The Associated Press has found a unique way to ensure that negative statements and comments regarding Iraq get wide circulation.. Just have two writers do similar pieces with different titles and release them on the same day. The articles should contain the same negative comments and talking points. Throw in a few token positives, rearrange the flow of the articles and you have a hit. It’s a given that someone will read at least one of the articles and come away with an idea of bad things in Iraq. If the AP strikes the mother lode and a reader is exposed to both pieces, the repeated negatives work like a subliminal message.
Such is the case with 2 stories released by the AP on October 25, 2005. The subject was the failure to find any fraud in the Constitutional referendum in Iraq. The 10-day audit was completed and the citizens ratified Iraq’s Constitution. Thomas Wagner’s article, “Draft Constitution Adopted by Iraq Voters”, was posted at 0928 EDT. Mariam Fam’s article, “Iraq’s Constitution Ratified by Voters”, came later in the afternoon at 1600 EDT.
Our friends at the Associated Press have once again reminded us why any of their releases that contain the name ‘Bush’ must always be viewed skeptically. Their latest entry, “Bush Diplomacy Means Settling for Less” is one such example.
While praising their efforts to work with the UN on Iran and Syria, AP writer Anne Gearan takes the Bush Administration in general and Condi Rice in particular, to task for their former unapologetic unilateralism:
In showdowns over Iran, North Korea and now Syria, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice seemingly agrees that half a loaf is better than none -- an unexpectedly pragmatic streak for a Bush administration better known for going its own way in international affairs.
Although the focus of the article is deputy chief of staff Karl Rove, TIME.com is reporting (hat tip to Drudge Report) that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Treasury Secretary John Snow will also be part of an imminent White House reorganization:
“Karl Rove's colleagues don't know exactly when it will happen, but they are already laying out the reasons they will give for the departure of the man President George W. Bush dubbed the architect. A Roveless Bush seemed unthinkable just a few months ago. But that has changed as the President's senior adviser and deputy chief of staff remains embroiled in the CIA leak scandal.”
“Several well-wired Administration officials predict that within a year, the President will have a new chief of staff and press secretary, probably a new Treasury Secretary and maybe a new Defense Secretary.”
Today in Paris, the Union of French Islamic Organizations (UOIF) issued a fatwa, or religious decree, against the participation of Muslims in the 10 days of rioting and arson in France. Typical of the mainstream media coverage of this action, is this report from Reuters:
“One of France's largest Islamic groups issued a fatwa against rioting on Sunday after officials suggested Muslim militants could be partly to blame for violent protests scarring poor neighbourhoods around the country.
“The Union of French Islamic Organisations (UOIF) quoted the Koran and the Prophet Mohammad to back up the religious edict condemning the disorder and destruction the unrest caused.
“Many rioters are of North African Arab and black African descent and assumed to be Muslims. Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy and other officials have hinted Islamist militants may be manipulating angry teenagers to defy the French state.”
The MSM has provided a fair amount of coverage today of the "pirate" attempt to hijack a cruise ship off the coast of Somalia. But most, if not all, of the MSM outlets have refused to identify the "pirates" [and their leader Mohamed Abdi Hassan] as Islamic terrorists. "Pirate" has joined "bomber," "militant," "insurgent," and "freedom fighter" as a euphemism for "Islamic terrorist."
With useless media coverage like this, is it any wonder that the Paris riots have taken so many westerners by surprise?
The new ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stating, "There is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children...Parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students," has Californians in an uproar, and rightfully so!
The liberal ninth district court known for it's legislating from the bench, such as in the recent case where the court ruled the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional because it contains the words 'under God', dismissed a lawsuit by California parents on November 3, 2005 who were sued the school district because a sex survey with inappropriate, nosey questions was given to children in the first, third and fifth grades.
A Friday, November 4, 2005, op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times by HBO host Bill Maher begins as follows (emphasis mine):
"President Bush's new Supreme Court nominee, Samuel Alito, must bomb an abortion clinic."
It gets ... worse. Four paragraphs later (emphasis mine):
"Is Alito a decent man with Christian values? Until he kills a nurse with a pipe bomb, there's no way to be sure. Sometimes the only way to convince some people that you're truly pro-life is to kill a few of them. Like when a gang member has to knife some random guy to prove himself."
"Kill[ing] a nurse with a pipe bomb"? Comparing pro-lifers to murderous gang members? Maher has been outrageous in the past, but ... this?
