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Archive for the 'MSM' Category

September 4th 2008

As Expected, Sarah Wowed ‘Em


UPDATED

T

he same tingle of excitement I felt when I first read of Sarah Palin in February hit the nation yesterday, just as I figured it would.

Joe vs. Sarah? No contest. Sarah pulled in 37.2 million viewers, 55 percent more than Biden’s convention speech, according to The Live Feed.

Hillary vs. Sarah? Don’t even bother. Over 5 million more females watched Sarah than watched Bill’s wife, formerly known as the keeper of the womens’ vote.

Barack vs. Sarah? The One almost got toppled from the pedestal he’s spent so long trying to convince us he deserves to stand on, eking out a paper-thin three percent lead in the viewership race. The consummate campaigner who’s had over a year to build up support and anticipation was almost knocked off by the new girl on the block – incredible!

Update: AP reports that with PBS added, Palin outdrew Obama by about 2 million, toppling the pedestal.

So, what of all the attacks on Palin? Can the Dems and their MSM buddies pat themselves on the back for a job well done? Not hardly, says Rasmussen:

Over half of U.S. voters (51%) think reporters are trying to hurt Sarah Palin with their news coverage, and 24% say those stories make them more likely to vote for Republican presidential candidate John McCain in November.

Ouch. But there’s got to be some good news for the Palin-smearers; surely they’ve at least cut her down with the whole experience thing, right? No; again Rasmussen:

Thirty-nine percent (39%) also believe the GOP vice presidential nominee has better experience to be president of the United States than Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

You mean better than Biden? Nope, no typo – better than Obama. So if you combine McCain’s experience and Palin’s … whoa, Dude.

Now finally, here’s a poll that was taken after the Palin announcement and the little talk she gave in Dayton, but before last night’s teleprompter-free stem-winder:

(CBS) The presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain is now even at 42 percent, according to a new CBS News poll conducted Monday-Wednesday of this week. Twelve percent are undecided according to the poll, and one percent said they wouldn’t vote.

This is in contrast to a poll conducted last weekend, where the Obama-Biden ticket led McCain-Palin by eight points, 48 percent to 40 percent.

Despite Obama’s reportedly incredible speech (I would give it a C+/B-), he’s lost his lead over the mere announcement and initial reaction to Palin. Is he feeling Hillaryesque? “I had this thing! I deserve this thing! Who’s this unknown @#$& to knock me off?”

For an indication of what’s going to happen when polls like this are re-run and pick up reaction to Palin’s speech, let’s look to the little reader poll next to the news on the CBS poll story, which asks, “How would you grade Sarah Palin’s speech?” I normally don’t give these sorts of polls any credence, but since this one’s on a CBS site that’s presenting polling news, it’s probably running fairly neutral, or maybe a tad left of neutral. The results:

A – 63.9%

B – 4.7%

C – 7%

D – 6.5%

F – 18%

In our 50/50 nation, do you recall seeing many polls where the Dem partisans can only muster together 18 percent?

I think the smearers can file away that “Palin’s going to resign soon” meme in the deepest trash can they can find.

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August 31st 2008

Sunday Scan

Life In A Liberal Democracy

A

h, liberal democracies, where political discord is honored, debate is civil, where respect for opposing views is understood as the foundation of compromise, and where compromise is seen as the glue that binds together the republic.

Someone apparently forgot to teach this to the RNC Welcoming Committee, an anarchist group poised to disrupt this week’s GOP convention. Police raids at several of the groups’ domiciles resulted in the confiscation of:

Materials to create “sleeping dragons” (PVC pipe, chicken wire, duct tape), which is when protesters lock themselves together
Large amounts of urine, including three to five gallon buckets of urine
Wrist rockets (high-powered
slingshots)
A machete, hatchet and several throwing knives
a gas mask and filter
Empty glass bottles
Rags
Flammable liquids
Homemade caltrops (devises used to disable buses in roads)
Metal pipes
Axes
Bolt cutters
Sledge hammers
Repelling equipment
Kryptonite locks
Empty plastic buckets cut and made into shields
Material for protective padding
An Army helmet.

