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Thursday, December 30, 2004

We had our microphones at the Strib...

...Around a large oak conference table festooned with blank notepads, pencils, and Starbucks cups sits the editorial staff of the Star Tribune. It is now one halfhour into the meeting, and progress is slow.

They had already posted an editorial on the disaster in Tuesday's edition, but it was nothing more than standard sympathy coupled with calls for more comprehensive warning systems. Now, with the death toll increasing by the hour,It was clear that this was turning into something monumental. A new editorial needed to be written. This time blame was to be assigned.

But connecting the dots was proving difficult."There's got to be a connection we can make!" Shouted Jim Boyd, the DeputyEditor."If it was atmospheric, it would be a no-brainer" Managing Editor Scott Gillespie replied, "just yell 'Kyoto' and it's a done deal"

It's a parody, but it's hilarious. Read the whole thing in Fraters Libertas.

A Unified Theory of the Old Media Collapse

Hugh Hewitt has a compelling case for the collapse of the MSM.

...With the arrival of the civil rights movement, journalism slowly began to reform itself and to work overtime to represent underrepresented political and social points of view. There developed a great tolerance for viewpoints and perspectives from ideological minorities, and a great hunger to represent those views not only in the media product but also in the media workforces. First opposition to the Vietnam war and then the hunting of Richard Nixon accelerated this trend, so that old media quickly evolved into a fortress of "oppositional" reporting and personnel.

The new recruits to big journalism and their mentors did not work overtime to assure that, in the elevation of tolerance of ideological minorities, there would remain representation of majoritarian points of view. In fact, majoritarian points of view became suspect, and the focus of pervasive hostile reporting and analysis. Crusading journalists seemed to be an ideological pack. By the time the new millennium arrived, legacy media was populated at its elite levels by as homogeneous a group of reporters / producers / commentators as could ever have been assembled from the newsrooms of the old Hearst operation. Big Media had hired itself into a rut--a self-replicating echo chamber of left and further-left scribblers and talkers and self-reinforcing head nodders who were overwhelmingly anti-Republican, anti-Christian, anti-military, anti-wealth, anti-business, and even anti-middle class. These new journalists had no tolerance for majoritarian points of view, and the gap between the producers of the news and the consumers of the news widened until the credibility gap between the two made Lyndon Johnson's look modest by comparison.

Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tribute to the troops

For a touching tribute to the gallant men (and women) fighting for us in Iraq, click HERE.

Water Gods Angry

Top Scientists Warn: Sea Gods Angry

Washington, DC - Pointing to the devastating weekend Indian Ocean tsunami that left over 24,000 dead, an international blue ribbon committee of climatologists and ecoscientists today issued a stark warning that man-made pollutants have increasingly "make water spirits angry."

The blunt conclusion prefaced a 2300 page meta-analysis of hundreds of scientific studies and computer models detailing links between human industrial activity and wrathful eco-deities. Entitled "Fire Bad: Fire Very Bad," the report warns that the planet faces additional catastrophies unless drastic regulatory action is taken to appease Earthen-furies.

Read more from IOWAHAWK

The Quake

Click HERE to see an animation of the spread of the Indian Ocean quake.

Friday, December 24, 2004

AP Lie Du Jour

Powerline readers are reminded that the AP is not a reliable news source.

Referring to the famous question planted by a reporter during a Q&A session several weeks ago, the AP reports on the current visit by Rumsfeld:

Two weeks ago at a forward base in Kuwait, a handful of soldiers openly challenged him about inadequate equipment and long deployments.
Rumsfeld cut off their complaints by saying, "You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have." That set off a wave of criticism of the defense chief's brusque manner.

This is not only a lie, it is a transparent, easily disproved and blatant lie. In fact, following the soldier’s question Secretary Rumsfeld went on for over 500 words (you will find the entire quotation on Powerline).

This is not sloppy reporting, careless editing or simple stupidity. The AP knows better. It is simply lying about what Rumsfeld said in order to feed the perception that he does not care about the troops. It is part of an attempt by the Left to discredit one of the best Defense Secretaries of this century by people who wish to see America lose the war in Iraq. They are sympathetic to the mass murderers, cowardly bombers, sadistic killers, beheaders, rapists and all the detritus of the Saddam regime.

They are the after-the-fact supporters and enablers of those who killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11. They want to see more American soldiers die and are doing everything they can to provide aid and comfort to the enemy.

