Once again it is the British newspapers that are performing the legwork that the American media oten neglects to do. In this case, it was the UK Times that tracked down Barack Obama's "Auntie Zeituni," not the "evil" Republicans as many Democrats are alleging. This is the story, by Ben MacIntyre and James Bone, of how they found Obama's aunt (emphasis mine):
The trail that led to “Aunt Zeituni”, the relative of Barack Obama who was traced by The Times last week, started with Mr Obama’s memoir, one of the most widely read political autobiographies of all time.
The Democrat campaign has implied that the story might have come from Republican sources – “the American people are ... pretty suspicious of things that are dumped in the marketplace 72 hours before a campaign,” said Mr Obama’s chief strategist David Axelrod yesterday.
Sorry, David, but the "nefarious" Republicans were not behind this. Just a British newspaper doing the job that the American media should, but won't, do.
What is it with the American mainstream media when we have to turn to Britain to get a more accurate analysis of our political scene than we can get here? First we had my previous post in which the UK Times provided a much better analysis of how Nancy Pelosi's partisan rant caused the bailout bill to fail in Congress while the New York Times basically provided cover for the House Speaker. And now we have this column by Dominic Lawson in the UK Independent that gives us a clear picture of how utterly unqualified Joe Biden is to become vice-president. Yes, while the Amercan MSM remains obsessed with pointing out how Sarah Palin might not be familiar with every last detail of political policy (including the "Bush Doctrine" which almost nobody knew about until Charlie Gibson sprung it as a gotcha question) they continue to overlook not just gaffes but astounding gaps in Biden's basic wisdom. So let us allow Lawson to now go where the American MSM fears to tread (emphasis mine):
Thanks to Sarah Palin, the culture war has become a civil war—on the left. Mika Brzezinski bravely opened a new front in the conflict during today's "Morning Joe," repeatedly going after two female MSMers for suggesting Palin is taking the working-mom thing too far.
And, mirabile dictu, Mika even admitted to sensing MSM unfairness to Republicans.
"This is an argument Joe and I have about fairness and whether or not there are some sort of underlying unfairness when it comes to Republicans. And I just, you know, I feel it here," Brzezinski said referring to a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. Full text and commentary after the jump. View video here.
The Sunday Times (UK) has just ratcheted up the pressure on the American media in their continuing effort to maintain their silence on the alleged John Edwards scandal. While becoming the largest English language newspaper so far to publish the juicy details, The Sunday Times, in tomorrow's edition, also took a bit of delight in tweaking the American newspapers for their desperate efforts to put a lid on this scandal such as the directive by the Los Angeles Times muzzling their staff from reporting on this as has been chronicled here in NewsBusters today. The Sunday Times story set the tone with this catchy headline, "Sleaze scuppers Democrat golden boy," followed by this subtitle, "Gotcha: Senator John Edwards, whose wife has cancer, has been caught in a sex scandal that ends his vice-presidential hopes." The Sunday Times story itself goes where the American MSM fears to tread (emphasis mine):
Apparently complacent about criticism from the Tennessee Center for Policy Research that his family's energy use at his Nashville home is more than 19 times greater than the average American household's, Al Gore has committed conspicious energy consumption once again.
In Washington D.C. Thursday to deliver yet another speech warning Americans about global warming caused, Gore believes, by excessive use of fossil fuels, Gore handed yet more evidence to critics who believe he's a hypocrite.
He did so by traveling to his speech in what almost certainly was an unnecessary entourage of three luxury gas-guzzling vehicles -- two Lincoln Town Cars and a Surburban SUV -- one of which was kept idling outside for twenty minutes, apparently to keep the interior cool for the driver, Mrs. Gore and the Gores' adult daughter.
Over the weekend, the London Times gave us a foolish headline for a foolish story. The trumpeting headline read, "A seismic shift in China's relations with West?" This would be momentous news if true of course. But this supposed "seismic shift" was made up of whole cloth, not of any proof of actions by China otherwise. Instead of a story citing a series of decisions given a suitable amount of time to prove that China really has made some sort of shift in relations, it's all built on an ego stroke the Chinese gave western reporters. This "seismic shift" only exists in the uncritical minds of the western press because they had an easier time of covering this story with less of the usual Chinese restrictiveness. So, they now assume, because the Chinese gave the western press a few minutes of unexpected face time, this must suddenly mean there is a "seismic shift" in relations between the oppressive, murderous Chinese government and the west? The assumption is as simple-minded as it is stupid.
