As NewsBusters reported here, on the December 20, 2006 edition of The View, co-host Rosie O’Donnell sparked a war of words and the threat of a lawsuit over comments she made about real estate mogul Donald Trump. Her statement that he had been bankrupt "many times" was particularly infuriating to the billionaire. On the January 3 show, Barbara Walters, who noted O’Donnell’s absence from today’s show was due to a "long-planned vacation," was left to clean up the mess, and delivered this statement from ABC:
Barbara Walters: "Okay, guys, as I said earlier, Rosie is on a long-planned vacation with Kelli and the kids, and not, I can promise you, with Donald Trump. Now, speaking of which, ABC has asked me to say this, just to clarify things and I will quote, ‘Donald Trump has never filed for personal bankruptcy. Several of his casino companies have filed for business bankruptcies. They are out of bankruptcy now.’"
Walters then denied Trump’s charge that she regrets her decision to hire O’Donnell to replace Meredith Vieira:
It's no secret that Iran, and to a lesser degree, Syria, are responsible for supplying weapons to our enemies in Iraq, as well as encouraging would-be terrorists from their own lands to join the ranks of the blood-thirsty Islamo-fascist militias that our military and the Iraqi Army faces on a daily basis in the area known as the Sunni Triangle.
Both of these countries also directly support Hezbollah, the most well-organized terrorist group in the world, and next to Al-Qaeda, the most deadly. The United States and Israel know full well the threat posed by this extremist faction and their patron states, yet year after year passes with no substantial military action being taken against them. Why?
It's all well and good that we are expending every available resource to destroy Al-Qaeda and its confederates worldwide, but for some inexplicable reason the terrorist organization which was responsible for more American deaths prior to 9/11 than any other in history is largely ignored by the Bush Administration. Israel as well seems to have concluded that taking the fight to these parasites isn't worth the trouble, and every time I think about what's going on in Lebanon these days, my stomach begins composing an overture to the next 'Star Wars' sequel.
If an Iraqi police captain by the name of Jamil Hussein exists, there is no convincing evidence of it - and that means the Associated Press has a journalistic scandal on its hands that will fester until the AP deals with it properly.
This controversy and the AP's handling of it call into question the credibility, integrity, and smarts of one of the world's biggest, most influential, most respected news organizations, the New York-based Associated Press.
When does a protest that includes a total of approximately 45 people spread over 3 US cities merit national media coverage? When the protest is anti-American and pro-terrorist. That was the case of the “emergency” protests sponsored by Ramsey Clark’s International Action Center decrying the execution of Saddam Hussein. According to the AP, the protests were “small rallies” with “a few dozen activists” in Times Square, 15 “anti-war demonstrators” in Detroit and “five protesters” in Boston. Given the media’s penchant for inflating the attendance at any anti-American event, the number 45 is probably too generous.
The NY Times (HT Hot Air; scroll down, and look on left; direct link to pic is here; pic below is from my host's hard drive) has in a sense outdone CNN by giving Saddam the look of a charismatic, and from all appearances beloved, leader:
One suspects that this is just a warm-up for Castro when his time comes.
While he wielded a heavy hand to maintain control, Saddam also sought to win public support with a personality cult that pervaded Iraqi society. Thousands of portraits, posters, statues and murals were erected in his honor all over Iraq. His face could be seen on the sides of office buildings, schools, airports and shops and on Iraq’s currency.
What was the point of closing out an otherwise well written article with the above statement? Does the reporter actually believe that the Iraqi people made the decision to put Saddam's mug on the currency or that they erected statues out of something other than fear?
When righting yourself after a downturn in life, it is best to first take an honest inventory to understand how your own actions influenced the outcome. It may seem emotionally easier to blame outside influences, but professional victims do not expend any effort to improve their lot in life, expecting somebody else to straighten things out instead. This runs counter to liberty, where personal freedom is reflected by an equal amount of personal responsibility. So we need to see exactly where we stand before we plan our recovery from the 2006 elections.
When the Clouds Cleared…
In the House, 23 A-rated, NRA-endorsed representatives–17 of them incumbents–lost to F-rated challengers. (Assumes initial rating of “?” is really an “F”.) In the Senate, 5 endorsed candidates lost, four of them incumbents, for a 72% winning percentage.
Maybe our liberal friends are onto something. They keep saying the rich should pay more taxes, and it turns out the rich already are! That's one of the valuable lessons from the IRS's annual study of income tax data, just released for 2004.
Americans who earned more than $1 million in adjusted gross income paid $178 billion, or an average of $740,000 per filer, in income taxes in 2004. That's up about one-third from 2002, the year before the Bush tax cuts in marginal income-tax and dividend and capital gains rates. The wealthiest 1% of tax filers paid a remarkable 35% of all individual income-tax payments that year.
I love the following analogy, but WSJ could have gone further with it:
Jeff Martin sets up his defense of, again, printing the names of lawful concealed weapons permit holders by revisiting a previous time in which he did the exact same thing. He justifies it by noting that someone who went on to win a Puleftist prize was involved. He claims:
Every day, it seems, Jim or Jayne or I take a call from someone who wants something kept out of the newspaper. It's usually a name... Each time, we listen. Each time, we refuse...