Read more about the raids here.

That’s not the stuff of peaceful protest, so we can thank the investigators at the St. Paul police who uncovered what the RNC Welcoming Committee was up to and pulled off a successful raid. The Left, however, does not share my view:

Members of various protest groups targeted in last night’s raid held a press conference today to express their anger and frustration.

The raid was an effort to “derail RNC protest organizing efforts and to intimidate and terrorize individuals and groups converging in the Twin Cities to exercise what are supposed to be their basic civil rights,” RNC Welcoming Committee member Tony Jones read from a statement.

“We will not be intimidated,” Jones exclaimed.

Yeah, well neither will we, punk. Continue Reading »

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August 25th 2008

More MSM Death Rattles

T

his news today from one of McClatchy’s premier rags, The Sacramento Bee:

The Bee offered voluntary buyouts to the majority of its full-time employees today and hinted that another round of layoffs is possible as well.

The buyouts represent the latest round of cost cutting at The Bee, which is facing a big slump in advertising revenue. Two months ago the newspaper eliminated 86 jobs as part of an across-the-board layoff ordered by its parent, The McClatchy Co. of Sacramento. McClatchy imposed a companywide wage freeze two weeks ago.

But Bee executives said today they needed to make more cuts. The economic downturn has deepened and The Bee, like the rest of the newspaper industry, continues to struggle with the migration of business to the Internet and other media.

Some cheer the demise of the MSM; I am not one of them, especially regarding papers like the SacBee, which are the newspapers of record for the states they serve. I hope that most of those offered buyouts are useless hacks, no longer needed ad sales people and the like, but when you’re talking about a full-time employee at the Bee, you just might be talking about reporters with years of experience and tough savvy who cover state government like no one else.

Who is going to replace the MSM, for all its faults? What bloggers are ready to step up and cover the governor, the legislature and dozens of state bureaucracies? Exactly none. I don’t care how noble the bloggers are in their intentions, they won’t receive the deference provided to journalists, they don’t have the same protections, and they definitely lack the resources the MSM had in their prime.

Of course, I’m part of the problem. I subscribe to nothing now except the on-line WSJ. I read the SacBee just about every day, but I give them nothing for their efforts to report the news and make it available to me. And I don’t look at their on-line ads, either.

With the newspapers in trouble and the blogs not yet ready to pick up the ball, do we really face the prospect of having to rely on broadcast news for coverage of state government? If so, we’re doomed.

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August 7th 2008

Heat Builds For NYT, Networks To Cover Edwards Affair

M

cClatchy News Service is going where most others fear to tread: Actually writing a story about a leading VEEP prospect who has cuckolded his cancer-suffering wife, fathering a love child with his hot mistress. The MCClatchy story, emanating from the home-town paper of Mr. Happy Zipper, aka John Edwards, shows how easy it is to cover the story:

RALEIGH, N.C. — Former Sen. John Edwards has a deadline to save his spot on the national stage.

With two weeks to go before their national convention, a number of Democrats are saying that Edwards needs to publicly address National Enquirer stories that have alleged he had an affair with a campaign worker and fathered her baby.

If Edwards fails to clear up the story in short order, he risks party officials deciding not to have him speak or, if they do, creating a distraction from a week focused on Barack Obama accepting the nomination.

See? McClatchy didn’t have to buy in to the Enquirer story; it only had to state the obvious: Edwards has a problem that may well doom his VEEP hopes. This is not tough stuff.

But it’s apparently too tough for the NY Times, which has run nothing on the story, presumably using the Enquirer’s credibility as its excuse. Yet in another scandalous story twelve years ago, it proclaimed, The Enquirer: Required Reading in Simpson Case. Nothing has happened since then that would make the tabloid’s reputation any worse, so the NYT is using a moving, selective criteria to protect one of the Dems’ golden boys. (Is it OK to use “boys” if the guy’s white?)

