September 28, 2007

How To Become A Superstar "Journalist" In One Easy Step
— Ace

Breaking a big story takes work. And a lot of luck. And even with both you might never manage it.

There's an easier rout, of course. If you can't be good at your job, at least you can become a superstar, at least among those who count, by being an unabashed partisan.

Looks like MSNBC correspondent David Shuster may have deprived loyal MSNBC viewers of their favorite GOP talking heads — at least for now.

This week, the MSNBC reporter “sandbagged” Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) during an interview by asking her to name the last solider from her district to die in Iraq. After she couldn’t, Shuster named the solider himself and then scolded the Tennessee Republican for her hypocrisy.

But it turns out that the soldier Shuster named — Pvt. Jeremy S. Bohannon — was not from Blackburn’s district after all. The incident landed Shuster in some GOP hot water, and the newsman was forced to make an on-air apology for the incident last night.

But that might not be the end of it, as irked Republican Hillers are now planning a boycott of Shuster’s employer.

...

“There’s no difference [between] sending your boss over to David Shuster or the Democratic National Committee at this point,” sniffs one high-placed House source.

"He thinks acting like a jerk will turn him into a rising star, but he's really just Chris Matthews' schlep,” says a high-placed Senate aide.

I think we'll see an awful lot more of this. It's simply too easy to break with supposed journalistic traditions of objectivity and become a crusading hero to one quarter of the population just by being a dickbag hack. Most journalists are simply not all that good at their jobs. To some extent that's true of every profession -- one third of any group are "average' and one third must be "below average" -- but journalism seems a particularly soft field as far as standards so it seems to attract crap talent.

So expect to see a lot more Keith Olbermanns and David Shusters in the future. Excessive partisanship and bias is a launching pad to success, and it's a hell of a lot easier to take tips from MoveOn than to cultivate sources and carefully expose big stories.

Jeff Goldstein had this same idea a few days ago, remarking upon NPR's refusal to run a Juan Williams exclusive interview with the President on race issues. Juan Williams noted he'd taken time to cultivate a relationship with the White House to give him such a big get. Turns out NPR wasn't so hot on that.

Well, developing a relationship with the White House was your first mistake, Juan.

Because unfortunately, these days the “adversarial” media takes that designation literally. It is not enough to ask tough, fair questions anymore. Instead, one has to have shown an open hostility toward the President to make his bones — or else risk being called an adminstration shill by the kinds of listeners NPR tends to cultivate.

As was long predicted, even the pretense of objectivity is being dropped. In a way, that's progress of a sort. But the media will simply become more and more outlandishly partisan in a race to the bottom, each wannabe Woodward and Bernstein competing with each other to see who can out-liberal the rest.

It hardly needs to be said that there will not be much competition in this regard among the 10% of journalists who lean conservative. Because they'll simply be fired or never promoted above the level of copyboy if they try such a thing.

Nuance, people. Look into it.

Related: Tavis Smiley, "journalist," lies about not having called Bush "nothing more than a serial killer" when questioned about it. This is new again, because the top Republican contenders all avoided the debate he was moderating immoderating.

Also related: it appears that the soldier Shuster asked about did in fact live in that GOP Congresswoman's district... while living with his girlfriend in her mom's house for less than a year before deploying with the army.

I don't think this saves Shuster -- obviously he didn't know this and didn't fact-check beforehand, or else he would not have apologized. He took MoveOn's sketchy tip at face value and failed to determine if the home address they supplied him (where he'd spent all of his life before this brief stay in another district) was even in the district of the woman he was ambushing.

But of course the left, and "reporters" (but I repeat myself) claim vindication.

I ask again of David Shuster: Who was the last US severiceman awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor?


Posted by: Ace at 09:31 AM | Comments (28)
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A Warning to Red Eye w/Greg Gutfeld
— Jack M.

You are playing a dangerous game, my friends.

I see from Hot Air that you have added Mary Katharine Ham to your guest list.

