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Author Topic: Media Issues  (Read 189845 times)
Howling Dog
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« Reply #150 on: August 26, 2007, 03:46:19 PM »

Buzwardo, I don't recall saying or infering that you need to or should write down to me. I just see no reason to read through all your self flattery just to have you write at the end quotes like this:
Quote
Bottom line is I've no qualms with your checklist, but ask if you should add yourself to it.
After all isn't that pretty much what your saying all along?
Evidently you've got plenty of time on your hands........but...... Please by all means continue to impress!
I asked you what bunny slippers you bow to... You refrenced a above post.  I can't seem to locate that list you lead me to believe is so clearly communicated......maybe if you could help me out with that "list".
As for the martial arts refrence. It has been my experience that the simple techniques is most often the ones that yield the best result.
The cute eloquent ones are merly for show........I'am sure though if your as good a fighter as you are internet whiz kid then you may disagree....though I must confess to not seeing a lot of your postings on the martial arts threads. rolleyes Have you ever made any?
Feel free to move this to another thread and eloquently tell me all about your fighting/martial arts experiences.
Hey....its the internet......you can be king if you like wink
                                                                                    TG
Actually I thought my previous post simple enough.........All I asked was what you stand for......all I got in response was more BS.......
                                                                               
« Last Edit: August 26, 2007, 03:49:55 PM by tom guthrie » Logged

Howling Dog
buzwardo
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« Reply #151 on: August 27, 2007, 08:39:44 AM »

Nah, Tom, you're too obtuse to deal with. If truly desiring to learn my beliefs feel free to to peruse my other 700+ posts and see what you can glean. Indeed, I stated them to you directly in an earlier exchange and offered to explain 'em if you'd tell me what the gig pays. Again, I'm not inclined to put more energy into answering a question then you do asking it and don't understand why the concept is so hard to communicate.

In the interim do keep probing for chinks in my ego. Try calling me a ratfink next; that will sure show me.

SB Mig, if I came on too strong I apologize, it's not my intent to to drive you out of the conversation. You've always struck me as someone who has more than two clues to rub together and I usually find value in the things that you post, as well as our exchanges.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #152 on: August 27, 2007, 08:45:08 AM »

CNN's God's Warriors at war with truth
Posted by Rabbi Marvin Hier | Comments: 30


A day prior to the airing of Christiane Amanpour’s six-hour CNN documentary entitled God’s Warriors, I was one of four clergymen to be a guest on Larry King Live to discuss the issue of fundamentalism in today’s world. The interview on Larry King was pre-recorded in mid-July and none of the participants had seen the six-hour documentary because it was still being edited. Now that I have seen it, I sent the following critique to the producers of God’s Warriors.

1. MORAL EQUIVALENCY - There is no moral equivalency between some 200 Israeli fanatics prone to violence and tens of thousands of Palestinian terrorists whose acts are endorsed by the elected government and a significant portion of the population. The failure of the documentary to clearly make that distinction skews the facts and conveys the false impression allowing people all over the world to conclude that there IS a moral equivalency between the number of Palestinian terrorists and Jewish terrorists - this is a complete distortion. More importantly, the largest terrorist group responsible for much of the unrest in the Middle East, Hamas, got a free pass from CNN in God’s Warriors and is not even mentioned in the documentary’s segment on Islam.

2. JEWISH LOBBY - CNN spends much time describing the strength of the “Jewish Lobby” in Washington.  But what do supporters of Israel active on the Hill have to do with a documentary focusing on the power of religion? Indeed, many of those defending Israel on Capital Hill are, in fact, secular Jews.  Furthermore, if you are going to talk about powerful lobbies, why not give equal time to the enormous power of the Arab Oil lobby?

3. SECURITY FENCE (Hamas Wall) - The consultants of the documentary make a point of showing the security fence that now separates the Palestinians from the Israelis. Palestinians interviewed explain the hardships they face and call the fence an “apartheid” wall. Nowhere is there a mention of the wide consensus of support for the security fence amongst all Israelis, left and right, including Israel’s Supreme Court, which has sanctioned the fence because, without it, the suicide bombings would continue unabated, something NO society can tolerate. Indeed, the terrorist groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad are the real architects and designers of that fence.

4. FIGHTING TERRORISM - God’s Warrior’s makes mention of the fact that the few Jewish terrorists described in the film were all arrested by the Israeli government and sent to jail for their crimes. Yet, they ignore the fact that Palestinian officials have never convicted Palestinian terrorists. Had they done so, there would be no need for a security fence.

5. SIX DAY WAR - The documentary spends a lot of time on the Six Day War and emphasizes how Israel decided to attack the Old City during the War, which changed the status quo forever. But God’s Warriors fails to explain how or why the Six Day War started. It hides from its audience the fact that Egypt blocked the Straits of Tiran (an international waterway), an act of war under international law, denying all shipping to Israel and that the Arab States, including Jordan, which controlled the Old City, brought their armies to the border. Had they not taken those actions, the Six Day War would have been averted. By ignoring all that and instead focusing on Israel’s attack on the Old City, God’s Warriors guides its audience to the conclusion that the purpose of the War was Israel’s intention to grab the Old City of Jerusalem.

6. SHARON - The documentary is critical of Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount, which enraged Muslims and allegedly started the Second Intifada.  It also mentions his “responsibility” in allowing Lebanese Christians to massacre Muslims at Sabra and Shatila. Yet, it ignores his critical decision to unilaterally withdraw from Gaza in an attempt to jump start the peace process. Nor does it mention the Palestinian response to the withdrawal - the election of Hamas - a terrorist organization dedicated to the destruction of the State of Israel - as the new Palestinian government.

7. TEMPLE MOUNT - The documentary fails to emphasize that the Muslims, to whom Israel gave the authority to administer the Temple Mount, strongly discourage any Jew from coming there despite the fact that it is the holiest site in all of Judaism (whereas, the holiest sites in Islam are, in fact, Mecca and Medina). On the other hand, the Western Wall, which is under Israeli control, regularly welcomes visitors of all faiths.

8. RELIGIOUS LEADERS - CNN presents the senior Imam in charge of the Al-Aksa Mosque on the Temple Mount, who explains the site’s holiness to Muslims. But rather than interview the Chief Rabbi of Israel to describe the sacredness of the site for Jews, CNN contents itself with allowing an extremist layperson to explain the importance of the Temple Mount to Jews. Where is the fairness?

9. TWO STATE SOLUTION - God’s Warriors ignores the origins of the Arab/Israeli conflict: the Arab refusal to accept the 1947 United Nations Partition of Palestine, which called for both a Jewish state and an Arab State. The Jews accepted the plan – the Arabs rejected it. Had the Arab world accepted the two-state solution then, much of the bloodshed would have been averted. There’s a lot of talk about settlements, but no talk at all of the consistent Arab policy from 1948 until 1978 to make no compromises with Israel.

10. A HUMAN FACE ON TERROR - God’s Warriors keeps mentioning the “despair” that many Arabs feel, as if that is a justification for the insane behavior of honoring people as martyrs because they murdered innocent civilians they never knew. Why patronize terrorists and even humanize them if we are going to allow the conversation to be dominated by their despair? The parents of these terrorists should be confronted with the simple truth that despair has existed throughout time – that billions of people throughout history have felt pain without reverting to mass murder. Following the defeat of Nazism, the Holocaust survivors were also in despair. They lost their families, but they didn’t resort to killing innocent civilians as a way of alleviating their pain. Neither did the 750,000 Jews expelled from Arab countries following the 1948 War – they too, did not become suicide bombers.

http://blogcentral.jpost.com/index.php?cat_id=7&blog_id=63&blog_post_id=1440
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #153 on: August 27, 2007, 10:11:26 AM »

Excellent find Buz.  Tom, this piece exemplifies the reasons I hold CA in low regard.

Changing subject briefly-- it appears that the dhimmitude faction of the Wash Post has notched up another victory http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?entry=6755
« Last Edit: August 27, 2007, 05:12:27 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
SB_Mig
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« Reply #154 on: August 27, 2007, 02:28:53 PM »

Heya,

Had a busy weekend training and fantasy football drafting, so I couldn't respond right away. The significant other was also wanting to drag me from the keyboard to run errands and such.


Quote
1) Are you saying that favoring the survival of Israel is the position of a fanatic?

Absolutely not.

I may be mistaken, but I believe that was the bent of the Amanpour piece. The topic of her coverage was religious "warriors". Upon review of my earlier writing, I did not clarify that the goals of each religion's "warriors" were interpreted by the MSM, not myself. I have already stated the media's spin on fanaticism is deeply flawed, and I don't attempt to condone it.The piece Buz just posted does a great job of pointing out many of these flaws.

2) Are you suggesting moral parity amongst all three groups?

Again, no. But I do believe that actions of religious extremists of any bent are worthy of examination and careful observation.

Buz, I am not put off in the least by your response. I find all the exchanges on this forum to be well worth my time and energy, and I thoroughly enjoy the back and forth. Actually, I think it would be great to have a sit down drink, dinner, and conversation with a number of people on this forum.
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Howling Dog
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« Reply #155 on: August 27, 2007, 04:40:32 PM »

Buzwardo, I won't lose any sleep because you refuse a little transparency. Though it was nice of you to apologise to SB Mig.
Which was part of the reason for my asking you to share a little of yourself...since you seem to have no problem criticizing others.
Its all good......
I actaully did take a look at your posting record, to find that you posted less than 2% on the martial arts threads......any chance you might actaully share your martial arts experiences....Or is the question somthing you would rather not share....anyway....
I'am just kinda wondering whats your attraction to a martial arts forum.
Please post on a more apropriate thread if your so inclined.
                  TG
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Howling Dog
buzwardo
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« Reply #156 on: August 27, 2007, 05:16:46 PM »

Lotta transparent stuff has been posted of late that your gaze has failed to penetrate, and you've yet to give me a compelling reason to cut stuff into pieces small enough for you to chew. Again--are you listening this time?--I'm not going to put more effort into explaining things than you put into understanding them.

Didn't realize I was required to post my martial arts pedigree to participate here, though Crafty anecdotally knows of mine. Pester him for it if you must, but I'm not gonna cater to your hamfisted attempts to dictate the terms of debate. I will say that I'm a pretty mediocre martial artist and hence choose not to speak of things I not particularly well versed in. There's a lesson there if you're paying attention, but I'm not gonna lay a trail of bread crumbs the size of boulders, enlist the lung power of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, or empty an aircraft carrier and ask all the sailors to wave semaphore flags in the hope they'll lead you to it.

Next inane challenge, please. . . .
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buzwardo
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« Reply #157 on: August 27, 2007, 05:25:33 PM »

Quote
Buz, I am not put off in the least by your response. I find all the exchanges on this forum to be well worth my time and energy, and I thoroughly enjoy the back and forth. Actually, I think it would be great to have a sit down drink, dinner, and conversation with a number of people on this forum.

Cool. I know I can get pretty darn intense, particularly when annoyed on other fronts. It's not my intention to treat you like a piñata.

