The AP isn't the only one going ga-ga over the ascension of Nancy Pelosi to become the "first Female Speaker of the House". We are seeing the fawning on just about every news outlet out there. And it is, indeed, quite an historic change from the long line of gentlemen that have taken the Speaker's gavel.
The story of James Kim, who died of hypothermia in a remote part of Oregon after setting out on foot to seek help for his stranded family, was a sad capper to the year 2006 for many. A lot of things went wrong for the Kims as they started out for a holiday trip only to have it end in disaster.
Spencer H. Kim, James Kim's Father, has today a plea appearing in the Washington Post titled The Lessons In My Son's Death. It is a message to Oregon's emergency services community to help stop another tragedy such as befell his son from happening to anyone else.
New homes sales: Back from the dead? New home sales rise more than expected and prices post gains despite continued rise in completed new homes on the market. December 27 2006: 11:11 AM EST
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- New home sales and prices both showed surprising strength in November, according to a government report Wednesday.
New homes sold at an annual pace of 1.05 million, up from the revised annual rate of 1.01 million in October. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast that home sales would rebound to a 1.02 million pace.
ANSWER: Nothing satisfactory, as far as the company is concerned. Google has responded, but generically, and poorly. Meanwhile, press releases that verge on being pure pap are routinely displayed in Google News results.
Background: This post is the latest relating to attempts that began here to get to the bottom of why all but a very small portion of news items published at Centcom.mil and its affliated sites are NOT being found or displayed by the Google News search engine. More background is here, here, here, and here, but this post should stand on its own for those who are new to the issue.
I received this e-mail from Google News early Thursday evening (link supplied by Google News was made clickable for this post):
Thank you for your note about Google News. We apologize for our delayed response. Dan passed your email on to our User Support team so we can assist you. Please be assured that Google News currently includes the news site you mention. You can find articles from this publication in our results at the following link:
Additionally, please be aware that Google News doesn't currently include multimedia content, such as audio or video files. Google News offers a news service compiled solely by computer algorithms without human intervention. There aren't human editors at Google selecting or grouping the headlines, and no individual decides which stories get top placement. While our news sources vary in perspective and editorial approach, their selection for inclusion is done without regard to political viewpoint or ideology.
While we aim to include as many sources as possible in Google News, we can’t guarantee the addition of all articles and sources that are submitted to us. We appreciate your taking the time to send us your suggestions for how we can improve this service.
Yahoo News and Reuters want regular people to send them photos from their personal devices. This way, terrorists don't have to merely give propaganda to journalists in Iraq, they can send it directly to the editors back home. Reports the New York Times:
Hoping to turn the millions of people with digital cameras and camera phones into photojournalists, Yahoo and Reuters are introducing an effort to showcase photographs and video of news events submitted by the public.
Starting Tuesday, the photos and videos submitted will be placed throughout Reuters.com and Yahoo News, the most popular news Web site in the United States, according to comScore MediaMetrix.
Reuters said it would also start to distribute some of the submissions next year to the thousands of print, online and broadcast media outlets that subscribe to its news service. Reuters said it hoped to develop a service devoted entirely to user-submitted photographs and video.
It in turn touted a study by a social work master’s student at Southern Connecticut State University purporting to find that there exists "a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush."
Christmas came early to the Sheppard residence this year. A Daily Kos diarist wrote a blog post on the day before Thanksgiving about some articles I pennedover the summer. This precipitated a flood of glorious tidings to my inbox from strangers across the fruited plain the entire holiday weekend.
We Diss You a Merry Christmas
Certainly, one of the greatest honors bestowed upon a writer is to be recognized by a colleague, especially one from the opposite side of the political aisle. This is even more fulfilling when the articles being discussed are not recently published, as it indicates one’s work is surviving in perpetuity.
The outpouring of love and affection that this diarist’s review spawned was quite humbling, especially as the sentiments came from people of a different political persuasion. This was made even more fabulous given the recent drubbing such folks gave to Republicans in the midterm elections.
The absence of gloating, vulgarity, and animus present in the blog piece and all the e-mail messages evoked by it was a fine example of how our nation comes together during the holidays; for this, we should all be profoundly grateful.
First Coast News in Jacksonville, Florida, did a fabulous piece Tuesday on how terrorists are using websites like YouTube and MySpace to recruit, train, and send messages to their cadre (hat tip to our friend Joe Myers). Some of the transcript was posted at FirstCoastNews.com, and the absolutely must-see video is here:
It's a video showing a room full of children sharing their dreams. They are not excited about being doctors, lawyers or teachers. Instead, the children shout, "We are the nation of Hezbollah. I shall sacrifice my life for Allah."
