Friday, April 29, 2005

Pray for the children

A student bravely reports from the front lines of an Ann Coulter appearance at her school:

My sister and I are both tired of repeatedly hearing from students who tell us that they did not attend the event, but think that Ann went over the line—that she’s mean, she’s a hater, she’s full of it, that she said things that were inappropriate, etc. None of these people can point to anything specific that she’s all hearsay. Example: Amie’s other roommate—who hadn’t gone—came into her room saying: "Do you know this girl (Ann)? She is so racist...someone went to her speech and said all she did was diss black people...and who would want to listen to that?"

The truth is that Ms. Coulter was politically correct and professional. Students are spreading outright lies about Ann’s performance, and so, everyone has an opinion on the event--even students who did not attend!


Ms. Coulter was very respectful and would respond with facts to those audience members who asked her questions. Sometimes she would respond with her quick wit, or would move on to the next person, if the questioner became extremely obnoxious.

Still searching for the irony air-quotes that must have undoubtedly been edited from the bolded text above.

And Katie, if you, like John Cloud, are having trouble finding any of the racist, risible, loony (and fact-free!) things that Ann Coulter has said in the past, may I direct you here and here and here and here and here and here and here. Oh, and here, too.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 3:24 PM

Blog news?

Lots of haw-hawing from the liberal side of Blogtopia about the new "Blog News Service" venture announced by Roger L. Simon, the Power Line gang, Glenn Reynolds, Hugh Hewitt et al. I guess there's reason to raise an eyebrow or two over a 'news' service that comes from a group of people who regularly claim that criticism of the President is tantamount to treason.

But, I for one, am interested in seeing what it will look like. For years, bloggers like the aforementioned have parasitized first-hand reporting only to offer the back of their hand in return. The press? Oh, they're liberal. Elitist. In the tank with Democrats. Out to get Bush. Not to be trusted. Mistake-prone. Well, now the blog-rightists are putting the old money where the mouth is. And good for them.

Since details remain sketchy, It's not clear how this will work. I'm fairly skeptical that this will be a 'news service' in any classic sense. Will it just be a round-up of various blogger posts? If so, that's hardly news. Or, as Derek Rose notes in an unrelated topic, will the bloggers actually pick up a phone? Leave the keyboard? Go to a Senate Finance subcommittee hearing? Wander into Newark at 2 AM to report on a string of drive-bys? Do more than cut-n-paste press releases? If so, that would be impressive. Just a warning, though: Reporting, oftentimes, is hard.

Let's give 'em a chance.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:34 AM

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Spitzer goes after Spyware

Is there nothing this man won't prosecute? Not that I'm complaining.

Next up, Spitzer indicts a ham sandwich.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 4:39 PM

Exciting news from Togo!

Hm. Seems like the right-wing-o-sphere is starting to eat its own.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:41 AM

Er, no

Hey, man, know you're not the normal beat writer for the Nets, but this is a pretty easily checkable factoid:
Coach Lawrence Frank was quick to point out that the Nets lost the first two games of their series last season against the Pistons, with both games on the road. The Nets then won the next three at home before collapsing in Games 6 and 7 at Detroit.

Actually, the Nets dropped the first two away, won the next two at home and the fifth in Detroit, dropped a tight sixth game at home and lost the seventh in a blowout at Detroit.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:45 AM

Cynthia Nixon: From 'Sex' to Eleanor Roosevelt

Total super-sex-hottie Cynthia Nixon confirms her place as the most questionable sex object on TV. Meet FDR's wife!

Is it bad when producers envision you being as perfect for the role of Eleanor Roosevelt?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 5:51 AM

The '24' folks heart torture, Rush

Via Kevin Drum, some consternation over the use of torture in the Fox show '24.' I always thought it was clear that the producers endorsed the use of torture. Look, Jack Bauer shoots a guy in the leg, electrocutes his girlfriend's husband with wires from a hotel lamp, and does a couple other things I can't recall off the top of my head.

So I wasn't necessarily surprised when Rush Limbaugh revealed this week that the producers of the show were, in fact, huge Rush fans. They personally invited Limbaugh out to the set and he got to watch some of the final episodes being aired.

I'm telling you, folks, there's a movement going on out in Hollywood that stunned me. I mean, there were hundred people there, in and out, a big party, and they did it in my honor. It was just so much fun. The thing started at four o'clock, it was a smoking room party and they had all kinds of people from the show, from outside the show, that came in.


But these guys are all conservatives. You know, in fact Vince Flynn, the great novelist Vince Flynn has been hired just for the past two weeks, he's trying to help them come up with story lines for next season, but Vince is such a groupie of mine, he didn't help them yesterday with any story lines; he was too busy talking me and asking me questions about myself and the radio -- I'm kidding about him being a groupie. He's a big fan. They all were.

Here's a clip of Limbaugh talking about his visit. [not related to above]

Needless to say, I had stopped watching 24 a few weeks previous, not because of the Rush angle, but because the show' had this need to produce cliffhanger after cliffhanger that inevitably led to gaping holes in plot. There are only so many times you can roll your eyes at the action on screen (I'm looking at you "The Phantom Menace") before you give up and tune out. That's what I've done.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 5:03 AM

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Credit where it's due

Noticed the Washington Post picking up -- belatedly -- on Knight-Ridder's big story on the State Department's hiding annual terror incident numbers. Lots of bloggers are posting this as "The Post reports" and even the WaPo fails to credit KR. C'mon, kids, credit where it's due.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 1:07 PM


Rush "says" he talked to Tom DeLay last week for an upcoming non-gut-busting issue of his Limbaugh Newsletter. Limbaugh also reports that DeLay would like nothing more than to be investigated for his ethics shenannigans.

"I want my name cleared," is what Limbaugh said DeLay told him. "It's what I've said all along. I welcome an investigation."

Somehow, Limbaugh did not bust up laughing after saying this. Honest.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:28 PM

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Bolton Sidetrack

Was all geared up to do a post on how the over-riding theme of the John Bolton story had become the "He's a big meanie and so we can't appoint him as Ambassador to the U.N." Which, of course, misses the point entirely. All that manipulated intelligence, strange use of intelligence intercepts and retaliation against those he disagreed with is probably a little more import than whether he raised his voice. And yet that didn't stop the NYT from running a thumb-sucker on "bad bosses" on Sunday or Nightline to wax idiotic on the boss from hell. Problem is, it happens to not be the reason to be worried about Bolton. Well, I was beaten to the punch. Kevin Drum explains.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:09 PM

We lie, but we love

No one should be astonished anymore that many of their alleged leaders lie right to their face, even when all available evidence absolutely proves the truth is otherwise. Heck, any cub reporter figures that out after the first week. The recent "nuclear" swerve is just the latest example. Yet I'm always struck by the example of James Baker in Jeffrey Toobin's book on the 2000 election. Day after day, Baker insisted that "The vote in Forida was counted...The vote in Florida has been recounted" when, of course, the exact opposite was true.