You ever get out to VA drop me a line; be glad to tip one or more with ya.
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Howling Dog
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« Reply #158 on: August 27, 2007, 05:31:31 PM »

Buzwardo, You seem to bear a little to the defensive side....As I said its all I good. I will not pursue, you conversation further after all as you so handly show I'am by no means in your league.
Well Iam off to slay dragons else where......I think to make my pursuit.....white, Buddhists living on the East coast...named Chuckie rolleyes
I bid you ado.......
Rides off into the sunset gathering bread crumbs as he goes wink
                                     TG
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Howling Dog
DougMacG
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« Reply #159 on: August 27, 2007, 08:00:02 PM »

There was a big story on global warming this month of some downward corrections in recent temperatures that makes the 1930s again hotter than any year of late.  Credit goes to Buzzwardo for posting the NASA corrections here and to the source he linked of coyoteblog http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/2007/08/official-us-cli.html for timely and enlightening info.

I predicted elsewhere that the NY Times would pick up this story in a few days maybe on page 47.  In fact, it took them 16 days and they changed the context to be a story about right wing blogs making a big deal out a quarter of a degree "fix".  For that reason I moved my reply to 'media issues'.

A larger point I took from the story is that they don't measure temperature, they gather readings and then adjust, balance, tweak and make changes to the data according to some secret and flawed algorithms from some scientists who have their own bias and investment in the outcome.

Here is that NY Times story: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/26/us/26climate.html

Quarter-Degree Fix Fuels Climate Fight

By ANDREW C. REVKIN
Published: August 26, 2007

Never underestimate the power of the blogosphere and a quarter of a degree to inflame the fight over global warming.

A quarter-degree Fahrenheit is roughly the downward adjustment NASA scientists made earlier this month in their annual estimates of the average temperature in the contiguous 48 states since 2000. They corrected the numbers after an error in meshing two sets of temperature data was discovered by Stephen McIntyre, a blogger and retired business executive in Toronto. Smaller adjustments were made to some readings for some preceding years.

All of this would most likely have passed unremarkably if Mr. McIntyre had not blogged that the adjustments changed the rankings of warmest years for the contiguous states since 1895, when record-keeping began.

Suddenly, 1934 appeared to vault ahead of 1998 as the warmest year on record (by a statistically meaningless 0.036 degrees Fahrenheit). In NASA’s most recent data set, 1934 had followed 1998 by a statistically meaningless 0.018 degrees. Conservative bloggers, columnists and radio hosts pounced. “We have proof of man-made global warming,” Rush Limbaughtold his radio audience. “The man-made global warming is inside NASA.”

Mr. McIntyre, who has spent years seeking flaws in studies pointing to human-driven climate change, traded broadsides on the Web with James E. Hansen, the NASA team’s leader. Dr. Hansen said he would not “joust with court jesters” and Mr. McIntyre posited that Dr. Hansen might have a “Jor-El complex” — a reference to Superman’s father, who foresaw the destruction of his planet and sent his son packing.

Blogs are still reverberating, but Mr. McIntyre, Dr. Hansen and others familiar with the initial data revisions are clarifying what is, and is not, at issue.

One thing not in question, Mr. McIntyre and Dr. Hansen agree, is the merit of shifting away from energy choices that contribute heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

Mr. McIntyre said he feels “climate change is a serious issue.” His personal preference is to shift increasingly to nuclear power and away from coal and oil, the main source of heat-trapping carbon dioxide.

Mr. McIntyre and Dr. Hansen also agree that the NASA data glitch had no effect on the global temperature trend, nudging it by an insignificant thousandth of a degree.

Everyone appears also to agree that too much attention is paid to records, particularly given that the difference between 1934, 1998, and several other sets of years in the top 10 warmest list for the United States are so small as to be statistically meaningless.

Mr. McIntyre said that when he posted the revised list under the heading “A New Leaderboard at the U.S. Open,” “I just was sort of having some fun with it as much as anything.”

He added: “The significance of things has been misstated by Limbaugh and people like that.”

Dr. Hansen and his team note that they rarely, if ever, discuss individual years, particularly regional findings like those for the United States (the lower 48 are only 2 percent of the planet’s surface). “In general I think that we want to avoid going into more and more detail about ranking of individual years,” he said in an e-mail message. “As far as I remember, we have always discouraged that as being somewhat nonsensical.”

Jay Lawrimore, a scientist at the National Climatic Data Center of the Commerce Department who works on assembling the climate records that NASA analyzed, said his agency could probably do a better job of emphasizing the uncertainty surrounding its annual temperature announcements.

Indeed, there is enough wiggle room in the numbers that the center has a different list of the 10 warmest years than those produced using NASA’s and Mr. McIntyre’s analyses. By the climate center’s reckoning, 1998 remains the warmest year for the 48 states (with 2006 second and 1934 third).

Dr. Lawrimore, Dr. Hansen and other experts said that trends are far more important than particular years, and the recent widespread warming trend has been clear — and very distinct from the regional hot spell that drove up United States temperatures in the 1930s.

Mr. McIntyre and the government scientists do agree on at least one more thing: the need to improve the quality of climate data gathered around the world, including in the United States, which has by far the planet’s biggest network of meteorological stations.

Mr. McIntyre is not alone in pointing out that the need to adjust and revise such data — with the attendant risk of mistakes — would be reduced with more care and consistency taken in collecting climate data.

The National Academy of Sciences has repeatedly called for improvements in climate monitoring. An independent group of meteorologists and weather buffs is compiling its own gallery of American weather stations at www.surfacestations.org, with photographs showing glaring problems, like thermometers placed next to asphalt runways and parking lots.

Dr. Lawrimore said that the government is preparing to build a climate reference network of more sophisticated, and consistent, monitoring stations that should cut uncertainty in gauging future trends.

In any case, he said, the evidence for human-driven warming remains robust. “Saying what they’re saying has just provided an opportunity for them to create doubt in people’s minds,” he said of the bloggers.
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buzwardo
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« Reply #160 on: August 27, 2007, 10:14:25 PM »

Tom:

Well after all the snarky things I've said I expect this will have a hollow ring, but it's clear to me you've got a good heart. You joined the fray and kept at it despite the fact a polysyllabic SOB came at you from all directions. Many would have started flinging obscenities, you stuck to your guns and kept moving forward. 

Not so sure, however, you're right about my defensive nature. Be they words or sticks, when something comes at me I tend to charge back at it, making my nature an offensive one, alas often in both senses of the word.

As that may be, as someone who failed three semesters of high school English, I ought to have a better handle on what it's like when some supercilious ba$tard blue-pencils every utterance. I got past my English issues--hell I taught English at a community college, which really should have ripped a hole in the space-time continuum or something--and found in doing so it's remarkably similar to learning a martial art: learn the basic elements, put them together into simple phrases, combine the phrases into more complex structures, and, once you have the basics down, start riffing on structures from there.

Expect if we ever crossed sticks you'd teach me more than I'd teach you; if you ever want to flip that around where writing is concerned drop me a line and we'll see where it leads. Be aware that my methods are unorthodox, just ask the class where I used a 10 inch French Knife and a sharpening steel as props. The Dean was not amused. . . .
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G M
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« Reply #161 on: August 28, 2007, 01:37:48 AM »

Christiane vs. Christians and Jews   
By Phyllis Chesler
FrontPageMagazine.com | 8/27/2007

Dhabah Almontaser, the nearly anointed principal of Brooklyn's madrassa and CNN's fully annointed Christiane Amanpour both agree that in Arabic, "Intifada" means a "shaking off." Amanpour gave an example of how to use the word by saying that "Palestinian (terrorists) were (merely) shaking off the Israeli Occupation;" Almontaser, when challenged about the infamous tee-shirts, said that "Intifada-NYC" referred to young Muslim girls "shaking off oppression."

In November of 2005, Fox's O'Reilly showed live footage of the French Intifada as it raged in Paris. According to WorldNetDaily, Saudi billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, (aka Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin AbdulAziz AlSaud), who owns 5-6% of the Fox News Channel, personally called Rupert Murdoch and asked him to change the offensive (but accurate) caption: "Muslim Riots" to the less offensive (and less accurate) "Civil Riots." Within thirty minutes, the Prince had his way.

To paraphrase New York Post columnist Cindy Adams: Only in America kids, only in America.

Our fine Saudi prince also owns shares in Times-Warner/AOL/CNN, which he first acquired in 2002. According to Forbes, the London Guardian, and other media outlets, in 2002 the Prince "claimed to own 1.4 billion in AOL stock...in 2003 he bought another 450 million of AOL stock." God knows what he owns now. (Yes, he's the very Prince whom Presidential hopeful Rudy Guiliani humiliated when he refused to accept his ten million dollar donation for humanitarian aid immediately following 9/11).

Has bin Talal's ownership influenced Amanpour's highly touted, highly slanted, and highly tedious three part series "God's Warriors?" I have no inside information here but I doubt that any overt bribes were involved.

Amanpour dresses in safari-like bush jackets but they are never grungy, and are in fact glamorous in color and fit. She is no Oriana Fallaci, no Susan Sontag, but is probably the best CNN has to offer in terms of Talking Heads who presumably think. To those unfamiliar with Amanpour's background, she lived in London (still does), attended schools in America, and her husband, James Rubin, is Jewish. He once worked for former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright--another Jew who did not know she was one.

After watching Amanpour's segment on the Jews, I was disheartened and outraged. How long will people have to suffer Big Lies on our screens and be forced to react defensively, only after the fact? How much Saudi money might really be involved in CNN's series? In addition to bin Talal, we do know that the Saudis have been buying up shares in the Western media, (UPI for example), influencing curriculum on campuses, and in some instances, buying certain journalists outright. (There is a scandal about this still under wraps in Europe right now. Stay tuned for an update).

Amanpour, whose father is a Muslim Iranian, her mother British, and who spent the first eleven years of her life in Teheran, set out to portray Jews as religiously driven terrorists, illegal land-grabbers, and fat-cat American lobbyists with dual loyalties. She interviewed former President Carter and John Mearsheimer (but not anyone of stature who can easily rebut what they say). Both men believe that Israel is an apartheid state and that the Zionist lobby controls American foreign policy. (See CAMERA'S excellent point by point refutation of Amanpour).

Amanpour makes sure to track down Israelis who have advised the government that "settling an occupied land" violates the Geneva convention and international law (such as Theodore Meron); the Jewish Israeli lawyers who defend Palestinians and who often successfully, challenge the Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes. She has female settlers on camera who allegedly say that they believe Palestinians should be killed or expelled. She shows the security wall at its ugliest without context and she focuses on individual Palestinians who are indeed being seriously harmed by its creation. (No, she does not show the Jews being blown up, week after week, in a non-stop series of 9/11s that might explain the desperate need for such a tragic but strategic structure).

In my no doubt alarmist and paranoid view, she is trying to position American and world Jewish support for Israel as essentially equivalent to American and world Muslim support for Hamas and for other Muslim terorrist organizations who also engage in humanitarian aid and social service projects. Just as the leaders of the Holy Land foundation are being tried as supporters of terrorist organizations in America today, Amanpour's portrayal of Jewish support for an allegedly "illegal," "racist," or "apartheid" Jewish "settler state" with a "handful of Jewish terrorists" may now lead to simiilar attempts to shut down American-based fundraising for Israel and to dampen Congressional support for military foreign aid to Israel.