I don't often get as downright blatant as this, but sometimes one has to just come right out and say it -- the western media is filled with stupid people. If this story doesn't make you a believer that too many in the media don't have the good sense God gave a common rock, nothing will ever convince you. This story has it all; self-congratulatory arrogance, ignorance of history, foolishness, blindness and the willful appeasement of one of the worst, most oppressive governments in human history.
"Much of the effects of climate change have been couched in terms of if or when its effects will be felt," CBS correspondent Mark Phillips said. "Well, here there is no ‘if.' And when is now. So choices are being made. It's called managed retreat. Some areas of coastline deemed indefensible are being abandoned. Climate change is producing winners and losers, and Diana Wrightson and the others here have already lost."
"Meet the Press" host Tim Russert asked Bartiromo and CNBC's Erin Burnett if Bernanke was "up to the task" to take on problems with the U.S. economy. Bartiromo didn't blame the Fed chief for the current economic environment, but defended Bernanke and said the foundation of the housing problems was in place prior to his tenure.
"I really don't think you can blame Ben Bernanke for this, Tim," Bartiromo said. "You know, I think that he is, as Erin said, throwing the kitchen sink, doing a lot at this point. And remember, he's a new chairman. You know, so what was put in place before he was actually in this role has set us up for this."
We better hope there are some big-time technological advances in the science of home air conditioning by the year 2040. According to the outlook offered by Dr. James Lovelock in the March 22 issue of The Daily Mail (U.K.), we're in for some dire consequences.
"By 2040, the world population of more than six billion will have been culled by floods, drought and famine," Sands wrote. "The people of Southern Europe, as well as South-East Asia, will be fighting their way into countries such as Canada, Australia and Britain. We will, he says, have to set up encampments in this country, like those established for the hundreds of thousands of refugees displaced by the conflict in East Africa. Lovelock believes the subsequent ethnic tensions could lead to civil war."
Anti-American snarkiness has reared its ugly little head in this London Times travel story by Tom Chesshyre, "Tourism 'golden era' ends in Cuba." Apparently, Mr. Chesshyre believes that life under Fidel Castro's oppressive regime was a "golden era" for visiting that island. Yes, how quaint to see dilapidated buildings and people whose diets are severely restricted by government rationing. The Times seems to fear that these "good times" may soon be coming to an end and urges visits there before the atmosphere is ruined by the American tourist "invasion":
Travellers interested in visiting Cuba are being advised to go now before an invasion of American tourists begins.
(See Update below for correction and clarification re Google News.)
This one has an interesting twist relating to Google News that I will get to later.
It should be no surprise that the so-called "newspapers of record" did very little with the news earlier this week that the actiing director of an Iraqi psychiatric hospital had been arrested for allegedly supplying mentally ill patients for use as, for lack of a better description, unwillingly co-opted "suicide bombers."
Iraq Hospital Chief Allegedly Supplied Patients for Bombings
The acting director of a Baghdad psychiatric hospital has been arrested on suspicion of supplying Al Qaeda in Iraq with the mentally impaired women it used to blow up two crowded animal markets in the city on Feb. 1, killing about 100 people.
So, scientists find the dead bodies of dozens of dolphins and baby porpoises near Miami, Florida and across the pond along Scotland's East Coast. These aquatic mammals where literally beaten to death with multiple internal injuries, lacerations, contusions and the like. Back in 1997 the whole C.S.I. treatment was given these animals and guess who these scientists first blamed? You guessed it, the United States Military. It turns out, however, that scientists have now realized that it is the "smartest" fishie on earth that is responsible. Yes, they were surprised to discover that dolphins are outright murderers. So much for a "smarter" more "peaceful" ocean, eh?
Now that global warmingists are getting governments like the UK and the US to ban incandescent lightbulbs, we're hearing some inconvenient accusations about the bulbs. This time, a January 3 article in the UK's Telegraph said the bulbs may cause migraines (h/t NB reader Linda).
The UK's Migraine Action Association reported that some of its members say the bulbs trigger the headaches. As a result, they want an exception for health reasons included in the UK's ban on traditional incandescent bulbs.
