Today’s Internet age is putting an end to the hardcover encyclopedia business. Why spend fortunes on a massive (albeit attractive) World Book set when you can get what you need a mouse click away on the Internet? Any student preparing a research paper and searching Google will probably be handed over quickly to the "Wikipedia" on-line encyclopedia system. What’s more – and here’s an offer that presumably can’t be beat – it’s free!
At Wikipedia you won’t find a distinguished body of tweedy old professors poring over every paragraph on the Hanseatic League. It’s actually on the other end of the credibility spectrum. Wikipedia is an "open-source" encyclopedia, a reference source anyone can create. The danger in this system becomes very obvious, very quickly. Recently the comedian and movie star Sinbad had to announce that he was not, in fact, dead of a heart attack at age 50 as his Wikipedia entry claimed. "Somebody vandalized the page," claimed Wikipedia spokeswoman Sandra Ordonez.
Some journalists are starting to project parallels between the media-fueled controversy over the Bush administration replacing eight of 93 U.S. attorneys and Watergate, what many reporters see as their glory days of the early 1970s. A brief video snippet in David Gregory's story on Tuesday's NBC Nightly News showed Fred Fielding, Chief Counsel in the Bush White House who worked in the counsel's office during the Nixon administration, walking down a Capitol Hill hallway as a male voice off-camera, presumably a reporter, asked: “Does this bring back memories of Watergate?” NBC didn't play Fielding's reply. And that most likely took place before President Bush's address at 5:50pm EDT in which he promised to turn over more documents, have Justice officials testify before Congress and to allow Senators to interview Harriet Miers and Karl Rove.
Bush's offer only antagonized a couple of media figures. On MSNBC's Countdown, Keith Olbermann proposed that “the President sounded awfully like President Nixon during Watergate.” Newsweek Senior Editor Jonathan Alter readily agreed: “That is a great point. You know if you go into executive privilege land, you do take us on a kind of a return trip to Watergate.”
We can get a sneak preview of the MSM worship of Al Gore sure to follow his testimony before Congress tomorrow on the subject of global warming by reading David Remnick's glowing commentary about the former veep in the March 5 edition of the New Yorker. If you suffer at all from tooth decay, I advise you to skip over the rest because Remnick's idolatrous saccharine coated praise for Gore is sure to exacerbate your condition.
Without a trace of ironic awareness that a Saturday Night Live skit is mocking people such as himself who believe that a Gore win in 2000 would have led to an American paradise, Remnick longingly sets up the premise of the show in his You Know Me, Al commentary in the New Yorker:
The "stranded polar bear" photo continues to grab headlines, even after yet another thorough debunking. In what has become the furry, cuddly symbol of all that is wrong with the climate change debate, the now ubiquitous photo was splashed across news pages worldwide, with captions such as this from the Daily Mail (click for article and image):
They cling precariously to the top of what is left of the ice floe, their fragile grip the perfect symbol of the tragedy of global warming.
See more articles with the same specious claims here, here, and the NYTimes version with photo caption correction appended here.
There was just one problem: the photograph was taken not of polar bears "stranded" on ice - far from it.
On this morning to promote his new book former House Majority Leader Tom "The Hammer" DeLay didn't receive the kid glove treatment NBC's Meredith Vieira usually reserves for Hillary Clinton, as Vieira repeatedly questioned DeLay on his ethics but when the Today co-host hit DeLay over Iraq, The Hammer, hit back.
As Vieira deigned to interpret opinion polls on Iraq she piously proclaimed: "Well I think they are saying though, sir, not to beat a dead horse here, but I think they are saying they want American troops out by the fall of 2008." To which DeLay hammered back: "I didn't know you spoke for the American people."
On Tuesday morning's Good Morning America, ABC co-host Robin Roberts announced they would be airing a special town hall meeting about health care and veterans care with Hillary Clinton next Monday, March 26. In 1999, as First Lady Hillary Clinton prepared to run for the Senate, GMA handed over most of their broadcast to gun control and kids on June 4. This special included 45 minutes with Bill and Hillary talking to high-schoolers town hall-style about the horrors of school violence. Hillary's Senate opponents, Rudy Giuliani and then Rep. Rick Lazio, were never awarded comparative feasts of free air time. Roberts promoted their new broadcast gift to Hillary like this:
“And we want to tell everybody about a special event on ‘Good Morning America’ that’s coming up this Monday. It’s the first in our series of GMA town hall meetings leading up to next year’s election. And Senator Hillary Clinton will be here live to answer questions about health care and veterans care in a live town hall meeting that actually will be held in Des Moines, Iowa. That’s next Monday, only on GMA.”