Perhaps Amanpour does not envision this at all but merely wishes to show that there is terrorism on both sides of the divide. But this is not true. While there is indeed a "handful" of "Jewish terrorists" or ideologue of Jewish reprisals, (Meir Kahane, Baruch Goldstein, Yigal Amir, and the Jewish Underground are named), such figures are just that--a handful, and their attempts at indiscriminate violence have either been prevented or immediately and seriously punished by the Israeli government.

Further, Amanpour fails to draw the right conclusions from what she does show on camera. In every instance, Israeli government officials, including former Shin Bet and IDF spokesmen are the ones who prevent Jewish terrorists from striking, who arrest and imprison them when they commit violence, who sentence them to between 7-15 years in jail or to life sentences. There are no posters all over Israel glorifying their violent deeds as there are on the West Bank for their shahids and shahidas and in the no-longer occupied Gaza strip. Israeli textbooks and television videos do not sing their praises in Israel as is the case among the Palestinians.

It gets worse. She views the Muslim claim to Al Aqsa and the Temple Mount, not as equal to but as superior to the ancient Jewish claim. She fails to draw a single conclusion from the fact that Muslims did not--and still do not--allow non-Muslims access to their holy Jewish or Christian religious sites although Jews guarantee that access to all religions.

So, there I was, licking my wounds when I turned on the TV to see Amanpour's second segment.

Amanpour has never met an Iranian or for that matter a Muslim whom she does not like; yes, even the terrorists and one fundamentalist imam in "the holy city of Quom" receives only a flirtatious wag of her finger when he rather cheerfully admits that women are not allowed to do certain things and are condemned to other things--but that's for their own good, to protect them. She is warm with him, much less warm with his so-called Israeli counterparts.

She opens her segment on Muslim Warriors with a charming, well-spoken, highly westernized young man, Ed Husain, who was deceived, or who rebelled and became associated with a terrorist group in his native London. Once he realized that they are killing innocent people, even children, he backed away. He has written a book about leaving Islamism.

Ed Husain does not represent most Muslims who at best, remain silent and who do not condemn Islamist imperialism, religious fundamentalism, or America- and Jew-hatred. There are a handful of Muslims who criticize Islam openly. Many are tortured, killed, forced into exile, impoverished, live in hiding, publish under psedonyms. Her interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali was very, very brief --no more than a minute altogether. On the contrary, she kept returning to former nun Karen Armstrong whose views on Jews, Israel, and Zionism are anti-Semitic with a vengeance. Armstrong also defended veiling and compared it her own habit as a nun. (Stay tuned for more to come about this).

As to women? Amanpour does not tell us any stories of honor killings or women who avoided being honor-murdered but instead focuses on a happy, modestly veiled Muslim-American woman who describes how her choice to "cover" is denigrated and held suspect in America.

Each and every portrait of a Muslin or of a Muslin terrorist's family presents soulful, thoughtful people, perhaps a bit "different" than you and I but still human, likeable, charming--maybe even made of better stuff than you and I in the west who crave material posessions, display female bodies, allow men and women to intermingle in sexually charged ways, drink alcohol, and refuse to live in a God-centered world.

Amanpour is worse than all the others (writers mainly) who have been blasting Judaism and Christianity but mainly in order to be able to also blast, but in a lesser way, Islam. The thesis is that we are all guilty, all to blame, that each religion is clannish, "different," its texts support violence, its extreme followers are but a handful, nothing for the world to worry about.

These are all false assumptions and outright lies.

THE CHRISTIAN CALIPHATE

In her three part series, Amanpour is far more combative and confrontational with both Jewish and Christian religious leaders than she is with Muslim leaders. She is warmer, softer, more "at home," with even the most extreme of Islamist leaders, perhaps even more respectful, than she is with their allegedly Jewish or Christian counterparts.

Amanpour completely fails to make the distinction between Islamists who teach hatred of infidels and women and who blow infidel and Muslim civilians up (as well as honor-murder their own women); Israelis who are under perpetual terrorist seige and who are trying to defend themselves against Islamist attacks; and conservative Christians who are trying to moblize votes, change laws, or win hearts and minds with words, not bombs (although she certainly has lots of footage of the bloody bombings at abortion clinics--bombings I personally abhor and mourn--as do many Christians).

Amanpour wants us to like Muslims--even the most extremist among them. They are human, prick them will they not bleed? But she does not want us to like Christians or Jews, especially those who are Zionists.

Amanpour does not seem to show the same respect towards conservative Christians who wish to dress modestly, remain chaste until marriage, and avoid a secular culture of rampant pornography and rape as she shows their far more extremist counterparts in the Islamist world or than she shows, at great length, one well-spoken Muslim-American woman who decides to "cover."

In one instance, Amanpour accuses Ron Luce, a Christian leader of teenagers, as being like the Taliban. He actually answers Amanpour in a rather charming, disarming way. She will not be moved. Amanpour herself takes no stand on what Luce says about an American secular and popular culture which allows virgin teenager America to be raped on the sidewalk as we pass by without stopping or caring.

Perhaps Amanpour can't forgive these "radical" Christians their support for Israel, their "Zionism." She presents Pastor John Hagee (together with the late Jerry Fallwell) as Doctor Strangeloves. Hagee, by the way, sees Iran as a threat to America and Israel. As he speaks of his Christian love of Zion, Amanpour cuts to a presumed Israeli air attack againt innocent civilians, replete with weeping, civilian Arab women.

Amanpour again returns to former President Jimmy Carter--this time to have him tell us that he had to break with evangelical Baptists over their sexist position on women in the church. Carter who believes that Israel is an "apartheid" state and whose library has been hugely funded by the Saudis is the new feminist in town.

Amanpour has a definite political agenda--no less so than the Christian conservatives whom she attacks for daring to conduct "stealth politics, under the radar" when they engage in Christian voter drives. Amanpour wants to put a Democrat in the White House. She wants someone there who will move against the so-called Israel Lobby and who will finally stop funding Israel. She wants our next Commander in Chief to engage in nicey-nice diplomacy with Iran. She wants Americans to stop fearing that every Muslim might be a terrorist and to start accepting a parallel Islamic/Islamist universe right here on our own soil.

Yes, our ethnically super-trendy, British-accented war correspondent really wants exactly this. And she wants us to see that such right-wing Christians are no different than Islamists, including Bin Laden, who want a world Caliphate. (We are all the same, all cultures are equal, remove the mote from your own eye before you judge anyone else, etc.)

To accomplish her goal, Amanpour presents Christian conservatives as truly scary, as mounting a Crusader-like Army against liberal secular America--but not necessarily a violent war against terrorist Islamism. Amanpour exploits America's hottest domestic issues (abortion and gay marriage) in order to accomplish her own foreign policy aims.

By the end of her third and final segment we are meant to fear and loathe the Christian conservative right far more than we are meant to fear or loathe Amanpour's Amadinejad whom --incredibly--she never accuses of funding Hezbollah's terrorist work abroad. What she mainly shows us in Iran are Shi'a Muslims at prayer, engaged in theatrical-religious rituals. We do not see them funding and masterminding Hezbollah as it takes down civilian (and Christian) Lebanon, lays seige to Israel, blows up the Jewish Community Center in Argentina. She shows us the child-martyrs (one estimate has 850,000 dying in the Iran-Iraq war) as themselves true believers as opposed to victims of sadistic adult handlers.

Her third segment is one long running advertisement for a Democratic candidate for the next Presidency. She is electioneering as hard as she accuses the Christians of doing.

Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women's studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women's Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
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« Reply #162 on: August 28, 2007, 08:48:16 AM »

Buzwardo, My first inclination is to not respond to your post, after all I've already ridden off into the sunset.
However I just don't want you to feel sorry for me, and my inferior vocabulary and my inablity to translate it across the computer key board.
I do feel my best attributes may be as a orator....Also I may be somewhat uninformed and often post on personal opinon....I may over argue my points....but also feel myself a big enough man to be willing to admit "I was wrong"

As for learning the English language....While I may never have the same mastery as yourself, if ever I feel a need to improve on it, I will consult my mother who was a English major.......As I did mention in a previous post I prefer to communicate in a way that transcends all levels...therefore not excluding anyone from conversation.
Neither am I overly concerned about my abilitys to learn nor attain knowledge, as I'am quite proud of my education having made it through Nursing school and currently working as a nurse in a "in" patient Hospice facility, I have no problem communicating with doctors or other medical professionals on a regular/daily baisis......
So....please don't feel sorry for me.....I'am pretty confortable where I'am at wink
                                                                   TG
By the way, I found all I care to know about you on  your "my space page" Pretty intresting pictures wink
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« Reply #163 on: August 28, 2007, 10:55:32 AM »

Eh, I'm not up on Myspace and consider it one of the biggest wastes of time invented. Guess I'll have to copyright my handle.

Don't feel sorry for you and don't mean to condescend; just trying to wish a fellow traveler well.

Happy trails. . . .
« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 11:01:08 AM by buzwardo » Logged
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« Reply #164 on: August 28, 2007, 12:01:32 PM »

Buzwardo, Not sure a copywrite would help, but this guy bears some similarites, that may lead one to beleive it to be you....like him being a English lit. major and also from  a similar, general  geographic location  as well as a percieved general personality similar to yourself. (as I percieve it).
http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=67149053
Sorry for the case of mistaken identity......imagine two Buzwardos in the world shocked
                                                                                 TG
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« Reply #165 on: August 28, 2007, 12:12:10 PM »

I've met our Buz, and the myspace Buz most certainly is not him cheesy
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« Reply #166 on: August 28, 2007, 01:13:24 PM »

http://www.salon.com/comics/opus/2007/08/26/opus/

Suppressed by the MSM.
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« Reply #167 on: August 28, 2007, 01:35:32 PM »

http://www.zombietime.com/al-haramain_surveillance/

Doing the work the MSM won't do.
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« Reply #168 on: August 28, 2007, 02:06:50 PM »

I like how Mr. Wallace boycotts consumerism with a digital camera in his hand.

Had my pic snapped while I was cooking at a recent event, holding the same knife and steel that horrified the Dean a ways back. As you can see, I don't much resemble the Myspace boho:

« Last Edit: August 28, 2007, 05:24:38 PM by buzwardo » Logged
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« Reply #169 on: August 28, 2007, 10:07:37 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/08/28/video-steyn-on-the-opus-non-controversy-and-creeping-sharia/

Mark Steyn is right, as usual.
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« Reply #170 on: August 30, 2007, 11:11:50 AM »

By Kevin Mooney
CNSNews.com Staff Writer
August 30, 2007

(CNSNews.com) - A conflict of interest involving the radical Nation of Islam and the Washington, D.C., affiliate of the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) is an example of unethical journalism that benefits extremist Muslims, according to a national security expert and a Hollywood filmmaker.

Martyn Burke, director of documentary films at ABG Films, and Frank Gaffney, president of the conservative Center for Security Policy, produced a documentary for a PBS series - "America at a Crossroads" - that focused on Muslims in America, Europe, and Canada who speak out against Islamist extremists.