Global warmingists claim that using fluorescent bulbs will reduce carbon emissions and help to stop anthropogenic global warming, but the Telegraph explained the bulbs may be a problem (bold mine):
Several versions use a technology similar to fluorescent strip lights and some migraine sufferers say they produce a flickering effect that triggers their condition.
Do you remember hearing about a BBC documentary about Queen Elizabeth II this summer? During filming, Her Majesty walked out of the room in a huff when photographer Annie Leibovitz asked her to remove her crown for a photo. This is the stuff tabloid dreams are made of, and they had a field day with this tasty tidbit. But apparently it never happened: selective editing of the film footage in the trailer, which was shown to journalists, made it seem as though it did.
Back in July, when the controversy erupted, Peter Fincham, the controller for BBC One apologized for the "mistake," but said he wouldn't resign.
Conveniently, the American media is largely ignoring a significant statement from a UK High Court judge who said Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” promotes “partisan political views” and the schools should treat it as such.
As a result the British government was forced to rewrite their website and their “guidance” and will need to issue a warning before showing the film.
As NewsBusters reported, truck driver, part-time school official and father of two Stewart Dimmock brought a High Court action to ban the film from UK schools, claiming it is “unfit for schools” because it contains scientific inaccuracies, “sentimental mush” and is politically biased.
The movie was distributed to more than 3500 schools for children aged 11 to 14-year-olds in “Climate Change Packs.”
An August 22 article in the UK's Times Online gave some insight into the paper's behind-the-scenes views with this headline, “Paris vacates the moral highground to give Washington a helping hand” (h/t Fausta).
For the Times, France's “moral highground” was a four-year diplomatic lock-out with Iraq that began after the “US-led invasion” (and, interestingly, at the end of several Frenchmen profiting from the corrupt UN Oil For Food scam) that Sarkozy broke by sending his Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to Baghdad yesterday for a three-day fact-finding trip with the goal of helping the Iraqis, through the UN, rebuild and stabilize a country that could easily devolve into genocide without adequate attention.
London-based New York Times reporter Alan Cowell was no fan of Tony Blair's support for George Bush and the Iraq War -- he particularly enjoyed repeating left-wing anti-war mockery of Blair as "Bush's poodle."
"Before Gordon Brown took power as Britain's new prime minister, there was much talk about whether the electorate would warm to the dour, methodical and detail-driven Scot, particularly after so many years of soaring oratory from his predecessor, Tony Blair
According to the UK's Life Style Extra, a majority of 4,000 people surveyed believe global warming is a natural occurrence, as opposed to being caused by mankind, despite a scientific consensus claimed by the article:
ALMOST three quarters of people believe global warming is a 'natural occurrence' and not a result of carbon emissions, a survey claimed today.
This goes against the views of the vast majority of scientists who believe the rise in the earth's temperatures is due to pollution.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which represents most scientists, stated earlier that the increase in global temperatures is 'very likely due to the observed increase of man-made greenhouse gas concentrations'.
They define very likely as 'more than 90 percent certain'.
Al Roker was one of the villagers with torches who stormed the castle demanding that Don Imus be fired, but now the foot is in the other mouth. On the June 7 edition of the “Today” show, during a segment discussing London's truly horrible 2012 Olympic logo, which was said to have driven people into epileptic seizures upon viewing, Roker cracked a joke about the disorder. Without turning inflecting a politically correct tone or blowing the situation out of proportion, the New York Post reported his comments and next-day apology (hat tip: Insignificant Thoughts):
"Remember that controversial Olympic logo for the 2012 Olympics in London? Some folks have complained that the campaign actually sent them into epileptic seizures," Roker said on Thursday's show.