A group of children in training to be a mujahideen, or holy warrior.
Online there are videos of those warriors. One suicide bomber announces he is readying himself to blow up a group of American soldiers.
Now that the Democrats have picked their Majority Leader in the House the outcome gives us (and her) the first hint that Speaker Pelosi is not the powerhouse she thought she was. Her man, Murtha, lost in a landslide: 149 to 86... a thumpin' to say the least.
In my last report on how the MSM covered this little inter Dem fight I pointed out that they were ignoring how distant were the two positions on pulling out of Iraq that is held by the erstwhile candidates for Majority Leader.
I noted how they refused to portray Murtha's position as "extreme", even as he supports pulling out of Iraq immediately to Hoyer's, who does not. I noted that the MSM did not waste much breath contrasting Murtha's position with the far less volatile position held by Hoyer.
It seems strangely inconsistent that the MSM ignored the Iraq war issue in their stories since they made the entire recent election all about Iraq and how it is a mess and that our soldiers should come home. Yet, a guy who does not want an immediate pull out defeated Murtha and this fact went uncommented upon.
Despite the fact that former Vice President Al Gore invented the information superhighway, Market Wire reported Wednesday that more Republicans use the Internet than Democrats (hat tip to Drudge): “Nielsen//NetRatings (NASDAQ: NTRT), a global leader in Internet media and market research, announced today that 36.6 percent of U.S. adults online are Republicans, 30.8 percent are Democrats and 17.3 percent are Independents. With campaign Web sites becoming increasingly important to reaching the electorate, candidates need to keep their fingers on the political pulse of the Internet.”
The following analysis by author and former Bush 43 White House speechwriter David Frum, which he posted Thursday in his blog on National Review Online under the title "The Cry Baby Party," may express what plenty of NewsBusters readers have sensed during this election campaign (bold-type emphasis has been added):
Let me see if I understand the rules of American politics in 2006:
It's in bounds to write a deliberately deceptive voter initiative to try to inscribe embryo-killing research into a state's law.
It's in bounds for a likeable and suffering celebrity to suggest that such research is poised to deliver a cure that will help him - despite the utter absence of evidence for any such claim.
Camille Paglia, cultural scholar and maverick liberal Democrat, has given a politically themed interview to the left-wing online magazine Salon in which she touches on some media issues. (HT: National Review Online's Hot Links.)
Previously, Paglia has readily acknowledged that liberal media bias exists, and that it's hardly a new phenomenon; she's said that Barry Goldwater was the target of a "vicious media assault" during the 1964 presidential campaign.
In the Salon interview, Paglia argues that the media and Democrats were guilty of "gargantuan overkill" in their treatment of the Mark Foley matter, but that the excessive coverage actually wound up being a "tremendous boon" to President Bush because it distracted the public from the Iraq war.
Just in time for the holidays, the gang over at YouTube has added a new flag to their videos to assist their “community” in determining “inappropriate” content. Our friend at Ms Underestimated has created the following capture of the new screen being put into effect:
Has another Internet giant gotten the Liberal Bias Virus? Well, the Associated Press is reporting that Yahoo is extending its relationship with CBS to offer more of its news clips beginning Tuesday:
Yahoo already shows national and international news from CBS' "60 Minutes" as well as Walt Disney Co.'s ABC and Time Warner Inc.'s CNN.
The latest deal will allow Yahoo to post 10 to 20 local news clips from each of the CBS-owned TV stations covered in the exclusive arrangement. The stations encompass the nation's largest metropolitan markets.
I bet you didn't know that Yahoo was already showing "60 Minutes" and CNN clips. Isn't that special? Of course, not everybody is happy about this:
Five months ago, the Internet’s top search engine Google was accused of banning conservative websites from its news crawl. Last week, the e-behemoth offered to purchase YouTube, the preeminent provider of videos over the Web that has recently been implicated in censorship of its own. With their pending merger, serious questions arise about the future of the most powerful telecommunications medium on the landscape, and who if anyone is trying to control its content.
On the very day YouTube's disproportionate censorship of conservative videos was splashed over the pages of the Drudge Report, the web site deleted another conservative blogger's video, Gateway Pundit tells how a 17-second clip he made of an AP video was deleted from YouTube for supposed copyright infringement.
Update 9:06. Some commenters are wondering with whom, if anyone, lies the fault. I would place it primarily on the AP for a) lodging a copyright complaint against a 17-second clip, which if that were consistently followed would essentially destroy almost all non-original video on the internet, and b) excercising a double-standard going after Jim Hoft and not the thousands of others who have "stolen" its material on YouTube and elsewhere.