Their documentary, "Islam versus Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center," was, after a protracted battle, rejected in April by WETA, the PBS affiliate in Washington, D.C.

The film is going to air on an Oregon PBS affiliate this month, and some other affiliates may run it as well. However, one of the more controversial aspects over the film is that PBS chose to have the documentary reviewed by the radical Nation of Islam prior to its decision to cancel the film.

The Nation of Islam (NOI) and its long-time leader Rev. Louis Farrakhan have a history of espousing racism and anti-Semitism. Farrakhan stepped down as NOI's leader in 2006 for health reasons.

PBS's decision to pass the film to NOI for review was a serious "breach of journalistic ethics," said Burke.

"Is there anyone who understands that no functioning journalist - or network, or publication can ever allow this kind of outrageous action?" Burke wrote in an e-mail to PBS officials.

"This utterly undermines any journalistic independence. ... It virtually hands the story to the subject and allows them to become an active party in shaping it. That is advertising, not journalism. Is that not obvious?" he added.

Burke noted that PBS hired Aminah McCloud as an adviser for the "Crossroads" series. McCloud, director of Islamic World Studies at DePaul University, is a "radical professor," according to Burke, and it was she who gave a "rough cut" of the documentary to the Nation of Islam.

Burke, in an interview with Cybercast News Service, further said that the PBS producers and advisers involved in the "America at a Crossroads" series were favorably disposed to the Islamist perspective and this was detrimental to the filmmaking. PBS officials claimed the "Muslim Center" film, a part of the series, was overly subjective and one-sided. They thus decided against airing it as part of the series. (See Related Story)

In addition, Jeff Bieber, WETA's executive producer, demanded that Gaffney and his CSP colleague Alex Alexiev - a national security expert who specializes in Islamic extremism - be fired from the filmmaking because they are conservatives, said Burke.

But "I'm not going to fire anyone from the right or the left unless their politics start skewing the truth as we understand it," Burke said. "So, when WETA asked me 'don't you check into the politics of the people you work with?' I said I can't believe I'm hearing this in America."

When PBS officials failed to blacklist conservatives associated with the project, they shifted strategy and began to attack the film directly, Gaffney told Cybercast News Service in an interview. Leo Eaton, the "Crossroads" producer for WETA, and other PBS officials pushed for editorial changes that would dilute the over-arching theme and central message of the film, said Gaffney.

The criticisms Eaton presented on behalf of PBS-WETA in a series of notes called for significant modifications to the content - changes that would portray Islamic extremists in a favorable manner, detached from reality, according to Burke and his CSP partners.

"What began as a struggle to prevent people like me from playing in the left's sandbox at PBS mutated into a concerted effort to ensure that a film that told the story of anti-Islamist Muslims never made it on the air," said Gaffney.

"I am personally committed to preventing PBS from doing business the way it has been doing it up until now. There's no doubt that part of what was going on at PBS with our film was a naked antipathy toward conservatives," he added.

A letter from Sharon Percy Rockefeller, president and CEO of WETA, to Gaffney was dismissive of the concerns the filmmakers expressed over the hiring of McCloud and her subsequent activities.

With regard to McCloud's decision to exhibit a portion of the film to the Nation of Islam, Rockefeller wrote: "I am informed that while she regrets causing you and WETA any concern, she thought it was her duty as an advisor to check out the accuracy of information she believed to be incorrect, both for the benefit of WETA and the show producers."

The "Crossroads" series was conceived and financed through the liberal Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) with $20 million in federal funds. The Burke and Gaffney film, "Islam versus Islamists: Voices from the Muslim Center," cost $675,000.

Allegations directed against public television officials that touch on questions of journalistic ethics have caught the attention of key congressional figures who are now seeking an investigation.

In a letter to Kenneth Konz, the inspector general for CPB, three Republican senators and two Republican representatives expressed concern over apparent conflicts of interest that may have affected PBS's decision to not run the "Muslim Center" in the series.

When the "Crossroads" project was initially launched, top officials within CPB, including former Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson, expressed a strong desire to bring in a mix of views, including conservative voices, not traditionally heard on public television.

Tomlinson resigned in 2005 after an inspector general's report raised issues about some of his political activities.

Concerning this mix of views, it "was an initiative that came from CPB that did not necessarily have the concurrence of PBS," said Steve Bass, president and CEO of the Oregon Public Broadcasting System, which is now airing the "Muslim Center" film.

"The fact that you are broadening the pool of people involved in the film series and casting a wider net is almost by definition going to cause some problems," he said.

The creative and political differences that typically beset film projects were further exacerbated in the case "Islam vs. Islamists," Bass surmised, because public money was involved.

"We were attacked for having a point of view, which is astonishing since my understanding is that by definition documentaries have a point of view," said Burke.

"We set out to answer a simple question: Where are the moderate Muslims? What we found is they are speaking out, but they are speaking out in a vacuum and often at great peril and always with great difficultly," Burke added.

In his written correspondence with the filmmakers, Eaton described the film as a "one-sided narrative" that featured the conflict between so-called moderates and extremists in "very subjective and very claustrophobic terms."

For his part, Burke told Cybercast News Service that "wherever possible" anyone in the film advocated radical behavior was permitted to say so at length.

Although he found the film to be "quite compelling" and worthy of airtime, Bass said he felt some of the proposed changes the filmmakers were asked to make could have improved the overall product.

"If I found any fault with it, there were parts of the story that to me needed a little bit more information," he said.

"The film assumed a level of understanding on the part of the viewer that may not be there universally. That's why we decided to add the panel discussion. We think it poses the film in a greater base of understanding with more information," Bass added.

A panel discussion featuring Zuhdi Jasser, co-founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AISD), Rafia Zakaria, an associate executive director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana, and Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of CAIR in Chicago has been produced to run alongside the film.

But individual stations are free to decide whether or not to include the panel, Bass explained.

Although Burke and Gaffney think the film's treatment at WETA warrants further investigation, they agree "Islam vs. the Islamists" has the potential to reach an even larger audience than it otherwise would have if aired as was originally intended on the "Crossroads Series."

Cybercast News Service attempted to contact Eaton and Bieber via e-mail, but did not receive a response. 

http://www.cnsnews.com:80/ViewCultur...20070830a.html
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« Reply #171 on: September 01, 2007, 10:36:29 PM »

http://www.salon.com/comics/opus/2007/09/02/opus/index.html?source=rss&aim=salon

CENSORED!
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« Reply #172 on: September 02, 2007, 03:55:03 PM »

http://www.coxandforkum.com/archives/001189.html

Opus AKBAR!
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« Reply #173 on: September 05, 2007, 11:56:37 AM »

-- John Fund
Some Religions Are Funnier Than Others

For the second Sunday in a row, the Washington Post declined to publish the popular "Opus" cartoon strip, written by Berkeley Breathed, who won the Pulitzer Prize for his daily cartoon "Bloom County" in 1987. Because the Post is Mr. Breathed's syndicator, other papers apparently took the cue and nixed the cartoons as well.

The offending strips featured the hippy, fad-chasing Lola Granola, who has decided, for the moment, to adopt the pose of a victimized "radical Islamist," veil and all, which she calls the "hot new fad on the planet." Amy Lago, the comics editor for the Washington Post Writers Group, told Fox News: "I don't necessarily think it's poking fun [at Islam... but the question with Muslims is, are they taking it seriously?"

Even as it spiked Mr. Breathed, the Post last Sunday had no trouble publishing on its Web site (under the heading "On Faith" no less) an attack on Christianity by author Sam Harris, who called the doctrine of Christ dying for humanity's sins "a direct and undisguised inheritance of the scapegoating barbarism that has plagued bewildered people throughout history." For his part, Mr. Breathed has been an equal-opportunity satirist over the years, once lamenting that the Bush administration's bumbling had all but made parody impossible. Perhaps his next target will be the selective sensitivities of newspaper editors.

opinion journal WSJ
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« Reply #174 on: September 07, 2007, 01:49:10 PM »

Chuck

Guilty in the Duke Case

By Stuart Taylor Jr. and KC Johnson
Friday, September 7, 2007; Page A21

One night in jail: So concludes the Duke lacrosse rape case -- rape fraud, as it turned out. The legacy of this incident should include hard thinking about the deep pathologies underlying the media sensationalism and the perversion of academic ideals that this fraud inspired.

The 24-hour sentence was imposed on Mike Nifong, the disbarred former district attorney of Durham, after a contempt-of-court trial last week for repeatedly lying to hide DNA evidence of innocence. His prosecution of three demonstrably innocent defendants, based on an emotionally disturbed stripper's ever-changing account, may be the worst prosecutorial misconduct ever exposed while it was happening. Durham police officers and other officials aided Nifong, and the city and county face the threat of a massive lawsuit by the falsely accused former students seeking criminal justice reforms and compensation.

All this shows how the criminal justice process can oppress the innocent -- usually poor people lacking the resources to fight back -- and illustrates the need for reforms to restrain rogue prosecutors. But the case was also a major cultural event exposing habits of mind among academics and journalists that contradict what should be their lodestar: the pursuit of truth.

Nifong's lies, his inflaming of racial hatred (to win the black vote in his election campaign) and his targeting of innocent people were hardly representative of criminal prosecutors. But the smearing of the lacrosse players as racist, sexist, thuggish louts by many was all too representative.

Dozens of the activist professors who dominate campus discourse gleefully stereotyped and vilified their own students -- and not one member of Duke's undergraduate faculty publicly dissented for months. Duke President Richard Brodhead repeatedly and misleadingly denigrated the players' characters. He also acted as though he had no problem with Nifong's violations of their rights to due process.

The New York Times and other newspapers vied with trash-TV talk shows hosted by the likes of CNN's Nancy Grace, a biased wacko-feminist, and MSNBC's Joe Scarborough, a right-wing blowhard, in a race to the journalistic bottom. The defendants -- who endured the ordeal with courage and class -- and their teammates were smeared nationwide as depraved racists and probable rapists.

To be sure, it was natural to assume at first that Nifong had a case. Why else would he confidently declare the players guilty? But many academics and journalists continued to presume guilt months after massive evidence of innocence poured into the public record. Indeed, some professors persisted in attacks even after the three defendants were declared innocent in April by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper -- an almost unheard-of event.

Brushing aside concern with "the 'truth' . . . about the incident," as one put it, these faculty ideologues just changed their indictments from rape to drunkenness (hardly a rarity in college); exploiting poor black women (the players had expected white and Hispanic strippers); and being born white, male and prosperous.

This shameful conduct was rooted in a broader trend toward subordinating facts and evidence to faith-based ideological posturing. Worse, the ascendant ideology, especially in academia, is an obsession with the fantasy that oppression of minorities and women by "privileged" white men remains rampant in America. Its crude stereotyping of white men, especially athletes, resembles old-fashioned racism and sexism.

Can this trend be reversed? The power of extremist professors will continue to spread unless mainstream liberal academics, alumni and trustees stop deferring to them and stop letting them pack departments with more and more ideologically eccentric, intellectually mediocre allies.

As for the media, the case shows the need for editors and watchdogs to remind journalists that they are supposed to be in the truth-telling business and that truth emerges from facts and evidence.

