Saturday, October 15, 2005

About MSM planting and staging

Lots of MSM are all worked up over President Bush's people going over some procedures with those soldiers who talked to the President from Iraq.

No one says the President's people tried to plant questions or used props. But MSM still doesn't like what happened.

Funny, none of MSM was worked up when a reporter planted a question about body armor with a soldier who was taking part in a televised event with Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.

The President's people didn't do anything so deceiving as write out a question and plant it with a soldier, and then report on the soldier's question without mentioning the reporter had set it all up.

And it's funny how NBC, which is one of the MSM outfits most worked up about what the President's people did, is the very same outfit that had a reporter paddling in a canoe as she reported for NBC's Today show's viewers the flooding in New Jersey.

It all seemed pretty dramatic reporting until a couple of guys innocently walked in front of the reporter, and we could all see the water was only a few inches deep.

Too bad for NBC its "reporting" was live so they couldn't just clip the two guys out of the "flood report."

At Betsy's Page she has a link to the video tape of it all. As Betsy says, "too funny."

If anyone knows those guys tell them thanks from those of us who want a more honest MSM.

Does MSM have a double standard? You bet.

Trackback to Mudville Gazette with thanks.

Slate cites Tar Heel blogger in NYT story

Tar Heel blogger David Boyd is cited in a Slate story speculating on the NY Times's failure to repost so far on some important whats, whens, whys and wherefores involving its reporter, Judy Miller. The Times keeps saying soon, soon.

"But why not now?" people are asking.

Take a look at what David is saying.

BTW - Another blogger Slate cites is Ariana Huffington.

But lest you worry, no darling, David's not moving to Malibu.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Please editor Sill: Stop the fuss and answer the questions.


Here's some past, present and future concerning Raleigh's News & Observer. Pay attention. What you don't know could hurt you.

If you read this recent JinC post, N&O news editor and media critic disagree, you know there's been a fuss involving New York University professor, media critic, and blogger Jay Rosen and Raleigh News & Observer executive editor for news and blogger Melanie Sill.

Things got hot when Melanie came to believe that at a conference she did not attend Rosen said something like: Journalists are "used to being the filter from God, but people don't accept that anymore."

Now, you and I would hear something like that and say,"Sure, Rosen means we won't accept Rather and CBS telling us their anonymous source is "unimpeachable" when he's a long-time Bush hater; and we won't accept stuff like The N&O's front page headline the other day about that alleged spy being an "Ex-Cheney aide" when the guy first went to work in the White House for Vice-president Gore, and worked for him for 19 months."

But that's us, folks.

Melanie responded with:

Heavens. Perhaps Rosen has spent too much time peering at journalism through the lens of his computer screen. He ought to take a tour through some of the material in the latest American Journalism Review, which reports on how journalists covered Hurricane Katrina.... He ought to be out with a reporter trying to get a reluctant local sheriff ...
There's lots more but you get the drift.

Visit Melanie’s blog and read her entire post and all the comments. You'll see that many professional journalists including Rosen are involved, along with bloggers and readers.

Now, Melanie has posted this in the comments section:
Comment from: Melanie Sill [Visitor] •
10/13/05 at 16:34
Thanks for the comments and trackbacks. I'm still out of the office but have some thoughts to add in a new post when I return. Jay (that’s Rosen –ed.), thanks for taking time to expand upon the filter metaphor. Rather than debating it, I would like to set forth briefly an alternate idea on how N&O editors frame our choices each day and our overall mission. I do appreciate the discussion.
Does all of this sound familiar?

Remember this post: The editor, the governor, and we, the readers?

Remember Melanie had run that foot-stamping column about public officials not responding when the N&O came round. She really lit out after Governor Easley and his staff. She didn’t like an email one of the Governor’s staffers had sent her. She filtered the email, as journlaists say, and gave us readers a summary of its contents. It sure sounded bad.

But what Melanie was telling us didn’t sound at all like Governor Easley or his staffers.

Thanks to the Governor's office, we were all able to see and read for ourselves what the staffer had actually sent Melanie. And the email wasn’t much like what Melanie had said it was, was it?

So I put four questions together for Melanie including why she hadn't made the email available to us in the first place and whether the way she represented to readers what the staffer had written was typical of how N&O reporters and editors report what public officials and their staffs say.

It's all in the post: A link to Melenie's column, a copy of the email, and the questions.

We never heard another word from Melanie about any of it, did we?

