There are millions of Web sites floating around the Internet on any given day, so finding five ones to label as the "worst" in the world is risible on its face. And if you did, wouldn't you think that NAMBLA, the Westboro Baptist Church, the KKK, pedophile sites and the like would constitute the absolute worst? I mean, MySpace is annoying, but it's not as bad as jihadist Web sites by any stretch.
But aside from the inanity of the undertaking, what caught my eye with Time magazine's "Five Worst Websites" list was eHarmony.com's inclusion.
"Our main beef with this online dating site is its power to cause utter despair," lament the writers at Time.
When the New York Times announced in 2005 a new premium web service wherein only folks willing to pay an extra fee would have access to the writing of certain columnists, most media watchers thought it would be a huge failure.
Well, after about two years, it seems critics might have been right.
According to Slate's Mickey Kaus, TimesSelect might be going the way of the dodo (emphasis added throughout, h/t Glenn Reynolds):
Colorado journalists and politicians who fell in line and attempted the bogus "Food Stamp Challenge" probably didn't anticipate that a Colorado blogger would call them out, and then call their bluff. But that is exactly what happened.
In June, Colorado Freedom Report's Ari Armstrong challenged those in that state's media and political class who swallowed the claim that Food Stamp recipients can't get by on $21 per person per week (even though, as syndicated columnist Mona Charen and yours truly noted back in April, the right number is between about $27 and $36, depending on family size) to pay $10 to a charity of Mr. Armstrong's choice for every dollar under $1,080 ($6 a day for 180 days) that he and his wife combined spent on food in a six-month period.
(Picky, picky -- The Armstrongs were even tougher on themselves than they needed to be, as there are 184 days in the six-month August 2006 - January 2007 time period involved. They could have used $1,104 as their benchmark.)
After a Los Angeles judge agreed on Monday (7/16/07) to the $660 million settlement between 508 individuals and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, several plaintiffs stood outside the courthouse in front of a throng of television and newspaper reporters. Many told incredibly sad and horrific stories of the immense suffering they've endured over the years as a result of the despicable abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy.
But what about the priests who have adamantly denied the charges made against them and whose cases may never have had any evidence against them? This past week the Los Angeles Times and others have been largely silent in this regard.
For example, Msgr. Manuel Sanchez from Sacred Heart Church in Pomona, CA has been accused of brutally raping an 8-year-old boy in 1981. His accuser came forward in 2003.
The Los Angeles Times first covered the case in February of 2004, and here's what the Times wrote at the time :
Washington Post fashion reporter Robin Givhan, usually so kind to the fashionably liberal, can’t muster a thumbs-up on Friday as she discussed Hillary Clinton showing cleavage Wednesday afternoon on C-SPAN2. She set the scene: "The neckline sat low on her chest and had a subtle V-shape. The cleavage registered after only a quick glance. No scrunch-faced scrutiny was necessary. There wasn't an unseemly amount of cleavage showing, but there it was. Undeniable."
But Givhan wrote that after Hillary’s spent so many years in the spotlight avoiding a sexy look, it’s profoundly unsettling: "It's tempting to say that the cleavage stirs the same kind of discomfort that might be churned up after spotting Rudy Giuliani with his shirt unbuttoned just a smidge too far. No one wants to see that. But really, it was more like catching a man with his fly unzipped. Just look away!"
The 9-10 mentality is alive and well and living at the Los Angeles Times. In A really bad case of 'reality', house columnist Rosa Brooks approvingly cites unnamed "experts" thusly:
[Al Qaeda] was little more than an obscure group of extremist thugs, well financed and intermittently lethal but relatively limited in their global and regional political pull. On 9/11, they got lucky — but despite the unexpected success of their attack on the U.S., they did not pose an imminent mortal threat to the nation.
Mayor George Darden, of Spring Valley, New York, is a Democrat who has been caught hiring illegal immigrants to work for his suburban village but you wouldn't know he is a Democrat by the coverage his story is getting. In fact, of the several stories thus far, not one even mentions his Party. But, an even bigger mystery is why this story isn't getting wider notice?