At the Washington Post, which sees itself as the torch-bearer for the coverage of national politics, it’s the same thing: Not one single story. Ditto ABC, NBC, and PBS. (CBS ran a brief blog entry – nothing on camera – that said “I can’t really tell if [the photos] are genuine.”)

How can these “news outlets” justify their silence when even the left-leaning LA Times, which earlier mandated that its staff under no circumstances would cover the story (even though Edwards was busted by the Enquirer in LA), now covers it marginally well, with two recent stories on the scandal.

Dem strategist Gary Pearce (no relation) who ran Edwards’ 1998 senatorial campaign, has an interesting comment on the mess:

“The big media has tried to be responsible and handle this with kid gloves, but it’s clearly getting ready to bust out. If it’s not true, he’s got to stand up and say, ‘This is not true. That is not my child and I’m going to take legal action against the people who are spreading these lies.’ It’s not enough to say, ‘That’s tabloid trash.’ “

The LA Times’ coverage, and now McClatchy’s, certainly indicates that the story is “about to burst out.” But I wonder if Pearce would use the term “kid gloves” if the Enquirer had busted Mitt Romney coming out of a pretty blond’s hotel room at 2:30 in the morning. He’d be howling like a banshee.

As for the quote Pearce suggests, it is not enough. Edwards’ word is not enough. He needs DNA proof that he’s not the love child’s father if he wants to project a shred of believability. And yes, I know I’m talking about the Dems here; I still think it’s true.

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May 20th 2008

White House Takes On The Obama Network

The general rule of thumb of not picking fights with guys who buy their ink (or electrons) by the barrel doesn’t really hold if you’re counselor to the most powerful man in the world, so Ed Gillespie has taken on NBC.

In his letter attacking NBC’s editing of a presidential interview, Gillespie’s request is straightforward:

This e-mail is to formally request that NBC Nightly News and The Today Show air for their viewers President Bush’s actual answer to correspondent Richard Engel’s question about Iran policy and “appeasement,” rather than the deceptively edited version of the President’s answer that was aired last night on the Nightly News and this morning on The Today Show.

Should NBC fold? Let’s look at the evidence, the two questions and answers Gillespie said were unfair. I’ll present the edited interview in italics followed by the actual transcript:

RICHARD ENGEL: You said that negotiating with Iran is pointless and then you went further. You’re saying, you said that it was appeasement. Were you referring to Senator Barack Obama? He certainly thought you were.

GEORGE W. BUSH: You know, my policies haven’t changed, but evidently, the political calendar has. And when a leader of Iran says they want to destroy Israel, you’ve to take those words seriously.

Full transcript: “You know, my policies haven’t changed, but evidently the political calendar has. People need to read the speech. You didn’t get it exactly right, either. What I said was is that we need to take the words of people seriously. And when, you know, a leader of Iran says that they want to destroy Israel, you’ve got to take those words seriously. And if you don’t take them seriously, then it harkens back to a day when we didn’t take other words seriously. It was fitting that I talked about not taking the words of Adolf Hitler seriously on the floor of the Knesset. But I also talked about the need to defend Israel, the need to not negotiate with the likes of al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas. And the need to make sure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon. But I also talked about what’s possible in the Middle East.”

NBC, in a manner typical of the media, cut out the part of the quote that challenges the media’s veracity. The mighty MSM has a glass jaw. The subsequent snipping resulted in considerable detail being left out, including remarks that made it clear Bush set no new policy in his Knesset speech, and gave context to his Hitler comments. But did it mischaracterize Bush? I’ll get back to that.

Gillespie then points out that the question immediately following illuminated the subject more, but was not included in the aired version of the interview. Here is that passage:

ENGEL: Repeatedly you’ve talked about Iran and that you don’t want to see Iran develop a nuclear weapon. How far away do you think Iran is from developing a nuclear capability?

BUSH: “You know, Richard, I don’t want to speculate – and there’s a lot of speculation. But one thing is for certain – we need to prevent them from learning how to enrich uranium. And I have made it clear to the Iranians that there is a seat at the table for them if they would verifiably suspend their enrichment. And if not, we’ll continue to rally the world to isolate them.”