Now we’re going to be given “an alternative idea.”

Melanie, how about first answering the questions we asked about how you could report to us on that email the way you did? The offer to publish in full your answers at still stands. And I’ll bet other bloggers will be happy to do the same at their blogs, just as they were the last time.

If the problem is publishing at blogs, OK, no hard feelings. But then why not publish in The N&O print edition your column and the email? N&O readers would be very interested to read it all.

Folks, I’m emailing this post to Melanie. In a few minutes, I’ll also give her a link at her blog.

Please share your thoughts with Melanie at her blog.

Comments here are welcome.


Can an MSM reporter say such a thing?

I was listening to the news tonight and I swear I heard Washington Times reporter Bill Sammon refer to "our American effort in Iraq."

Aren't MSM reporters supposed to say something like "the Bush administration's effort in Iraq?"

The MSM news organizations are neutral, right? BBC, ABC, NY Times, Aljeezra, NPR, Reuters,CNN: All neutral.

So could this guy Sammon really have said what I think I heard him say?

And if he did say it, do I have to report him to the National Press Club?

Thank you to Mudville Gazette for an open post.

Here's the "inside" on Raleigh restaurants

For those of you who dine out in Raleigh, Craig at Newmark's Door has a wonderful post today. He reviews restaurants and tells us which ones earned the Newmark Seal of Approval.

Craig has lots of mentions of restaurants with special seafood dishes. Does you mouth water when you hear a place serves "Bang-bang shrimp?"

Craig links to what he says is a great new blog where you can learn the location of Raleigh's "dining epicenter."

My only criticism of Craig's post is that he's once again failed to say anything about Raleigh's widely-sold News & Observer baloney. Is the Sunday edition the best? Or does The N&O have to turn out so much balony for what's their busiest day of the week that we'd be better off trying it on a weekday when the staff can be closer attention to what their serving us? We need answers.

So how about it, Craig? Will you try The N&O for a few nights and tell us what you think? If you can't get out, The N&O does home delivery the same as Dominoes.

Meanwhile, Craig's post is here.

William F. Buckley and Miers: A question. (updated)

Does anyone know if Bill Buckley has said anything public regarding the Supreme Court nomination of White House Counsel Harriet Miers?

I news.googled "Buckley Miers" and got nothing that could be attributed to Buckley.

If anyone has information, please comment. Include a link if possible.

Thank you.


Thanks to N. C. State University Professor and blogger Craig Newmark we have something Buckley said about the Miers nomination. It's from his Oct. 4 column. Typical Buckley, he's thoughtful and informed but I wouldn't call what he said a full out endorsement. That's mainly because he was speaking the day after the President announced her nomination. I don't know what Buckley would say today, ten days later.

You can read Buckley's column here.

Thanks again, Craig. Bloggers are sure helpful people. Ah, ah, professors too, of course.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Political diversity and law school faculties

Blogger and UCLA Law Professor Stephen Bainbridge estimates the political party affiliation ratio of UCLA Law School’s faculty is about 11:1 in favor of Democrats.

Bainbridge links to Paul Caron’s post reporting on a study of political party affiliations of professors at 10 top law schools.

Can you guess the overall finding? It’s 8:1 in favor of Democrats. Surprised?

What about here in North Carolina?

No NC law schools were included in the study but UNC – Chapel Hill Law Professor and blogger Eric Muller said this in an Aug. 29, 2003 post, Advise on advising:

I am a big supporter of intellectual and political balance at my law school, UNC. It's no secret, I think, that the faculty as a whole at this law school are, in their own lives, rather to the left of center; I am too, but probably a good bit closer to the center than most of my colleagues.
I don’t have anything concerning faculty political affiliation at NC’s other law schools – Campbell, Central, Duke and Wake Forest. If you have something you can add, please comment.

I’m going to email this post to Professor Muller and invite him to comment on the study and/or the current status of political alignment among faculty at UNC-CH Law.

Meanwhile, you may want to visit Bainbridge and Caron.

Some Nobels recognize our worst

Some Nobel Prize awards recognize humanity's best while others recognize our worst.

Michelle Malkin posts on the latest Nobel Prize for Literature winner, Harold Pinter, a figure much beloved by those who hate America while holding as their heroes Stalin, Mao, Che,Arafat and other monsters.

In recent years, Pinter's lavished praise on his now fellow Nobel laureate, Yasser Arafat and "his cause." It's never bothered Pinter that Arafat lured and trained children to turn themselves into human bombs; and then sent them out to explode themselves beside innocents, including other children at play or school.

