09 August 2004

Old Media shows its true nature

[source, source]

John Temple, editor of the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, praised the meeting overall and said he was “inspired” by it — but noted in a column that the partisanship (evidenced by “cheering and whistling” during Kerry’s speech) was “something I had never experienced in a crowd of journalists.”

Helen Ubinas, another attendee, wrote in The Hartford (Conn.) Courant that she was “in the minority, as it were” who acted like “a professional, not a partisan” in responding to Kerry. There was snickering during Bush’s address and the crowd rose at the end, “but not for much longer than it took to head to the door.” Ubinas’ explanation: Kerry connects with the “advocacy side” of Unity journalists. But showing preference for one candidate, she added, “is the ultimate betrayal — to everyone.”

Akilah Johnson, a reporter at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Delray Beach, Fla., told USA Today, “It was a little awkward for me. I guess a lot of people were acting like citizens, not reporters.” Unity President Ernest Sotomayer pointed out that many Unity members, including those who were covering the event or planned to report on it later, did not cheer. Those who did, he said, are “people who vote, and they have a right to express themselves” when they’re not working.

But Seattle Times reporter Florangelea Davila told her paper, “It was so offensive and awful, and I hated it. It was clearly inappropriate. It was ridiculous.” Houston Chronicle Suburban Editor Pete McConnell said he was “embarrassed” by the crowd reactions to Bush and Kerry: “As a group we should have kept ourselves in check.”

Bob Steele, ethics expert at the Poynter Institute, called public outbursts favoring one candidate “unprofessional and unethical.”

Why can’t these journalists be this open about their bias all the time instead of only when they think no one is watching?

Posted by orbital at 9:39 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

We might want to do it too

[source, source]

The Arab League chief pledged support for Sudan’s government before an emergency meeting on the violence that has killed thousands in that country’s Darfur region, and Nigeria’s president offered to host peace talks to resolve what has been called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Well that’s that. We wouldn’t want to upset the Arab Street by interfering in the Arab League supported genocide in Darfur.

Posted by orbital at 9:21 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Don't worry, he's got a secret plan...

[source, source]

Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry has staked much of his campaign on a proposal he hopes will convince voters that he can extricate the United States from Iraq more quickly and at less cost than President Bush.

But Kerry’s plan, which promises to effectively shift much of the Iraq war burden from America to its allies, so far is failing to receive the international support the proposal must have to succeed.


Many allied countries may welcome a new team in Washington after years of friction with the Bush administration. But foreign leaders are making it clear they don’t want to add enough of their own troops to allow U.S. forces to scale back to a minority share in Iraq, as Kerry has proposed.

What’s astonishing is that this is a surprise to anyone.

Posted by orbital at 3:56 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Wall of Plame gets chipped


Newly-released court orders show U.S. District Court Chief Judge Thomas F. Hogan two weeks ago ordered Matt Cooper of Time magazine and Tim Russert of NBC to appear before a grand jury and tell whether they knew that White House sources provided the identity of CIA officer Valerie Plame to the media.


Cooper still refused to answer questions after Hogan’s July 20 order, and on Aug. 6 Hogan held him in contempt of court and ordered that he go to jail. Cooper has been released on bond pending his emergency appeal to a federal appeals court. Hogan has ordered that Time pay a $1,000 fine for each day Cooper does not appear before the grand jury.

Sources close to the investigation said they believe Russert was not held in contempt Aug. 6 because he agreed to answer the questions after Hogan’s July 20 ruling.

Both journalists had earlier tried to quash the subpoenas issued by Fitzgerald in May. But, citing a Supreme Court decision, Judge Hogan ruled that journalists have no privilege to protect anonymous sources when the state has a compelling interest to investigate or prosecute a crime.

Hogan wrote in his just-unsealed order that the information requested from Cooper and Russert is “very limited” and that “all available alternative means of obtaining the information have been exhausted.” He added that “the testimony sought is expected to constitute direct evidence of innocence or guilt.”

It’s been very indicative of Old Media’s view of themselves and the USA that, on a matter they themselves called one of strong national security concerns, they were unwilling to cooperate with investigating it. For this, among other reasons, I suspect that the facts won’t reflect badly on President Bush or it would have been leaked long ago.

Posted by orbital at 3:50 PM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Silencing dissent watch


Yesterday, President Bush attempted to put some distance between his campaign and some over-zealous vietnam vets who are challenging John Kerry’s military service. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said, “We have not and will not question Senator Kerry’s service in Vietnam,” and went on to say “The president is calling for an immediate cessation to all the unregulated soft money activity.” It sounds to me like the Bush campaign is trying to do the honorable thing here, but in reply Kerry spokesman Chad Clanton said, “We’re glad to have a discussion about campaign finance reform. But it’s disingenuous for the Bush campaign to hide behind this partisan group that’s trying to tear down John Kerry’s distinguished military service record. It’s a reminder of why this White House has lost credibility.”

I am so stunned at the chutzpah of the DNC claiming that

  • The White House should be making the SwiftVets “watch what they say
  • That presidential campaigns shouldn’t hide behind partisan groups
  • That Senator Kerry’s military service shouldn’t be questioned as President Bush’s was

that I don’t have any snarky comment.

Posted by orbital at 10:58 AM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL

Cooperation works

[source, source]

The governor of Najaf cleared the way Monday for military operations around the Imam Ali Shrine, the most holy place in Shiite Islam, where fighters loyal to radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr are holed up, said a commander for the U.S.-led multinational forces.


Al-Sadr has promised a fight to the death against the American-led forces by his Mehdi Army militia.

I’m sure our boys will be happy to accomodate your request.

Posted by orbital at 10:27 AM | View 0 TrackBacks | Trackback URL