MKH and I have a sordid, tangled history. Before Suzanne Sena entered my life, MKH was my poetic muse. In fact, she briefly carried the designation of my "ideal woman."

But then, Suzanne Sena appeared on the scene and Mary Katharine and I....grew apart.

Were tears shed? Of course. (But not by me, I'm no wuss!). Were many heated words traded in anger? Yes. Do the hard feelings and bitter recriminations remain to this day? Absolutely.

And now? Red Eye is setting itself up for a cataclysmic confrontation. For now that Mary Katharine is in the guest rotation it is only a matter of time until these two Red Eye women are booked to appear on the same show.

I anticipate a catfight of epic proportions as a jealous woman scorned faces the wrath of a woman protecting her claim on her new man.

Please, Red Eye, I ask you as someone who cares not only for these two women, but also about your show. DO NOT book both of these women on the same episode. A Sena-Ham slapfight is the last thing I want to see!

Unless, of course, I'm given advance notice so that I can record the episode. And it occurs in jello.

In which case, how does next Tuesday's show sound? Everyone on board with that?

Posted by: Jack M. at 09:30 AM | Comments (17)
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"Truther" College Leader Discovers The Actual Truth
— Ace

Welcome to the world of the sane. We missed you, man. Whoever the hell you are.

Posted by: Ace at 09:13 AM | Comments (14)
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"Iranians Panicked"
— Ace

A hopeful bit of optimism from a blog analyst.

"Everyone in the government and military can only talk of one thing,' he reports. 'No matter who I talked to, all they could do was ask me, over and over again, 'Do you think the Americans will attack us?' 'When will the Americans attack us?' 'Will the Americans attack us in a joint operation with the Israelis?' How massive will the attack be?' on and on, endlessly. The Iranians are in a state of total panic.'

And that was before September 6. Since then, it's panic-squared in Tehran. The mullahs are freaking out in fear. Why? Because of the silence in Syria. On September 6, Israeli Air Force F-15 and F-16s conducted a devastating attack on targets deep inside Syria near the city of Dayr az-Zawr. Israel's military censors have muzzled the Israeli media, enforcing an extraordinary silence about the identity of the targets. Massive speculation in the world press has followed, such as Brett Stephens' Osirak II? in yesterday's (9/1 Wall St. Journal. Stephens and most everyone else have missed the real story. It is not Israel's silence that 'speaks volumes' as he claims, but Syria's.

Why would the Syrian government be so tight-lipped about an act of war perpetrated on their soil? The first half of the answer lies in this story that appeared in the Israeli media last month (8/13): Syria's Antiaircraft System Most Advanced In World. Syria has gone on a profligate buying spree, spending vast sums on Russian systems, 'considered the cutting edge in aircraft interception technology.' Syria now 'possesses the most crowded antiaircraft system in the world,' with 'more than 200 antiaircraft batteries of different types,' some of which are so new that they have been installed in Syria 'before being introduced into Russian operation service.' While you're digesting that, take a look at the map of Syria: Notice how far away Dayr az-Zawr is from Israel. An F15/16 attack there is not a tiptoe across the border, but a deep, deep penetration of Syrian airspace. And guess what happened with the Russian super-hyper-sophisticated cutting edge antiaircraft missile batteries when that penetration took place on September 6th. Nothing.

El blanko. Silence. The systems didn't even light up, gave no indication whatever of any detection of enemy aircraft invading Syrian airspace, zip, zero, nada. The Israelis (with a little techie assistance from us) blinded the Russkie antiaircraft systems so completely the Syrians didn't even know they were blinded. Now you see why the Syrians have been scared speechless. They thought they were protected - at enormous expense - only to discover they are defenseless. As in naked. Thus the Great Iranian Freak-Out - for this means Iran is just as nakedly defenseless as Syria.

Interesting, but then, I'm really buying that anyone could possibly believe they had any protection from our Air Force. Are the Mullahs in Iran so insane as to believe that Allah's Fist will swat our Blackhawks from the sky? It seems hard to fathom such a thing. Air defenses can only work until they are bombed to oblivion, and we take care of that within 24 hours, usually, and the first wave comes via cruise missiles and not manned airplanes.