It's never bothered Pinter that during decades of encouraging and directing terrorism, Arafat grew wealthy through graft while most Palestinian people live in poverty.

You may be asking, "Does anyone or anything bother Pinter?

Yes. Here's a letter he wrote to the Guardian in Nov., 2003 on the eve of a visit by President Bush's to Britain:

Dear President Bush,

I'm sure you'll be having a nice little tea party with your fellow war criminal, Tony Blair. Please wash the cucumber sandwiches down with a glass of blood, with my compliments.

Harold Pinter
Pinter's letter is the kind of writing that excites the far-Left and the Nobel selection committee.

Pinter is in the tradition of another Nobel literature prize winner, Pablo Neruda.

By 1953 when Stalin died, everyone knew he had killed tens of millions of innocent people. But he remained a revered figure on the far-Left.

A grieving Neruda penned a tribute to Stalin. Here's part of it:
To be men! That is the Stalinist law! . . .
We must learn from Stalin
his sincere intensity
his concrete clarity. . . .
Stalin is the noon,
the maturity of man and the peoples.
Stalinists, Let us bear this title with pride. . . .
Neruda's Nobel was awarded in 1971.

I was tempted to end this post with something like: "Whose next for a Nobel, Michael Moore?"

But that wouldn't be fair to Moore, although I don't doubt there are some on the Nobel selection committee who think he shows promise.

Trackback with Mudville Gazette

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fifth anniversary of USS Cole attack

Michelle Malkin and William at Florida Masochist have informative and moving remembrance posts marking today's fifth anniversary of the U.S.S. Cole attack which killed 17 of our sailors and wounded dozens more. Both blogs have photos.

Michelle notes that Stars and Stripes has an extensive tribute.

In remembrance and gratitude, these last lines from the Navy Hymn:

From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.
Open post link to Mudville Gazette.

We need a White House rescue operation

The AP is reporting:

President Bush said Wednesday his advisers were telling conservatives about Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers' religious beliefs because they are interested in her background and "part of Harriet Miers' life is her religion." "People are interested to know why I picked Harriet Miers," Bush told reporters at the White House. "They want to know Harriet Miers' background. They want to know as much as they possibly can before they form opinions. And part of Harriet Miers' life is her religion."
Hard to believe only a few months ago White House staffers were telling everyone then Judge Roberts's religion shouldn't be considered in determining his suitability to serve on the Supreme Court.

The White House was right then just as it's wrong now.

What the White House is doing flies in the face of the Constitution's ban on a religious test for office.

Most conservatives won't support what the White House is doing, but they'll be tarred by the Dems and MSM with the "religious zealots" label.

The White House is using a repugnant and dumb tactic born of desperation. It can only hurt the President, his political allies, and America's constitutional fabric.

Please contact the White House. Remind people there that when a ship's been hit by a torpedo, the emergency response pumps are for getting water off the ship, not bringing more on board.

Everyone needs to join in what is now a rescue operation.

White House contacts:

Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
FAX: 202-456-2461


Big news from Syria

The AP's reporting:

Syria's interior minister, who ran Lebanon for many years and was one of several top officials caught up in the U.N. probe of the slaying of that nation's former prime minister, died Wednesday. The country's official news agency said he committed suicide in his office.

The death of Brig. Gen. Ghazi Kenaan — just days before the final U.N. investigation report is due — was a new and startling sign of turmoil in Syria, whose authoritarian regime is girding for the chance that the U.N. report might implicate high-ranking officials in the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri. He was killed by a bomb in February as his convoy drove through Beirut.

I'll bet most of us are thinking the same thing.

Kenaan's death sure has to be a relief to many highly placed people.

Let's see if we learn anything more in the days ahead.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Dems put on quite a Miers show

The AP reports some Senate Democrats are "defending" Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers from conservative criticism that she isn't qualified to serve on the court.

We're told Sen. Tom Harkin (D – Iowa) doesn't like “the trashing" she's received. Harkin's quoted as saying, "I really think it's despicable what they're doing."

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) finds Miers's critics “incredibly sexist."

"They're saying a woman who was one of the first to head up a major law firm with over 400 lawyers doesn't have intellectual heft," Mikulski said. "I find this a double standard."
The AP gives us more, of course, but let's stop here.