Traditional or "mainstream" media outlets continue to wither away in the face of never ending charges of liberal bias and attempts to indoctrinate America with the agenda of the left.
As these strong and meaningful changes are taking place opinion writers and pundits search for answers that will explain away the audience abandonment across the entire spectrum of traditional news outlets. Huge audience losses are being logged for network television news. Major newspaper and news magazine publications show significant decline in circulation numbers. Talk radio formats for the counter position to conservative talk have failed.
The only bright light on the news horizon seems to be The Fox News Channel...and it is the latest entry into cable news. Today, while celebrating its tenth year on the air, Fox News rightfully boasts it is the Number One cable news network. According to Glenn Garvin, writing for McClatchy Newspapers it has held this ranking...”for the past 58 months with an audience almost as big as its two main competitors combined. It took Fox News just five years to surpass MSNBC, with its powerful corporate backers, and CNN with its 16 year head start.” Garvin goes on to say that Fox News reached the 90 million-subscriber mark faster than any cable channel in history.
In today's DC Examiner, Olbermann Watch blogger Bob Cox sounds the alarm against what he (correctly) perceives as the conservative movement's failure to sufficiently become involved in creating the next generation of the internet. Now that the web has become a commodity, most conservatives have given up trying to be technology leaders, effectively allowing the left to create and control all of the major "web 2.0" resources like Technorati, Wikipedia, YouTube, and others.
The failure of the Dean campaign has led too many conservatives to dismiss technology leadership as an overhyped part of a political campaign. But that's only half the story. In truth, superb technology can never compensate for a bad candidate, but it can sure do wonders for one. And as part of a larger overall popular movement, technology is vital. For too long, conservatives have stood outside society's institutions clamoring for change. Isn't it about time that we went in?
In the waning days of Howard Dean’s abortive presidential campaign,
I met many of the talented folks who played a role in turning the Dean
Web site into a powerful fundraising tool that propelled an unknown
candidate into the national spotlight. At various blogging conferences
since, I have had the opportunity to observe many of these bright minds
strategizing on how to best leverage the emerging world of blogs and
other “social networking” services known as “Web 2.0” to advance their
liberal political agenda and win elections.
Their common refrain: “We need to own the Internet the way the right owns talk radio.”
got me wondering whether the online “conservative elite” was aware of
what the left had in mind and, if so, whether they were concerned.
It’s fascinating that this decision came on September 19 and virtually went unreported up until now, but a Florida woman has been awarded a startling $11.3 million in her “Internet defamation” lawsuit. Without question, this decision has startling ramifications for Internet denizens, bloggers, and message board posters, as it makes it quite clear that folks can’t just write whatever they want regardless of facts with total impunity. As reported by WebWire (emphasis mine throughout):
It is not often a person is awarded $11.3 million dollars from a jury of their peers. But in the case of Sue Scheff and her organization Parent’s Universal Resource Experts, Inc. (PURE) v. Carey Bock, the jury felt compelled to send a very strong message – which they have. Included in their $11.3 million dollar verdict, they awarded Sue Scheff and PURE $5 million in punitive damages. “The punitive damages speak volumes,” says Scheff, “it was set to punish the defendant for what she did to my children and me. Just because you don’t like someone or what they do, it does not give you carte blanche to post false statements about a person on the Internet.”
The article continued, documenting threatening Internet exchanges that are altogether too common to those that spend a lot of time at message boards or comment sections:
The video sharing site YouTube, just recently purchased by Google, has once again allowed a band of determined users to censor something they don't like.
The latest casualty is a a controversial spoof political ad by a Republican filmmaker David Zucker (producer of such films as "Scary Movie 4," "Airplane," among others) which depicts former secretary of state Madeline Albright, a Democrat who served in the Clinton administration, acting as a maid, servant and cheerleader for Islamic terrorists and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. After the Republican party declined to run with it, the ad was sent to Matt Drudge who splashed it worldwide by embedding it in a page on his site.
The story doesn't end there, though. After Drudge picked it up, Democratic YouTube viewers used the site's software to "flag" the video as "inappropriate," a designation usually reserved for extremely violent or sexually explicit video clips. There is nothing even remotely sexual or violent in the clip. The closest thing to an explicit image in the ad is a scene in which "Albright" bends over and her skirt tears a bit in the seat, hardly the stuff that sets FCC commissioners' hearts aflutter.