On the 17th this story of a Mayor of a New York city personally approaching illegal immigrants on street corners and hiring them to work for the village was first reported in local papers. It seems awfully shocking that an elected official would personally violate so many US immigration and work laws all at one time, yet no mention of the man's Party has surfaced nor have we heard much from this story on a national level. How much hype would this story get from the AP, do you imagine, if this Mayor had been a Republican? And why has several days gone by with so few MSM outlets picking this story up? Perhaps that this Mayor isn't a Republican the national media finds it less than compelling?
Of the three broadcast network evening newscasts on Thursday, only the CBS Evening News reported how a federal judge threw out Valerie Plame's lawsuit and how a Pentagon official berated Senator Hillary Clinton, but anchor Katie Couric quickly moved on to “more positive news” for her in how most believe she will be elected President. Couric relayed how “the Pentagon is lashing out tonight at Hillary Clinton. A letter written by a senior Pentagon official accuses Clinton of reinforcing enemy propaganda by demanding the military start planning for a withdrawal from Iraq. A spokesman for the Senator calls the letter 'outrageous.' In more positive news for her campaign, a CBS News/New York Times poll shows 63 percent of voters believe she's likely to win the presidency if she gets the nomination.”
Enraged by the letter from Undersecretary of Defense Eric Edelman, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann opened Thursday's Countdown with a “Special Comment” on how President George W. Bush will go down in history for his “infamy” as a President who has “sold this country out.” To get the U.S. out of Iraq, Olbermann suggested Bush must be impeached “sooner rather than later.” Olbermann snidely concluded his lengthy rant: “Go to Baghdad now and fulfill, finally, your military service obligations. Go there and fight your war, yourself.” (MSNBC.com's transcript)
Repeating the downbeat spin employed when the Dow Jones Industrials passed 13,000 in late April and ABC's reporter warned “we're actually overdue for a correction,” less than three months later when the Dow closed over 14,000, ABC's World News put the news into a “yes, but” framework. Fill-anchor Elizabeth Vargas on Thursday night led with the record high close, but fretted that “there's a good deal of worrisome economic news these days -- from sky-high gas prices to America's gaping trade deficit” and “yet,” she marveled, “the market keeps marching on.” Reporter John Berman began by emphasizing that though “the Dow went from 13 to 14,000 in just 3 months,” this occurred “despite those serious jitters about the U.S. economy: $3 gas, a major housing slump -- a drag on the U.S. economy.” Crediting the rise to overseas earnings, Berman pointed out that “while the economy in the U.S. is struggling along in a growth rate of less than one percent, it's racing ahead at nearly 11 percent in China with strong numbers in India, Russia and Brazil as well.” Vargas followed up on a gloomy note, raising “disappointing earnings reports from Google,” prompting Berman to predict: “It may mean that the mood tomorrow won't be quite so rosy.”
Thursday's CBS Evening News wasn't as negative as it was back in April, but in his generally upbeat piece Anthony Mason contrasted the American economy with the international scene: “The U.S. economy doesn't look nearly as strong. Retailers just had their worst month in nearly two years. Gas prices are rising. And house prices are falling.”
As journalism giant Rupert Murdoch's bid to buy the Wall Street Journal's parent company gets closer and closer to reality, the number of hit pieces continues to grow. After all, the man behind FOX News, the New York Post, The Times of London and other conservative-leaning news outlets cannot be allowed to conduct business without an effort to bring him to his comeuppance. Finally, however, someone from the liberal-leaning media is sticking up for Murdoch, albeit in a somewhat backhanded way.
In a commentary published on MSNBC's website today, O. Casey Corr goes to bat for Murdoch by saying despite the fact that many of the media concerns he owns tend to favor conservative views, he's not to blame for the current news media atmosphere.