First, the magazine provides readers with the Top 10 easiest things they can do to stop global warming like switch to a hybrid car, ride a bicycle and use compact fluorescent light bulbs. Humorously, number seven was "Buy Energy-Saving Things." Apparently the words: appliances and electronics are too-big for Glamour, which makes me wonder how they managed "intergovernmental" in the introductory paragraph.
Advisers for the special section were a who's who of green activists from the National Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace, Environmental Defense, Waterkeeper Alliance, Earth Day Network, stopglobalwarming.com, and treehugger.com.
What do you do when you're a liberal columnist and there's a pet issue of yours the media aren't being biased about (stem cells) because they haven't covered it, because, well, they're too busy being biased about other stories (Alberto Gonzales, Iraq)?
If you're Slate founding editor and former "Crossfire" host Michael Kinsley, you hack out a blog post about it.
Mucking around Time's "Swampland" political blog, Kinsley expressed frustration at a new development in the stem cell funding issue he thinks has gone underreported in the mainstream media:
Elias Zerhouni, the head of the National Institutes of Health,
testified to a Senate committee that he favors a lifting of Bush's
limit on stem cell research. It leaves us fighting disease (and foreign
competition) "with one hand tied behind our back," Zerhouni said.
Clearly prepared to say what he said, Zerhouni offered a vivid
metaphor: he called stem cells the "software of life."
story did not seem to make the paper editions of either the New York
Times or the Washington Post. (The Wall Street Journal had a very short
blurb on page one and no longer story.) All the papers had it on-line,
of course. But isn't this a pretty big deal?
As already noted on NewsBusters, Tuesday’s "Good Morning America" defensively investigated an anonymous new attack ad against presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Co-host Diane Sawyer even referred to the commercial as "drive-by ad-ing." The spot plugs fellow Democrat Barack Obama’s ‘08 bid at it’s conclusion, but ABC wasn’t buying the Illinois Senator as the culprit.
Reporter Claire Shipman helpfully observed that since the commercial puts both Clinton and Obama in a bad light, "some Democrats think a Republican operative" is responsible:
Claire Shipman: "Now, there still are no real clues about the author, but, Robin, the ultimate conspiracy theory? Some Democrats think a Republican operative could be responsible because it not only makes Hillary Clinton look bad, but Barack Obama look bad since it’s an attack ad."
"View" co-host Rosie O’Donnell displayed her disdain for opposing "views" when she shut off the show’s only non-liberal, Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Rory Kennedy appeared on the March 20 edition to promote her film for HBO, "Ghosts of Abu Ghraib."
Hasselbeck gently asked what our government should do to extract vital information from captured terrorists. Rosie jumped in and asserted "before you answer that" then proceeded to ask an unrelated question regarding a general’s transfer from Guantanamo Bay to Abu Ghraib. Elisabeth responded by noting that detainees at Guantanamo are allowed to pray five times a day, and are well fed.
At that point the "Queen of Nice" cut her off, stating that Elisabeth "can’t just blather on" her "opinion" and she needed to ask a question. Obviously offended, Elisabeth stated that she did ask a question when Rosie interrupted with her own question. Rosie said it was because Hasselbeck dared to imply that Abu Ghraib was a result of a few bad apples and not condoned by the government. Those beliefs are not allowed in Rosie’s world. The transcript of the exchange is below.
Video clip (1:40): Real (2.8 MB) or Windows (3.2 MB) plus MP3 (500 KB)
I read an interesting article at Michael Yon online about the relationship between the giants in the mainstream media and smaller independents who cover the war from the ground in Iraq. Mr. Yon's insights into the way the press covers the war are every bit in tune as his honest assessment of the war as can only be told from his vantage point as an independent journalist on the ground.
Yon notes that the trend of reporting from the front has changed over time. Journalists in the past would have spent long tours with combat forces on the ground. But terrorism and violence against journalists, both intentional and collateral, has shied many into changing the way they cover the war. Mr. Yon is relaying a new pattern of reporting that has emerged where most of the embeds come to Iraq for a quick tour, see just enough to complete their report and then leave. Many of those reports are done from the safer confines in the compound or on bases with some notable exceptions.
