Thursday, December 21, 2006

Best Headline of the Day

From Access Hollywood:

Let the catfight begin.

Slanting The News

Longshot or no, Jim Gilmore at least brings a conservative voice to the 2008 presidential discussion. But what's up with this twisted report?
Jim Gilmore for president?
He sees a void to be filled; Pundits call him a longshot
By Pamela Stallsmith and Jeff E. Schapiro, Richmond Times-Dispatch Staff Writers

Former Gov. Jim Gilmore's presidential ambitions may prove a rallying point for conservatives outside Virginia, but they could cause headaches back home.

Fellow Republicans -- allies and adversaries alike -- said yesterday that Gilmore potentially fills a vacuum, created in part by the surprise loss of U.S. Sen. George Allen, R-Va., with a message emphasizing tax cuts and national security.

However, they warn that Gilmore's political re-entry could complicate efforts by state Republicans to defend shrinking majorities in the General Assembly next year. His candidacy could feed voter distaste for a shrill partisanship with which he is synonymous.

Viewed by pols and pundits as a long shot, Gilmore -- a prominent voice in the war on terrorism who was elected governor in 1997 on a pledge to repeal the car tax -- disclosed Tuesday that he will form an exploratory committee on Jan. 2 to weigh a presidential bid. (link) [my emphasis]
Beating that horse as much as I can this morning ...

To those of you in the GOP who believe you can influence mainstream reporters (and TD staff writers) by setting up an internet mouthpiece to convey the party message, notice what you're up against here.

The article provides this: "However, they warn that Gilmore's political re-entry could complicate efforts by state Republicans to defend shrinking majorities ..."

So who are the "they?"

Well, it turns out the "they," or "fellow Republicans" are in fact only a "he," and he is a Republican in name only, having ran for governor in 2005 as an independent - Russ Potts. Potts is the only "Republican" cited who has a problem with Gilmore entering the race after Schapiro and Stallsmith lead us to believe that there is a host of party members who are distressed by the former governor's declaration.

The only one.

And this is the kind of bias you intend to overcome. Why do I doubt your chances of success?

Radmacher Makes The Big Time

My phone started heating up yesterday morning over this then-developing story:

O'Reilly reaction ignites slew of responses
Bill O'Reilly fired back Tuesday at an editorial by Dan Radmacher of The Roanoke
By Erinn Hutkin, The Roanoke Times

Interviews with three local TV stations. Calls from readers. E-mails from everywhere -- and a voicemail message from a friend joking he's a "liberal loon."

It was more reaction than Roanoke Times Editorial Page Editor Dan Radmacher expected from his Sunday column on the Horizon section front page.

The piece attacked the "'War on Christmas' nonsense" and cited TV commentator Bill O'Reilly as pushing it.

On Tuesday -- on radio and on Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," -- the conservative host fired back.

By Wednesday, the war of words between the local editorial writer and the national name was everywhere -- on TV, Web sites and radio news. Readers were weighing in. And one local news anchor termed it "David versus Goliath." (link)

I've not yet had the time to review the O'Reilly piece so I can't comment on it except to say that I can only imagine ...

As for Radmacher, those of you who were at the Martinsville bloggers conference will remember him sitting next to me during the panel discussion with Norm Leahy and Times-Dispatch staff writer Jeff Schapiro. Dan is also my liaison at the Roanoke Times to whom I submit my weekly columns.

I've found the man to be a fair person, a good manager, and a genuinely nice guy.

Yes, he's, without doubt, a liberal loon. But three out of four ain't bad.

A Related Circumstance

Besides relying on bottom-feeding lefty bloggers for information they are more than willing to reprint (see below), lefty newspapers are wont to do the dissemination work for America's bottom-feeding class-action lawyers as well. Stories like the following have been appearing every day in this particular "newspaper."

Disparity Emerges in Lilly Data on Schizophrenia Drug
By Alex Berenson, The New York Times

For at least a year, Eli Lilly provided information to doctors about the blood-sugar risks of its drug Zyprexa that did not match data that the company circulated internally when it first reviewed its clinical trial results, according to company documents.

The original results showed that patients on Zyprexa, Lilly’s pill for schizophrenia, were 3.5 times as likely to experience high blood sugar levels as those taking a placebo, according to a February 2000 memo sent to top Lilly scientists. The memo is one of hundreds of internal Lilly documents provided to The New York Times by a lawyer in Alaska who represents mentally ill patients.

But the results that Lilly eventually provided to doctors until at least late 2001 were very different. (link)

The New York Times might save time and effort and skip the stories and just provide us with a link to the ATLA.

All the news that's fit to print. In a pig's eye.

Case In Point

There are those in the GOP weblog world who got their undies in a bunch over my recent comment that the Republican Party reserving seats on its central steering committee for webloggers was (for the most part) a waste of time. They and Senator Ken Cuccinelli believe (I hope I'm not distorting their argument here) that they can do what Raising Kaine and NLS did for Jim Webb in the recent senatorial election, that is, they can influence the mainstream media and all the political pundits around the state in order to gain favorable press. And probably to do a little beat-em-up on the opposition.