While you can still view the video if you watch it embedded on another web site, if you try to watch it on YouTube, you'll be greeted with the message:
Jim Robinson, founder of the popular conservative forum FreeRepublic.com, was trashed by a spokesman for the (formerly) country music ensemble Dixie Chicks. Reports the New York Post:
THE Dixie Chicks' biggest detractor, FreeRepublic.com founder Jim Robinson, declined to appear in their documentary, "Shut Up and Sing." Now Ken Sunshine, who reps the George Bush-bashing Chicks, calls him "a coward. A real man would put his money where his mouth is, but this Robinson guy, he'd rather hide behind his keyboard than have a real discussion about his ideas .
Monday's Business section story by Tom Zeller Jr., "A Slippery Slope of Censorship at YouTube," defends conservative columnist's Michelle Malkin right to free expression at the popular video website -- with palpable reluctance.
"Lastweek, as YouTube continued its recent campaign to spit-shine its image and, perhaps, to look a little less ragtag to potential buyers (including Google, which was said to be eyeing the upstart in the $1.6 billion range), the company took a scrub bucket to some questionable political graffiti on its servers, including a video entry from the doyenne of right-wing blogs, Michelle Malkin."
The New York Times has finally taken note of the activities of those who support Islamist Jihad (including many right here in the US) and upload Islamist propaganda to the popular YouTube video hosting site:
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 5 — Videos showing insurgent attacks against American troops in Iraq, long available in Baghdad shops and on Jihadist Web sites, have steadily migrated in recent months to popular Internet video-sharing sites, including YouTube and Google Video.
Many of the videos, showing sniper attacks against Americans and roadside bombs exploding under American military vehicles, have been posted not by insurgents or their official supporters but apparently by Internet users in the United States and other countries, who have passed along videos found elsewhere.
The law, sponsored by freshmen senators Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) provides for an online database of federal appropriations. The bill passed through Congress with relative ease, but had been blocked for a bit by long-time pork barrel spending champions Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska).
Among the panelists was veteran Cox Newspapers Washington reporter Rebecca Carr who marveled that she "couldn't get over how effective" the coalition of left- and right-wing bloggers had been in providing the political pressure and alternative media coverage of the legislation's progress.
Heritage's Mark Tapscott was not as surprised, pointing out that blogs bring to bear "the wisdom of crowds" to news gathering and political activism.
ABCNEWS, WASH POST REPORTERS: 'DRUDGE RULES OUR WORLD'
Here they come...
In the stampede of books attempting to make their mark this season comes THE WAY TO WIN, by longtime political reporters Halperin and Harris.
The political director of ABCNEWS and the national politics editor of the WASHINGTON POST make it official in their new insider tome on DC politics and how it's played: The four words in every newsroom and campaign headquarters are: Have you seen DRUDGE?
A liberal is someone who will always be able to find the dark lining, so long as it's a Republican sun that's shining. And so here's the latest dispatch from the No-Good-Deed-Goes Unpunished Directorate of the Department of Dark Linings:
Energy prices are down, maybe heading even lower . . . and that's bad.
So writes HuffPoster Raymond Learsy today. He begins by citing that irrefutable authority, Al Gore, for the proposition that "we are near the tipping point of climatic catastrophe." He next bemoans that "never or at least rarely ever, has there been a serious discussion on curtailing the availability of gasoline." By all means, I'd encourage Democrats everywhere to run on that platform!
As hard as it might be to believe, the liberal defense of Rosie O’Donnell’s anti-theistic comments on Tuesday’s “The View” has become almost as absurd and offensive as the remarks themselves. First a media analyst on Wednesday night claimed that "Radical Christianity" is just as bad as radical Islam because abortion clinics in the past have been attacked as reported here. Then, on Thursday’s “Scarborough Country” (hat tip to Hot Air), Huffington Post media analyst Rachel Sklar suggested that Christians opposed to abortion and condom use are just as dangerous to America as Islamic extremists (video link and full transcript to follow).
So, in the course of 24 hours, the definition of "Radical Christianity" has miraculously expanded to include anyone that is pro-Life and/or is against the use of condoms. Here’s the amazing exchange:
There appears to be no joy in libville tonight, sports fans. The huge bounce in viewers that the Great Left Hope – aka Keith Olbermann of MSNBC – enjoyed after his much maligned tirade against President Bush on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 has dissipated as quickly as a campaign promise by one of the politicians he so reveres.
As reported by TVNewser, Olby’s newly born faithful must have found something better to do Wednesday night – as if they had limited options – for his total number of viewers declined by almost 200,000, or a whopping 28 percent from Tuesday. And, as is typically the case, Olby trailed the pack of cable news programs in the 8PM EST time slot, once again getting trounced by Paula Zahn, Nancy Grace, and, especially Bill O’Reilly who garnered more than four times the viewers as the K-man. Nice job, Keith!