I think their main defense is the cowardice, divisions, and lack of will of the West, and I'm not sure how an Israeli airstrike does much to undermine that Wall of Weakness.

I think I got this from Hot Air.


Posted by: Ace at 09:11 AM | Comments (66)
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Back At Home
— Ace

I forgot to mention: Came home on a late train last night.

So you can send those tips to me again.

That's a pic from Ann Althouse's trip to NYC. Apparently -- am I the last to know this? -- it turns out she's Batman.

Posted by: Ace at 08:35 AM | Comments (13)
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Mary Katharine Ham: Meat-Eater
— Ace

A parody of Alicia Silverstone's PETA ad.

Fan service, and yet, sadly, tasteful.

Posted by: Ace at 08:32 AM | Comments (12)
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Al-Qaida Leader in Iraq Killed in Airstrike
— Dave In Texas

Abu Usama al-Tunisi killed by US led forces. He is believed to be responsible for the kidnapping and killing of US soldiers last summer, according to Brig. Gen. Joseph Anderson.

He did not name the soldiers and Pentagon officials said they did not immediately know whom he was referring to. But three U.S. soldiers were killed that month in an ambush-kidnapping that happened while they were guarding a bridge.

Spc. David J. Babineau was killed at a river checkpoint south of Baghdad on June 16, 2006, and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca and Pfc. Thomas Tucker were abducted. The mutilated bodies of the kidnapped soldiers were found three days later, tied together and booby-trapped with bombs.

A Tunisian national, he was also responsible for recruiting foreign terrorists and bringing them to Iraq.

To quote Officer Malone from The Untouchables, "He's as dead as Julius Caesar".


Good.

Posted by: Dave In Texas at 08:16 AM | Comments (14)
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Pelosi: Leatherboy Jesus "Not Harmful To Christianity"
— Ace

I suppose that's technically true. If there is a divine Jesus he's not harmed much by some silly Artistes de Outrage staging the ten billionth "edgy" and "innovative" photo mocking Christianity in all the usual ways (sex, urine, excrement, yawnnnn....)

Still she neatly dodges the question of whether city monies should be used to fund this sort of "free speech." As Michael Kinsley observed a long time ago, it's not so much that the left wants to be counterculture and offensive that rankles, it's that they assert the right to be counterculture and offensive on someone else's dime.

"And as a follow up, the city's Grants for the Arts program, funded by the city's hotel tax, subsidizes the fair. Do you think that it's fair to tax everyone who visits San Francisco and stays in a hotel to support the fair?"

Pelosi: "Well that's not really a local question. That's a constitutional question. That's a religious question. That's as big a global question as you can ask. I'm a big believer in First Amendment and therefore, as I said in my statement, I do not believe that Christianity has been harmed by the Folsom Street Fair advertising."

Audio at the link for the rich, creamery pandering to the nastier elements of the libertine left.

And it seems this this rare attempt at mocking the left from SNL was eerily prescient. They intended it to be so over-the-top and silly as to be gentle and harmless. Turns out you you can't be too over-the-top and silly in mocking Democrats' bizarre belief that the state has a compelling interest in subsidizing the transgressive.

Posted by: Ace at 07:53 AM | Comments (24)
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Beauchamp Update: He Doesn't Stand By The Stories and Admitted They Were False, But...
— Ace

for some odd reason the commander of Beauchamp's combat team says he didn't "recant."

Posted by: Ace at 07:41 AM | Comments (26)
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Is Burma going to have a "Bill Stewart moment"?
— Purple Avenger

For those of you too young to remember, Bill Stewart was a reporter for ABC who was covering Nicaragua in the late 70's who was brazenly murdered by one of Somoza's guardsmen on camera. The video shocked the US and public support for the Somoza regime collapsed almost overnight. The Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza regime quickly when US support was pulled.