Eighteen counties, in fact, have never gone through an automatic recount, as required by Florida state law, even to this day.

Anyway, that's a rather long windup to this post by Digby, who has a good reflection on the practice:

For instance, Matt brings up the fact that the Bush administration has hired convicted congressional liars from the iran Contra era. But, one must also remember that those same convicted liars were all pardoned by George Bush Sr at a time when he was personally under investigation by a special prosecutor, thus effectively ending the probe. Immediately after Senior left office, however, there began a relentless series of demands by Republicans for special prosecutors investigating a list of shockingly trivial charges that eventually led to the impeachment of the president. The Republicans didn't worry that someone would make comparisons that would embarrass them. They are unembarrassable because they have found that they can ignore the prinicples of relevant difference, the universality principle, the golden rule or whatever you want to call it, and there will be no repercussions.

It may be that this is caused by a media that refuses to take a stance on even factual matters, which leaves people with the impression that there are no standards except those which are imposed by the loudest, the most powerful, the most entertaining or whatever. It's a big problem for us in the reality based community, however, because we remain stuck in this rational mode of argumentation while they careen off into a relativist fallacy whenever they choose.

Exactly right. As Toobin notes in his book, the Republicans don't care that they do things that are easily exposed as hypocritical or wrong or dangerous. They don't care that they lost the popular vote in 2000, but they do ram their far-right agenda through as if they'd won by a 20 percent landslide. It is a ruthlessness that is unaccountable, and they know it. That's why they win.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:37 AM

Monday, April 25, 2005

Gettin Nuke'd

Josh Marshall is doing God's work. No, the Nuclear option was not coined by Democrats, but the GOP sure wants you to think that it was. Here's the otherwise dependably shrewd Brian Lehrer on WNYC this morning:[Comments start at 2:00 timestamp]
LEHRER: Now, Frist is widely seen as taking part in this event to court the religious right for an expected Presidential run in 2008, and it will be largely up to him in the next few weeks whether to employ what Democrats call "the Nuclear Option" --voting to change the Senate rules to forbid filibusters against judicial nominees.


UPDATE: Welcome, TPM readers. And thanks for the link, Josh.

LATER UPDATE: Lehrer offers something of a mini-culpa today, after noting "many emails" on the subject, and gives a little background on the origins of Nuke'd. Good for him.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 2:26 PM

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Too soon?

We know it's only 3 1/2 years away, but C-SPAN, don't you think putting "Road to the White House 2008" in the chyron is jumping the gun a little?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:35 PM

Newt: Still crazy after all these years

Got caught up on some good C-SPAN watching, where ole pudgie was chatting in a televised meeting (?) with the Manchester Union Leader's editorial board. How is it, one of the editorial boarders wondered, that we control every single branch of government and yet we're not getting every single thing we want, as is our right?

Well, Newt responded, "They're presiding over the Left's government. They're not running the government." And that certainly makes a lot of sense. If you're psychotic.

Still, the eager editorial boardist persisted: But, but what can we do?

Well, you have to change the entire government culture, the, portly sage replied.


Not too long after, Newt discusses the near certainty that in the future a nuclear weapon will be driven across the border and exploded in a city.


Oh, in case you're wondering Newt sooo sees himself as a serious presidential candidate.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 1:31 PM

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Why is the press so easily hoodwinked?

Really remarkable stuff from Josh Marshall, who catches just how gullible and ill-informed are many in the national press corps. The Nuclear Option? Oh yeah, that was invented by Democrats.

As a semi-working member of the press, I'm just amazed at the laziness. Goes to show you just how the PR people and spinmeisters understand the way modern media work better than the media themselves.

Let's hear it for the Crybaby Option!

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 7:20 PM

Unqualified? An idiot? You're hired!

The most astonishing interview in the NYT magazine with the new president of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Ken Ferree. Just, really, nuts. Here's an excerpt:
Q. What PBS shows do you like?

A. I'm not much of a TV consumer. I like "Masterpiece Theater" and some of the "Frontline" shows. I like "Antiques Roadshow" and "Nova." I don't know. What's your favorite show?

Q. It would probably be "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer."

A. Yes, Lehrer is good, but I don't watch a lot of broadcast news. The problem for me is that I do the Internet news stuff all day long, so by the time I get to the Lehrer's slow. I don't always want to sit down and read Shakespeare, and Lehrer is akin to Shakespeare. Sometimes I really just want a People magazine, and often that is in the evening, after a hard day.

Q. For the head of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, you don't sound like much of a PBS viewer. Perhaps you prefer NPR, which your organization also finances?

A. No. I do not get a lot of public radio for one simple reason. I commute to work on my motorcycle, and there is no radio access.

Q. Can't you install a radio on a motorcycle and listen with headphones?

A. One probably can. But my bikes are real cruisers. They're stripped down deliberately to look cool, and I don't want all that electronic gear.

Wow. Wow. Wow. The idiots have taken over. Hey, but the motorcycle is, like totally boss, so that's OK.

LATER: Next time, on "Frontline." The rise and fall of Lindsay Lohan's frontmeat.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:49 AM

This sari brought to you by Trojan

I'm not kidding about this:
Most condoms in India used to make saris

NEW DELHI (AP) -- Only a quarter of condoms made in India are used for sex,
most of the others are used to make saris, toys and bathroom slippers, a newspaper reported Saturday.

The condoms are valuable to manufacturers because of the lubricant on them. Sari weavers place the condoms on their thread spools and the lubricant on the prophylactics is rubbed off on the thread, making it move faster through their sewing machines, The Economic Times newspaper quoted an Indian industry official as saying.

Sari makers also turn the condom's inside out, place them on their fingers and use
the high-quality lubricant to polish gold and silver threads used in the traditional Indian women's outfits.

Article leaves open the question of whether these are pre-owned condoms.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:07 AM

Friday, April 22, 2005

Screeching nonsense

Kevin Drum links to this article from David Gelernter, freshly minted columnist for the LA Times. I was barely aware of him, but do recall reading this item he wrote, about Gen. Boykin, of "my God is better than your God" fame. At the time, I was somewhat astonished by this column's foolishness:
Some journalists are all in favor of General Boykin's right to say and believe what he chooses--so long as Secretary Rumsfeld fires him. They are working under the theory that it is unacceptable for a DoD official to say that Christianity is true and that other religions are, therefore, false...And Boykin has been accused of casting aspersions on Islam--Heaven forbid! (What prigs we should all feel, after Islam has been so sweet to us.)