It's true there's been some unfair criticism of Miers by conservatives, but most of what's been said is within the bounds of reasonableness; and certainly nothing like what many Democratic leaders and their media follows have often done to President Bush's judicial nominees.

For instance, has a single Republican Senator or prominent conservative academic, journalist or blogger called Miers “a wacko?”

But isn't wacko exactly what the "disgusted" Tom Harkin called Judge Priscilla Owen when she was an appellate court nominee: "This is not a person to put on the bench for a lifetime appointment. This person is wacko! She's wacko!"

About the time Harkin called Owen "wacko," the American Bar Association, by unanimous vote of its committee on federal judicial nominations, awarded her its highest recommendation: "Well Qualified."

"Wacko" or "Well Qualified?" Barbara Mikulski didn't hesitate: No double standard for her. She voted with Harkin not to confirm Owen.

Remember Chuck Schumer saying:
For years, the federal courts served as the shield protecting basic civil rights in this country. This administration wants the courts to become the sword that destroys those rights. And don't think this stops with Judge Pickering. He's just the tip of the iceberg.
Post Roberts, we know Schumer is a lightweight. But Schumer deserves credit for this: He sure can trash.

(Note: Judge Charles Pickering, like Owen, received the ABA's Well Qualified rating.)

And there were all those Democrats cheering when Ted Kennedy, "the liberal lion," roared "Neanderthals" at a group of men and women who had agreed to serve on the federal bench. The ABA found every one of them either Qualified or Well Qualified, didn't it?

Mikulski is right about one thing. Harriet Miers has been the target of some incredibly sexist remarks. Here are a few of them:
"I hope President Bush doesn't have any more office wives tucked away in the White House."

"(Miers) is one of the women who steadfastly devote their entire lives to doting on (Bush), like the vestal virgins guarding the sacred fire."

"(She's) a bachelorette who was known for working long hours.'"
In her denunciation of Miers's “incredibly sexist" critics, Mikulski didn't mention any of the sexist remarks cited here.

Why not? I think because all of them appeared on the editorial page of The New York Times, a paper as passionately Democratic as Mikulski herself.

The sexist remarks are part of a Maureen Dowd column republished at the Denver Post online.

If anything I've reported concerning the Senate Democrats, Dowd, or The New York Times surprised you, pay more attention to them as well as the large MSM claque that supports them.

They put on quite a show.

On Miers Dems post renamed

The post I said would be titled "On Miers Dems go Hip, Hip, Hypocrisy" has been retitled. It's now titled "Dems put on quite a Miers show." I'll post it right after this post.


N&O news editor and a media critic disagree

N&O executive editor for news and blogger Melanie Sill had a lot to say yesterday about journalism and bloggers.

What got Melanie going was what she’d learned from N&O public editor Ted Vaden about remarks made by media critic, blogger and New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen at a conference last Saturday in Greensboro. Melanie didn't attend the conference.

Here’s part of what Melanie posted:

(Vaden) quotes media critic Jay Rosen (as) saying journalists are "used to being the filter from God, but people don't accept that anymore."

Heavens. Perhaps Rosen has spent too much time peering at journalism through the lens of his computer screen. He ought to take a tour through some of the material in the latest American Journalism Review, which reports on how journalists covered Hurricane Katrina -- including blogs and online journalism. He ought to be out with a reporter trying to get a reluctant local sheriff to share a report that is public information but that the sheriff controls. Rosen ought to be out driving toward a disaster zone, instead of away from one, trying to find out what happened and why. He ought to be at the tail end of a 12-hour day with an assistant city editor at any newspaper, editing stories on deadline and trying to make them clear and cogent.
Rosen responded in the Comments section. He began:
Huh? You have taken a comment that was offered in a specific context--the act of filtering, and the kind of knowledge that lies behind the act--and fuzzed it up it so that I appear to be expressing some type of general disrespect to working reporters. All so you can turn in a cliche about ivory towerism.
Rosen ended with:
You got it wrong, Melanie.
In between, Rosen provided a point-by-point response to Melanie.

There are lots of excellent comments besides Rosen’s, including ones from bloggers Bob Owens and David Boyd.

My favorite comment to date is this one from Visitor Jim:
Melanie -- Too funny. You are editorialzing about the scrupulous newsgathering skills of local newspapers by commenting on a second-hand quote you never bothered to verify with the actual speaker, but nonetheless use as a basis for making juvenile accusations about getting a life beyond the computer. You have made your point, albeit not the one you intended. Hysterical.
(Jim, If you’re not a blogger, I hope you think about it. JinC)

Be sure to take a look at Melanie’s post, Real life journalism, and read all the comments. Maybe leave one yourself.

