Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Hitchins Takes on the Democrats
Responding to the buzz around the Democrats that Bush is going to produce Osama from the White House freezer just before the election, he give his opinion, warts and all:
What will it take to convince these people that this is not a year, or a time, to be dicking around? Americans are patrolling a front line in Afghanistan, where it would be impossible with 10 times the troop strength to protect all potential voters on Oct. 9 from Taliban/al-Qaida murder and sabotage. We are invited to believe that these hard-pressed soldiers of ours take time off to keep Osama Bin Laden in a secret cave, ready to uncork him when they get a call from Karl Rove? For shame.
I have written before in this space that I think Bin Laden is probably dead, and I certainly think that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is a far more ruthless and dangerous jihadist, who is trying to take a much more important country into the orbit of medieval fanaticism and misery. One might argue about that: I could even maintain that it's important to oppose and defeat both gentlemen and their supporters. But unless he conclusively repudiates the obvious defeatists in his own party (and maybe even his own family), we shall be able to say that John Kerry's campaign is a distraction from the fight against al-Qaida.
Ouch. Read the rest HERE.
Reason Slaps Broder Around ... and the Rest of the MSM As Well
The veteran Washington Post columnist penned an almost note-perfect epitaph for the age of monolithic media by somehow confusing thread-bare bloggers with celebrity-chasing corporate chieftains. Evidently all that matters to Broder is that there exist people outside of the priestly caste of High Journalism who make news decisions. And that is wrong, heresy perhaps.
...Despite all of the lip service given to "community journalism" by the big newspaper chains, actual trust in their local communities is hard to find. Top editors name the issues, problems, and solutions of the day quite regardless of the interests, beliefs, and priorities of the community at
Hence, The New York Times decides Augusta needs to change its membership practices and front page stories appear to nudge the change along.
One Man's response to Abu Ghraib
The Bigfoot of Bloggers Chimes in on Dapper Dan
This article from The Australian provides insight into why this particular scandal blew up in Dan Rather's face when previous ones did not.
In fact, it was the power of open-source journalism. CBS, like most broadcast networks in the US -- and, for some reason, just about everywhere else -- is staffed by people who lean Left and who don't like Bush. That makes them disposed to find even obviously bogus claims about Bush (such as the oft-repeated story that he served US troops in Iraq a plastic turkey on his visit last year, an exploded claim that Australian journalist-blogger Tim Blair gleefully points out whenever it resurfaces) credible, despite the evidence.
Worse yet, they tend to talk mostly with people who share their beliefs. The result is an insular culture, rife with the prejudices of the New Class, which believes all sorts of absurdities and peddles them to the public in the sometimes honest, if often unfounded, belief that they are true. Even when they are exposed as false, the response is often to assert, as Rather did for a while, that the story may have been false, but that it was justified because the underlying point (people who agree with us are good, while people who don't are bad) is nonetheless true. After all, everyone they talk to thinks so.
Not long ago, CBS probably would have got away with it. The documents would have flashed on the screen for two or three seconds, a few readers might have scratched their heads and remarked, "those sure look like they were done on Microsoft Word", and perhaps a few comments would have been exchanged around water coolers, to no effect. Most people would have assumed that CBS had done a thorough
investigation and that their idle suspicions were just that.
For the rest of the article click HERE.
Inspector Dan Mystery Series
Excerpts from the new Inspector Dan Rather Mystery by David Burge
It was a slow September night in Manhattan. The kind of sweaty summer night where the mean streets of Gotham run wild with the shadowy scum of the Republican National Convention. The kind of night where mysteries are born. The kind of night I live for.
My name is Rather. And I’m a dick.
For the rest of the story, click HERE
TWO NATIONS ARE A GOOD THING!
William Raspberry syndicated column 9/27/2004.
He decried those on the right and the left who use technology to further narrow political interests.
“I am persuaded that we are now one country, two nations, made so by the determination of both parties to divide and conquer,’’ he said. “Must it be scorched Earth all day every day?’’
Tom Brokaw at Old Dominion University 9/26/2004.