The reason I gave for being underwhelmed by the idea was because of the very limited readership weblogs have.

But there is another reason.

Do you guys honestly think you're suddenly going to get a break from the left-leaning mainstream media?

In the recent election campaign, George Allen made up a word that Ben and the kids at Raising Kaine (who had no clue as to its meaning) made into a scandal and that was picked up by the Washington Post and featured - along with related stories - in a hundred news articles and editorials. The non-word being macaca.

Jim Webb calls Arabs towel-heads, a racial slur of the ugliest kind, one that everyone recognizes, is called out for it by Jon Henke and other right-leaning blogs, and it gets one mention in the press.


The left has adopted the practice and it works for them. Case in point, Waldo's revelation regarding a letter that Representative Virgil Goode sent to supporters recently. Waldo posts the letter's contents, it makes the rounds of all the lefty blogs (who are shocked, shocked!), it works its way into some mainstream publications, and wouldn't ya know it, it shows up in the New York Times:
Congressman Criticizes Election of Muslim
By Rachel L. Swarns, The New York Times

Washington, Dec. 20 — In a letter sent to hundreds of voters this month, Representative Virgil H. Goode Jr., Republican of Virginia, warned that the recent election of the first Muslim to Congress posed a serious threat to the nation’s traditional values.

Mr. Goode was referring to Keith Ellison, the Minnesota Democrat and criminal defense lawyer who converted to Islam as a college student and was elected to the House in November. Mr. Ellison’s plan to use the Koran during his private swearing-in ceremony in January had outraged some Virginia voters, prompting Mr. Goode to issue a written response to them, a spokesman for Mr. Goode said.

In his letter, which was dated Dec. 5, Mr. Goode said that Americans needed to “wake up” or else there would “likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran.” (link) *
Now you might say, "See. It Works!"

No. It works for them. The openly biased mainstream press has sunk to this level.

Don't buy it? Let's do a test:

Start firing off emails to this New York Times reporter and let her in on all the goofy and salacious - even criminal - things our senator-elect or any one of a host of Democrat beanbrains around the state or nation are saying or doing, and has said and done in the past, and see how quickly it makes it into print. I'll not be holding my breath.

You're not going to get liberal reporters and editors to print your stories simply because you have something to say. They don't care. And they certainly aren't fair and balanced.

You're dreaming.

* As for Mr. Goode's letter, I took it to be rather crass, and he probably knew it wouldn't play well in the mainstream press, but it surely achieved that which the author intended. Such is politics.

It Never Works The Other Way Around

If there were any balance to the mainstream press, the story relating to this sleazebag's documented criminal activity would have sent him to the slammer long ago:
Bubba Aide's Trailer-Trash Caper

December 21, 2006 -- Washington -- President Clinton's national security adviser removed classified documents from the National Archives, hid them under a construction trailer and later tried to find the trash collector to retrieve them, the agency's internal watchdog said yesterday.

The report by the Archives inspector general was issued more than a year after Sandy Berger pleaded guilty and received a criminal sentence for removing the documents.

Berger took the documents in the fall of 2003 while working to prepare himself and Clinton administration witnesses for testimony to the Sept. 11 commission. (link)
Sandy Berger committed a serious crime (he apparently made an admission) that should have brought about his imprisonment for many years. Instead, Bill Clinton jokes about him on TV talk shows. The press is virtually disinterested. And Berger does community service.

One can only wonder what might have been his fate had he sent text messages to congressional pages ...

... and been a Republican.

One Last Example

Try to imagine Tom Delay getting this kind of treatment in the mainstream press:
Corrections: For the Record
The New York Times

A chart on Sunday comparing biographical and personal points about Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, two like-minded New York leaders with a warm relationship who could find themselves at odds once Mr. Spitzer is sworn in, misidentified one of Mr. Bloomberg’s favorite foods. It is saltines, not sardines. (link)
"Texas Congressman Tom Delay advised this morning that one of his favorite delicacies is saltines. Sometimes referred to as crackers, saltines originated in 19th century Italy ..."


One Becomes Jaded ...

I've read this kind of story so many times, it's hard to get excited by it. Still ...
Iran President Facing Revival of Students’ Ire
By Nazila Fathi, The New York Times

Tehran, Dec. 20 — As protests broke out last week at a prestigious university here, cutting short a speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Babak Zamanian could only watch from afar. He was on crutches, having been clubbed by supporters of the president and had his foot run over by a motorcycle during a less publicized student demonstration a few days earlier.

But the significance of the confrontation was easy to grasp, even from a distance, said Mr. Zamanian, a leader of a student political group.

The student movement, which planned the 1979 seizure of the American Embassy from the same university, Amir Kabir, is reawakening from its recent slumber and may even be spearheading a widespread resistance against Mr. Ahmadinejad. This time the catalysts were academic and personal freedom. (link)
There have been so many stories "revealing" movements that are going to change the direction Iran is headed (which is off a cliff) in the press in recent years.

We can only hope this one has legs.