So now we have a Japanese cameraman being killed in Burma and the BBC is saying there is video suggesting he was intentionally shot by junta forces.

...TV footage has emerged which raises the possibility that he may have been deliberately targeted rather than caught in cross fire.

Tokyo has decided against an immediate halt in aid to Burma.

Japan is a leading aid donor to Burma and has been criticised for failing to take a tougher line against the regime...

When this junta took over there were all sorts of claims of flying kites and bunnys for all, but the reality over the past year is that they're really not much different than most military dictatorships. They suck and they're a bunch of thugs.

Its not quite there yet, but I can see the shooting of this guy as a one of those crystallizing moments where the tide may turn.

[UPDATE]
The regime has shutdown the internet. Not a good sign. more...

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 06:39 AM | Comments (27)
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Pelosi Criticizes Border Fence, Touts DREAM Act
— Dave In Texas

Comments made at the annual Hispanic Engineering, Science & Technology Week conference at the University of Texas-Pan Am in Edinburg Texas.

Who the hell let her in here?

It's a bad idea to put fences between communities that span the border, blah blah blah. It's a good idea to provide educational benefits for children of illegals and provide them permanent residency blah blah blah.

I wouldn't worry about the fence Nancy. Nobody seems to be in a hurry to make that happen.

Posted by: Dave In Texas at 06:36 AM | Comments (11)
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PRC: Three gorges dam "impending disaster" environmentally
— Purple Avenger

The PRC has admitted its showcase Three Gorges Dam complex may be an "impending" environmental disaster.

...In an unprecedented admission of blame, Communist Party officials gave a stark warning yesterday of impending disaster in the vast area around the dam if preventive measures are not urgently introduced...

We all know what the real problem with Three Gorges is though -- it was "Made in China". Anyone who might have whined about impact statements, test/cert protocols, TQM, ISO 9000, Six Sigma etc got fed to the hogs years ago. I bet its full of lead paint and PCB's too.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 05:55 AM | Comments (38)
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Football Picks Reminder
— Dave In Texas

It's almost that time again.

That time where I embarrass myself one more time and hit 5 or 6 out of 16 picks (from sheer stupid luck).

Except there's only 14 games this week.


Fewer mistakes to be made.

All games on Sunday except the Patriots and the Bungles on MNF.

Posted by: Dave In Texas at 04:00 AM | Comments (45)
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September 27, 2007

Shocker Study: colder water whipped up by hurricanes is...colder
— Purple Avenger

I would have made this observation for half the price.

...Huber said that – because cyclone activity is so linked to climate – future climate partly depends on how tropical cyclones and hurricanes behave. Curiously, he also noted that cold water brought to the surface by cyclone activity helps cool Earth’s atmosphere...

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 07:34 PM | Comments (20)
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NY’s Democratic Governor Hot on Drivers Licenses for Illegals, Others Not So Much
— DrewM.

Last week NY Governor Eliot Spitzer(D) announced that the state would no long require proof of citizenship or legal residence to get a drivers license. This week, county clerks who issue the licenses in NY voiced concern as did NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"Many of us think the whole idea is crazy and ill-fated," said Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola. "I myself will not process any driver's license renewal or driver's license verification for someone who cannot prove legal status."

The Democratic governor's decision comes as the Department of Homeland Security is pushing all 50 states to tighten their identification standards. Merola said Spitzer's approach "is going just the opposite way" as the federal government.

Bloomberg said Wednesday that the city's lawyer "does believe that in fact this would make New York's state driver's licenses ineligible to be used to get on an airplane. People would need other form of identification, generally a passport, and that would be a very big problem."

"I'm really skeptical that we should be issuing driver's licenses willy-nilly," he added Thursday, "because it then leads to lots of other problems in terms of voter registration and other things. But it's the governor's call."

Spitzer replied with some of that hyper logic liberals are always claiming they suffer from by saying it’s ‘morally wrong’ to oppose his plan.