The case did feature one hero, who showed how academics as well as journalists should behave: Professor James Coleman of Duke Law School. Long a champion of liberal causes, Coleman broke ranks with his guilt-presuming colleagues after Brodhead named him to lead a committee investigating the team's culture. Yes, the report Coleman's committee issued in May 2006 said that some lacrosse players drank unlawfully or excessively and had committed such petty offenses as having noisy parties. But alcohol aside, the report was a stunning vindication. Team members had "performed well academically"; respected the Duke employees with whom they came into contact; behaved well on trips; supported current and former African American players; and had no history of fighting, sexual assault or harassment, or racist slurs.

The media long ignored this portrayal, which did not fit their mythical story line. Coleman later became the first -- and for months the only -- Duke figure to publicly denounce Nifong's violations of the players' rights. The media long ignored that, too.

Washington Post
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« Reply #175 on: September 11, 2007, 11:29:25 AM »

A Real 9/11 Cover-Up
By CYRUS NOWRASTEH
September 11, 2007; Page A18

A year ago today, ABC ran the docudrama I wrote, "The Path to 9/11," at the peak of a firestorm of political protest designed to discredit and shut down the miniseries before it aired. Left-leaning pundits, politicos and bloggers waxed hysterical about its supposed inaccuracies and anti-Clinton bias, though the vast majority of them had not seen it.

They were determined that no one else should see it, either. But they failed, and the miniseries garnered nearly 28 million viewers and seven Emmy nominations. One year later, however, there is another attempt to shut down "The Path to 9/11" -- this time the DVD version.

Despite what these would-be censors and the conspiracy theorists of the blogosphere fervently believed a year ago, the miniseries was never about Bill Clinton, the political left or right, but about our common enemy then and now: Islamist terrorism. It dramatizes a clearly linked chain of historical events, beginning with the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, continuing through the multiple attacks on American embassies and interests abroad, and culminating in the horrific attacks on American soil six years ago.

The miniseries depicts not only the institutionalized lapses and errors along the way, noted in the 9/11 Commission Report and other sources, but also the efforts of ordinary American heroes who did their best to defend this country from its enemies. Both the failures and the successes are historical facts, and neither the Clinton nor Bush administration is spared its failures or denied its successes in the miniseries, as its many millions of viewers can attest.

After the broadcast the controversy went away. The threatened lawsuits never materialized, and the attacks on the miniseries' credibility dissipated. Indeed, experts such as Michael Scheuer, former chief of the CIA's bin Laden unit, and Gary Schroen, the first American field agent into Afghanistan after 9/11, both came forward to confirm the accuracy of the docudrama.

The current battle against the DVD version is not taking place in a frenzy of unfounded accusations, but in silence. The normal time frame from broadcast to DVD for miniseries and movies is approximately four months. Originally I was told by ABC that the DVD release date would be in January. January came and went, and I was told June was the new release date. Then July. Now ABC's official statement is, "We have not decided on a release date at this time." No further explanation.

Privately, I was told by an ABC executive that "If Hillary weren't running for president, this wouldn't be a problem." The clear message is that ABC/Disney isn't eager to reopen the wound, or feel the pressure again from politicians anxious to whitewash their legacy. Executive Producer Marc Platt, a well-known Hollywood liberal, even had to finance the limited Emmy campaign himself because Disney/ABC refused to do so (unheard of for such a high-profile production). This passive self-censorship is just as effective as anything Joseph Stalin or Big Brother could impose. The result is the same: the curbing of free speech and creative expression, and the suppression of a viewpoint that may be an inconvenient truth for some politicians.

This was a $40 million project that, because of the overblown controversy, attracted no sponsors and thus made not a penny of profit from its broadcast. It is a quality production, both entertaining and educational, that has the potential to recoup a significant part of its cost, if not actually turn a profit, through the sales of an eagerly anticipated DVD. Does ABC/Disney not owe it to its shareholders to make this basic effort to reclaim some of their $40 million?

But profit, while not an insignificant consideration, is not at the heart of the matter here (certainly not for me personally, as I would make literally a fraction of a penny for each DVD sold). The issue is that corporate timidity is preventing millions of Americans from finding "The Path to 9/11" on DVD -- though other politically controversial movies are readily available, such as "Loose Change," which argues that the Bush administration targeted American citizens for death in an elaborate and sinister plot, or Michael Moore's unabashedly biased "Fahrenheit 9/11." These highly charged movies, which don't offer even a pretense of balance, and others can be found online or in retail outlets and DVD rental stores across the country -- and so they should be, just as "The Path to 9/11" should be.

Whatever one may think of the miniseries or of me as the writer, the American way is not to let the docudrama languish in a cowardly purgatory but to release it for the general public to judge. If there is controversy, all the more reason it should be made available for every American to decide for himself. In fact, I suggested to Disney executives that members of the Clinton administration be allowed to speak their piece in the DVD's special features, a suggestion which was met with -- that's right -- utter silence.

A year ago, the amped-up outcry preceding the airing of "The Path to 9/11" nearly drowned out the truth. This Sept. 11, it is the corporate silence regarding the DVD that is deafening.

Mr. Nowrasteh wrote the screenplay for "The Path to 9/11" and is one of its producers.

WSJ
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« Reply #176 on: September 13, 2007, 01:49:49 PM »

The World According to Univision
By LESLIE SANCHEZ
September 13, 2007; Page A17

John Edwards has not taken a definitive position on abortion. Hillary Clinton's position on the issue is that "she will fight for the defense of children." And Barack Obama wants taxes to be "as low as possible."

Each of these statements is misleading, at best. Mr. Edwards and Mrs. Clinton support "a woman's right to choose" and Mr. Obama wants to repeal the Bush tax cuts. But on Univision, a Spanish-language TV network with an average prime-time audience of about 3.5 million viewers, these and other slanted statements about the presidential candidates are commonplace.

These statements appeared on Univision's Web site, but like much of the network's reporting, were missed by the mainstream media because they appeared only in Spanish. I have taken an extensive look at Univision and found that these are a tiny fraction of the biased views of American politics regularly presented by the network.

This is something all of us need to be concerned about. Earlier this week, Democrats participated in a Univision-sponsored presidential debate held in south Florida. The candidates used the forum to reach out to Hispanic voters and many Democrats have noted that only one Republican -- Sen. John McCain -- has agreed to participate in a similar debate for GOP candidates originally scheduled for this coming Sunday. Their aim is to portray Republicans as biased against Hispanics.

But context matters. Faced with an onslaught of biased reporting, Republicans are right to have reservations about Univision. They should, however, engage the network, as it is far too important to be ignored. Late last month, Nielsen began comparing Univision to other broadcast networks in a single viewer sample, and found that it is the most-watched TV network (ahead of Fox, ABC, CBS and NBC) for viewers 18-34.

If their views were presented fairly, it's likely that Republicans would connect with Hispanic voters. That may be why the network's news coverage often downplays issues that make Hispanics dislike Democrats (abortion, same-sex marriage, taxes) and sensationalizes the immigration issue as a way of demonizing Republicans -- even those who are not anti-immigrant.

Rudy Giuliani, who is attacked by some for making New York a "sanctuary city" for illegal immigrants during his time as mayor, was blasted as anti-inmigrante in a recent op-ed by star reporter Maria Elena Salinas on Univision's Web site. Apparently the mayor earned the label because he was tough on crime and supports border security, notwithstanding the fact that he carried 43% of New York City's Hispanic vote (a bloc that tends to be heavily Democratic) when he ran for re-election in 1997.

Republicans must engage and demand fairness from Univision, rather than let it propagandize the most conservative segment of the Hispanic population -- the 40% who may speak English, but who are "Spanish-dominant" and consume their news in their native language. According to a July 2006 study of previous elections by the New Democratic Network, English-speaking Hispanics are more reliably Democratic, and "the movement towards Bush has come from the Spanish-dominant, as they have gone from 82%-18% Clinton-Dole in 1996 to 52%-48% Kerry-Bush."

Univision isn't alone. Bias is a problem throughout Spanish media. In South Carolina, Rep. Bob Inglis, a Republican and supporter of the failed comprehensive immigration reform bill, was surprised to see a December 2005 headline in El Periodico Latino that, when translated, read: "BAD NEWS FOR IMMIGRANTS: Congressman Inglis will support President Bush's position on immigration." Of course, the Bush plan was the most pro-immigration proposal on the table.

Univision is the largest and most important part of the Spanish-language media, yet it features some of the most unbalanced political news coverage on television and it continues its leftward drift. Marcela Salazar, a former staffer for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was hired recently as the producer on Univision's new political show, "Al Punto," which is hosted by two left-wing journalists. A Democratic friend of mine, who works as a strategist for a Democratic presidential campaign, told me last week: "She'll do us a lot of good there."

As a group, Latinos are more pro-life and more supportive of traditional family values than non-Hispanic whites, less likely to divorce and three times as likely to have started a business in the past decade. Given that all of these are strong Republican identifiers, GOP strategists are asking themselves why they vote so lopsidedly Democratic.

The answer rests, in part, in the bias in the Spanish-language media. Republicans should counteract that by participating in Univision's debate, if only so they can speak over the heads of biased reporters and directly to the network's audience.

Ms. Sanchez, director of the White House Initiative on Hispanic Education from 2001-2003, is author of "Los Republicanos: Why Hispanics and Republicans Need Each Other" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
WSJ
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« Reply #177 on: September 18, 2007, 12:53:03 PM »

There was quite a media firestorm ignited when security at USC's library tasered a late night Iranian who refused to ID himself and/or leave.

Why did this not receive similar coverage?

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=657_1190085332
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« Reply #178 on: September 22, 2007, 07:10:12 AM »

Dead Metaphor?
Here is a story to brighten your weekend: Early this afternoon we received an email from one of our most loyal readers. We'll withhold his name, because our purpose here isn't to make him look silly. Suffice it to say that he writes us several times a week, his nickname for President Bush is "Chimpy," and the following message, which we quote verbatim, is actually quite a bit more temperate than his usual fare:

No wonder the entire world sees this fool for the complete moron that he is.

I now see that his supporters, such as your august self, have truly, really, fundamentally no shame and no sense of embarrassment. Bush makes us all look like dopes--after all he was elected twice (ooops, make that stole the election twice--my bad)

If only his idiot gaffs were the worst of it...

He is truly worthless as a president and as a man!


Our correspondent sent us a link to a blog called First Draft, in which someone styling himself "Holden Caulfield" says of the president, "Christ, what a dumbass," and links to the following Reuters dispatch:

Nelson Mandela is still very much alive despite an embarrassing gaffe by U.S. President George W. Bush, who alluded to the former South African leader's death in an attempt to explain sectarian violence in Iraq.

"It's out there. All we can do is reassure people, especially South Africans, that President Mandela is alive," Achmat Dangor, chief executive officer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, said as Bush's comments received worldwide coverage. . . .

"I heard somebody say, Where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas," Bush, who has a reputation for verbal faux pas, said in a press conference in Washington on Thursday. . . .

References to his death--Mandela is now 89 and increasingly frail--are seen as insensitive in South Africa.