Hardly a day goes by without someone with access to a printing press or microphone whining about the divisions in our country. Let me be among those lonely voices hailing the emergence of divisions in our country.
I won’t bother to point out those countries and societies where unanimity are most apparent: North Korea where pictures of Dear Leader decorate every flat surface; the USSR under Stalin where failure to unite under the benevolent leadership of Uncle Joe led to a bullet in the head; any mullacracy in the Middle East where those who are not united in faith are separated from their heads.
Of course even this nation was once more homogeneous in its attitudes and opinions. And why should it not? We received our news from three TV networks differentiated only by the hairstyles of their “anchors.” These, in turn, determined the “news” by reading the New York Times and disgorging it in short snippets illustrated by bits of video.
Local newspapers reprinted articles from the New York Times, Washington Post, the AP or UPI, an incestuous relationship that gave homogeneity to the information on which most people based their opinions.
Little wonder then that the deciding moment of the war in Viet Nam did not occur on the battlefield, but in the CBS studios when Walter Cronkite (the Most Trusted Man in America) decide that the war was not winnable. The government under Lyndon Johnson folded like a cheap suitcase.
There were certainly many people that did not agree with this analysis. Arguably those who disagreed with Uncle Walter were in a majority. For proof it is only necessary to cite the fact that Richard Nixon blew away both Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern in two subsequent elections. But those who disagreed with the monolithic media had no access to the levers of media power. And since they were not the sort to organize massive demonstrations, their opinions went unheard in the national debate.
Thus was the myth of a unified nation sustained.
Thanks to the Internet, bloggers and message boards, everyone with a computer now has a voice. They can communicate, bypassing the Legacy Media gatekeepers. The opinions that were kept silent are now finding they are not alone. And the Legacy Media mavens are not happy.
The Legacy Media are still talking among themselves, as they have for decades. Their cluelessness is laid bare in Raspberry’s column when he refers to a consensus that only exists in the circles he inhabits; a consensus that, if true, would sweep John Kerry into office in a landslide. Unfortunately for Kerry, Raspberry and the alphabet networks only like-minded mavens of the Legacy Media share the consensus.
Raspberry and Brokaw need to get out more.
Allow me to close by quoting David Frum of NationalReviewOnline
“For conservatives, the advent of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and FoxNews and the blogosphere is all good news. But for liberals, the move from a world dominated by three big liberal networks, two big liberal newsmagazines, and two great liberal newspapers to a world in which bloggers can bring down a network anchor and the Times' own executive editor is an absolute and utter catastrophe, even if some of those bloggers happen to be liberal themselves.
Americans are living now in a world of media diversity. It’s the worst thing to happen to Democratic hopes since the Sunbelt went Republican.”
Chairman Mao once said, “Let a thousand flowers bloom.” That was a ruse to encourage those who did not agree with him to raise their heads, the better to cut them off. But this is not China, and here the flowers are blooming just fine.
Saturday, September 18, 2004
John Kerry Talks About His Health Care Plan
Who Wrote the Killian Letters? Version 2
Incompetence, Bias, or a Mixture of Both.
One of the "Freepers" (as they call themselves) wrote a letter to the Public Editor of the Atlanta Journal Constitution illustrating perfectly the ways in which most of the MSM bias their "reporting."
I'll let the letter writer speak for himself, errors and all. For a link to the post click HERE.
I’ll let you decide if the AJC practices bias or if it is simply incompetent. For example, when the Swift Boat stuff was raging, the AJC published a column by William Rood which basically agreed with Kerry’s version of one of the events brought up by the SBVTs. On the other hand, the AJC published an article including accusations by Ben Barnes accusing President Bush of getting special treatment to get into the National Guard.
Two high-ranking former Texas Air National Guardsman have spoken up in the last week answering questions about if Bush received special treatment. The first is Col. Earl Lively (Ret), the former Director of Operations of the Texas Air National Guard. Col. Lively, in an interview from this week, was asked if Bush jumped in front of several applicants to get a pilot’s slot with the Guard.