Says Gillespie:

This response reiterates another long-standing policy, which is that if Iran verifiably suspends its uranium enrichment program the U.S. government would engage in talks with the Iranian government.

NBC’s selective editing of the President’s response is clearly intended to give viewers the impression that he agreed with Engel’s characterization of his remarks when he explicitly challenged it. Furthermore, omitted the references to al Qaeda, Hezbollah and Hamas and ignored the clarifying point in the President’s follow-up response that U.S. policy is to require Iran to suspend its nuclear enrichment program before coming to the table, not that “negotiating with Iran is pointless” and amounts to “appeasement.”

It’s true, this passage does define why Bush is not talking to Iran and what conditions he requires before he would talk to them. As such, it defines why he thinks talking to them without these conditions amounts to appeasement. NBC would have had time to air this bit if it hadn’t introduced the piece with the same moral equivalency we saw on AP’s story on the same subject.

Much is being made of this letter today — just check out the links to the two stories posted on memeorandum (here, here). My thoughts?

Gillespie picked the wrong target, for three reasons.

First, the editing is not that egregious. I don’t think Gillespie is right when he claims that the editing gave the impression Bush agreed with Engel’s characterization of his remarks, and I don’t think the follow-up question moved the ball very far down the field. If you’re going to take on a network, you should have a better case than the one Gillespie chose to argue, and Lord knows, there are plenty of better cases out there.

A White House edit of the interview would have been very different … but it would have been editing nonetheless. Egregious editing is defined as putting words into someone’s mouth that weren’t stated, not leaving out further illumination on points you’ve put into the interview. I would have preferred to not hear the chiding of Bush in the intro — the Arabs he was speaking to in Egypt deserved a lecture on democracy, and who cares if the minions of despots were cool to it? — but NBC’s editorial position is clearly anti-Bush, and within that context, the editing was more typical than outrageous.

Second, coverage of the Knesset remarks was going extremely well for the White House and the GOP. Obama was coming off as weak and naive; Bush, the GOP and McCain were coming off as more seasoned and more protective of America. There was no reason to give the opposition the opportunity to position Bush as a crybaby. As one leftyblogger responded to the matter:

Now it’s clear that the White House is so invested in this phony war, so convinced of its usefulness, that Ed Gillespie is desperately trying to keep it going far past its expiration date with this message to NBC.

When the opposition is rallying, it’s wise not to give them rallying points.

Finally, and most obviously, the nasty little NBC piece was weak and not terribly damaging to US policy, the war or the president, and it had already slipped off to the dustbin of history. Gillespie’s letter awoke the dog — not just the sleeping dog, but the very dead dog.

In the furor that is ensuing, those of us who are convinced the MSM has staked out a position damaging to the war effort and America will too easily jump on Gillespie’s bandwagon, not seeing that the whole exercise was a mistake. And those on the left will happily attack Gillespie and Bush and praise NBC for standing up to the administration’s arrogance and warmongering.

Gillespie did Bush, the GOP and McCain no favors. This was yet another mistake in the gargantuan chronicles of Bush administration media mistakes.

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March 15th 2008

Will MSM Cover Saddam-al-Qaida Links?

Libs love to laugh at W for claiming there were ties between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida, relying on the old canard that Sunni and Shi’ia don’t mix. I wonder if their laughter will wane upon reading this:

This ought to be big news. Throughout the early and mid-1990s, Saddam Hussein actively supported an influential terrorist group headed by the man who is now al Qaeda’s second-in-command, according to an exhaustive study issued last week by the Pentagon. “Saddam supported groups that either associated directly with al Qaeda (such as the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, led at one time by bin Laden’s deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri) or that generally shared al Qaeda’s stated goals and objectives.” According to the Pentagon study, Egyptian Islamic Jihad was one of many jihadist groups that Iraq’s former dictator funded, trained, equipped, and armed.