So, what did President Bush actually say? Here's the quote in context, from the White House transcript:

Part of the reason why there is not this instant democracy in Iraq is because people are still recovering from Saddam Hussein's brutal rule. I thought an interesting comment was made when somebody said to me, I heard somebody say, where's Mandela? Well, Mandela is dead, because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas. He was a brutal tyrant that divided people up and split families, and people are recovering from this. So there's a psychological recovery that is taking place. And it's hard work for them. And I understand it's hard work for them. Having said that, I'm not going the give them a pass when it comes to the central government's reconciliation efforts.

In this context, it is clear that the literal meaning of "Where's Mandela?" is "Where is the Iraqi who will play the role in his country that Mandela played in postapartheid South Africa?" This was a pithy metaphor, not an "embarrassing gaffe."

Now, how did Reuters get the story wrong? There are, it seems to us, three explanations:

Stupidity. The reporter was so bone-headedly literal-minded that he simply did not understand the rhetorical device Bush was employing.


Laziness. The reporter wasn't actually at the press conference and didn't bother to check the context of the quote.


Dishonesty. The reporter knew full well that Bush was speaking metaphorically and deliberately twisted his meaning in order to fit the stereotype that Bush "has a reputation for verbal faux pas."
In the case of the particular Reuters dispatch "Caulfield" links to, laziness is the most likely answer. It's datelined Johannesburg, so the reporter surely was not at the press conference. But ultimately the explanation for the "worldwide coverage" this "gaffe" has received is either stupidity or dishonesty. Some journalist either failed to understand or deliberately misrepresented Bush's remark. And the joke is on people like our Bush-hating correspondent, who gullibly eat this stuff up.

political journal WSJ
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« Reply #179 on: September 24, 2007, 11:14:07 AM »

“Dan Rather seems divinely inspired to crash more times than a Kennedy driving home from an office party. The multimillionaire semi-retired newsman is suing [CBS] for $70 million, $1 million for every year he’s been alive since he was 5 years old. Which is fitting, because that’s what he sounds like. The gist of his lawsuit is that CBS used him as a ‘scapegoat’ in the Memogate story to ‘pacify the White House.’ The swelled-headed former anchor, who used to brag incessantly about his toughness and independence, also whines in his suit that the network forced him to apologize under duress when ‘no apology from him was warranted,’ and that the former managing editor of CBS News ‘was not responsible for any such errors.’ Indeed, according to Rather and his lawyers, the only mistakes made were by CBS management, which, in its eagerness to ‘appease angry government officials,’ had the temerity to apologize for passing off fake documents as real ones in a news story intended to sway a presidential election... Frankly, we need this. And by ‘we,’ I mean a grand coalition of people who delight in watching one of the 20th century’s most pompous gasbags fall from the top of the laughingstock tree and hit every branch on the way down. These are dour times, and if Gunga Dan and Hurricane Dan and What’s-The-Frequency-Kenneth Dan want to trade their Afghan robes, yellow windbreakers and enormous tinfoil hats for some baggy pants, bright-orange wigs and floppy shoes, I say let them. I just hope all of the Dans show up at the courthouse in a teensy-weensy clown car.” —Jonah Goldberg

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« Reply #180 on: September 24, 2007, 03:49:26 PM »

I'm curious to see what actually comes out in court during this lawsuit.

First off, it should be acknowledged that while the supposedly forged documents show that Bush didn't even fulfill his service requirements, the evidence of Bush evading the draft by using family connections to get into the Texas Air National Guard was overwhelming even without them.  The attack on CBS sought to make those documents the central issue and thus avoid the substantive (and proven) claim that Bush used family connections to get out of the draft.

Rather claims that the network-appointed "Independent Review Panel" investigating his reporting was extremely biased and in fact never even determined whether or not the forgery claim was true.  I assume his lawyers will demand that CBS produce their evidence that the documents were forgeries.  If it turns out that CBS fired a long-time veteran journalist solely on the word of some right-wing blogger claiming the documents were produced by Microsoft Word, CBS is basically screwed.

Rog
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« Reply #181 on: September 24, 2007, 05:24:45 PM »

Agreed that the suit has the potential to be very interesting.  I have a supply of popcorn (organic of course) on hand and suspect none of the parties will come out of it looking very good grin
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« Reply #182 on: September 24, 2007, 11:31:44 PM »

I'm curious to see what actually comes out in court during this lawsuit.

First off, it should be acknowledged that while the supposedly forged documents show that Bush didn't even fulfill his service requirements, the evidence of Bush evading the draft by using family connections to get into the Texas Air National Guard was overwhelming even without them. 

**Supposedly forged? Please explain how the Texas Air National Guard was using Microsoft Word in 1973. This should be priceless.**

The attack on CBS sought to make those documents the central issue and thus avoid the substantive (and proven) claim that Bush used family connections to get out of the draft.

**Please post the non-fabricated documents that prove that assertion.**

Rather claims that the network-appointed "Independent Review Panel" investigating his reporting was extremely biased and in fact never even determined whether or not the forgery claim was true.  I assume his lawyers will demand that CBS produce their evidence that the documents were forgeries.  If it turns out that CBS fired a long-time veteran journalist solely on the word of some right-wing blogger claiming the documents were produced by Microsoft Word, CBS is basically screwed.

Rog


Here is the RIGHT-WING (cue scary music) Blogger's post. http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=12526&only
Please debunk it for me.
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« Reply #183 on: September 24, 2007, 11:40:31 PM »

http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=12615&only

Here is the cool graphic overlay of the two images. Amazing the TANG had word processors in 1973. Karl Rove must have a time machine! shocked
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« Reply #184 on: September 25, 2007, 02:04:45 AM »

Read the guy's blog posts, and all I can say is if that's all CBS went on, they don't stand a chance in court.

Did any known authorities on document forgery agree with his conclusions and state so publicly?  Did the Bush administration itself officially make this claim?
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« Reply #185 on: September 25, 2007, 04:47:57 AM »

http://wwwimage.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/complete_report/CBS_Report.pdf

Read it and weep. evil
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« Reply #186 on: September 25, 2007, 08:47:13 AM »

ROTFLMAO cheesy

Moving right along, here's this from the WSJ:

Other People's Politics
In defense of the New York Times.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

Two bastions of liberalism are discovering the nasty side of campaign finance reform now that it has landed in their own backyards.

On Sunday, a spokeswoman for the New York Times admitted it had "made a mistake" when it charged the radical group MoveOn.org a special discounted rate for an ad accusing General David Petraeus of betrayal in advance of his Congressional testimony. Meanwhile, DailyKos's Markos Moulitsas Zuniga has faced a Federal Election Commission inquiry into advertising sales at his blog, which has become a force in pushing the Democratic Party to the left on various issues--among them, campaign finance reform.

DailyKos holds forth regularly that "our democracy is in danger" from money in politics and loudly supports McCain-Feingold and other campaign and media restrictions. The New York Times position on campaign finance reform is that it "has not gone far enough," and that more should be done to control donors and prevent changes that would "open the spigots to corporate and special-interest money."

Of course, it's always other people's influence that's a threat to democracy. DailyKos's misadventure was resolved with a Federal Election Commission ruling that allowed it (quite properly) to escape the rules it wants foisted on everybody else. And we certainly defend the Times's right to sign advertising contracts at whatever price it wants to charge--without the FEC combing through its books in search of rate discrepancies.





Unfortunately, the Times's passion for regulating everyone else's speech has now boomeranged, with politicians calling for an investigation into its favor to MoveOn. This is getting to be a bad Times habit: Recall its campaign for a special counsel to investigate media leaks that turned into a probe of its own sources and led to judicial rulings that limited press freedom.
House Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Tom Davis (R., Va.) wants hearings on whether the MoveOn discount represented a contribution in violation of campaign finance laws, and whether those laws are actually enforceable. Mr. Davis is indulging in some partisan opportunism here, and we wish instead that he was explaining that the problem is not that these organizations slipped through some campaign finance net. The problem is the net.

The DailyKos argues that it qualifies for the "commentary" exception under McCain-Feingold, while the Times would presumably qualify under the newspaper exception. Anyone who reads either one quickly figures out that they are both stalwart supporters of the Democratic Party and liberal causes. This is their right, but it's hard to see why their political speech deserves any more special legal protection than that of Big Labor or the NRA. As for the Times's ad discount, we also don't see why it shouldn't be as protected as the paper's inevitable endorsement next year of Hillary Clinton for President. Won't that be an "in-kind" political contribution worth at least a few thousand dollars?

The FEC deserves a pat on the back for backing away from media content oversight. But the real solution here is for the Supreme Court to rediscover its First Amendment principles and strike down campaign finance restrictions. As long as McCain-Feingold is on the books, regulators will be running around damming up leaks wherever they imagine they've found them. Sooner or later they'll come after the press, as maybe the Times and other left-wingers are beginning to figure out.
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« Reply #187 on: September 25, 2007, 11:03:13 AM »

Woof GM,

Perhaps you can point to some specific parts of that report you consider absolutely fatal to whatever argument you think I'm making?

I only skimmed the report (I have a full-time job), and I did see one part where they state clearly "The Panel has not been able to conclude with absolute certainty whether the Killian documents were forgeries".  It goes on to say that Rather took them to be authentic based on the authenticity of a signature, and was responsible for ensuring their authenticity before reporting them as fact.  It's basic conclusion is that Rather is guilty of shoddy reporting because he was in a rush to report the story first.

Should be an interesting court proceeding.

Rog
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« Reply #188 on: September 25, 2007, 11:20:57 AM »

As reported in Iran:

IRI President addresses students at Colombia University
New York, Sept 25, IRNA
Ahmadinejad-Colombia Varsity-Address
Despite entire US media objections, negative propagation and hue and cry in recent days over IRI President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's scheduled address at Colombia University, he gave his lecture and answered students questions here on Monday afternoon.
On second day of his entry in New York, and amid standing ovation of the audience that had attended the hall where the Iranian President was to give his lecture as of early hours of the day, Ahmadinejad said that Iran is not going to attack any country in the world.
Before President Ahamadinejad's address, Colombia University Chancellor in a brief address told the audience that they would have the chance to hear Iran's stands as the Iranian President would put them forth.
He said that the Iranians are a peace loving nation, they hate war, and all types of aggression.
Referring to the technological achievements of the Iranian nation in the course of recent years, the president considered them as a sign for the Iranians' resolute will for achieving sustainable development and rapid advancement.
The audience on repeated occasion applauded Ahmadinejad when he touched on international crises.
At the end of his address President Ahmadinejad answered the students' questions on such issues as Israel, Palestine, Iran's nuclear program, the status of women in Iran and a number of other matters.
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« Reply #189 on: September 25, 2007, 12:16:55 PM »

Woof GM,

Perhaps you can point to some specific parts of that report you consider absolutely fatal to whatever argument you think I'm making?

I only skimmed the report (I have a full-time job), and I did see one part where they state clearly "The Panel has not been able to conclude with absolute certainty whether the Killian documents were forgeries".  It goes on to say that Rather took them to be authentic based on the authenticity of a signature, and was responsible for ensuring their authenticity before reporting them as fact.  It's basic conclusion is that Rather is guilty of shoddy reporting because he was in a rush to report the story first.

Should be an interesting court proceeding.