Col. Lively answered: “…I was the head of Operations. I was Director of Operations and I oversaw and inspected all of the units in Texas. Flew with them. And the, there was no waiting list for this. See, this is often confused with another thing. Which was a waiting list to simply enlist in the Guard and do your service there rather than in the regular military. And there were lots of people on those waiting lists. But those people weren't qualified to go to pilot training school.”
The second was one of the people quoted in the fake 60 minutes memo, Col. Walter Staudt, interviewed yesterday by ABC News. In the interview, “Staudt said he never tried to influence Killian or other Guardsmen, and added that he never came under any pressure himself to accept Bush. "No one called me about taking George Bush into the Air National Guard," he said. "It was my decision. I swore him in. I never heard anything from anybody."
One naturally wonders why the AJC does publish rebuttal stories when they favor John Kerry, but does not publish rebuttal stories when they favor President Bush.
More Memo Questions The first “media blogger on the Internet” who questioned the authenticity of the documents was someone called “Buckhead” who posted on the Internet site www.freerepublic.com. The real name of the person is Harry MacDougald, and he is an Atlanta attorney. One would assume, based on his user name, that “Buckhead” either lives or works in –wait for it- Buckhead. Does the AJC ever plan on trying the interview the person who started the firestorm over the memos? Since he is an Atlanta, one would think the AJC might have some interest in the story.
Next, an one of the experts quoted on other places on the Internet is Farrell C. Shiver, with Shiver & Nelson Document Investigation Laboratory based in Woodstock, GA. Mr. Shiver is certified by the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners and is a member of American Society of Questioned Document Examiners; American Academy of Forensic Sciences Questioned Document Section; and the Southeastern Association of Forensic Document Examiners. I realize that having a reporter drive all the way up to Woodstock to check out the accuracy of one of your stories is quite the chore. However, Mr. Shiver also has a phone. The number is 770-xxx-xxxx.
Finally, the smoking gun to many is the fact that one can type up the same words into Microsoft Word using the default settings, print the document, and then compare the new document to the CBS memos. For real bit of ol’ timey investigative journalism, go to Office Depot and buy some transparencies, and then print the new document on the transparency. Put the transparency over the matching memo and presto – an exact match. I know the AJC has at least one PC and a copy of MS Word lying around somewhere, so this would be a very easy, and cheap, bit of investigative journalism. I am sure some of the IT folks at the AJC would have been more than happy to have helped if you guy could not have figured out the joke of a CBS “computer expert” called the “th setting”.
But the AJC did not do any of these things. So I ask you – incompetence or bias?
Sunday, September 12, 2004
Killian Letters – The Perfect “Sting”
Remember the movie “The Sting?”
Paul Newman and Robert Redford team up in this 1973 movie to rob a mob boss who had a friend killed. .
Ever since it became obvious that the Killian letters were forgeries, the question was asked: who did it? Was it the usual suspect: someone in the Kerry dirty tricks department? Others have been named: Dan Rather himself, Carl Rove, Bill Burkett (a disgruntled former National Guard officer), CBS News producer Mary Mapes?
Here’s my theory: the Killian Letters were a sting operation originating somewhere in the military designed to kill at least four birds with one stone. And I think it’s going to work.
Back to “The Sting.” In the modern version, the mob boss is Dan Rather. As an added bonus we see the destruction of accessories Mary Mapes and Bill Burkett and an indelible stain on CBS. And as icing on the cake: collateral damage to the Kerry campaign.
The motive is Abu Ghraib.
It was Mary Mapes, Dan Rather and CBS News that made Abu Ghraib a household name and smeared the military’s name. They decided to run the story despite Pentagon requests to wait until their internal investigation was complete and despite that damage that the story did to the American cause in the Arab world.
So, here’s the payback. And it’s not over yet because the Pentagon and the Bush administration has been mum so far. My belief is that they will carry the story forward.
Why do I believe the memos were composed by a military man? No ordinary civilian would be sufficiently conversant with military memos to provide both a reasonable forgery (to the civilian eye) of a military document, but one that uses unauthentic nomenclature so that it can be discredited on that basis.
Second, it was typed using a computer to provide another way of destroying its authenticity.