If the president or prime minister of a former Soviet bloc European nation told Congress that global warming skeptics were like communists inhibiting human freedom, do you think this would be headline news?
Well, as amazing as it might seem, Czech President Vaclav Klaus made some rather astonishing comments in a letter to members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee about how “climate change and especially man-made climate change has become one of the most dangerous arguments aimed at distorting human efforts and public policies in the whole world.”
He went so far as to claim that “we are not witnessing a clash of views about the environment but a clash of views about human freedom,” and that communism has been “replaced by the threat of ambitious environmentalism.”
Yet, apart from World Net Daily, a Google and LexisNexis search indicated that no major American media outlets covered this development. Regardless, here are some of the more compelling comments by Klaus (emphasis added throughout):
It was Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards trying to revive his ‘70s disco moves and he danced around every tough question CNN’s Miles O’Brien threw at him. Most notably, how much does it cost to pay for energy in the new 28,000-square-foot mansion Edwards calls home?
“It’s actually not bad.” And followed that up with talk of how energy efficient the home was.
“I’m not telling you. It’s actually, it’s actually not bad. It’s about three or four hundred dollars, the last one I saw.”
Following that claim, Edwards backed off a bit and said “the power bill is several hundred dollars a month.”
Edwards also claimed he and his family operate the house in a “carbon neutral way,” though he wants to put caps on how much carbon dioxide businesses operate. “We have committed to operate this house in a carbon neutral way which means in addition to using energy saving devices in the house itself, to the extent that doesn’t cover it, we’re going to purchase carbon credits on the market,” said Edwards.
On Tuesday’s "Good Morning America," anchor Chris Cuomo used a none-to-subtle visual aid to continue the program’s campaign to have Attorney General Alberto Gonzales fired over the Justice Department’s dismissal of eight U.S. Attorneys. Early in the 7am hour, co-host Robin Roberts introduced Cuomo, who stood at the news desk with stacks of paper, meant to represent the 3000 pages of documents released on the case, piled half way to his shoulders:
Roberts: "Look at all that you have there, Chris." [Roberts points to a huge stack of papers that Cuomo has piled on his news desk.]
Chris Cuomo: "You see this stack of paper? Very relevant today. Good morning to you and good morning, everyone. The number of the day is 3,000. That's how many pages, just like this, the Justice Department handed out overnight. They offer an up-close look inside the controversial firing of eight federal prosecutors."
In Fall 2005, Brady Campaign published a report called Forced Entry: The National Rifle Association’s Campaign To Force Business To Accept Guns At Work. It includes the term “CCW” 17 times by the end of page 1 and contains an appendix entitled “CCW License Holders: “Law-Abiding Citizens?”1 This makes it reasonable to infer that this report is just as much an attempt to condemn right-to-carry as it is an argument against permitting qualified employees to bear arms to or at work.
Citing Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data, Brady implies that workplace violence is at epidemic levels. It notes:
READ UPDATE AT FOOT: Bill O'Reilly and guests discuss how "conservative bloggers" impacted the story.
To mark yesterday's fourth-anniversary of the war in Iraq, CBS News requested an interview with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad. The ambassador took time from a hectic war-time schedule to speak from Baghdad with Katie Couric, and in the course of the interview provided a first-hand view of how the new surge strategy is working.
But when last night's Evening News aired, lo and behold, the interview never ran. It was instead relegated to an obscure corner of Katie's online blog. CBS apparently determined that Ambassador Khalilzad's comments weren't "newsworthy."
Katie & Co. did find time for Bob Woodward [who to my knowledge has never been to Iraq], to opine that the violence in Iraq wouldn't persuade President Bush to change course.
It has been argued for years that the media typically focus on images from Iraq and the war on terror which paint American and Israeli military in a bad light while always presenting the enemy as victims.
In fact, this effort often includes the doctoring of photographs as well as the staging of events in front of rolling cameras which will be broadcast or published by an antiwar press without the slightest investigation into authenticity.
With that in mind, the picture at the right represents a rather startling image of terrorism that media would never dare share with the American people. As the MEMRI Blog shockingly reported (h/t Charles at LGF, emphasis added):
You wonder just how much is too much of "The View" on ABC. Justin McCarthy not only captured the Hugo Chavez part of yesterday's discussion, but transcribed a discussion of a topic Elisabeth Hasselbeck was allowed to bring up, teaching love of country to your children. She talked about teaching her daughter the Pledge of Allegiance, but allegiance wasn't Topic A.