As part of their week-long series of specials previewing their upcoming presidential debates with YouTube, CNN interviewed Dr. Mehmet Oz on Wednesday evening. Oz and host Paula Zahn discussed the media-driven "crisis" in health care. Zahn asked Oz, "what is the answer to piercing the bureaucracy. That is certainly something you can't fix overnight." Oz's answer: "Well, one of our biggest challenges is nihilism. People don't think they can fix the problem. But we can, Paula."
Dr. Oz is a cardiologist, an author, and is a regular contributor to Oprah Winfrey's radio show "Oprah & Friends" on XM satellite radio. In her first question to Oz, Zahn asked, "how much of a crisis are we in, when it comes to health care." Besides listing the "deep-seated lack of confidence" among health care workers, and the technological backwardness in tracking patients and their records in the industry, Oz used the oft-repeated line that "to boot, 50 million people roughly don't have any insurance at all." Of course, this is just a sound byte that is used to support the sense that there is a "crisis," and doesn't tell the whole picture, as a recent BMI report demonstrated.
Eleven companies announced on July 18 to self-regulate and stop advertising to children under 12 in order to "help curb the child obesity problem."
But that wasn't enough for ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" or CBS "Evening News." Both shows supplied food fascists to complain that even this change isn't going to be enough.
"Today’s changes are getting a lot of attention, but as American children face an epidemic of obesity, will these changes really make a difference?” wondered “World News with Charles Gibson” anchor Elizabeth Vargas on July 18.
A federal judge has just dismissed Valerie Plame Wilson's lawsuit against members of the Bush administration.
Will this be the lead story of this evening's newscasts? Regardless of the answer, the Washington Post reported moments ago (emphasis added throughout):
U.S. District Judge John D. Bates said that Cheney and White House aides cannot be held liable for the disclosure of information about Plame in the summer of 2003 while they were trying to rebut criticism of the administration's war efforts levied by her husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.
Please hold your applause, as the following will likely be greeted by the press with similar disdain as an unwelcome guest on Christmas Eve:
This story seems nothing more that another person's exercising his right to defend life and property, something that most people in Texas heartily support. But the lead paragraph from a Houston Chronicle article raises a warning flag:State Rep. Borris Miles, who voted earlier this year against a bill broadening Texans’ rights to defend themselves with deadly force, shot and wounded a man he said was trying to steal copper from a palatial house he is building in the Third Ward.1
The article notes that this is a success story for concealed carry, but also emits more warning signals about proper self-defense protocols:
Author pictures, as you can obviously see, are back again. I had to rewrite the code from scratch and am testing them in the blog posts only.
If I feel confident in the code, user avatars will come back in the comments but a two restrictions: 1) pics can be no bigger than 3kb in size, 2) they must be exactly 85 pixels high if you don't want them to appear stretched out.
Forget about carbon credits. SUV owners should just stop buying meat, and all their enviro-guilt will disappear faster than a Big Mac placed in front of former President Bill Clinton.
Such was the finding of a Japanese study published by Blackwell Synergy's Animal Science Journal, and reported at New Scientist Wednesday (emphasis added throughout):
A kilogram of beef is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions and other pollution than driving for 3 hours while leaving all the lights on back home.
For those reaching for their metric calculators, a kilogram is about 2.2 pounds, the amount of steak a relatively health conscious family of four might consume at dinner with a variety of yummy side dishes:
A Democratic presidential contender has hinted that he thinks some form of sex ed is appropriate for the nation's five-year olds.
I'm not exactly holding my breath for media outrage or at least interest in the topic, but I though Good Lt. at the "Jawa Report" has some good observations about how yet again, life seems to be imitating South Park:
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told Planned Parenthood Tuesday that sex education for kindergarteners, as long as it is "age-appropriate," is "the right thing to do."
The left, at the rate of almost several times per month now, is intent on mimicking South Park's proverbial "theater of the absurd" in real life and real time. The episode? Season 5's "Proper Condom Use," in which the school board decides that condom use has to be taught to progressively younger grades to the point that the kindergarteners are learning about it.
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.