Sent this letter to Gelernter:
Dear Professor,

Just read your piece on Gen. Boykin in the Weekly Standard.

How to put this? I respect your candor, but you are a fool on matters of public policy and international diplomacy.

Let's put it this way -- Boykin is a representative of this government and administration. Thus, his words speak for the administration. Would you feel comfortable if the words of Gen. Boykin were actually the words of President Bush? This is the problem. He can feel free to say what he wants about Islamic degenerates when he is not representing this country.

In other words, if you're trying to "win hearts and minds" in the Islamic world, it probably isn't a good idea to have as your point man a man who gleefully disparages Muslims. But then, why would that thought have ever crossed the minds of this administration?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 1:32 PM

Limbaugh:When it's in the NYT, it is sooo over

Rush puts down the crack pipe, gets in touch with his inner hipster and drops some knowledge
I must tell you people: I don't read the New York Times anymore, and I say this proudly. I don't read the op-ed. I don't read the ed. I don't read the front page; I don't read the International Section. I don't read the Style Section, whatever they call it. I don't read any of it because I know what's going to be in it -- and my reaction, when I read the New York Times? Last time I read the New York Times I picked the paper up, I opened it up, I read a story, when I realized I was having the same reaction to the New York Times that I had in the National Enquirer, I said, "It's over."

He then went on to talk about electroclash and Williamsburg. I kid you not.

OK. I'm kidding a little.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:11 PM

Ratzinger's abortion politics

Just for giggles, I went over to this site to find out what some people were saying about the Ratzinger role in last year's Presidential election (unsurprisingly, the conclusion was "he reined in the hard-liners!").

For those not familiar, a hubbub was raised last year when bishops around the US began refusing communion to pro-abortion politicians. Kerry was the obvious target. Locally, one disgusted politician from Hoboken renounced his faith.

The question then becomes, what guidance did the Vatican provide on the matter? It's a rather interesting one. Ratzinger, Mr. Standards and Inquisitions, was the guy in charge of the matter, and he issued a letter last summer.

This article fairly clearly lays out the double game Ratzinger was playing:
Cardinal Ratzinger's note underlined the principles involved for the Catholic voter.

"A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate's permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia," Cardinal Ratzinger wrote.

"When a Catholic does not share a candidate's stand in favor of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons," he said.

In other words, if a Catholic thinks a candidate's positions on other issues outweigh the difference on abortion, a vote for that candidate would not be considered sinful.

Anyone can see that such a "ruling" is silly on its face. By characterizing the politician as "evil" and a vote for that person based on aborition as a "cooperation" in that evil, the matter is closed. Also note that the ruling directs that you must flatly disagree with the politician's stance on abortion, not vote "for other reasons," as the article suggests. But the capper, the real zinger that is not mentioned by Ratzinger apologists is this line:
After discussing the issue in Colorado, U.S. bishops overwhelmingly passed a statement that sharply criticized Catholic politicians who support legal abortion. The bishops also said denying Communion to those politicians is a complex question involving "prudential judgment" in each case.

The report in L'Espresso and some other media have characterized that as a rejection of Cardinal Ratzinger's advice. But Vatican sources said the Vatican was generally pleased with the U.S. bishops' statement, and that Cardinal Ratzinger was not trying to dictate a policy to the bishops.

"It is right to leave a margin for prudential judgment in these cases," said one Vatican source. "Cardinal Ratzinger's point was not that bishops have to use (denial of Communion) in every circumstance, but that there are principles that would allow for this to happen," the source said.

So, to sum up: 1) Abortion is evil. 2) Politicians who endorse abortion are evil 3) The Vatican says people who vote for politicians based on abortion alone are evil 3) The Vatican says it is up to the discretion of local bishops whether to deny communion to the evil politicians. 4) Apologists interepret this action as 'reining in' US hard-liners.

And, finally. Let's be real here. Anyone who's spent the smallest amount of time reading about Ratzinger's beliefs should not be surprised by this. I'm not sure what some apologists are hoping to achieve by arguing Ratzinger is really a reasonable guy in all this. He's a shrewd politician who covered his butt -- giving a nod and a wink to the hardliners while at the same time keeping his hands clean of the whole matter, and plausibile deniability for anyone trying to argue he was meddling in US politics.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:29 AM

Thursday, April 21, 2005

History and what Social Security 'reform' is really about

I'm surprised that this idea hasn't been explored more: Namely, that this so-called Social Security reform is really about using the money to cover budget shortfalls from huge tax cuts. Josh Marshall points out that the treasury secretary acknowledged as much today, but from what I can tell, this is part of an old playbook.

Not long ago, I read David Cay Johnston's excellent "Perfectly Legal," in which he sketches out the real rationale for the 1982 Soc. Sec. "fix." Here's the money quote from p. 122:
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a New York Democrat and a scholar with a long history of studying social policy issues, said the Social Security scare was a phantom. He said raising more from Social Security taxes simply masked the drop in tax revenues caused by the Reagan tax cuts. Moynihan called the Social Security tax hike "thievery." The beneficiaries of the stolen goods, he said, were the rich who would get to keep their Reagan income tax cuts while everyone below them paid more in taxes.

That doesn't sound familiar, does it?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:34 PM

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Drunk blogging

Well, not really drunk, at least yet. But I've put back a few. Just wanted to let my handful of fans know that my light posting today is the result of crashing out on an exceedingly exciting story on the Jersey City mayor's race. It'll likely be posted to this site Sunday, in case you were wondering. Today was a nice day for playing the guitar on the front stoop.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:58 PM

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

South Asian pick-up lines

I'm still not sure how my site tracking works -- but apparently someone was referred to me via this blog from an Indian living in Kentucky. One of the more interesting topics? "To get a girl's phone number."

4. Why do you run out of ideas in the first talk, sooner than later?

6. Why do you always hear more of " kalakkitta da" and " naanga irukkom da kavalai padaathe" and less of "thambi ithellaam nallathuku illai..."

I hear you man.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:11 PM

Google: Going with the Hitler angle

So this was the lead story on Google News this afternoon:
Joseph Ratzinger, an ex-member of Hitler YouthTimes of India - 34 minutes ago VATICAN CITY: German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was elected Tuesday to succeed Pope John Paul II, was a close confidant of the late pontiff and fellow conservative. The newly elected Pope Benedict XVI, who ...


Permalink posted by Jonathan : 5:45 PM

Pharmacist humor

Was at the drug store today, and asked the pharmacist this question:

"Do you have cotton balls?"

He paused. "You know, that reminds me of an old joke -- 'What do I look like, a teddy bear?"