Predictably, Joy Behar and Rosie O'Donnell quickly equated patriotism with protest. Rosie said: "I grew up watching sit-ins on television. I grew up feeling that if you were a real patriotic person you would protest and stand in the streets and yell and scream until the government which really works for you represents you." Behar oddly claimed that "to be totally patriotic is almost not being patriotic in a way." From there, Rosie complained the weekend's "peace" protests were "hardly even covered on the news," and Joy complained that nobody's asked Americans to sacrifice with gas rationing. When Hasselbeck discussed having soldiers on the show, Rosie recommended focusing on a New York Times story on a soldier who hung himself.
MSM-think: when you have no facts on a controversy, offer up the Democrats' anti-GOP conjecture. That was ABC's modus operandi this morning.
Being the astute observers of the political scene they are, most NewsBusters readers have surely watched the YouTube-based anti-Hillary campaign ad that has been making the rounds. It is a take-off on the famous Apple computer ad, which in turn was inspired by George Orwell's anti-authoritarian epic "1984." In the current version, an ominous Hillary, appearing on a wide screen to an audience of automatons, represents Big Brother in the same way IBM did in the Apple original. Barack Obama, represented by a woman athlete of a certain age, plays the hero, hurling a hammer into the screen to smash the state and free the prisoners.
Friday, Wal-Mart dropped its bid to establish a federally insured bank. It's ridiculous that they had so much trouble getting approved, because as the linked article noted:
Industrial banks have been proliferating in recent years — Target Corp., UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Harley-Davidson Inc. are among the nearly 60 that now exist. Critics say their growth dangerously blurs the line between banking and commerce, concentrating assets in the hands of a few big companies, stifling competition and hurting consumers.
I don't see where "critics," which I believe in this case really means "the unbylined author of the Associated Press article," have produced even the tiniest bit of evidence the current crop of industrial banks has stifled competition in any way, shape, or form. It's also pretty funny to see an AP writer worrying about "little guys" like Bank of America, Chase, and Citicorp, who are in an industry that itself is getting more and more concentrated (click on the "click to view data" box; the top 10 credit-card companies in 2005 had 92.4% of the business, up from 81.3% in 2004) getting some nontraditional competition.
That said, Wal-Mart's Plan B isn't going to make critics feel any better, and I don't see any "legal" or protest-driven basis on which it can be stopped:
The bold and brilliant Hugh Hewitt doesn't hesitate to ask journalists appearing as guests on his radio show to describe their personal political leanings. Most decline to do so in a self-righteous huff, the typical response being along the lines "that is irrelevant to my reporting, which I play down the middle." There are rare-but-welcome bursts of candor, as when former WaPo political reporter Tom Edsall famously acknowledged to Hugh that he, along with the overwhelmingly majority of his erstwhile WaPo confreres, were indeed Dems and liberals.
I mention this because a few weeks ago, Hugh had as a guest John Harris, one of the founding members of the Politico, the new web-based venture that draws many of its reporters from the ranks of some of the leading MSM institutions. Harris, for example, is the WaPo's former political editor. Hugh posed the who-did-you-vote-for question, and Harris demurred along the lines cited above. After the interview, Hewitt said he suspected that Harris and the rest of the Politco crew were indeed libs. Nevertheless, Hewitt seems to appreciate the Politico's lively and topical reporting. With that as an endorsement, I decided to sign up for the Politco's Daily Digest email, and have been reading and largely enjoying it ever since.
Just how crazy, you ask? Think of the wackiest global warming "fix" you can imagine. Then compile as many of those crazy ideas as you can and you'll have this AP wire report: Crazy ideas to combat global warming.
If anyone had any doubts how nuts the media has gone over global warming, let this article put those doubts to rest:
Crazy-sounding ideas for saving the planet are getting a serious look from top scientists, a sign of their fears about global warming and the desire for an insurance policy in case things get worse.
Looks like "Couric & Co." are looking for summer interns for CBS's "Springboard" program. And college journalism students are in luck, they can write up an original story on global warming to get the job:
Here is how it works. First, create an original story based on one of three topics: climate change; the American Spirit; or Iraq war veterans. These are issues that have all received extensive coverage on the CBS Evening News and at CBSNews.com – but we want to hear YOUR take.
But wait, there's more. The "best submissions will be posted online." I'm curious just how balanced those "best submissions" will be. I for one am relishing the possibility of MRC summer interns dissecting the bias of CBS summer interns. [continued...]
