Here's an open thread for this Friday. As a starter, let me bring to everyone's attention our little "Editors' Picks" box in the sidebar. It's a place where NB's staff keep links that we think are of note on this blog and others around the web.
Open for comment on any particular topic. Here's a few:
Coverage of Gerald Ford too positive? Try taxpayer-supported Pacifica's "Democracy Now" radio show, with this classic headline: "President Gerald Ford Dies at 93; Supported Indonesian Invasion of East Timor that Killed 1/3 of Population."
Greg Sargent of the lefty American Prospect complains that the media's failing to remember fondly and aggressively Gerald Ford's "Vietnam is so over" comments, and their relevance for getting Bush to acknowledge defeat today.
Media: Keith Olbermann wants a raise (despite still remaining in fourth-place). The champion of the people is gunning for $4 million a year. TV reporter Max Robbins says CNN is purportedly interested in hiring the left-wing commentator but I doubt that.
"Why did CNN and MSNBC give air time to David Duke? What purpose did it serve the viewers?" Media columnist Jon Friedman asks today. Easy answer: Because to them, Duke represents two useful commodities: 1) he pisses people off, and 2) he represents what the right "really" thinks about race, in the view of the average liberal producer (HT: TVN).
Of course, when it comes to racists, if you're a non-American willing to bash President Bush, it earns you a suck-up interview in Time magazine and such accolades from that same magazine as "global Everyman," "champion of the dispossessed.
Politics: Illinois senator Barack Obama is being hyped so much, but if he's smart he won't believe it, John Fund argues.
Tennessee governor Phil Bredensen is under fire for putting a "young Muslim woman" on his official Christmas cards. Apparently it was some sort of goodwill gesture gone horribly awry.
Check out the top ten politically incorrect words of 2006.
In case you haven't heard, Sylvester Stallone actually has gone forward with his attempt to resurrect his Rocky character. The result isn't pretty, trailers for the movie "Rocky Balboa" are eliciting laughter in theaters across the country. Stallone, meanwhile insists he's done well: "I'm proud of the way it came out. It's pretty close to the real deal."
I've heard a lot of mixed reviews of Mel Gibson's latest foreign-language effort, Apocalypto. The Weekly Standard likes it, though.
Media: After resigning from CNN after
making baseless accusations that American soldiers were deliberately
trying to kill journalists, Eason Jordan has resurfaced as the head of a new Iraq war news site. Among other things, the site will attempt to find the mysterious AP source and purported Iraqi policeman Jamil Hussein. Michelle Malkin will be going there to look for him as well.
John McCain is trying to sell himself as the GOP establishment candidate this time around, according to Robert Novak. Ed Morrissey doesn't think it's working, at least at this point. John Kerry, meanwhile, is going to visit Iraq.
Media: Court hearings on FCC's reinvigorated anti-profanity policy will be televised, meaning the argument over naughty words on TV will be shown on TV. The Christian Science Monitor damns conservative milblogger Bill Roggio with faint praise (Bill, and Karl at PW respond). Patterico ponders copyrights today, wondering who would own the rights to an answering machine message left by a singer during a concert.
Politics: A BBC report out of Ukraine says that newborn babies may have been killed for the purpose of taking their stem cells.
In Iraq news, Gallup's pollsters
are starting to ask people if they're confident elected officials will
"do the right thing in Iraq." Of course, that question is rather
meaningless unless you define right, something few would agree on. John at Power Line
also notes an interesting fact: 81% of the public trusts the military
to do the right thing. Related: Yet another Islamic militant leader takes pride in the GOP's 2006 defeat: "It seems that every bullet that mujahedeen had fired toward the
Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan has turned into a vote against Bush."
Society: Democrats get religion (or at least start paying consultants
for it). Conservatives, meanwhile are being shut out of the academy.
One of the lonely righty profs details just how in a lengthy,
informative Chronicle of Education article here.
Regarding the recent death of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, David Frum
notes many lefties are incensed that the U.S. supported Pinochet but
seem today to be arguing against the idea of promoting democracy in
Arab countries are seeing the Iraq Study Group's
report as proof
President Bush has failed. Arab countries aren't the only ones cheering
the report, though. The American press has been positively giddy about
it, even though it's been ill-received by conservatives and liberals who actually study foreign policy.