Of course, like any good forgery, it has to be gotten into the right hands. Enter Bill Burkett and Mary Mapes. Bill Burkett has a grudge against the National Guard and George Bush ever since he became ill in 1998 while on duty with the Texan ANG and blames Bush, who was governor of Texas at the time, for failure to provide him with medical care.
Someone (we’ll call him “X”) finds a way of getting the Killian Memos to Burkett. While Burkett is a military man, he is not the sharpest tool in the shed (for a sample of his writing click HERE and scroll to the end). He's had several nervous breakdowns so he overlooks the problems with the memos and gets hold of Mary Mapes, a fellow Texan.
Mapes has no way of knowing a fake memo from the real one, but believes that, thanks to Burkett’s familiarity with the Texas ANG, she’s got a real scoop.
The memos pass up the food chain reaching Rather. Rather, a devout Liberal, wants to believe these are real. He is also a technophobe without a clue about computers, Microsoft Word, fonts, superscripts or any of the other wonders of modern computer technology being able to do what 1973 typewriters could not. Furthermore he doesn’t care. He decides that this is the time to counteract some of the Swift Boat controversy by attacking Bush’s National Guard record (again). As the 700 pound gorilla at CBS news, what Dan wants, Dan gets. So that’s how we get to “60 Minutes” and the Killian Memos.
Enter the blogosphere. CBS News obligingly puts the memos up on their web site, a major mistake because it gives literally thousands of people with arcane knowledge of computers the opportunity to examine them. Within a few hours, the fraud is exposed. But here’s where the hook is set: CBS and Captain Dan ‘stand by their story.” They have to! That’s the way the Mainstream Media (MSM) has always done business.
The fraud is so obvious, so blatant, and so widely discussed via the Internet that the MSM has to take notice. At this point, most of the MSM articles are referring to the Killian Memos as “disputed” rather than hopelessly discredited. In solidarity with CBS and Captain Dan, they hope the controversy will just go away.
If I’m right, however, there are several more legs to his story. The Bush campaign has not been heard from and neither has the Pentagon. I predict that there will be a reaction from those quarters until there is general public acceptance that CBS and Rather are exposed as having peddled forgeries.
My other prediction: the original forgeries will never be found. They are no longer in existence and Burkett was fed a photocopy. That way the fraud would be less likely to be discovered until it was too late.
Suicide Bombers and the Mainstream Media
Before September 11, important aspects of our security arrangements were based on the assumption that people, even terrorists, want to live. For example, airlines followed the rule that if a passenger's bags were checked but the person failed to appear for the flight, his bags would be removed from the airplane. The idea was that a bomb could have been planted in the luggage. But as long as the passenger was on the airplane, it was assumed that his bags were safe, since no one -- it was thought -- would blow up an airplane with himself on it. After September 11, security arrangements were changed to take into account the new reality (or newly recognized reality) of the suicide bomber.
When he defended CBS's publication of forged documents, Dan Rather spoke of the "checks and balances" that ensure the reliability of news coming from CBS, as opposed to news and commentary from the blogosphere. What are those checks and balances? Ultimately, the main check on the danger that a powerful media giant like CBS might abuse its position of trust by deliberately propagating falsehoods is the assumption that the network values its reputation for accuracy and trustworthiness. In the past, most people have assumed that while broadcast networks, wire services like the Associated Press, and newspapers will occasionally make mistakes, and will certainly spin the news consistent with their political biases, concern for their reputation in the marketplace, and even more among their peers, would prevent them from spreading outright falsehoods.
In the wake of the CBS scandal, that assumption must be reevaluated.
For the entire article click HERE.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Steyn K.O.s Rather
HODGES SAID HE WAS MISLED BY CBS: Retired Maj. General Hodges, Killian's supervisor at the Grd, tells ABC News that he feels CBS misled him about the documents they uncovered. According to Hodges, CBS told him the documents were "handwritten" and after CBS read him excerpts he said, "well if he wrote them that's what he felt."
Hodges also said he did not see the documents in the 70's and he cannot authenticate the documents or the contents. His personal belief is that the documents have been "computer generated" and are a "fraud".
For the FreeRepublic post click HERE.
The LA Times Drives a Stake Through Rather!