Rog

The report doesn't give any "dead-bang" statements that the documents are forgeries because the originals can't be examined. All they have are the photocopies of documents that pefectly match up with Microsoft Word. The originals would put the final nail in the document's coffin. If Fox News ran a similar story right before the 2008 election with photocopies of alleged memos from Hillary Clinton ordering Vince Foster's murder and the "documents" had the same shady pedigree, I can only imagine the howls of outrage from the MSM and the left.

Of course, Fox News doesn't have a history of such journalistic scandals, unlike the NY Times, the New Republic and "See B.S."
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« Reply #190 on: September 26, 2007, 07:57:52 AM »

From today's NY Times:

Iran’s Media Assail President’s Treatment
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By NAZILA FATHI
Published: September 26, 2007
TEHRAN, Sept. 25 — Iranian state television on Tuesday sharply criticized the way President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been treated during his Columbia University talk and asserted that he had triumphed over his adversarial hosts, whom it described as Zionist Jews.

Commentary, interviews and video broadcast in Iran of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s appearance at Columbia on Monday depicted a resolute leader who overcame an ambush of personal insults to present his views on topics like the Holocaust, Israel, the Palestinians and nuclear weapons, views that were described as having been well received by the audience.

“In the end, who was the winner?” asked one television commentator, leaving the answer to a quote from John R. Bolton, a former American ambassador to the United Nations and an outspoken Iran critic, who said Mr. Ahmadinejad was the “big winner” for being able to talk at the university.

The evening news showed scenes of the large crowd that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s talk had drawn inside and outside the university. “Mr. Ahmadinejad was the center of the world news for the past few days,” said the reporter.

“Some media even called on students to boycott the speech,” the reporter added, saying that instead Mr. Ahmadinejad got a warm welcome.

The program repeated scenes that showed the audience cheering Mr. Ahmadinejad, suggesting that a lot of the audience was made up of his supporters. “I saw even Jewish students who walked out of the talk saying Mr. Ahmadinejad was very convincing,” a woman wearing a head scarf told the program in English.

It also pointed out that the president of Columbia, Lee C. Bollinger, had made insulting remarks, without elaborating on them. Mr. Bollinger had said that Mr. Ahmadinejad exhibited “all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator,” and that he was “brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated.”

The television broadcasts also showed video of the audience booing Mr. Ahmadinejad when he said there were no homosexuals in Iran. It added that a protest was orchestrated by a Zionist lobby that had brought schoolchildren.

Mohsen Rezai, a former head of the Revolutionary Guards, denounced on the state-run news channel the inhospitable treatment of Mr. Ahmadinejad. “He is the president of a country,” he said. “It is shocking that a country that claims to be civilized treats him that way.”

In an interview with the Aftab Web site, Ali Ahmadi, a member of Parliament, also spoke harshly about Mr. Ahmadinejad’s treatment, and criticized those in the Iranian government who had advised him to appear at the university.

“New York is the headquarters of Zionist Jews, and they have control over Columbia University,” he said. “It seems that our diplomacy apparatus had not given complete information to the president.”
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« Reply #191 on: September 26, 2007, 01:55:53 PM »

Political Journal WSJ

Maybe Liberals Should Find a Radio Host Named 'Laura'

Liberals in Congress have signaled they would like nothing better than to revive the New Deal-era Fairness Doctrine -- which would hobble talk radio by mandating a balanced presentation of all views -- should Democrats win both the White House and Congress next year.

They have a simple motivation. Liberal talk radio just can't seem to make it in the marketplace. Maybe it's because National Public Radio, which is taxpayer-subsidized, leans left enough to satisfy liberal listeners' ideological sweet tooth. Maybe the talk radio audience is skewed to the self-employed who drive much of the day or to conservative retirees. Or maybe it's because liberal arguments presented in their full-throated glory just don't sell in a center-right country.

Air America, the liberal talk radio network that debuted in 2004, is in perpetual trouble and has seen Al Franken, its big star, flee for the relative security of a U.S. Senate campaign. Or take the talk radio network started last year by feminists Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem. The GreenStone radio network offered cutting-edge liberal thinking pitched to a female audience -- and flopped completely. By the time the network's two sugar-mommas pulled the plug late last month, GreenStone had signed up only eight affiliates, all in medium-sized or small markets. The network's staff say they are distressed to find that talk radio continues to be dominated by conservative and male voices.

They need to think again. Female talk radio personalities are doing quite well, thank you. Laura Ingraham's blend of conservative politics and pop culture attracts over five million listeners a week. Laura Schlessinger has almost eight million listeners for her mix of personal advice and stern conservative moral messages. Both have significant female audiences, proving that the message and not the medium is the problem with liberalism's inability to connect with mass audiences on radio.
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« Reply #192 on: October 01, 2007, 04:15:07 AM »

Trigger-Happy Journalists
Some of our finest special-op soldiers serve companies like Blackwater.

BY BEN RYAN
Monday, October 1, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

"They are immature shooters and have very quick trigger fingers," says an anonymous lieutenant colonel.

"Why are we creating new vulnerabilities by relying on what are essentially mercenary forces?" asks a nameless intelligence officer. "They often act like cowboys over here," says an unidentified commander.

Ever since a recent shootout in downtown Baghdad, newspapers have been ablaze with charges that private security contractors in Iraq are trigger-happy.

This rush to pass judgment is hardly surprising. Frequently derided as "mercenaries" and "rent-a-cops," security contractors make an easy target for war opponents.

As a former employee of a major Blackwater competitor, I find this categorical smearing of contractors to be starkly at odds with my experience. I served as an officer in the Navy SEALs for six years. After I left, I joined a private security firm and was promptly sent to Iraq.





Contrary to the popular belief that Blackwater contractors are "thugs for hire," most are highly professional and well trained. Blackwater operates the world's largest private military training facility. Its 1,000 contractors working in Iraq are drawn from the ranks of former military and law enforcement officials. Many of its workers are former SEALs or veterans of other special-operations units.
The risks these workers assume are underscored by the infamous 2004 ambush in Fallujah, in which four Blackwater contractors were murdered and mutilated. To date, Blackwater has lost 30 contractors. For all anyone knows, last month's incident could have turned into another Fallujah had Blackwater's contractors reacted differently. The details are still terribly unclear.

The contractors--and the U.S. diplomats they were escorting--claim they were ambushed. Yet Iraq's Ministry of Interior almost immediately issued a report declaring that the contractors were "100% guilty." Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has charged that the operators killed "in cold blood."

With conflicting reports, condemnations should not be made until the joint Iraqi-U.S. investigation is completed. The media, however, has accepted the Ministry of Interior's version of events, all but writing off the accounts of both Blackwater and the State Department.

This follows a long-established pattern of unfounded claims in the press about security contractors. For instance, numerous reports reference contractors making over $1,000 a day--far more than active-duty soldiers. Some point to the more than $700 million Blackwater has received in State Department contracts in order to denounce security firms as war profiteers.

The truth, however, is that contractors are cost-effective. Blackwater contractors, for example, are generally paid $450-$650 a day. More important, unlike U.S. servicemen, they usually receive no benefits and are paid only for the days they work. Security contractors at the better firms have typically retired from active duty or left the military on their own accord after extended service. They are honorable veterans who have chosen to risk their lives to protect American diplomats in a war zone.

Instead of depleting our armed forces, security contractors allow the government to recapture its investment in these men during wartime and avoid the extraordinary expense of training new recruits. In short, they're already trained and experienced--and cost money only when they're needed.





Another common myth is that contractors are above the law. True, the June 2004 Coalition Provisional Authority Order 17 exempts contractors (and other diplomatic personnel) from local prosecution. But that doesn't mean that contractors have been granted blanket immunity from prosecution. In fact, the order clearly states that this immunity is limited only to acts necessary to fulfill contracts. Indiscriminate attacks on civilians--as alleged in last month's incident--are not covered.
Contractors are also subject to numerous U.S. statutes and regulations, as well as international treaties. Just last year, Congress amended the Uniform Code of Military Justice to include contractors. Contractors can also be prosecuted under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000, which permits charges to be brought in federal court for crimes abroad.

Like soldiers, security contractors are sometimes forced to make split-second decisions with enormous consequences. They must be--and are--accountable to our government for their actions. But the people I worked with in Iraq, including veterans working for Blackwater, were hardly rogue cowboys. I did, however, meet some trigger-happy journalists over there.

Mr. Ryan is a former U.S. Navy SEAL officer who spent time in Iraq as an employee of Triple Canopy, a private security firm.
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« Reply #193 on: October 01, 2007, 04:00:44 PM »

I post this article here because although it is not about media issues, it is responsive to the previous post on this thread about media coverage of Blackwater.
-------------------------------

Blackwater has fired 122 personnel

By RICHARD LARDNER, Associated Press Writer1 hour, 5 minutes ago


Private security contractor Blackwater USA has had to fire 122 people over the past three years for problems ranging from misusing weapons, alcohol and drug violations, inappropriate conduct, and violent behavior, according to a report released Monday by a congressional committee.

That total is roughly one-seventh of the work force that Blackwater has in Iraq, a ratio that raises questions about the quality of the people working for the company.

The report, prepared by the majority staff of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, also says Blackwater has been involved in 195 shooting incidents since 2005, or roughly 1.4 per week.

In more than 80 percent of the incidents, called "escalation of force," Blackwater's guards fired the first shots even though the company's contract with the State Department calls for it to use defensive force only, it said.

"In the vast majority of instances in which Blackwater fired shots, Blackwater is firing from a moving vehicle and does not remain at the scene to determine if the shots resulted in casualties," according to the report.

The staff report paints Blackwater as a company that's made huge sums of money despite its questionable performance in Iraq, where Blackwater guards provide protective services for U.S. diplomatic personnel.

Blackwater has earned more than $1 billion from federal contracts since 2001, when it had less than $1 million in government work. Overall, the State Department paid Blackwater more than $832 million between 2004 and 2006 for security work, according to the report.

Blackwater, founded in 1997 and headquartered in Moyock, N.C., is the biggest of the State Department's three private security contractors. The others are Dyncorp and Triple Canopy, both based in Washington's northern Virginia suburbs.

According to the 15-page report, Blackwater has had more shooting incidents than the other two companies combined.

The report was distributed to committee members on the eve of a hearing on private security contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan. Blackwater's founder and chairman, Erik Prince, will be one of the witnesses.

Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell had no comment on the specifics in the report.

"We look forward to setting the record straight on this issue and others tomorrow when Erik Prince testifies before the committee," she said.
On Friday seven of the oversight committee's 18 Republican members called on Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., the panel's chairman, to postpone the hearing until more is known about a recent incident in Iraq involving Blackwater guards.

On Sept. 16, 2007, 11 Iraqis were killed in a shoot-out involving Blackwater guards protecting a U.S. diplomatic convoy in Baghdad. Blackwater says its guards acted in self-defense after the convoy came under attack. Iraqi witnesses have said the shooting was unprovoked.
Several investigations are under way, including one by the State Department and another by a U.S.-Iraqi commission that is also examining the broader issue of how private security contractors in Iraq operate.