Australian women plan "bikini protest" of imam's comments that the everyday attire of women in that country makes them nothing more than "uncovered meat."
Democrats' 2006 victories seemed to have purged the Republican party of its moderates. Democrats, meanwhile, are alleged to have secretly met with the terrorist group Hamas. Not everyone believes this, though.
RIP: Megan McClung,
a press officer for the Marines stationed in Ramadi, Iraq. She was
killed trying to fill an information request.
The much-hyped Iraq Study group has finally released its report. Hot Air has a nice roundup, you can read it in HTML form via NZ Bear. LGF looks at the group's conclusions regarding Israel and finds much to dislike. Related: Wacky lib bloggers are upset with incoming Democratic congress's lack of desire to impeach President Bush.
In other news, OpinionJournal has an interesting op-ed by a sister of one of the pilots who was killed on 9/11 about the topic of airline security and the Muslim imams who were ejected off a U.S. Airways flight recently.
In lighter fare NRO has a funny joke about God's profession that I won't reveal the details to; Reason Magazine has an interview with the creators of South Park (hat tip: NB reader sarcasmo) in which Matt Stone and Trey Parker comment about a number of subjects including their unsuccessful campaign to air an innocuous cartoon depiction of the founder of Islam Mohammed. At least they weren't fired or threatened with death, though.
The global warming crowd must be getting desperate judging from a very threatening letter that some senators sent to ExxonMobil telling it to "end any further financial assistance or other support to groups or
individuals whose public advocacy has contributed to the small, but
unfortunately effective, climate change denial myth." Sounds more like a protection racket than a policy debate to me.
The Supreme Court is hearing a case about forced integration and whether it should be permitted. Patterico and La Shawn Barber have coverage.
On the Iraq front, The Anchoress blog has a lengthy essay on where Iraq is right now and what it means. An excerpt: "Damn Bush for getting us into this corner where all options suck, eh?
Well, maybe. But sooner or later someone was going to have to do this.
9/11 made it imperative and regardless of what they say now, the whole world (at that point) believed Saddam had WMD.
He was ignoring the UN, violating no fly zones and had threatened to
assassinate a former president - a clear act of war which, btw, had it
been answered back then, might have made our current reality quite
Like NB's Mark Finkelstein did last month, Bill Roggio is blogging from Iraq. Most of the troops there are far from happy with the press's coverage of the war: "In nearly every conversation, the soldiers, Marines and contractors
expressed they were upset with the coverage of the war in Iraq in
general, and the public perception of the daily situation on the
ground. The felt the media was there to sensationalize the news, and
several stated some reporters were only interested in 'blood and guts.'
They freely admitted the obstacles in front of them in Iraq. Most
recognized that while we are winning the war on the battlefield, albeit
with difficulties in some areas, we are losing the information war.
They felt the media had abandoned them."
Media: Back during the NYT's fanatical crusade about women's golf, the paper repeatedly stopped its columnists from criticizing its support to get women allowed into the Augusta National club on the grounds that doing so would send a discordant editorial voice. Many newspapers have similar policies. Apparently not the Minneapolis Star Tribune, though, where the paper printed a Sunday editorial that explicitly undercut a columnist who had argued that the staging of a play critical of the Roman Catholic church was hypocritical and wondered whether a similar play would be produced taking Islam to task. Scott at Power Line has the details.
Politics: Is Nancy Pelosi using the media to nudge Democrats she doesn't prefer out of the limelight? John Bolton resigns. Will the Bush Admin make another push to secure Baghdad? Ed Morrissey looks at how the sudden Obama-mania might be a sign of desperation among anti-Hillary Democrats.
Starters: Air marshalls decry charges from imams that they were unduly detained based on racial animus. If people become "afraid of reporting suspicious
individuals out of fear of being labeled a racist or bigot, then
terrorists will certainly use those fears to their advantage in future
2000 redux: Democrats making a fuss over Florida election. Katherine Harris is even involved. Well at least it's for her old seat.
Anonymous cable news exec: "Everyone has an agenda [...] All reporters are biased. Why not be open about it, transparent? We shouldn't pretend. The audience is looking for honest opinions, for opinions they can relate to."
The military and the AP are disputing the authenticity of a man, Jamil Hussein, claiming to be an Iraqi government official. The AP says he's the real deal, the military says he's a terrorist tool.