Took me a few minutes to get that. Ha.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 2:59 PM

Knowing when to shut up

Well, as many of you know by now, Pope Benedict XVI (nee John Ratzinger) has been named pope. Just one thing to note on the coverage: When the pope walked through the balcony doors to a wildly cheering throng in St. Peter's square, it was one of those thrilling moments that speaks for itself. Or at least you think it would. But not over at ABC, where Charles Gibson gabbed and gabbed and gabbed some more over the entire thing. Even Fox knew to keep quiet. I think Jennings would have done better.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:50 PM

Monday, April 18, 2005

On names

We know you mean well, Jeff, but "Freedom Blogging"? Couldn't you think of something a little less jingoistic, like say, SuperPatriot Blogging?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 7:54 PM

Need beer

Just pulled the Coulter-Time piece off Factiva. Here's the lead:

Ann Coulter and I were well into a bottle of white Bordeaux--and I believe she was chewing her fourth piece of Nicorette--when it happened. From what little I knew of her--mainly her propensity for declamations such as "liberals love America like O.J. loved Nicole"- -I thought it impossible for Coulter to blush.

I think I need a drink. And a shower.

Some funny stuff from Think Progress [via Eschaton]. Yep, journalisming is hard work.

UPDATE: Finished reading. Ugh. Just a complete waste of time. I wonder if Time thinks it got its money's worth?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 4:24 PM

Kurtz punts on Coulter

Really, this is just too much. Anyone who is still struggling to understand what our media culture has come to should read these comments by Howard Kurtz in today's Media Backtalk chat. It really is stunning and sad.

Miami Shores, Fla.: Howie, thanks for taking the time to conduct these chats. The Time cover story on Ann Coulter was revolting. Though I concede some of her more outrageously offensive statements are tongue-in-cheek, the "steak" behind that sizzle is just as hostile, mean-spirited, offensive, and just plain loopy. She should be vilified by the elite media, not celebrated, and this has everything to do with her linguistic style and irresponsible commentary, and nothing to do with her politics (which appear to be a put-on and strike me as totally insincere anyway). What say you?

Howard Kurtz: Well, I'm going to wait until I read the story. While splashing her on the cover is obviously an editorial statement (and marketing decision), cover stories can also be tough on their subjects. And since Coulter is very popular with what might be called her "base" and reviled by people on the other side, she carries the requisite degree of controversy. (She's also gotten into fights with conservatives, as I recall, such as when National Review dropped her as a contributing editor and she called Editor Rich Lowry and his deputies "girly boys."

And earlier?
Washington, D.C.: Howard - I've been hearing of late an awful lot of wailing from journalists who feel they no longer are respected or trusted. Here's one example why that may be. When I was in school back in the 1960s, my history teacher had a huge bulletin board on which every week he'd tack up the cover of each new TIME Magazine. In that era, TIME's covers always were a single portrait of a national or world leader who had been in the news. My class would actually devote a lesson to that leader and his country. Fast forward to the 21st century and this week's TIME cover story - of all people, the ring-wing gadfly and propagandist Ann Coulter who has become famous not for a serious achievement or contribution to society but for invective and slander. Of all the world's pressing problems, Ann Coulter is the most important story that TIME could find? Howard, do you and you colleagues understand that news judgment like this is what is eroding journalism's credibility?

Howard Kurtz: I haven't read the piece yet--it seems to me she was hotter about two years ago than she is now--but the media world has changed vastly since your school days. The newsmags are as likely to put health or trend stories or a new movie on their cover as anything having to do with world leaders. This week, for example, Newsweek's cover is "Your Family & Your Health" and U.S. News goes with "The CSI Effect." Coulter may or may not be a smart cover subject, but the media as a whole are far more into soft news, celebrities and sensationalism.

"I haven't read the piece..." ;"Well, I'm going to wait until I read the story..." Note to Mr. Kurtz: What would be in that Time article that might change the way you think of her? That she cares for sick, vagrant puppies? That she once jumped into a burning building to save an elderly invalid? Hey, I hear Pol Pot was a great father. It just happens to be irrelevant! When she says that she hopes that journalists in Iraq get killed, that all Democrats are traitors and that Timothy McVeigh should have run his truck into The Times building, it is not something that needs further reflection and thought. It is demented. The frothy spittle emanating from her lips is the product of a truly sick mind, destroying our discourse and the so-called 'media critcs' should have the integrity to call it as such.

And for a one-stop shopping mall for al your Ann Coulter needs? Right here.

UPDATE: One last thing -- I don't give two hoots if people claim it's all an "act." You know, that, despite her on-air, print and web persona, she's really just a charming girl. In fact, thinking about it, that would be much worse.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 2:17 PM

Dead aid worker obtained Iraqi civilian casualty count

Buried somewhat in this story about the death of an aid worker, Marla Ruzicka, in Iraq, is this nugget:
Ms. Ruzicka had also obtained new numbers on civilian casualties from the American military, which does not normally release them, and was eager to talk.

But I haven't seen any reporting on the actual number released. Has anyone else seen any other reporting on this? Is there going to be a report? I wonder.

Hm. Here's something from the San Jose Mercury News, which suggests not that the military had released the numbers, but that she had gone door-to-door to get them.
Ruzicka had been in Iraq conducting door-to-door surveys trying to determine the number of civilian casualties in the country. She is among several foreign aid workers to have been killed there.

And from the LAT, a long pretty good article, overall.
The records they compiled on more than 2,000 dead provided an early accounting of the war's toll. The currently accepted figure, based largely on news accounts, is between 17,000 and 20,000, said Newsweek reporter Owen Matthews, a friend of Ruzicka, who said her compilation stood out because of its detail.

Ruzicka's website:

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 7:20 AM

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Obligatory DeLay post

Great post by Brendan Nyhan (fmr. Spinsanity guru) on the Hammer's consistent use of reasonable discourse and his laudable restraint in never "questioning the motives" of others:

Let's review a couple of examples. First, here's DeLay suggesting opponents of the war in Iraq don't want to protect the American people, CNN's "Inside Politics" (transcript), Sept. 25, 2002:

He [former Republican Congressmen Dick Armey, who questioned the war in Iraq] is not doing what others are doing that are questioning the
president's leadership, that are constantly throwing up hurdles to keep us from doing what we have to do to protect the American people: using the
false arguments, these constantly -- throwing up, Well, I have to have answers to this question, and when they get the answer, they come up with a new question. These are people that don't want to protect the American people. They don't see -- they will do anything, spend all the time and resources they can, to avoid confronting evil.

Well said.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:46 PM

More signs of our impending apocalypse

Look who's on the cover of Time.