Why Dan Rather and CBS are Dead ... and Dead Wrong
A mere decade ago, CBS could have stated "we stand by our story" and that would have been the end of it. No other member of the MSM would have had either the nerve or the incentive to challenge their authenticity. The dinosaurs of the MSM (Mainstream Media) still have not realized that those days are over.
Say goodnight Gracie.
Viet Nam Veterans for Truth
The Future vs. the Past
I just read your column, printed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, about pressure on the mainstream media to cover the news in a certain way. As a former journalist with a degree in journalism, I have some sympathy for your position. Certainly news media have a responsibility to report the news honestly and fairly without bowing to outside pressures to skew it.
But what happens when the news media get it wrong? What redress does the average citizen have when it happens repeatedly, and there's no genuine effort on the part of the mainstream media to correct either their approach or their obvious mistakes?
Read the whole thing HERE.
Mark Steyn: "If They Ever Put a Bullet Through Your Brain, I'll Complain."
“The Kerry campaign is a bore that's degenerating into a laughing stock.”
And, apropos of the massacre of the school children in Beslan:
Read the whole thing HERE.
” Could what happened in Beslan happen in the US? Two months ago, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported on a fellow called Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi, a suspected terrorist who'd fought with his fellow jihadi in Chechnya and somehow wound up in Minnesota, where he'd applied for licences to transport hazardous materials and drive school buses.
Americans who care about this stuff know where George W Bush stands. They're not sure where the Democrats do - sometimes it's full-scale Michael Moore denial, at other times it's going through the multilateral motions with Kofi and Co. No point on that continuum is of sufficient electoral appeal.
Last week, apropos the Islamists' impressive mound of Israeli, Nepalese and Russian corpses, Kofi Annan's office issued the following statement: "The secretary-general strongly condemns all hostage-takings and killings of innocent civilians."
Or, as Cole Porter wrote in Friendship: "If they ever put a bullet through your brain, I'll complain."
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
"Winter Soldier" Comes Clean
For some months now we have been covering your ass. We've spun good economic news into bad. We spilled gallons of ink to promote every accusation leveled against Bush/Cheney/Rice/Rumsfeld/Rove. We pushed every critic we could find front and center in our news lineup, iinterviewed every moonbat activist. We edited 9/11 Commission testimony to discredit them.We pimped the books. We latched onto Democratic talking points and allegations like happy ticks. And Abu Graihb... wrung every last drop of blood out of that miserable stone, headlined every accusation, published every photo.
We even published the fake ones.
We promoted that stupid movie from MIchael Moore and pretended he had something to say. Quoted any Hollywood High drop-out who could form sound into words. Quoted the rock stars, wept for Linda D'Arc and the Salem Chicks.
We avoided quoting your goofy wife and that deranged Al Gore. We buried the lunacy dribbling from Teddy's yapping maw.
Even when we knew we looked stupid for doing it, we did it for you, John, for us - for our common cause.
And when they started to hurt you, we timed our first news stories to boost your campaign's rebuttals of the Swift Vets. We shouted them down.
But John, when the chips were down, when the moment came to hold up to your end of the bargain, after we let you hide out, unmolested, for days ... when you finally came up for air, who did you turn to? Who did you grant that exclusive first interview to?
A fucking comedian. With a fake news show. A cheap little media whore.
Well, John, that hurt. You betrayed us, made us look like fools.
So, remember, we're doing this because we loved you. And still do. This hurt us even more than it hurts you.
LA Times, Washington Post, et al
The Liberal Church Ladies
It was in response to a prominent Liberal writer whose blog told of his pleasure at the way nature was ravaging Florida.
That is so deeply offensive that I can scarce think of a comment capable of expressing my revulsion. But let's try. Please excuse the rant.
It's amazing to me that the "left" (how outmoded and meaningless these distinctions are) have evolved into the most uptight, anti-rational, superstitious and piously moralistic bunch since the Puritans walked the wild forests of America (though I
hesitate to make the comparison, since the Puritans accomplished great things).