An hour before that anti-war ER scene, the wife noticed this, and so did the Catholic League:
"CSI chose to advance a pro-abortion rights agenda by portraying those who are opposed to abortion as religious nuts not to be taken seriously. The murder victim, who gave life to a baby who would otherwise be left to die, is described as a ‘prude’ for being chaste. A remark is made about her being ‘our Virgin Mary.’" She was implanted with an embryo.
“According to the CSI website, the doctor in charge of Project Sunflower is ‘a very unlikable woman.’ The pro-abortion rights forensic investigators sneer at her work and beliefs, informing us that a pope once decreed that a baby isn’t a human until quickening. (Of course, it is not explained that the Church has always considered abortion to be illicit, regardless of the status of the baby. Never mind the fact that we have learned a few new things about biology in a few hundred years.)"
Today's Washington Post features an article about the October employment numbers, which are planted firmly between humdrum and "house afire". The economy seems to have absorbed the hurricanes of the past two months, and high energy prices and posted 56,000 new jobs in October.
The Post, though, seems a bit confused about whether that's good news or bad.
Featured at the top of the page today is the headline "October's Job Growth Stalled". The same article is linked lower on the page, in the business section, with the headline "Payrolls Expand in October".
If you click on the Business section you'll find the same article with the headline, "Payrolls expand in Oct., Jobless Rate Dips".
The Bush administration created a journalistic shield to stall investigation into the CIA leak case until after the 2004 election. So proclaims the Washington Post in a column by E. J. Dionne Jr. on Tuesday, November 1, 2005.
The writer claims that “As long as Bush faced the voters, the White House wanted Americans to think officials such as Libby, Karl Rove and vice president Chaney had nothing to do with the leak campaign to discredit its arch-critic on Iraq, the former ambassador Joseph Wilson.”
The writer claims that to assure a delay in the inquiry the administration had Libby state his information concerning Wilson’s wife, CIA employee Valerie Plame was provided by a number of reporters.
In tomorrow’s (Friday) Washington Post is a front page article entitled “Youths in Rural U.S. are Drawn to Military.” The title is correct. The lede, however, is a single sentence that displays for all to see the bias of the Post against the war and against its volunteer military. It reads:
“As sustained combat in Iraq makes it harder than ever to fill the ranks of the all-volunteer force, newly released Pentagon demographic data show that the military is leaning heavily for recruits on economically depressed, rural areas where youths' need for jobs may outweigh the risks of going to war.”
The second paragraph reads:
“More than 44 percent of U.S. military recruits come from rural areas, Pentagon figures show. In contrast, 14 percent come from major cities. Youths living in the most sparsely populated Zip codes are 22 percent more likely to join the Army, with an opposite trend in cities. Regionally, most enlistees come from the South (40 percent) and West (24 percent).”
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, an outspoken Democrat, seems to catch lots of attention, locally. Will it stay that way? The Democrats in Nevada want him to run for governor, to replace their Republican Governor, Kenny Guinn. According the Las Vegas Sun, 5 October 2005:
But some close to him have said the mayor is seriously considering a run, and the latest poll suggests he's the best hope for the Democrats.
A Zogby International poll released Tuesday found Goodman was the only Democrat to top Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., the Republican front-runner and early favorite in the 2006 governor's race.
This is all a bit amazing. In March of 2005, the Los Vegas Sun story line is, "Mayor endorses gin to fourth graders." Other times, he's more politically movivated on the national level, out attacking President Bush's conservative judicial nominations. But yesterday, he's out promoting the idea of cutting off the thumbs of graffati artists who deface public property. Wait! He’s not finished. He even suggests that the government step in and start whipping and caning the kids that are in trouble. Anyone see the ACLU coming? By the way, here's how you find out the Mayor's political leanings. Well, you'll have to go search. The media just leaves it out. If the politician does or says something outrageous, possibly illegal, and he is a Democrat, his party affiliation won't be mentioned - good luck finding out. That is, if the story is even printed. If he/she is a Republican, it will be right up top, and then the news will miraculously appear all over the media. Here's the news - oh, too bad Aaron Brown is gone, we're sure that this one would have been covered in tomorrows news segment. Right. In the November 03, 2005 Las Vegas Sun:
Eight days ago, Steve Gilliard, a liberal blogger critical of Lt. Governor Michael Steele (R-MD), a black conservative seeking the Republican senatorial nomination in his state, altered a photograph of the candidate to portray a minstrel in blackface, and accompanied it with the caption, "I's Simple Sambo and I's running for the Big House."