Intro here. Did anyone read this? Time can't have devoted 6,000 words to Coulter. It just can't.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:57 AM

Miscegenation update

An interesting post over at Pandagon on what is being referred to as "Asian fetishism." Now, let me be the first to say that I married an American-born Korean woman and am not sure what to make of loser-guys specifically targeting Asian women for their renowned "submissiveness." My wife was the first and last Asian woman I would ever date, so I don't think I fall into the loser-guy category. Others may disagree.

Anyway, there's no denying that certain men do find Asian women hot and date almost exclusively these women. I've encountered a few of them. But I think it's dangerous to equate that, er predeliction, with bizarre acts like the ones described in this article. It's true, if you turn to the back pages of the NY Press and Village Voice you will be inundated with barely clothed spokeswomen for services like "Chopsticks" and "Asian Express," but I have some problems with this conclusion:
It may be easy to disregard the widespread existence of an Asian fetish as an "annoying" but essentially benign phenomenon that does not need to be taken seriously. But, as the Princeton episode demonstrates, we need to be aware of the violent and perverse forms it can take and its serious ramifications.

The "Princeton episode" in detail here. In precis, a grad student targeted Asian women by clipping their hair, dripping semen and urine in unsuspecting cups and other weird stuff.

How can they be more aware? Be more vigilant when a weirdo is surreptitiously dropping his bodily fluids in your drink? Not sure how the Princeton example is instructive.

And this must have been Asian woman week. On VH1 last night, I caught a little bit of a special dedicated to mixed race progeny (yes, really). Tiger Woods and Mariah Carey were discussed. The conclusion? Asian men and black women should probably end up getting together.

And one last thing: the Asian-as-victim is a little tiresome. A friend who went to Japan remarked to me that he was surprised how the Japanese women there couldn't get enough of their American men. He went on to marry one. In other words, it's not a one-way street. If some Asian women find American men attractive, so be it.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:00 AM

Deep Jungle must die!

You have to be wondering what the good folks at PBS are thinking. If you haven't noticed, perhaps this will jolt you: For the past week or so, on the NYT's, WaPo's and Salon's website, tarantulas have been crawling across the screen, bats fluttering around and a near-impossible to close floater box has been informing people of PBS's super-great Nature program about, I guess, the Deep Jungle (It's tonight, in case you haven't been informed).

Some of you may know that I did an article recently on the floater phenomenon. It's pretty clear that this is becoming one of the preferred choices of web advertisers, in light of pop-up blockers and whatnot, but what I find interesting is that the NYT's head of digital told me in an interview that there's a limit to the number of times these things are inflicted (like, once a week) on individual users. I don't think that's the case any more. Every day, now I see a damn spider crawling across my screen.

IF you want to see an example of what I'm talking about, click here. The spider or the bats or a tiger scratching the screen comes up every time, and at least on my browser, there's not way of getting rid of it unless I hit F11.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:35 AM

This can't be good

One of the surprises in Iraq has been the willingness of Shiites, in the midst of bombings, assassinations and kidnappings, to stay on the sidelines and not strike back at the Sunni insurgency (well, other than Moqtada al-Sadr, but he seemed mostly interested in attacking Americans and being a thug). But events in a small city south of Baghdad suggest that things are spinning toward sectarian violence. After the latest mass abduction by Shiites, the NYT gives an alarming explainer on what's happening in Madaen:
The kidnapping appeared to be a retaliation for another kidnapping a few days earlier of 20 Sunnis from a neighboring town. Those hostages are still being held, the officials said. That kidnapping was in turn provoked by an incident earlier in the week, in which Sunnis abducted a group of traveling Shiites from the southern city of Amara. The kidnappers are accused of raping a woman hostage and then sending her back to her tribe in Amara to tell them what had happened, Interior Ministry officials said.

If Shiites are kidnapping people now, hmmm. And in an indication of how seriously this is is being taken, the Washington Post reports that a team of Iraqi soldiers backed by Americans has deployed to find the hostages. I think that's the clearest sign that they know what's at stake.

More recent update here. Iraqi forces raid town.

UPDATE: Well, now that was weird. The NYT says there's no 'there' there. Just folks relaxing, sipping tea. No hostage crisis. The WaPo is more circumspect in their reporting, but seem to blame the power vacuum in Baghdad for hyping the thing. Read both accounts. Fake news travels fast, huh?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:22 AM

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The monkeys can count!

The simian-workers finally figured out how to set up the site meter; now I can count the number of page views. Yay. Regrettably, and after much morning-time tinkering, the monkeys were still unable to make the icon to the right look like it's not poised to attack one of my blog posts.

And a great thanks to the faithful 5 or 6 people out there in blogtopia who are taking the time to view this site. Really, I mean it.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:51 PM

Prof. Kook

From Victor Davis Hanson. Can someone help me with this one?

Remember realism? Do we recall James Baker’s quip that the first Gulf War was about “jobs, jobs, jobs,” in line with his later realist fillip about the Balkan genocide: “We don’t have a dog in that fight”? Perhaps that was a sober assessment of the natural limitations on American strength; but had Bill Clinton followed the natural logic of such cynicism, Milosevic would still be in power. Imagine the reaction had the non-teflon Bush said that removing Saddam was about “jobs” or staying out of Dafur was about not having a dog in that fight. Imagine the reaction had the non teflon Bush said that removing Saddam was about “jobs” or staying out of Dafur was about not having a dog in that fight.

Excuse me, Dafur? He's talking about the Sudan, right? Did we invade while I was out for a walk? Other than Colin Powell going on a little sleepover, is there something going on from a U.S. perspective that I'm not seeing? Some more information, professor. And, no mobilizing a Deputy Secretary of State to say nice things does not count.

That Bush. Doing things that no one in the world but Prof. Hanson knows about.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:03 AM

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Read this article on Iraq now

From the New York Review of Books, by Mark Danner. A fabulous take on the elections in Iraq and their aftermath. The best thing I've read on Iraq since George Packer's famous 2003 New Yorker article. Read it now. "IO" is a military term for "information operation" or an event meant to infuence the propaganda war:
At the polling place I had admired the voters and their strangely complicated response to what it was they were doing. But I realized that "the IO" was not there but here before me now, on the television set, with the lines of voters and their smiles and purple fingers and the heavy breathing about "more than 80 percent" turnout. This was the IO. There was indeed violence, as Captain Kalloch had said-- that day would see in fact nine suicide bombings and perhaps fifty dead and its 260 insurgent attacks were the highest number of any single day of the occupation.[10] But that violence would not interfere with the IO, for that was established by the images early that day, and the violence, however pervasive, would not get on television. And it would not get on television in part because Iraq was effectively locked down -- the absence of vehicles meant explosions were limited to the size of a bomb that could be carried by a man on foot -- and the mobility of journalists was severely restricted (we could only see as many polling places as we could reach on foot, in my case two) and in part because of well-thought-out "IO rules" -- the most effective one being, in retrospect, that cameras, still and video, were admitted only into five predetermined and highly protected polling places.