On Monday's The Situation Room, CNN's Wolf Blitzer and Jack Cafferty expressed frustration that the Democratic Congress has not yet passed a minimum wage increase, even lamenting that the increase could not be made retroactive.
After Blitzer seemed to seriously ask if the minimum wage increase could be made retroactive to November, Cafferty rhetorically exclaimed that it should be "retroactive to ten years ago."
Blitzer: "I guess they can't make the increase in the minimum wage retroactive to back November, huh, Jack?"
Cafferty: "They ought to make it retroactive to ten years ago. That's the last time anybody addressed these folks."
Blitzer: "Don't hold your breath on that one." (Transcript follows)
ABC anchor Charles Gibson led on Monday night, the fourth anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, with the results of a door-to-door survey of more than 2,000 Iraqis conducted for ABC News (and USA Today). Gibson started the “sobering report” with how “fewer than half the Iraqis, just 42 percent, said life was better now than it was under Saddam Hussein.” Gibson, however, failed to explain that when asked, “compared to the time before the war in spring 2003, are things overall in your life much better now, somewhat better, about the same, somewhat worse or much worse?”, fewer than 42 percent -- 36 percent -- said worse and 22 thought things are the same. A poll of 5,000 Iraqis reported in the Times of London discovered, as highlighted by FNC's Brit Hume, that “49 percent said life is better under the current Iraqi government” and “just 26 percent preferred life under Saddam Hussein.”
NBC anchor Brian Williams opened by emphasizing the length and cost of the war: “U.S. involvement in this war is now longer in duration than the Korean War, longer than World War I or World War II. And here are the numbers of great importance to all Americans. So far, at least 3,218 Americans have died. At least 24,000 have been wounded. Estimates of Iraqi dead are close to 60,000...” CBS's Katie Couric began with how “the war goes on, there is no end or victory in sight, thousands of Americans are dead, but the President says victory is still possible.” Reporter Allen Pizzey, who on The Early Showhad insisted that “Iraqis have very little to be thankful for,” also delivered a dire assessment on the Evening News: “And so four weary and blood-soaked years on, the so-called coalition of the willing has become the coalition of those who are stuck with it.”
Has Rosie O'Donnell gone from being just another vociferous media liberal to a full-blown 9-11 conspiracy theorist? It would appear so. Have a look at Rosie's recent blog entry, wherein she serves up an array of controlled-demolition eccentricity. Turns out, according to O'Donnell, 9-11 was all a big plot to do away with FBI and other investigative files on Smith Barney, WorldCom and . . . Enron. What, no Halliburton?
H/t reader M.R.
For the third time in history fire brought down a steel building reducing it to rubble. Hold on folks here we go.
Citing the investigator and one student who "says he trusted NYU, but now he wonders if his trust may have been misplaced," ABC's "World News" on March 18 attacked universities and lending companies and did not include representatives from either.
Anchor Dan Harris only presented New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's view that students are being taken advantage with the practice of preferred lending. Cuomo faulted schools and lenders for "illegal, deceptive business practices."
Harris did not include an on-air interview with any college, university, loan company or industry expert, rather he only said several major lenders "all denied wrongdoing."
On the Friday edition of "Nightline," "20/20" anchor Barbara Walters appeared again to plug her sycophantic interview with Hugo Chavez, the virulently anti-American leader of Venezuela.
According to the ABC host, Chavez, who has called President Bush a murderer and a killer, simply likes to "poke fun at American leaders." During a discussion with "Nightline" host Martin Bashir, she also described the Venezuelan President in glowing, even flowery terms:
MARTIN BASHIR : "You've met him in person, you interviewed him, you spent time for him, for all the kind of brash things that he's actually said, how did you find him as an individual, as a man?"
BARBARA WALTERS: "Well, he was not what I expected. He was very dignified. He was warm, friendly. He likes the U.S. It's George Bush that he doesn't like. He also was very personal. He talked about how hard his life was, that he wished he could be in love but you can't be when you are heading a country."
Baghdad-based correspondent Edward Wong is the eternally pessimistic New York Times reporter who was itching to declare Iraq in "civil war" over a year before the rest of the liberal media. Friday's "Attack on Sadr City Mayor Hinders Antimilitia Effort" was co-written by Wong and Damien Cave and contained this painfully obvious attempt to mask potential good news from the troop "surge" in Iraq, which may actually be having a positive effect on the ground in Baghdad.