The Weekly Standard news item is based on a report gleaned from 600,000 documents from the Saddam era, including letters, memos, computer files, audiotapes, and videotapes. From the report’s abstract:

Because Saddam’s security organizations and Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network operated with similar aims (at least in the short term), considerable overlap was inevitable when monitoring, contacting, financing, and training the same outside groups. This created both the appearance
of and, in some way, a ‘de facto’ link between the organizations. At times, these organizations would work together in pursuit of shared goals but still maintain their autonomy and independence because of innate caution and mutual distrust. Though the execution of Iraqi terror plots was not always successful, evidence shows that Saddam’s use of terrorist tactics and his support for terrorist groups remained strong up until the collapse of the regime.

Weekly Standard gives us this summary of some key report findings:

In 1993, as Osama bin Laden’s fighters battled Americans in Somalia, Saddam Hussein personally ordered the formation of an Iraqi terrorist group to join the battle there.

For more than two decades, the Iraqi regime trained non-Iraqi jihadists in training camps throughout Iraq.

According to a 1993 internal Iraqi intelligence memo, the regime was supporting a secret Islamic Palestinian organization dedicated to “armed jihad against the Americans and Western interests.”

In the 1990s, Iraq’s military intelligence directorate trained and equipped “Sudanese fighters.”

In 1998, the Iraqi regime offered “financial and moral support” to a new group of jihadists in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq.

In 2002, the year before the war began, the Iraqi regime hosted in Iraq a series of 13 conferences for non-Iraqi jihadist groups.

That same year, a branch of the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) issued hundreds of Iraqi passports for known terrorists.

So Saddam’s interplay with terrorists not only included al-Qaeda, but went far beyond it, posing multiple threats to America on multiple fronts.

Will America read about this in their daily paper or see it on their nightly news? With the Weekly Standard just posting the story, it’s too early to tell — but somehow I feel that in the end, this will be passed of as just a story a neocon rag ran, discounting the report behind it in order to keep the mythology of the “war that started with a lie” intact.

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March 9th 2008

Quote Of The Day: Enviro’s Albatross Edition

“The Government is irresponsible to jump on a bandwagon that has no base in scientific evidence. This is one of many examples where you get bad science leading to bad decisions which are counter-productive.”
– Lord Taverne

Unfortunately, Lord Taverne is not talking about government’s full-blown buying of global warming hysteria, the the story of what set Taverne off is illustrative of the power the Greenie/MSM alliance wields. Here’s the story (London Times via Greenie Watch):

Scientists and environmentalists have attacked a global campaign to ban plastic bags which they say is based on flawed science and exaggerated claims.

The widely stated accusation that the bags kill 100,000 animals and a million seabirds every year are false, experts have told The Times. They pose only a minimal threat to most marine species, including seals, whales, dolphins and seabirds.

Here comes the paragraph on how stupid Lefty politicians are when it comes to Green Hype:

Gordon Brown announced last month that he would force supermarkets to charge for the bags, saying that they were “one of the most visible symbols of environmental waste”. Retailers and some pressure groups, including the Campaign to Protect Rural England, threw their support behind him.

Buy why?

But scientists, politicians and marine experts attacked the Government for joining a “bandwagon” based on poor science. …

Campaigners say that plastic bags pollute coastlines and waterways, killing or injuring birds and livestock on land and, in the oceans, destroying vast numbers of seabirds, seals, turtles and whales. However, The Times has established that there is no scientific evidence to show that the bags pose any direct threat to marine mammals.

They “don’t figure” in the majority of cases where animals die from marine debris, said David Laist, the author of a seminal 1997 study on the subject. Most deaths were caused when creatures became caught up in waste produce. “Plastic bags don’t figure in entanglement,” he said. “The main culprits are fishing gear, ropes, lines and strapping bands. Most mammals are too big to get caught up in a plastic bag.”

He added: “The impact of bags on whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals ranges from nil for most species to very minor for perhaps a few species. For birds, plastic bags are not a problem either.”