Thanks to Spitzer things will be easier for illegal aliens but actual citizens will have to find a new way to get acceptable ID to do basic things like get on an airplane or enter a federal building.

Posted by: DrewM. at 05:11 PM | Comments (32)
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NY’s Democratic Governor Hot on Drivers Licenses for Illegals, Others Not So Much
— DrewM

Last week NY Governor Eliot Spitzer(D) announced that the state would no long require proof of citizenship or legal residence to get a drivers license. This week, county clerks who issue the licenses in NY voiced concern as did NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"Many of us think the whole idea is crazy and ill-fated," said Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola. "I myself will not process any driver's license renewal or driver's license verification for someone who cannot prove legal status."

The Democratic governor's decision comes as the Department of Homeland Security is pushing all 50 states to tighten their identification standards. Merola said Spitzer's approach "is going just the opposite way" as the federal government.

…

Bloomberg said Wednesday that the city's lawyer "does believe that in fact this would make New York's state driver's licenses ineligible to be used to get on an airplane. People would need other form of identification, generally a passport, and that would be a very big problem."

"I'm really skeptical that we should be issuing driver's licenses willy-nilly," he added Thursday, "because it then leads to lots of other problems in terms of voter registration and other things. But it's the governor's call."

Spitzer replied with some of that hyper logic liberals are always claiming they suffer from by saying it’s ‘morally wrong’ to oppose his plan.

Thanks to Spitzer things will be easier for illegal aliens but actual citizens will have to find a new way to get acceptable ID to do basic things like get on an airplane or enter a federal building.

Posted by: DrewM at 05:11 PM | Comments (34)
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The B-Team Takes the Stage
— DrewM.

No Rudy, Mitt, McCain or teh Fred! but the rest of the Republicans are debating Black issues on PBS starting at 9pm EDT.

Sit back and enjoy Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, Duncan Hunter, Sam Brownback and Alan Keyes do whatever it is they do.

Posted by: DrewM. at 04:01 PM | Comments (36)
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Chicago cop contracts hit on another cop
— Purple Avenger

Apparently he (only) faces up to 10 years if convicted of trying to arrange the contract hit on another cop who was going to testify against him.

Try to get your head around the proportionality here. White Chicago cop contracting for murder faces 10 years. Writing two bad checks, gets some black dude 20 years.

I guess this is what's known as the "police discount".

Posted by: Purple Avenger at 12:37 PM | Comments (46)
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Odd: Reuters Reporter Quotes Self As Major Source For Story
— Ace

As Stop the ACLU observes, if this should turn out to be all bullshit (and really, what are the odds of that?), will he claim to have been misquoted?

More From Say Anything: Good point:

So the premise of the article is that a witness saw at least one US soldier scatter a crowd around an Afghan suicide bombing by opening fire, and that one witness just happens to also be the author of the story.

Professional. You can’t tell me that in the entire crowd with Sherzai couldn’t fine one single person to get a quote from aside from himself.

The Deciders, The Ongoing Saga.

Posted by: Ace at 12:20 PM | Comments (27)
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SC2 Bombshell: CAIR's Boy Admits To Making An Bomb-Building Instructional Video
— Ace

Don't question his jihadism:

In a 12-minute video posted on YouTube, an Egyptian man wearing a white shirt, khaki pants and rubber gloves explains in Arabic how to turn a toy boat into a bomb.

His name is Ahmed Abdellatif Sherif Mohamed, and last month he was arrested in Goose Creek after authorities found four PVC pipes containing a mixture of potassium nitrate, kitty litter and sugar in his car’s trunk.

Mohamed told FBI agents he made the video to teach “those persons in Arabic countries to defend themselves against the infidels invading their countries,” according to federal court documents released late Tuesday.

Specifically, he told the FBI “the technology which he demonstrated in the tape was to be used against those who fought for the United States.”

Well, I initally was a skeptic. I'm skeptical no more.

Posted by: Ace at 11:25 AM | Comments (22)
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