Also, visit the blog of Ed Cone, Greensboro News & Record editor. who actually heard Rosen’s remarks. Scroll down to his posts for October 11. Read the one that begins: “You got it wrong, Melanie.” It's very brief and very interesting.

Update: David Boyd just informed me Ed Cone is not an editor at the Greensboro N&R. Ed's bio at his blog says he's an opinion columnist for the paper. Sorry for the error, Ed and readers. And thanks for the heads up, David.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Blogging light today. Lots tomorrow

I'll be traveling for the next 6 hours so blogging will be light today.

There will be lots tomorrow including two posts concerning matters at Raleigh's News & Observer and another titled: For Miers Dems go Hip, Hip, Hypocrisy.

A question for a Raleigh News & Observer editor

(Folks, I just sent the following email to The N&O's front page editor with a copy to its public editor. I'll keep you posted. JinC)

To: Eric Frederick
Front Page Editor
Raleigh News & Observer

From: John

Re: The N&O's identification of a source

Dear Eric:

Your Oct 9 front page includes the headline, Miers defined by loyalty to Bush, after which a story begins:

In an administration filled with ideological warriors, Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers has been a quiet foot soldier whose only mission is service to the president.
That opinion sentence frames the theme of the entire story/essay.

Because of time constraints, I'll pass over the theme and get to your identification of a source, David Frum, who endorses your theme.
"She was a loyal assistant,” said former White House speechwriter David Frum. “She’s not an initiator. She was never a force for anything…. She reflects the president’s philosophy.” (Ellipse in original. – JinC)
As you know, David Frum was one of the first and sharpest critics of Miers’ nomination. In recent days, his blog here has been devoted almost entirely to fighting her nomination.

I would have thought that under The N&O’s Fairness and Accuracy policy readers would have been told of Frum’s opposition to the Miers nomination.

Why did you decide not to tell readers about it?

I look forward to your reply, which I will publish in full at JinC.

I’m copying to Public Editor Ted Vaden because he has written on the issue of proper source identification.

Cc: Ted Vaden, Public Editor

Sunday, October 09, 2005

For Miers it just got worse

(Welcome, After reading this post, please take a look at another post that describes how a major MSM paper took a story about possible spying in the White House, and turned it into a liberal spin "hit-Cheney" piece. It's here. JinC)

With respected conservative voices asking that her nomination be withdrawn and friends at her Texas church praising her readiness “to always help serve the coffee,” you may have wondered if things could get any worse for Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers.

Well, they just did.

Today's New York Times reports Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Arlen Specter (R- Penn.) says it’s become “more emphatic” in his mind the Miers needs “to bone up on constitutional law.”


And there’s more. The same Times story reports former Republican Senator Dan Coats, picked by the White House to help shepherd Miers’ nomination through the Senate, had this to say during a CNN interview:

"If great intellectual powerhouse is a qualification to be a member of the court and represent the American people and the wishes of the American people and to interpret the Constitution, then I think we have a court so skewed on the intellectual side that we may not be getting representation of America as a whole."
Double ouch.

The Times then adds:
Mr. Specter, asked about (Coats) remark, laughed and wondered if it was "another Hruska quote" - a reference to an oft-quoted comment by the late Roman Hruska, a Republican senator from Nebraska, who defended G. Harrold Carswell, a Supreme Court nominee who was rejected by the Senate. "Even if he is mediocre," Mr. Hruska said, "there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance?"
If Senators Chuck Schumer and Ted Kennedy read The Times this morning, they’ll probably decide to take a few more days off and just let Specter and Coats continue digging.

You can survive attacks from political foes. But when the people you’re counting on to be your strong supporters are providing material comedy writers will use for jokes ridiculing you, your days are numbered.

Tom Maguire linked to The Times article and has more to say. I mentioned in a post here Steven Bainbridge’s reference to what we might call “the Hruska standard.” Today Bainbridge has a lengthy post aimed at persuading conservatives to fight Miers’ nomination.

Michelle Malkin and Betsy Newmark haven't posted on Miers yet today but look for both to have plenty to say worth reading.

We're reminded of something very important

David Boyd has a post/link that reminds us of something very important.

We should never forget and always be grateful.