There's more fantastic stuff in the article.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 3:28 PM


On a piece of actual reportage, so posting to be light in the next few days -- not that my one-post-per-day average was actually lighting up blogtopia.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:52 PM

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

An important question

After viewing a WSJ survey on blogs, Scott W. Johnson, nee "The Big Trunk" points to a very important missing question:
What is the breakdown of left-wing moonbats versus right-wing nuts who obscenely project their fantasies of homosexual conduct on bloggers they wish to abuse?

I don't know, but is the answer "Bigger than an elephant's appendage"?

UPDATE: Welcome, Wonketters. A thanks again for the linkage.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:13 AM

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

The non-blown cover

Rush railed against it. The froth-mouths dampened their chins. The long-knives were out:

Kerry Blows CIA agent's cover!

Or not.

Remarkably, and to her credit, Michelle Malkin, of all people, discovered that the pseudonymous employee discussed in John Bolton's confirmation hearings, was in fact, already outed.

Here's the relevant portion of the NYT article from Jan. 5, 2003:

Mr. Reich, officials said, was among several foreign policy officials who complained to the White House about government intelligence assessments on Cuba, in particular the work of the analyst, Fulton T. Armstrong, the national intelligence officer for Latin America.

According to several officials, Mr. Armstrong has written skeptically about Cuba's importance as a military threat, its intention to develop offensive biological weapons and its continued inclusion on the State Department's annual list of countries that sponsor terrorism. Mr. Armstrong, a career Central Intelligence Agency analyst who now serves on the National Intelligence Council, an advisory body for the director of central intelligence, also worked on the National Security Council in the Clinton administration.

But Mr. Armstrong's supporters respond that he has been targeted by ideologues who would distort the intelligence process to get the kind of analysis they want. These officials said that while Mr. Armstrong had sometimes ruffled feathers with his outspoken style, he was widely respected as an analyst and trusted by George J. Tenet, the director of central intelligence.

But that didn't stop the AP from running, and The Times from posting under the lead story on its website, this tantalizing hed: "Senators May Have Blown Agent's Cover"

Oh well.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:07 PM

Let Livingston Speak!

I know I'm a little late in the game on this one, but I have my own reasons for wanting to see Bob Livingston defend Tom DeLay in the NYT's Op-Ed pages. For one, I'd be very interested to read a non-gut-busting account of why a man who passed on his chance to be Speaker of the House over an extramarital affair [" I cannot do that job or be the kind of leader that I would like to be under current circumstances"] can now explain that a man of no honor or decency, hounded by scandal and likely to be indicted should, you betcha, hold onto his seat. I, for one, think it would be an interesting read.

More time-travel articles on Livingston here, here and here.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 2:44 PM

Irony watch

Rant-o-riffic stuff by Limbaugh.

After describing the State of New York Department of taxation people as “little Nazis,” and "having their hands in my back pocket" [apparently for the fact that he probably has a home in New York] Rush Limbaugh went on to offer his analysis of Democrats:

“I’m sick of people trying to build collations on seething hatred and rage.”

He also wanted to make this clear: “I am not whining and moaning.”

Full quote: “I’ve had it with these little Nazis -- with people who are trying to extract money from me."

Poor guy. Well, if he's hard up for cash, we know someone who can help him out.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:14 PM

Monday, April 11, 2005

Our smoothly operating police state

This article in The Times to be published tomorrow, should send chills down everyone's spine. The upshot? That officers and other law enforcement types randomly swept people up during the Repulican National Convention in New York, then invented stories about the arrests, and tried to prosecute based on that ginned-up non-evidence. Ah, but one problem. The presence of so very, many videorecorders flatly contradicting the "official" accounts:
Dennis Kyne put up such a fight at a political protest last summer, the arresting officer recalled, it took four police officers to haul him down the steps of the New York Public Library and across Fifth Avenue.

"We picked him up and we carried him while he squirmed and screamed," the officer, Matthew Wohl, testified in December. "I had one of his legs because he was kicking and refusing to walk on his own."

Accused of inciting a riot and resisting arrest, Mr. Kyne was the first of the 1,806 people arrested in New York last summer during the Republican National Convention to take his case to a jury. But one day after Officer Wohl testified, and before the defense called a single witness, the prosecutor abruptly dropped all charges.

During a recess, the defense had brought new information to the prosecutor. A videotape shot by a documentary filmmaker showed Mr. Kyne agitated but plainly walking under his own power down the library steps, contradicting the vivid account of Officer Wohl, who was nowhere to be seen in the pictures. Nor was the officer seen taking part in the arrests of four other people at the library against whom he signed complaints.

Who are you gonna believe? Me or your own eyes?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:36 PM

You have the right to remain willfully stupid

On WNYC's "The Brian Lehrer Show" today[27:10 timestamp], Glenn Reynolds seemed quite pleased with himself about his "Afghanistan Correspondent" for the site (he failed to mention that said "correspondent" was a member of the military). Judge for yourself how much this reporting adds to our understanding of the country.
I asked a vendor about sales tax and he said is what that? Then I explained the concept of paying taxes and he said only in America.

Afghanistan doesn't have taxes -- what a Utopia! Here's perhaps a better explanation: they don't have taxes because it is a failed state that has no ability to create wealth or provide even the most basic services and security to its people. Other than that, they're in pretty good shape.

And, to his credit, Lehrer took issue with the dogged "good news reporting" from Afghanistan and Iraq that has become a hallmark of Prof. Reynolds's website, noting "that has a ring of spin to me." Reynolds responds with this dodge: "Though they do a bad job of reporting the bad things, too." Listen and be terrified.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:58 PM

"That was a pretty good movie which, incidentally, stunk"

Was I the only one who was left confused by this line?
To watch "Fever Pitch," the new, thoroughly winning if not especially good film by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, is to appreciate, yet again, that the great loves of our lives are rarely perfect.

Ah, I see. The movie was bad, but in a good way.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 4:21 PM

Hey, look at this column I phoned in!

If you're going to write a story about the inaccuracy of blogs, why not, like, be accurate? In his Media Notes column today, Howard Kurtz writes:
Powerline blogger John Hinderaker says he "made a mistake" in concluding it was "an inauthentic document..."

