at Fox News and Congress for recent global warming legislation; a little something for all. (video at Webloggin)
I particularly cite Mr. Seth Borenstein of the associated press for particularly bad reporting and as of this morning the Fox News Network on what has occurred here. Rather than utilize the truthful statements that you have heard here, the associated press and Mr. Borenstein chose to use statements from Mrs. McAteer, Oppegard, Odell and Roberts, who were totally false and have nothing to do with or have any understanding of what's happened here. And this morning Fox News network was at it also. I hope you report that and I will cite to you in every one of these interviews all false reporting that we hear. But I would certainly not depend on the Associated Press and Mr. Borenstein for any truths if I were an American citizen.
It seems that Hamas leaders feel that they are getting a bad rap from their bloody takeover of the Gaza strip. In an effort to blunt the perceived negative publicity from the factional infighting the militants put together an air conditioned bus tour for international journalists. The militants hope that the publicity stunt will help journalists set the record straight with the conclusion that the takeover has made the strip a safer place for all.
Hamas took two busloads of foreign journalists on an air conditioned tour of Gaza on Monday - including a stop in a refugee camp where the deposed prime minister waved from his balcony and a prison visit hosted by one of Hamas' most powerful military men.
Wow. It appears that choreographers Mia Michaels and Wade Robson whipped up quite a bit of controversy in response to the 10 anti-war dance solos that were performed on Wednesday night's episode of the Fox TV reality series So You Think You Can Dance. I hadn't realized that Mia Michaels was wearing Marine Dress Blues with upside down Marine emblems on the sleeves when I wrote yesterday's article discussing the solos. (video here)
Earlier today Matthew Sheffield noted that Hollywood was "gearing up to release a bunch of anti-military movies that portray veterans of the Iraq war as deranged psychopaths, screwed up by an "unjust" war."
Unfortunately we don't have to wait to whet our whistle on the entertainment industry's full court press to gin up anti-war sentiment in preparation for next year's elections. It seems that they are delivering on that promise already as hinted by last night's 10 separate "anti-war" solos that were performed on the Fox TV reality show, So You Think You Can Dance. (see Video here)
The New York Times has been taking a lot of well deserved guff over the last couple of years for obtaining and publishing classified national security secrets but it had not been prepared for the latest row over its pre-publication book review of "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".
The review, that gives away a few spoilers, has been met with anger by both the book's author JK Rowling and her publishers. Rowling came out swinging after learning that both the New York Times and the Baltimore Sun had obtained pre-publication copies of the book despite a costly embargo.
"I am staggered that some American newspapers have decided to publish purported spoilers in the form of reviews in complete disregard of the wishes of literally millions of readers, particularly children," she said.
New Editorial Page Editor Cheryl L. Reed has been given marching orders from publisher John Cruickshank and head editor Michael Cooke to re-brand the editorial and opinion section of the Chicago Sun Times with an eye toward the future. Specifically she has been told not to be too conservative. (h/t Republic of Biloxi)
"Don't be conservative," Cruickshank urged me. "We don't want you to hold back."
One could take this statement in one of two ways. On the one hand you might assume that Cruickshank is telling Reed to think outside the box and come up with some really innovative ideas that might just involve a bit of risk.
On the other hand you could approach this challenge from the perspective of just about everyone else in the newspaper industry and take Cruickshank's words literally.
I have been a huge fan of Michael Yon for years. He risks life and limb as an embedded reporter to report the news in Iraq from the soldiers' point of view and he is honest in his assessment. That honesty has often been met with scorn and resistance by some decision makers in the military who in my assessment have been their own worst enemy when it comes to getting the word out about progress as well as the hardships endured by our fine fighting men and women overseas.
But Michael knows the importance of giving a voice to the voiceless heroes that protect our shores so that we at home may tuck our children in to sleep peacefully at night. For this reason Michael provides us an alternative, more rounded message; a beacon in the darkness of the mainstream media's one sided narrative.
The CIA has received secret presidential approval to mount a covert "black" operation to destabilize the Iranian government, current and former officials in the intelligence community tell the Blotter on ABC News.com.
A 12 year old girl is suing the Chicago Board of Education for negligence, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress after a substitute teacher led her 8th grade class to watch the film Brokeback Mountain with the warning, "What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class," according to the lawsuit.
The teacher then proceeded to show the 8th grade elementary school class the R rated gay themed film; a film that garnered its rating for sexual content, language and drug use.
According to the suit, a substitute teacher introduced herself as Ms. Buford to Jessica's class at Ashburn Community Elementary School, 8300 S. St. Louis Ave. She then said, "What happens in Ms. Buford's class stays in Ms. Buford's class," the suit claims. Buford then had a student close the door, and started showing the controversial R-rated film, which features two men engaged in sex.
It had to happen sooner or later. A natural disaster was destined to hit a town in another state led by a Democrat governor who was willing to feed the waiting media activists with a swipe against President Bush and the War in Iraq. Such a tragedy happened over the weekend when a category five tornado hit Greensburg, Kansas and Gov. Kathleen Sebelius immediately blamed the war in Iraq for a lack of response by depleted National Guard units. The situation was so politically opportunistic that even Presidential candidate Barack Obama stated while on a campaign stop that 10,000 residents had been killed in the devastation.
The left, always quick to defend free speech and independence whenever it involves bashing America seems to have a problem with that sort of American right the minute it veers off the reservation of approved topics. "No war for oil", "Bushitler", "9/11 conspiracy", "the war is lost", "sheesh", these are all approved phrases; use them freely and liberally, 10 points if you can work one of them into everyday conversation.
A 40,000 strong union that supports journalists in Britain and Ireland has called for a boycott of all Israeli goods as punishment for "Israeli aggression in Palestinian territories". The story was covered last Friday by the UK based Online Press Gazette.
The National Union of Journalists has voted to boycott all Israeli goods for “aggression” in Palestinian territories. After almost an hour of debate at today’s Annual Delegate’s Meeting in Birmingham, the conference voted 66 to 54 in favour of the ban.
The controversial clause was part of a motion proposed by Mick Gosling, of the Press and PR branch, and called for the union to “condemn the savage, pre-planned attack on Lebanon” last summer and the “slaughter of civilians in Gaza” over the last few years.