You’ve heard the stat about the gazillions of species that go extinct each year (here’s the myth … here’s the reality), or how many square miles of Brazilian rainforest disappears in the blink of an eye (here’s a story that says it’s disappearing at a rate of 9,000 square miles a year, and here’s one that says the rate is 55,000 square miles a year).

Here’s the key behind all of these fatalistic overstatements:

The central claim of campaigners is that the bags kill more than 100,000 marine mammals and one million seabirds every year. However, this figure is based on a misinterpretation of a 1987 Canadian study in Newfoundland, which found that, between 1981 and 1984, more than 100,000 marine mammals, including birds, were killed by discarded nets. The Canadian study did not mention plastic bags.

Some environmental group on a fund-raising binge seized on the study, misstated it (honest mistake or deliberate manipulation?)and spread the word … and the MSM, which loses all journalistic integrity and fawns over every word from the Greenies and “environmental scientists,” can be counted on to spread it … so teachers can pass it along to our next generation … and politicians can “solve” the problem by imposing regulations and raising our cost of living.

And it just keeps happening and happening, again and again.

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January 29th 2008

Ask Not Who You Can Smear For Your Country

On the subject of the Kennedys’ endorsements of Barack Obama, Soccer Dad commented, “Think that any members of the MSM or Democratic Party will say, ‘I knew Jack Kennedy …?’”

… and you, sir, are no Jack Kennedy. Dan Quayle’s ears probably still hurt from the verbal cuffing he got from Lloyd Benson during the VP debate, yet Barack Obama remains pretty much uncuffed by such unflattering comparisons.

Until today.

Writing in the Washington Monthly under the coy headline Ask Not, Ted Widmer lays out why Obama is no Jack Kennedy. Here’s one of several paragraphs Widmer spins out on the topic:

Kennedy, of course, was a decorated veteran of World War Two, which he fought in the South Pacific. But before and after the conflict, he had acquired travel experiences that most people take a lifetime to accumulate, richly detailed in biographies like Robert Dallek’s An Unfinished Life. His father was ambassador to the United Kingdom in the pivotal year 1938, and young Kennedy was in the audience of the House of Commons as the Munich deal was furiously debated (the experience shaped his first book, Why England Slept). As a young man, he made American officials uneasy with his relentless desire to see parts of Europe and the world that few Americans ever encountered. In 1939 alone, he took in the Soviet Union, Romania, Turkey, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Greece, France, Germany, Italy and Czechoslovakia. As the war was ending, he attended the San Francisco conference that created the United Nations, filing seventeen dispatches for the Chicago Herald American.

There’s more, and it’s all interesting, including how Widmer lionizes Kennedy’s youthful encounters with Europe will dismissively brushing away Obama’s youthful encounters with South Asia.

Now keep in mind that Widmer was a speechwriter for Bill Clinton.

Oh.

So, the answer to Soccer Dad’s question — will the MSM do a forthright comparison of Kennedy and Obama, a subject Caroline Kennedy’s endorsement makes so ripe? — remains “Not yet.”

We have today a well planted counter-attack from the Clinton camp, a sign of a well-oiled political machine. But the overwhelming silence from the media is itself a sign of an MSM that has turned its back on Clinton and is “objectively” cheering Obama on.

Is it because they like Obama so? Maybe a bit. But if we conservatives know that Hillary will be the easier of the two to beat in November, don’t you think the the overwhelmingly Democratic leadership of the MSM (the NYT editorial board notwithstanding) gets that, too?

Hat-tip: RCP; Illustration: Kyo

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January 3rd 2008

Honor Killings In Texas

Police in Texas are searching for an Egyptian Muslim man — Yaser Abdel Said — who shot his two teenage daughters multiple times because, according to some neighbors quoted in the Dallas Morning News, he was upset with their dating activities.

That is the definition of an honor killing, plain and simple, even though the Dallas Morning News, Star-Telegram, AP/Fox, and TV station WFAA all steered clear of giving honor killing as the motive — a defensible position given the early stages of the investigation, with the killer still at large.