Wrong. That was Scott "Big Trunk" Johnson who wrote that. Read it here. Hinderaker, remarkably, has never admitted he made a mistake, and is still turning himself into knots trying to show how his spectacular wrongness has, in fact, created a new kind of truth. It's DoublePlusGood reading.

Second, quoting Ann Althouse, Kurtz, or his editor, or some alien lifeform inserts a refererence to Mel Martinez's aide in the following way:
"Is Martinez off the hook now that [aide Kevin] Darling has resigned?"

Uh. That's 'Brian.' Not 'Kevin.'

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 9:34 AM

Saturday, April 09, 2005

We'll mis you, Ass-Missile and Humungous Appendage

It is a very sad day here at Blogoland.

Sad, because we are being forced to bid farewell to the weirdly homoerotic and too-freaky-to-be-believed nom de plumes at Power Line.

No more Hindrocket.

No more Big Trunk.

No more Deacon.

Instead, today, and throughout the archives, we find only references to such things as "John" and "Paul" and "Scott." Who the hell are these people?

Why, 'Blog of the Year', why? What will we do for chuckles when we read another post about the Evil Lords of the Press and their conspiracy to make us slaves of welfare queens? We beg you to reconsider.

Then again, when you flameout so spectacularly, an extreme makeover is probably in order.

UPDATE: Welcome, all. And yes, that is a misspelling of 'miss' in the headline. Would like to change it, but then, the link would be changed and the post rendered inoperable. So I'll have to live with it.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:48 AM

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The swift-boating of the Schiavo memo

Many people across the liberal side of the blogosphere are waxing exultant over the authentication of the Schiavo memo [Blogoland's earlier, smug thoughts here]. They should celebrate for about 5 seconds. Remember how good you felt when you found out that most of the Swift Boat veterans' claims were false and came from a bunch of self-contradicting, lying kooks? In the end, it didn't matter, the story was already out: KerryTraitorLiar.

In fact, thinking about it more tonight, and after reading a brilliant comment on a blog I now cannot find, there should be little cause for celebration. Let's review what has happened:

1) Two news organizations [WaPo and ABC News] accurately portray the distribution of a GOP-authored memo to GOP senators, deftly illustrating the cravenness of such lawmakers in pursuit of this case.

2) Republican lawmakers vehemently deny even having seen the memo, let knowledge of its author.

3) Right-wing bloggers begin to attack the reporting on the memo, alleging, even stating in no uncertain terms, that the memo is certainly bogus and a Democratic dirty trick.

4) The entirety of the right-wing noise machine jumps in, mouths wide and frothing, to attack the memo, asserting above.

6) The Washington Post's own media reporter, goaded by the machine, writes several articles on the matter, and even schedules one of the chief "bogus memo" peddlers onto his CNN show, but the show is bumped by PopeDead news.

7) The author of the memo, a staffer for a Republican Senator, steps forward to claim authorship

So, do the math: Two weeks of constant Memo-Is-Fake!!! non-news, followed by what will almost certainly be a blip tomorrow in this news-heavy week. Add to that the hilarious non-apologies from the perpetrators of the BogusBogus story that have already begun to trickle in. It doesn't add up. For many minds across this country the memo has always been and will always be, a fake.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 1:33 AM

Thanks for the Memo-ries

I don't want to be smug, but to all you citizen-journalists in the self-correcting blogosphere, what do you have to say to this?
The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) admitted yesterday that he was the author of a memo citing the political advantage to Republicans of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the senator said in an interview last night.

Brian Darling, a former lobbyist for the Alexander Strategy Group on gun rights and other issues, offered his resignation and it was immediately accepted, Martinez said.

Hey, but wait, I thought they were bogus! I read it somewhere!

Oh, but don't worry your little hearts, in a few hours I'm sure we'll be seeing "Brian Darling is a Democrat mole" posts on Free Republic, and then we can all muse ignorant on that. In the meantime, the respected members of Wingnuttia will move on to their next subject: the evil media's reporting of the truth on Tom DeLay.

UPDATE: And, not to be missed, is this lengthy, ungracious, whiny post by our favorite Blog of the Year. Try to spot "We were wrong" in the spilt words. Try real hard.

Also check out Americablog, for a nice Carnival of the Idiots. I hope you had the time of your life.

LATER UPDATE: The freepsters never let you down...
This isn't the first time something like this has happened - rogue staff...sometimes I wonder is some of them aren't plants

Great stuff.

MUCH LATER UPDATE: The whole "memo is fake" meme got started by a blogger named Joshua Claybourn and a credulous article in The American Prospect. I detailed the silliness here.

Obviously, Michelle Malkin has a fervent hope that no one go back and actually read what she has said on the subject. The "but I didn't call them 'fake' defense" is a supremely weak one from a person who continues to argue the rather fine point that the memo may not have been particularly widespread among GOP senators, and continues to attack the reports based on that thin gruel. Just read this post here, where she deems 'excellent' the 'reporting' on the 'fishy memo,' and links to people who are trying to come up with a name for the 'scandal', and other hilarities.
Will ABC News officials continue to stonewall, as Dan Rather et al. so famously did just a few months ago? Or will they come clean and promptly issue a correction? What about the Washington Post, which strongly implied in this article that Republicans were responsible for the memo? And what about all the other pundits, from Chris Matthews to Cynthia Tucker, who stated explicitly that Republicans distributed the memo--a statement that an anonymous ABC News official now says ABC News never reported?

You would think the MSM learned something from RatherGate. Apparently not.

A correction for what? Being accurate? Come clean from what? That they reported the story properly? If you don't believe the memos are fake, why would you be asking for a correction?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:09 AM

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The AP non-controversy

Via Derek Rose, a remarkable bit of push-back from unusual sources regarding AP's Pulitzer Prize-winning photo. In case you haven't been following, there are many right-wing sites (here here here here here here here here and here) alleging, with wild conjecture and hearsay (yes, I'm shocked, too) that an unnamed AP photographer was in cahoots with terrorists by taking a photo of thugs as they murdered Iraqi election workers. Best quote here:
We at Rathergate have damned the media repeatedly during Memogate and the Washington Post’s coverage of the bogus “talking points memo” for the same attitude being displayed in the blogosphere today. It is not up to the GOP to prove themselves innocent of MSM charges, it’s the MSM’s job to prove the GOP guilty with solid evidence.

The same principle applies here – it is not up to the photographer or the Associated Press to prove him ethical when presented with rumor. Without talking to the photographer or getting a tape of the phone call, we will never know what happened.

Exactly right.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 11:05 AM

When I said Jews were blood-sucking parasites, what I really meant to say was...

Ah, "taken out of context," the last refuge of the super-guilty:
And we should all be disturbed by overheated rhetoric about the judiciary, from both sides of the aisle. I regret it that my remarks have been taken out of context to create a wrong impression about my position, and possibly be construed to contribute to the problem rather than to a solution.