Say you write for or edit the metro section of a major metropolitan newspaper and you have a juicy story of a local ex-mayor who was arrested for running a brothel. It's right on the heels of the Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) prostitution scandal and the politician in the local story in question was once a sheriff's deputy, clearly no stranger to anti-prostitution laws.
Party affiliation is just one more tidbit of information that couldn't hurt your readers, right?
It seems you can't swing a dead cat these days without whacking a Rupert Murdoch hit piece.
It must have been the New York Times' turn at the plate so to speak Thursday, and writer Richard Perez-Pena was more than up to the challenge.
After an introduction of Peter R. Kann, the Chairman and CEO of Dow Jones, the company Murdoch is trying to buy, Perez-Pena appeared loaded for bear (emphasis added throughout):
Mr. Kann, who had been advising the family against selling, expressed hope that Mr. Murdoch would not prevail, using an image of The Journal as a citadel trying to repel an invasion by tabloid barbarians.
"The drawbridge is up," Mr. Kann told the group. "So far, so good."
News Corp is a tabloid barbarian? Wow. Nice reference, wouldn't you agree? Yet, Perez-Pena was just getting warmed up:
The Business & Media Institute study "Fire & Ice," which examined media hysteria over global warming and global cooling in the past 100 years was cited by "The Rush Limbaugh Show" on July 18.
"But this puts the blame for all of this hysteria on global warming exactly where it belongs, and that is the media! Now, for a hundred years we've had wacko scientists trying to advance agendas, and if the agenda happens to fit the media -- and the agenda here, by the way, is chaos. The agenda is crisis," Limbaugh said about the study.
The blogoshpere is full of opinions, but this one you're paying for. Your tax dollars are going to National Public Radio Blogger and Morning Edition commentator John Ridley to editorialize "I'm sorry, but chick fights are sexy" in his new blog on the NPR website called “Visible Man”, which will appear twice a week. Ridley chimes in on why he likes Elizabeth Edwards for his first post:
Ladies throwing down is just plain hot, and that's true whether they're drunk and tussling on the Vegas Strip or if they're doing some verbal mud wrestling in the media. And the woman least afraid to get her li'l dukes up, and therefore currently the sexiest in politics, is Elizabeth Edwards.
The day after Independence Day, ABC reporter Terry Moran jotted down his thoughts on what makes some people become terrorists. His answer: freedom.
Rather than explore religious fanaticism or just plain depraved human wickedness, Moran insisted in a July 5 blog posting that modernity and the freedom of association it fosters is causing many a young Muslim male to descend into the hellish depths of terrorism.:
Without much fanfare, NBC made an interesting announcement Tuesday: if Fred Thompson becomes a presidential candidate, his episodes of "Law and Order" will no longer be rerun.
As reported by the New York Daily News Wednesday (emphasis added throughout):
"If Fred Thompson formally declares his intention to run for President, NBC will not schedule any further repeats of 'Law & Order' featuring Mr. Thompson beyond those already scheduled, which conclude on Saturday, Sept. 1," [executive producer Dick] Wolf said.
Wolf assured that NBC would take all "appropriate steps consistent with FCC regulations."
"Consistent with FCC regulations" appears to relate to the Equal Time rule:
Jennifer Hunter, the Chicago Sun-Times writer and wife of Sun-Times publisher John Cruickshank, who wrote the recent story skewered here on Newsbusters revealing a supposed "staunch Republican" from Philly who has suddenly decided to support the Democrats in 2008, has written a new piece today claiming she is being "harassed by a group of irate Republicans" because of her badly researched column. (The interviewee in her piece claimed to be a "staunch Republican" even as his cash donation records prove he almost exclusively supports Democrats) Her follow up, however, seems more like the kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar while blaming everyone around her as opposed to a satisfactory explanation of a failure to fully investigate her story.
Complaining... no, more like whining... that she has been flooded with "daily emails" calling her a liar and demanding that she be fired, Hunter-Cruickshank blames the headline writers instead of her own poor investigative work for the firestorm of criticism.