Yet we try to print everything. Here's why: We print the names of people in the news because that's our business... That means we'll tell them not only what's happening at the city council and at Iowa State University, but also who is arrested, who is having babies, who is selling his house (and for how much), who has died (and of what cause). People expect that from us.
If we leave out just one name, just one fact, we have failed in our mission and damaged our credibility. That's why we printed those gun permits in Iowa. It's the kind of journalism that goes to the heart of the First Amendment.
First, let's get the reason behind this "news" out of the way: It's a way for those who are against the Second Amendment to know who to shun, who to refuse to hire, and who to refuse to do business with. It's a list that tells (stupid) burglars exactly which houses to break into if they want to be armed.
Well they don't exactly print "every name". His paper may print the names of breeders, but they don't print the names of people who terminate babies. Isn't that also news? They don't print the names of licensed doctors and nurses who perform abortions. They don't print the names of people who get sex changes or the doctors who perform them, and they don't print the names of people at Iowa State who are performing stem cell research (outside of government funding.)
Why not? Because journalists go after people they are opposed to, not people they agree with.
Today is the beginning of Hanukkah, so can't let this one pass just in case you missed it...
Just when you think you’ve heard it all—FOX News reports: “An artist who was forced to remove his Nazi gingerbread men from the window of a hardware store has set up the display in an empty storefront in another town. “The Secret Lives of Gingerbread Men” depicts a small gathering at a Nazi rally. Keith McGuckin set up the display in this northeastern Ohio city Thursday night, a day before the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins at sundown…
"One of his last jokes involved a son sending a prostitute over to his widowed father, in his 90s, still a self-proclaimed ladies’ man. She tells him she is his birthday present and will give him super sex.
'I’ll take the soup,' he says."
It took a few days, but someone at the Times finally figured out that the "joke" wasn't funny. So it gave it yet another try on a December 13 correction:
(Columbia) - In Richland County alone, there have been ten murders in the past eleven days. So far the only connection is that a gun was used at each crime scene.
But some are asking if there could be another link? [sic] Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, says he believes there’s a correlation between the murders and South Carolina’s gun laws.
“Anytime we make it easier to get guns, you’re going to see an increase in gun violence,” Helmke said.
Helmke said South Carolina’s laws are some of the most relaxed in the nation because there’s no state background check and no registry that tracks the sale and ownership of all guns.1
As I reported this weekend, Qais al-Bashir from the AP actually identified a source in one of his articles as "not an authorized source". While it was a small step, at least it was a step in the right direction. It did not take long for the AP to revert back to its old tricks of using unauthorized sources for news out of Iraq.
Today's story out of Iraq by Thomas Wagner and Qais al-Bashir features some familiar names...
"The coordinated attack in Tayaran Square involved a suicide attacker who drove up to the day laborers pretending to want to hire them, then set off his explosives as they got into his minibus, Lt. Bilal Ali said. At virtually the same time — 7 a.m. — a bomb exploded in a car parked some 30 yards away."
TEL AVIV – A key Hamas official has confirmed reports from last week the terror group held meetings with "important Democrats."
Ahmed Yousuf, chief political advisor to Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, told the Maannews Palestinian news website that Hamas officials met recently with high-ranking American figures, "especially members of the Democratic party."
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.
Last year, I sensed that journalists in general prefer to call this time of the year in commerce that of "holiday shopping" instead of "Christmas shopping," but that when it came to people losing their jobs, they preferred to describe layoffs as relating to "Christmas."
My instincts were proven correct, as you can see below from the results of three different sets of Google News searches in November and December (links to last year's related posts are here, here, and here):
I've decided to track the same items this year to see if there is any noticeable change or trend.
Here are the first two of the three sets of Google News searches during this Christmas season, compared to last year (the Dec. 9, 2006 searches were done shortly after midnight; the post on the Nov. 26, 2006 searches is here):
Slim pickings indeed. Perhaps we need to start looking for inanimate objects (e.g., 1982 - The Computer; 1988 - Endangered Earth), symbolic people (1950 - American Fighting Man; 1956 - Hungarian Freedom Fighter; 2003 - The American Soldier), or groups of people (1960 - US Scientists; 1966 - 25 and Under; 1969 - The Middle Americans; 1975 - American Women; 1993 - The Peacemakers; 2002 - The Whistleblowers). The list of all previous winners is here.
Perhaps YouTube, online forums, blogs, vlogs, podcasts, and online media should be the Thing of the Year: The Shadow Media. Of course, Time would be writing about its own likely eventual demise, but it would fit.
Cavuto elicited this stunningly out-of-touch statement from Krugman about the situation for the average person and the middle class that is obviously not true (excerpt is at the end of this Hot Air clip):
Cavuto: .... You're saying that it's somehow dramatically worse now than it was 10 years, 20 years ago? Krugman: It is dramatically worse now than it was 10 or 20 years ago.
Horse manure, Paul, and here's the proof. The figures below are from the Census Bureau, and show real (inflation-adjusted) income from 1985-2005 (bottom half of data at linked page):