But that doesn't make them bad people /sarcasm off.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

20 Most Annoying Liberals?

Honorable Mentions: The ACLU, Max Cleland, Chevy Chase, Susan Estrich, Al Franken, Whoopi Goldberg, Bev Harris, Jesse Jackson, Ted Kennedy, Terry McAuliffe, Bill Maher, The New York Times, Lawrence O'Donnell, Keith Olberman, Sean Penn, Charles Rangel, Ron Reagan Jr., Randi Rhodes, George Soros, Bruce Springsteen, Jon Stewart, Barbra Streisand, Henry Waxman, Markos Moulitsas ZĂșniga

Read the list from

The Middle East as a Movie Set

Since American newsmen can get hurt by the adherents of the “Religion of Peace” as they toil in the vineyard of the Middle East, a large part of the news that we take in from that part of the world is actually created by native Arabs. And if you thought Dan Rather using fake documents to smear George Bush was biased, Dan is an angel in comparison to these “reporters.”

If you have not seen the video clip of the Palestinian funeral procession where the “corpse” falls out of the coffin, only to get up, dust himself off and climb back in, you have to read this report from

Kicking Christians

James Lileks recently wrote about the consternation that he caused by greeting store clerks with “Merry Christmas.” It seems that in the process of kicking Christians and their customs off of the public square, society has found ways of avoiding references to Christmas altogether.

Of course, those who have been in the forefront of creating this situation are busy accusing Christians of being overly sensistive. We are “crybaby Christians.” For people who make a living working with words, the use of third grade put-downs shows a shocking lack of sophistication.

Lileks takes James Wolcott apart in his reply.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

...And Don't You Dare Question MY Patriotism!

If an American says: “The United States has lost the war in Iraq, and that's a good thing” am I allowed to question his patriotism? In an earlier post I noted that the Left, while siding with America’s enemies, fiercely denounces those who question their patriotism.

In this piece in, Mike Adams discusses Professor Robert Jensen and how he should be treated.

Dressed to kill.

Great article by Michelle Malkin.

The head of the Federal Air Marshal Service has instituted a dress code that the air marshals themselves refer to as “kill-me-first.”

Revolt of the Viet Nam Vets

Bruce Kesler has an interesting article in the San Diego Union Tribune about the “Swift Boat Vets.” He claims that Kerry was not surprised by their revelations but was unprepared for the fact that the MSM could not suppress the story.

"Unarmored" vehicles were armored!

The media first created and then ran with the story about our troops in Iraq getting blown up because their vehicles were not armored. Now it turn out that the original premise may not have been true.

Powerlineblog recounts this question and answer from Major General Stephen Speakes at a press conference on Wednesday:

Q On the 278th, can you repeat this? At the time the question was asked, the planted question, the unit had 784 of its 804 vehicles armored?

GEN. SPEAKES: Here is the overall solution that you see. And what we've had to do is -- the theater had to take care of 830 total vehicles. So this shows you the calculus that was used. Up north in Iraq, they drew 119 up-armored humvees from what we call stay-behind equipment. That is equipment from a force that was already up there. We went ahead and applied 38 add-on armor kits to piece of equipment they deployed over on a ship. They also had down in Kuwait 214 stay- behind equipment pieces that were add-on armor kits. And then over here they had 459 pieces of equipment that were given level-three protection. And so when you put all this together, that comes up with 830.

Q At the time of the question -- summarize this, now -- that unit that the kid was complaining about was mostly armored?

GEN. SPEAKES: Yes. In other words, we completed all the armoring within 24 hours of the time the question was asked.

In other words, the question was planted, the premise was wrong and the asshats in the media are ignoring the truth. Why? Because it does not fit the media template.

The Oldest Enemy

Vin Suprynowicz reviews "The Oldest Enemy: A History of America's Disastrous Relationship with France"

The post-war French elite eagerly embraced the bloodthirsty Martinique-born Frantz Fanon, author of "The Wretched of the Earth," and along with him the very darkest legacies of Stalinism. Jean-Paul Sartre and the rest of the French university elite busied themselves instructing the likes of Cambodia's Pol Pot in Fanon's doctrine that social change could only be achieved through mass genocide.
(Pol Pot took his hatred of the bourgeoisie so literally that he massacred anyone who wore eyeglasses or a wristwatch. Now there's a fellow who paid attention in class.)

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Nobel Peace Prize Winner: AIDS is deliberately Created Weapon

Francis Porretto provides an interesting insight into the beliefs of the latest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

I suspect that Karl Rove is working behind the scenes to get the Nobel committee to make these awards so that Nobel Prizes will be made a badge of shame. Revenge for the award to Jimmy Carter.

Hey, it's just a theory.

Wither The Mainstream Media?

Bill Bennett has some interesting things to say about the old media, the new media and they way they are both changing.

Leonard Pitts just wrote an op-ed about the changing face of the media “All the News That’s Fit to be Requested,” bemoaning the fact that there is actually a newspaper in Chile that allows readers to choose the news. He sees that as an abdication of a newspaper’s God Given Right to set the agenda for you and me as to what is important and what is to be ignored.

