24 May 2004

I say we nuke the place

[source, source]

Global warming is now advancing so swiftly that only a massive expansion of nuclear power as the world’s main energy source can prevent it overwhelming civilisation, the scientist and celebrated Green guru, James Lovelock, says.

His call will cause huge disquiet for the environmental movement. It has long considered the 84-year-old radical thinker among its greatest heroes, and sees climate change as the most important issue facing the world, but it has always regarded opposition to nuclear power as an article of faith. Last night the leaders of both Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth rejected his call.

Note carefully that the opposition to nuclear power is an article of faith. It’s rare to see that kind of admission in Big Media.

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Well, according to the press release it didn't happen


NY Times reporter James Bennet makes his living presenting Israeli vs. Palestinian claims on the truth. Now everyone will have to weigh Bennet’s vs. the Palestinians’ account of what happened to him outside a Gaza hospital on Thursday:

Palestinian Authority officials and journalists denied over the weekend that Palestinians in Rafah had tried to kidnap New York Times correspondent James Bennet.

Bennet said he was talking on a cell phone at about 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday night when a stranger approached him, smiled, offered a handshake and said, “Welcome.” The stranger then grabbed Bennet’s hand, while another man tried to force him into a Mercedes Benz that appeared at the curb. The men did not appear to be armed, he said.

Bennet said he tried to fight off the assailants and screamed for help. PA policemen stationed at the hospital arrived almost immediately and attempted to pull him away from the abductors. “It turned into a big scrum,” he said. The assailants got into the car and fled. Bennet said his shirt was ripped, but that he was not hurt…

Zakariya Talmas, a senior member of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate in the Gaza Strip, described Bennet’s claim as “baseless.” He said that the syndicate looked into the case and discovered that there had been no attempt to kidnap the journalist. The gunmen only wanted to check his identity, Talmas added.

As you always insisted, Mr. Bennet, there are two sides to every story. ‘One man’s kidnapper is another man’s ID-checker’?

This episode should serve as an object lesson to foreign correspondents, who routinely quote dubious Palestinian sources to ‘balance out’ their reports. It will be interesting to see if Mr. Bennet, in future stories, grants legitimacy to the very PA figures who are now telling him his own harrowing ordeal was ‘baseless.’

Frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if Bennet accepts the PA version of the story, granting legitimacy to these PA spokemen over his own reporting and personal experience.

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It wouldn't be fair if we helped


The WaPo provides an update to the Valerie Plame Wilson investigation. Here is a link to the TIME story in question.

Intruiging excerpt:

The request to interview reporters may suggest that the probe is nearing a conclusion, because Justice Department guidelines require that prosecutors exhaust all other avenues before calling reporters before a grand jury. Attorneys for several grand jury witnesses and news organizations said it is not clear whether Fitzgerald is moving toward seeking indictments in the case or whether he is preparing to complete it without bringing criminal charges.

And apparently news organizations are fighting the subpoenas - this ghastly national security breach must be investigated, but not with their help. The schizophrenic quality of this scandal - the Administration must determine the identity of a leaker already known to the Big Media - has long been part of its charm. Maybe a network can bring back “I’ve Got A Secret”.

What more evidence is needed that this is a “gotcha” exercise, not actual indignation?

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