"Well, we asked you to weigh in on our Web site in an informal poll; those of you who could get up off the floor after shaking around were able to actually log in…"
I guess things have changed since Roker wrote in his blog that he was sick of the “ 'humor' at others expense” and “the cruelty that passes for funny” (bold mine throughout):
Maybe Michael Moore should listen to people who actually have socialized medicine—at least those who are allowed to disagree with their government’s policies. Singer Elton John’s partner David Furnish slammed Michael Moore and his latest docuganda “Sicko” for misrepresenting the quality of the US health care system. On June 02, Furnish stated, ”[America] was the only place to get good treatment”(emphasis mine):
The BBC wouldn’t run a dramatic TV movie about an Iraq war hero and also banned all message board entries linking to controversial anti-terror blog Little Green Footballs, but April 17, the network tops itself. The London Times reports that the Beeb will feature “Weddings and Beheadings,” a short story by an acclaimed Pakistani-British author, which is about an Iraqi camera man who “takes a blackly comic approach to the execution of hostages in Iraq” (emphasis mine throughout):
Weddings and Beheadings by Hanif Kureishi — writer of My Beautiful Laundrette and The Buddha of Suburbia — tells the story of a jobbing cameraman in Baghdad who films executions to earn a living and jokes about it as a way to cope.
The April 10 London Daily Mail dares to say what others have not. Instead of a trendy story about green celebs, reporter Richard Simpson revealed an Inconvenient Truth; many of the musicians participating in Al Gore’s upcoming Live Earth concerts are major eco-offenders themselves:
The stars of a major Live 8-style concert to raise awareness of climate change have been condemned as hypocrites for failing to lead environmentally friendly lives themselves.
The likes of Madonna and Red Hot Chili Peppers will perform at Live Earth at Wembley Stadium on July 7, yet campaigners say they are among the least "green" individuals on the planet.
With a packet of claims that are almost certain to defy conventional
wisdom, a television documentary to be aired in Britain this week
condemns man-made global warming as a myth that has become "the biggest
scam of modern times."
The program titled "The Great Global Warming Scandal" and set
for screening by TV Channel 4 on Thursday dismisses claims that high
levels of greenhouse gases generated by human activity causes climate
change. Instead, the program suggests that the sun itself is the real
In his program, Mr. Durkin rejects the concept of man-made
climate change, calling it "a lie ... the biggest scam of modern
The truth, he says, is that global warming "is a
multibillion-dollar worldwide industry, created by fanatically
anti-industrial environmentalists, supported by scientists peddling
scare stories to chase funding, and propped up by compliant politicians
and the media."
Among political consultants, the general rule of thumb is that a disapproval rating of 40% spells a candidate's near-certain defeat. After all, virtually no one who disapproves of a candidate will vote for him, while approving of someone is no guarantee of a vote.
Hillary Clinton's disapproval rating of 44% in a recent Time magazine poll thus bodes very ill for her presidential prospects. Yet the Sunday Times of London has managed to put a rosy gloss on what would have most politicians looking for another line of work. Pollyannas the Times of the poll results:
"Only 44% viewed her negatively, figures that President George W Bush can only dream of at the moment."
Journalists, the self-described writers of the first draft of history, often have a very tough time remembering it. I've lost count how many times I've heard the phrase "most ever," "biggest in history," "worst X ever" and so on.
The BBC provided the latest example of this historical short-sightedness in a not-exactly condemnatory (the Beeb never once calls him a dictator) profile of Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, which as the WSJ's James Taranto noted yesterday, contained a major error:
Last Monday the BBC published a puff piece on Cuba's dictator titled "Fidel:
The World Icon." Here's how it starts:
Cuba's President Fidel Castro--the world's longest-serving leader--turns
80 on 13 August. This week, we will be assessing his political life and his
impact on the Caribbean island.
Two eye-raising events in the world of religion have been reported in London's leftish Guardian newspaper. In the U.K., the Guardian reports, Christian girls are banned from wearing chastity rings in school at a top state school -- even as Muslim and Sikh girls wear head garb that's not part of official school uniforms. Says the mother of one: "Here you have 12 girls who want to live an alternative lifestyle: we are not asking the school to subscribe to it, just respect it." The Guardian also ran a report from AP religion writer Richard Ostling on the latest decisions from the progressive faction of the Presbyterians -- although he never described them as liberal or progressive, even as their opponents were repeatedly described as conservative:
The divine Trinity - "Father, Son and Holy Spirit'' - could also be known as "Mother, Child and Womb'' or "Rock, Redeemer, Friend'' at some Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) services under an action Monday by the church's national assembly.
Delegates to the meeting voted to "receive'' a policy paper on gender-inclusive language for the Trinity, a step short of approving it. That means church officials can propose experimental liturgies with alternative phrasings for the Trinity, but congregations won't be required to use them...The assembly narrowly defeated a conservative bid to refer the paper back for further study.