[Gilliard has since removed his original artwork, but blogger Charles Bird saved the image before Gilliard took it down and documents it on redstate.org, a conservative team blog.]
Understandably, this set off a storm in the blogosphere, with many conservative and some liberal bloggers decrying the racist post as beyond the pale. As I blogged last week, even the Washington Post reported it in their Metro section. Well, the story has evolved a bit more. While the Maryland Democratic Party also issued a statement criticizing it, lately, some elected Maryland Democrats including a white Democrat vying for Governor, have excused the attack on Steele as valid owing to Steele's affiliation with the GOP.
So far there has been no coverage of this new development in the mainstream broadcast media.
Yesterday Democrats shot down a bill that allowed bloggers to be exempt from the hundreds of pages of Federal regulations that deal with commenting on politics.
The Democrats are against free speech.
Don't expect this to be the lede in the New York Times. I'll bet my favorite body parts it won't open CBS News tonight. Basically, you won't hear boo about this anywhere because it shows exactly where democrats stand on our personal liberties.
How odd -- how telling -- that media companies who live and breathe for freedom of speech, who claim to be champions of the rights of the public, don't give a damn about what happened yesterday.
You will read the rioters called "gangs of youths", "rioters", "immigrants", and "poor" and that's it.
Yet, the article notes that what sparked the riots was the death of two Muslim youths who decided to hide from a police checkpoint in a power substation, where they electrocuted themselves to death. The article also notes that the Interior Minister, whom the French President is blaming for the riots because he has dared to crack down on a runaway crime problem in France's poor Muslim ghettos, has proposed using government buildings as mosques. The article also says that Muslim leaders are attempting "to persuade local youths -- particularly Muslims -- to refrain from violence".
It's not every day a major al Qaeda figure with a huge bounty on his head gets captured, so when that happens, you'd expect it to lead the news. But apparently not at CBS, where the Early Show led instead with President Bush's latest poll numbers and the Lewis "Scooter" Libby court appearance today.
First, the teasers from the opening credits tipped off the readers to which story the Early Show found more important:
Hannah Storm, co-host: "The Vice President's former chief of staff, Lewis 'Scooter' Libby will be arraigned today in the CIA leak case. This as President Bush's approval rating hits an all-time low. We'll get the latest from the White House."
Harry Smith, co-host: "I'm Harry Smith. In the war on terror, one of America's most wanted men, a key al Qaeda leader with a $5 million bounty on his head has been captured in Pakistan. We'll have details."
WASHINGTON - The 14 centrists who averted a Senate breakdown over judicial nominees last spring are showing signs of splintering on President Bush's latest nominee for the Supreme Court.
That is weakening the hand of Democrats opposed to conservative judge Samuel Alito and enhancing his prospects for confirmation.
The unity of the seven Democrats and the seven Republicans in the "Gang of 14" was all that halted a major filibuster fight between GOP leader Bill Frist and Democratic leader Harry Reid earlier this year over Bush's nominees.
As reported by NewsBusters here and here, there was a lot about the closed session held in the Senate on Tuesday that the media chose to ignore. However, now that the damage has been done, and public opinions of this issue have been formed, the Washington Post today decided to share some of the facts with its readers.
First, the decision to have a closed session is normally made with the consent of both parties:
“The rule's existence was widely known, and closed sessions had been held by bipartisan agreement as recently as 1999, regarding President Bill Clinton's impeachment. But the notion of one party springing the rule on the other party without warning was so alien that senators could not cite a previous example.”
Fitzmas having come and gone, the left seeks new topics about which to speculate. In an entry yesterday on the generally lefty group blog the Huffington Post, Nora Ephron, the writer and director of such movies as Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, addressed President Bush's mental health. (Hat tip: Altercation.)
Parts of Ephron's post:
...I would like to ask another question that I've been wondering about for some time: What's wrong with the president? Is he fighting depression? Is he being medicated in some way that isn't quite working? What's up?
Since Clay Waters has brought up Al Franken again, one more note that shows Al Franken has too many wild thoughts about executing political leaders. (And for the record, I'm fairly certain this did not come up in Franken's interviews at the time.) In Al Franken's book "Lies and the Lying Liars That Tell Them," he has a supposedly comic story about Vietnam titled “Operation Chickenhawk: Episode One.” On page 250, after courageous commander John Kerry saved Rush Limbaugh from certain doom, he told his imaginary chickenhawk men it was time to go again and “engage the enemy,” and asked “Are there any questions?” But the chickenhawks weren’t having that. It was time for some friendly fire.