Bennett has a radio talk show and makes this interesting point: …I began the top of my show two weeks ago with a menu of news items (as I always do), and I was prepared to discuss them, as well as a recent speech I had given on the meaning of the "moral values" vote in the 2004 election. I opened the phone lines and every single call--every single one--was about the Marine in Fallujah who had shot an Iraqi in a mosque, a news item I did not read in my opening menu of news.
On the issue of credibility: …The first question asked of Internet pioneer Matt Drudge when he spoke at the National Press Club in 1998 was, "[H]ow does it advance the cause of democracy and of social good to report unfounded allegations?" He detailed several then-current failures in reporting by the mainstream media, failures that led to reporters being fired, and libel judgments being paid. It is six years later and the Internet has grown, gossip and unfounded allegations have grown with it--but the growth of "unfounded allegations" is at least as much a problem for the mainstream media as it is for the Internet.
On the question of how people now form their opinions: …People now get their news and opinion on the Internet and relay it to talk radio. They then think about it, research it further, and discuss it on the Internet, in email, and in the national conversations that take place on shows like mine all the time--shows that cannot simply be marginalized as "right wing radio," because they are not "right wing." Some are, in part, national dialogues. Yes there is right wing radio, and yes there is left wing radio but there is radio of another sort too, and too few elites have the first clue about what it is or what is happening there.

Interesting times we live in…

Bush get support in Damascus?

Tyler Golson is a Liberal, a Northeasterner, and teaches English to upper class Arabs in Damascus. So he was surprised that his students preferred Bush to Kerry during the election.

And thus I came to realize something that the Democrats could never admit: that there exists a support base for both the Republicans' domestic and foreign agenda among the very people we thought most opposed current U.S. policy. The cultural background and value systems which inform many of these young Arabs' outlook on the world mean they will always favor men like Bush over men like Kerry. The tenets of faith, family and, yes, "moral issues" determine the overall political leanings of a considerable number of the Middle East's future leaders, in rejection of Democratic stump issues like increased liberalism, internationalism and scientific progress.

Read the whole article.

Press Pile On

In an Op Ed in the NY Post, Douglas McKinnon enters the fray and asks the question: is the press anti-American? Political correctness has kept this question from being asked. I have written about this issue and have asked if any action by anyone be classified as anti-American? Is there anyone in the US who can be called unpatriotic?

WITH each passing day, the role of the media in Iraq becomes more confusing and much more controversial.
The latest example: the "question" asked of Secretary Donald Rumsfeld during his "town hall" meeting this week with U.S. soldiers in Kuwait.
One soldier asked, "Why do we soldiers have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal . . . to up-armor our vehicles, and why don't we have those resources readily available to us?"
That question and the video of that question led almost every newscast or front page in this country. What does the question have to do with the media and its ever growing controversial role in Iraq? A reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press fed the question to the soldier so he could set up Donald Rumsfeld.

These are important questions and should be debated for the health of the country. Let the debate begin.

Bush's Religion

Kathleen Parker writes what I believe to be an honest article about George Bush's religion as it impacts his public life.

Hardly a day passes without Americans being reminded of the debt President George W. Bush owes religious conservatives for their role in his re-election. Evangelical Christians , about 26 million of them, turned out in droves and are ready for payback, we keep hearing. The only problem is, Bush isn't the president of just one constituency, as he noted in his first press conference following the election. Nor is Bush the culture warrior some insist he is. Bush didn't make abortion an issue in his campaign except in condemning partial-birth abortion, a position most Americans share. He would have preferred to avoid the same-sex marriage issue, but the Massachusetts Supreme Court forced his hand. And it was John Kerry, not Bush, who made stem-cell research a political issue.
...In conversation following dinner one evening, he explained to me that while Bush is firm in his conviction that every human life should be welcome and legally protected, he is also firm in his belief that social consensus must precede change. Neither Bush's personality nor his ideology meshes with the profile of dogmatic social engineer. On stem-cell research, for example, Bush basically split the baby down the middle, funding research on existing stem-cell lines, but withholding funding for new research that would destroy human embryos. On same-sex marriage, Bush supports a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman, but supports some form of civil union to extend legal protections to same-sex couples. Bush surely has been honest about his religious conversion, from hard-drinking frat boy to leader of the free world, but his message isn't quite on the level on glossolalia. Millions of Americans have changed the direction of their lives through spiritual growth, and other American presidents have been far more "religious" in their public conduct.
Bush's invocations of God, meanwhile, are never gratuitous but are appropriate to context, a funeral, or prayer breakfast, or the finishing touch on a State of the Union address: "God bless America." Hardly the rantings of a theocrat. One can find other references to God, most notably in Bush's articulation of what is surely the central narrative of his presidency: "Freedom is not America's gift to the world. Freedom is the almighty God's gift to every man and woman in the world." Again, this is not rain dancing. Such is the seed that grew the United States of America. In other words, the notion that Bush is imposing his religious beliefs, or that he is going reshape America in the image of some fundamentalist fantasy, is a bum rap.