Isn't that cute? He regrets that other people have accurately reported his bizarre musings. What a stand-up guy.

And a remarkably toothy NYT editorial on the matter.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 10:31 AM

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Cornyn speaks, Freepsters rejoice

Although, to be fair, a number of the commenters here call out (mostly with the disappointment that this is bad politics, not reprehensible speech) John "Open Season" Cornyn for the idiocy he's promulgating:

Really, so reasonable. No? U.S.A!

UPDATE: An interesting thread from right after Conryn spoke, and before his judge-murder-justification riff was highlighted.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:52 PM

Monday, April 04, 2005

Not letting this one pass

I think it's become clear that, as a child, Glenn Reynolds was severely beaten by a bunch of bully journalists (or maybe it was something less dramatic). How else to explain his constant, bewildering equivalence of terrorists to reporters? Today's gem:

AUSTIN BAY writes that Saddam's remaining henchmen are desperate for headlines.

Sounds like some folks in the press were trying to help today.

Now that last swipe links to a piece in PubliusPundit that discusses the new Ukranian president's visit to Washington. What was the gripe? That the lead in a Reuters story mentioned the most newsworthy part of the visit -- what Bush had to say about the Ukraine leaving the "coalition of the willing" in Iraq. Bush said that he understood that it was an "election year" promise.

What near-treasonous stuff! If only damn Reuters weren't a sissy Brit company, we could try them for maliciously pointing out the truth.

OK, well maybe he's upset at this question posed by Terence Hunt of the Associated Press.

Ukraine and Italy and other allies will withdraw their forces from Iraq. Why should the United States continue to pay most of thecost and suffer most of the casualties when our allies are leaving?

Now, one could argue that this is a stupid question. But terrorist-equivalent?

How, exactly, either of these items "helps" the former henchman of Saddam is beyond me. Perhaps the Professor would like to explain? Otherwise, it's just another disgusting smear in a sad, long line of disgusting smears.

UPDATE: Just for the hell of it, I looked at the last part of Reynolds's snide post:

Meanwhile, Winds of Change has a roundup on Iraq that's more useful than anything you're likely to find in a newspaper anyway.

Take that, Big Time media! In Winds of Change, they really go around the Evil Lords of the Press by providing 18 links, almost exclusively to those, well, same un-useful newspapers, detailing what's going on in Iraq. Such a thumb to the eye of the media elite! Here's the breakdown:

A New York Times story expanded upon by a blog
A straight ABC News report (twice)
A straight Reuters story
A straight Knight-Ridder story
The New Republic’s Iraq’d blog
A link to USAid’s website
A link to Iraq the Model commenting on some local newspaper accounts
an L.A. Times story examined by a blog
a Seattle Post-Intelligencer story examined by a blog
A straight AP report
a New Zealand newspaper story examined by a blog
A link to a round-up of Iraq blogs
A link to the WMD- Intelligence Commission report
A link to some sort of ID bracelet/donation site
A link on “ways to support the troops”
A link to an Iraq toy drive

Yeah, who needs the press at all when you have bloggers who rely almost exclusively on them for their content?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 8:33 PM

Senator: Is it judge-killing time yet?

Holy freakin' moley

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 6:38 PM

Wild, super-enthusiastic and weird headline of the Day

From the NYT, stripped across the top of the Sports section:

New Ace and Some Old Favorites Snatch Momentum from Champion Red Sox in Opener

Yeah, a win in the season opener pretty much redeems the worst playoff collapse in the history of baseball.

The online version is slightly different, with no mention of the Sox's lost "momentum."

Note: Neither a Sox nor Yankee fan.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 3:06 PM

The kids can all die

Somebody watched too much Pope-dead coverage:
Authority and gravitas and stature like Rather's are missed, but such values are racing out of style anyway. The Greatest Generation and the baby boomers respected such things, but the iPodders now coming to adulthood apparently do not. One wonders how many of them even knew of the pope's passing, or how many were in a snit because they couldn't see the NASCAR races as scheduled.

Yes, one wonders. One also wonders whether Tom Shales wears women's underwear, but we at Blogoland aren't ones to engage in generalized, unsubstantiated smears.

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:22 PM

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Word choice

I knew I didn't imagine hearing this, during yesterday's Non-Stop Fox coverage of the Pope's demise. This is Shepard Smith speaking with Monsignor Hilary Franco:
SMITH: It's my understanding, Monsignor, that that 20 days was put into place in the 13th century when the College of Cardinals came together and after a full year and a half had still not...

FRANCO: That's right.

SMITH: ... had still not been able to elect a cardinal. And they made a decision here to begin cutting off food to the College of Cardinals to limit their intake so that they eventually had to come up with a decision.

FRANCO: Right. But that happened in Veturbo (ph). You know, Shep. That happened in Veturbo (ph), Shep.It was not in Rome at that time. You know, the inhabitants of the town, they were so tired of having the cardinals gathered together that they decided to cut off whatever provisions, you know, food-wise, were supposed to be given to the cardinals. And the cardinals, they realized that they were going to starve and they elected a new pope.

Now what in the world would have prompted him to use that kind of language?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 5:04 PM

So confused

InstaPundit links approvingly to this article that suggests that Nightline and Ted Koppel were, in fact, bad for America. Showing daily images of hostages and beheadings serve, to a great degree, the purposes of Muslim extremists.
Al Qaeda statements reveal the belief that it is far easier to demoralize Americans than to defeat its armed forces. For this reason, beheading videos have become an important strategic tool in Al Qaeda's arsenal.

And yet, he concludes the decline of network news may actually be undermining the extremists' cause. An interesting point, and Prof. Reynolds adds this pithy remark:
Perhaps that's why we're winning this war.

And yet look at how Prof. Reynolds breezily and snarkily and incorrectly refers to the Nick Berg beheading video from last year (he was wrong, the video led all three networks' broadcasts that night):
MORE OUTRAGEOUS IMAGES OF PRISONER ABUSE: No doubt this will lead the news tonight. (Via Stephen Green).

A little help? Does the Prof. believe we should be showing these images or not? He suggested a hearty "yes" last May, when posting that there were too many Abu Ghraib stories and not enough Nick Berg beheading stories. Has he now changed his tune?

Permalink posted by Jonathan : 12:25 PM

Friday, April 01, 2005

Words fail me

Just under the "Breaking News" banner on Fox News, there was this little helpful real-time summary of a press conference on the Pope's deteriorating condition:
"DC's McCarrick: He shows us how to suffer and even how to die."


Permalink posted by Jonathan : 1:09 PM

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