The local CBS affiliate got closer to giving honor killing as the motive, although it shied away from the words:

Friends of the girls say their father was Egyptian and critical of popular American lifestyles. “”He was really strict about guy relationships and talking to guys, as well as the things she wears,” Kathleen Wong, a friend of the dead teenagers. “I’m definitely 100% sure that it was her dad that killed her.”

Blogger Israel Matzav, who reviewed the memeorandum links as I have, draws the conclusion that the murders are news only in media with a known conservative bias, and concludes:

Not one link comes from an outlet or blog identified with the Left. Even the AP story comes from Fox, which is identified with the Right.

Why doesn’t the Left think this story is so important? Has it become politically correct to be silent when Muslim girls are murdered by members of their families for ‘defiling the family honor.’

It’s an interesting question, and one I fear we will have far too many opportunities to analyze as immigrant Muslim men begin more and more to exhibit this disgusting bit of homeland tradition on our shores. Not all Muslim countries have honor killing problems, but Said’s native land of Egypt is one that definitely does.

The Dallas Morning News provides information that shows the two victims, Sarah and Amina, were exceptional — yet typical — American girls:

Friends describe Amina and Sarah (pictured) as quiet but well-liked students at Lewisville High School. They played tennis and soccer and were enrolled in many Advanced Placement classes.

“They were extremely smart – like geniuses,” said Allison Villarreal, a senior at Lewisville High, where Amina was a senior and Sarah was a junior.

Liz Marines, secretary of the Lewisville High School Student Council, had classes with both of the sisters and also remembers their scholastic abilities.

“Amina was very nice with everybody. She helped me in [Advanced Placement English] class,” she said. Sarah was a sophomore when she took an Algebra II class with Liz, who was a junior at the time.

She said the sisters, who wore typical American clothes, didn’t talk much about their family. “I didn’t know they were Muslims until she told me they were Egyptian and Muslim,” Liz said.

She said the Student Council is organizing a prayer vigil at 6 tonight at Lewisville High. Students are being asked to wear pink to school today to honor their friends.

“It’s because pink was their favorite color,” Liz said.

Most honor killing victims don’t get the benefit of such praise in the media. From the reports, they deserve it — and true honor (as opposed to the twisted Islamic concept of honor) demands that their murders become a major national story, so honor killing is discouraged in America.

Can we depend on our liberal media to carry out such a basic task?

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December 30th 2007

Sunday Scan

All The News That Causes A Fit

Speaking hypothetically, if a conservative major MSM outlet (see why we have to be speaking hypothetically?) hired a liberal columnist, would anyone even peep? Well, peeping they are about the NYT’s hiring of the Weekly Standard’s William Kristol as a columnist.

As the picture shows, Libs aren’t too keen on letting Kristol speak his piece, so it’ll be nice that NYT readers will now have a weekly wincing and grinding of teeth, as we do on reading any number of their far left “thinkers.”

And it’s beyond nice to read this in the NYT:

Mr. Kristol, 55, has been a fierce critic of The Times. In 2006, he said that the government should consider prosecuting The Times for disclosing a secret government program to track international banking transactions.

In a 2003 column on the turmoil within The Times that led to the downfall of the top two editors, he wrote that it was not “a first-rate newspaper of record,” adding, “The Times is irredeemable.”

Is redemption at hand? Nah, not by a long shot.

“Considering?!”

If you’re planning to become a parent someday, clip and file this one under “What not to do:”

GARLAND, Texas – An essay that won a 6-year-old Texas girl four tickets to a Hannah Montana concert began with the powerful line: “My daddy died this year in Iraq.”

While gripping, it was not true …. Her mom acknowledged to contest organizers the claim was made up specifically to win the contest. …

The girl won a makeover that included a blonde Hannah Montana wig, as well as the grand prize: airfare for four to Albany, N.Y., and four tickets to the sold-out concert on Jan. 9.

The mother had told company officials that the girl’s father died April 17 in a roadside bombing in Iraq.