The "left" may joke and titter and wheeze about "fundy Christian wingnuts" but find someone lecturing you about your immorality, your materialism, your sinful pride, your lack of spiritual value and, most likely, they will be driving an old Volvo with the radio tuned to "Pacifica" and a GEORGE BUSH IS A LIAR bumper-sticker on the fender. Your average lefty is quicker to take offense than a blue-haired old Presbyterian; they are constantly monitoring everyone for signs of racism, sexism, colonialism, anti-animal hate speech. They will criticize your car, your house, your synthetic fiber sweater, your swear words, your cigarettes, your sandwich, your choice of grocery bag, your skin color (if it is in the dusky pink range).
Life to them is a laundry list of strictures, taboos and lamentations. They hate science, they fear Christianity, they think heterosexual porn is rape, they believe in magic, aromatherapy, tribalism; they scream about Bush killing children but fail to bat an eyelash at the consequences of "pro-choice". They cringe in disgust and embarrassment at the "black and white" moral distinctions of Bush (and Reagan in his time) when he speaks of the "axis of evil", yet no one uses the word evil more than leftists when describing the Bush Administration, capitalism, America, Israel.
They mock and scoff at the president's religiosity, yet speak in reverential tones of Gaia, Buddha, Wicca, Yoga. And on and on. In other words, they are as wrought out, blinkered and dangerously conflicted and superstitious as your average Puritan (or probably closer to your average medieval peasant), yet they call themselves progressives and call everyone else fundamentalists, warmongers, fascists. Freedom is slavery.
The end result of stewing in this murky broth of half-truth, projection, fear, and mis-education?
A man sitting in Manhattan at the dawn of the 21st century, writing on a weblog about poorly-understood prehistoric deities taking delight in the destruction of sinful man's hubris-saturated civilizations. Vive Memor Lethi Fugit Hora. Pride goeth before the Fall. It almost makes you want to laugh, if you weren't crying.
Monday, September 06, 2004
Mark Steyn: No other word for it but slaughter
...what was the word missing from those three analyses of the Beslan massacre? Here's a clue: half the dead "Chechen separatists" were not Chechens at all, but Arabs. And yet, tastefully tiptoeing round the subject, The New York Times couldn't bring itself to use the words Muslim or Islamist, for fear presumably of offending multicultural sensibilities.
In the 1990s, while the world's leaders slept – or in Bill Clinton's case slept around – thousands of volunteers from across the globe passed through terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and were then dispatched to Indonesia, Kosovo, Sudan . . . and Chechnya. Wealthy Saudis – including members of the royal family – invested millions in setting up mosques and madrassas in what were traditionally spheres of a more accommodationist Islam, from the Balkans to South Asia, and successfully radicalised a generation of young Muslim men. It's the jihadist component – not the asymmetrical one, not the secessionist one – that accounts for the mound of undersized corpses, for the scale of the depravity
For the entire article click HERE.
Thursday, September 02, 2004
What's the Reality Behind Rassmann's Rescue?
It is my opinion that Mr. Rassmann actually believes that he was under enemy fire and that now Presidential candidate Senator John Kerry is shamefully exploiting the situation for personal political gain.
It is also my opinion that, if a proper investigation is conducted, that Senator Kerry's "band of brothers" will reveal significantly embarrassing facts.
The right questions have not been asked and pertinent U.S. Navy and U.S. Army operational, administrative award, maintenance, and medical documents have not been reviewed, which I believe would disprove Senator Kerry's claims.
For the entire article click HERE.
John Kerry Writes His Sweetheart ... from the GRIDLEY
There are so many ways this letter could become a bitter diatribe and go rumbling off into irrational nothings.... I feel so bitter and angry and everywhere around me there is nothing but violence and war and gross insensitivity...
You can practically hear the mortar rounds shriek overhead Kerry's foxhole, can't you? Everything around him "is nothing but violence and war" — "endless dying," the enemy "ever present."
Except that this letter was written in Febuary 1968, while Kerry was an ensign aboard the missile cruiser U.S.S. Gridley as it plied the dangerous waters of war-torn Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. The Gridley was still almost 6000 miles and many weeks away from the waters offshore of Vietnam.
Read the entire post HERE.