“We did the essay and that’s what we did to win,” Priscilla Ceballos, the mother, said in an interview with Dallas TV station KDFW. “We did whatever we could do to win.”

Winning, Ceballos taught her daughter, is more important than honesty or integrity.

Ceballos and offspring were busted when the Dept. of Defense confirmed that the alleged father, one Sgt. Jonathon Menjivar, did not exist.

Support our fighting men! Kill them fictionally for concert tickets!

Most amazingly, contest organizers, instead of immediately pressing criminal charges against Ceballos so her unfortunate daughter might finally learn a civics lesson, are “considering” taking away the girl’s tickets.

Healthy Christian Skepticism

While some famous Christians are hopping on the global warming bandwagon, George Pell, the Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, isn’t so sure. In a year-end column, Pell said:

The Bali summit on the Kyoto Protocol and climate change was a public relations triumph, although I’m hopeful the new government will not impose major costs on the people for dubious versions of climate goals.

We need rigorous cost-benefit analysis of every proposal and healthy scepticism of all semi-religious rhetoric about the climate and, especially, about computer models for the future. It is difficult to predict what the weather will be like next week, let alone in 10, 20 or 100 years.

“Semi-religious?” Pell is being diplomatic, since great faith is required to accept Warmism lock, stock and barrel. (hat-tip: Greenie Watch)


Ron Paul’s Medal Mettle

Consistency, blogs Josh Nelson at The Seminal, “is one of Ron Paul’s strongest points in his presidential campaign.” Put Paul loses his mettle when it comes to Congressional medals.

Nelson points out that Paul voted against awarding custom-made, $30,000 solid gold Congressional Gold Medals to American luminaries, asking “Why should taxpayers pay for these medals?”
Why, then, did Paul earlier submit a bill (which, like all of his bills, went absolutely nowhere) calling for a military metal for everyone who served in the armed forces during the Cold War, from September 2, 1945 to December 26, 1991?

DoD fought the bill. Why? Well, think of the weapons you could buy or salaries you could pay for the loony concept’s price tag: $240 million.

More damning than the flip-flop (“I was for costly Congressional medals before I was against them”), is that the supposedly anti-government, pro-individualism Paul was saying in this bill that it didn’t matter whether recipients served well, stood out, or accomplished anything during their service; everyone gets a medal.

I’ve thought many things of Ron Paul, but I’ve never thought him to be a “trophy for everyone who plays” sort. (Art: Neoperspectives)

The Debate Is Over!

We’ve heard that one before. Not just global warming, mind you. The debate has long been over on vegetables. Eat ‘em raw for max nutritional value; cook ‘em and lose some benefit.

Right? Everyone says so! Just like global warming! Think again:

ScienceDaily (Dec. 30, 2007) — In a finding that defies conventional culinary wisdom, researchers in Italy report that cooking vegetables can preserve or even boost their nutritional value in comparison to their raw counterparts, depending on the cooking method used.

Specifics? You want specifics? We got ‘em:

In the new study, the researchers evaluated the effects of three commonly-used Italian cooking practices — boiling, steaming, and frying — on the nutritional content of carrots, zucchini and broccoli. Boiling and steaming maintained the antioxidant compounds of the vegetables, whereas frying caused a significantly higher loss of antioxidants in comparison to the water-based cooking methods, they say. For broccoli, steaming actually increased its content of glucosinolates, a group of plant compounds touted for their cancer-fighting abilities. The findings suggest that it may be possible to select a cooking method for each vegetable that can best preserve or improve its nutritional quality, the researchers say.

The lesson: Beware of false algore-ithms.

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With Obama winning the presidency by seven percent, we can't blame the media. Their laudatory coverage and refusal to extensively probe into Obama's background and [lack of] experience was at best responsible for five percent of his vote, the pundits tell us. Here is a compilation of over 100 significant instances of pro-Obama/anti-McCain bias during the 2008 campaign.

For all 'Media Bias 2008' – Click Here

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