In a Sept. 28 letter, Rep. Dan Burton, R-Ind., and six other Republicans said the committee should wait until these investigations are complete.
"We feel it would be irresponsible for the committee to rush to judgment until all the facts are considered," the letter states.

Rep. Tom Davis or Virginia, the committee's top Republican, did not sign the letter.

Spokesman Brian McNicoll said Davis has no objection to the hearing taking place because several State Department representatives are scheduled to testify.

In addition to Prince, the witnesses include: David Satterfield, the department's Iraq coordinator, Richard Griffin, assistant secretary for diplomatic security, and William H. Moser, deputy assistant secretary for logistics management.
___
On the Net: http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20071001121609.pdf
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« Reply #194 on: October 02, 2007, 09:30:56 AM »

 
 
 
   
     
   
 
 

 
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Palestinian Propaganda Coup
By NATAN SHARANSKY
October 2, 2007; Page A17

Last month, a French court heard an appeals case whose forthcoming verdict will have far-reaching ramifications for all who value truth and accuracy in Middle East news reporting. The case involves Philippe Karsenty, a French journalist and media commentator, who was found guilty of defamation after he called for the firing of two France 2 Television journalists responsible for the Sept. 30, 2000, news report on the alleged killing of a 12-year-old Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

It has been seven years since France 2 Television broadcast the excruciating footage of Mohammed and his father Jamal crouching in terror behind a barrel in Gaza's Netzarim Junction while, according to the report, under relentless fire from IDF soldiers. The 59-second clip, which ends with the boy apparently shot dead, was presented around the world as an unambiguous case of Israeli savagery.

The tape fanned the flames of what became known as the second intifada. The boy Mohammed was the iconic martyr, his name and face gracing streets, parks and postage stamps across the Arab world. His memory was invoked by Osama bin Laden in a jihadist screed against America, and in the ghastly video of the beheading of American Jewish journalist, Daniel Pearl.

Shortly following the al-Dura incident, however, a series of inquiries cast grave doubt on the accuracy of the original France 2 report. The official IDF investigation concluded that, based on the position of IDF forces vis-à-vis the Duras, it was highly improbable, if not impossible, that an Israeli bullet hit the boy. Research by the Atlantic Monthly, the New Republic and Commentary magazine concurred. Then a German documentary revealed inconsistencies and probable manipulations in the account of France 2's lone journalist on the scene that day, Palestinian cameraman Talal Abu Rahmeh.

And yet France 2 refused to release Abu Rahmeh's full 27 minutes of raw footage. It did, however, agree to let three prominent French journalists view the footage. All three concluded that it comprised blatantly staged scenes of Palestinians being shot by Israeli forces, and that France 2's Jerusalem Bureau Chief Charles Enderlin had lied to conceal that fact.

Subsequently, alleging gross malfeasance, Mr. Karsenty called for the firings of Mr. Enderlin and France 2 News Director Arlette Chabot. But France 2 stood defiant, suing Mr. Karsenty for defamation.

The defamation trial passed almost unnoticed in Israel, to the apparent detriment of Mr. Karsenty's case. In his ruling in favor of France 2, judge Joël Boyer five times cited the absence of any official Israeli support for Mr. Karsenty's claims as indication of their speciousness.

Israel's decision to stay on the sidelines was unfortunate because the truth always matters. The al-Dura incident wasn't the only media report to inflame passions against Israel in recent years, but it was the one with the highest profile. Moreover, if, as Mr. Karsenty and others have claimed persuasively, the al-Dura incident is part of the insidious trend in which Western media outlets allow themselves to be manipulated by dishonest and politically motivated sources (recall the Jenin "massacre" that never was, or the doctored Reuters photos from Israel's war against Hezbollah in 2006), then France 2 must be held accountable.

It is important to note that the al-Dura news report profoundly influenced Western public opinion. When I served in the Israeli government as minister of Diaspora Affairs from 2003 to 2005, I traveled frequently to North American college campuses. I heard first hand how Mohammed al-Dura had shaped the perceptions of young people just beginning to follow events in the Middle East. For many Jewish students, the incident was a stain of dishonor that called into question their support for Israel. For anti-Israel students, the story reaffirmed their sense of Zionism's innately "racist" nature and became a tool for recruiting campus peers to the cause.

To its credit, Israel has come to recognize that it must play an active role in uncovering the truth. The IDF recently sent a letter to France 2 demanding the release of Talal Abu Rahmeh's 27 minutes of raw footage, asserting the implausibility of IDF guilt for the death of Mohammad al-Dura, and raising the possibility that the entire affair may have been staged.

Tragically, there is no way to repair the damage inflicted on Israel's international image by the France 2 report, much less restore the Israeli and Jewish victims whose lives were exacted as vengeance. It is possible, however, to deter slanderous news reporting -- and the violence that often accompanies it -- by setting a precedent for media accountability via the handover of Talal Abu Rahmeh's full 27 minutes of raw footage. Encouragingly, the judge presiding over Mr. Karsenty's appeal has now requested the tapes. France 2 must make a full public disclosure. If there is nothing to hide, why should it refuse?

Mr. Sharansky is chairman of the Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.


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« Reply #195 on: October 04, 2007, 07:59:51 AM »

Modern Heroes
Our soldiers like what they do. They want our respect, not pity.

BY ROBERT D. KAPLAN
Thursday, October 4, 2007 12:01 a.m. EDT

I'm weary of seeing news stories about wounded soldiers and assertions of "support" for the troops mixed with suggestions of the futility of our military efforts in Iraq. Why aren't there more accounts of what the troops actually do? How about narrations of individual battles and skirmishes, of their ever-evolving interactions with Iraqi troops and locals in Baghdad and Anbar province, and of increasingly resourceful "patterning" of terrorist networks that goes on daily in tactical operations centers?

The sad and often unspoken truth of the matter is this: Americans have been conditioned less to understand Iraq's complex military reality than to feel sorry for those who are part of it.

The media struggles in good faith to respect our troops, but too often it merely pities them. I am generalizing, of course. Indeed, there are regular, stellar exceptions, quite often in the most prominent liberal publications, from our best military correspondents. But exceptions don't quite cut it amidst the barrage of "news," which too often descends into therapy for those who are not fighting, rather than matter-of-fact stories related by those who are.

As one battalion commander complained to me, in words repeated by other soldiers and marines: "Has anyone noticed that we now have a volunteer Army? I'm a warrior. It's my job to fight." Every journalist has a different network of military contacts. Mine come at me with the following theme: We want to be admired for our technical proficiency--for what we do, not for what we suffer. We are not victims. We are privileged.





The cult of victimhood in American history first flourished in the aftermath of the 1960s youth rebellion, in which, as University of Chicago Prof. Peter Novick writes, women, blacks, Jews, Native Americans and others fortified their identities with public references to past oppressions. The process was tied to Vietnam, a war in which the photographs of civilian victims "displaced traditional images of heroism." It appears that our troops have been made into the latest victims.
Heroes, according to the ancients, are those who do great deeds that have a lasting claim to our respect. To suffer is not necessarily to be heroic. Obviously, we have such heroes, who are too often ignored. Witness the low-key coverage accorded to winners of the Medal of Honor and of lesser decorations.

The first Medal of Honor in the global war on terror was awarded posthumously to Army Sgt. First Class Paul Ray Smith of Tampa, Fla., who was killed under withering gunfire protecting his wounded comrades outside Baghdad airport in April 2003.

According to LexisNexis, by June 2005, two months after his posthumous award, his stirring story had drawn only 90 media mentions, compared with 4,677 for the supposed Quran abuse at Guantanamo Bay, and 5,159 for the court-martialed Abu Ghraib guard Lynndie England. While the exposure of wrongdoing by American troops is of the highest importance, it can become a tyranny of its own when taken to an extreme.

Media frenzies are ignited when American troops are either the perpetrators of acts resulting in victimhood, or are victims themselves. Meanwhile, individual soldiers daily performing complicated and heroic deeds barely fit within the strictures of news stories as they are presently defined. This is why the sporadic network and cable news features on heroic soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan comes across as so hokey. After all, the last time such reports were considered "news" was during World War II and the Korean War.

In particular, there is Fox News's occasional series on war heroes, whose apparent strangeness is a manifestation of the distance the media has traveled away from the nation-state in the intervening decades. Fox's war coverage is less right-wing than it is simply old-fashioned, antediluvian almost. Fox's commercial success may be less a factor of its ideological base than of something more primal: a yearning among a large segment of the public for a real national media once again--as opposed to an international one. Nationalism means patriotism, and patriotism requires heroes, not victims.





Let's review some recent history. From Sept. 11, 2001, until the middle of 2003, when events in Afghanistan and Iraq appeared to be going well, the media portrayed the troops in an uncomplicated, positive light. Young reporters who embedded early on became acquainted with men and women in uniform, by whom they were frankly impressed. But their older editors, children of the '60s often, were skeptical. Once these wars started going badly, skepticism turned to a feeling of having been duped, a sentiment amplified by the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.
That led to a different news cycle, this time with the troops as war criminals. But that cycle could not be sustained by the facts beyond the specific scandal. So by the end of 2004, yet another news cycle set in, the one that is still with us: the troops as victims of an incompetent and evil administration. The irony is that the daily actions of the troops now, living among Iraqis, applying the doctrines of counterinsurgency, and engaged regularly in close-quarters combat, are likely more heroic than in the period immediately following 9/11.

Objectively speaking, the troops can be both victims and heroes--that is, if the current phase of the war does indeed turn out to be futile. My point is only to note how the media has embraced the former theme and downplayed the latter. The LexisNexis statistics reveal the extent to which the media is uncomfortable with traditional heroism, of the kind celebrated from Herodotus through World War II. If that's not the case, then why don't we read more accounts about the battlefield actions of Silver Star winners, Bronze Star winners and the like?

Feeling comfortable with heroes requires a lack of cynicism toward the cause for which they fight. In the 1990s, when exporting democracy and militarily responding to ethnic and religious carnage were looked up upon, U.S. Army engineering units in Bosnia were lionized merely for laying bridges across rivers. Those soldiers did not need to risk their lives or win medals in order to be glorified by the media. Indeed, the media afforded them more stature than it does today's Medal of Honor winners. When a war becomes unpopular, the troops are in a sense deserted. In the eyes of professional warriors, pity can be a form of debasement.





Rather than hated, like during Vietnam, now the troops are "loved." But the best units don't want love; they want respect. The dilemma is that the safer the administration keeps us at home, the more disconnected the citizenry is from its own military posted abroad. An army at war and a nation at the mall do not encounter each other except through the refractive medium of news and entertainment.
That medium is refractive because while the U.S. still has a national military, it no longer has a national media to quite the same extent. The media is increasingly representative of an international society, whose loyalty to a particular territory is more and more diluted. That international society has ideas to defend--ideas of universal justice--but little actual ground. And without ground to defend, it has little need of heroes. Thus, future news cycles will also be dominated by victims.

The media is but one example of the slow crumbling of the nation-state at the upper layers of the social crust--a process that because it is so gradual, is also deniable by those in the midst of it. It will take another event on the order of 9/11 or greater to change the direction we are headed. Contrary to popular belief, the events of 9/11--which are perceived as an isolated incident--did not fundamentally change our nation. They merely interrupted an ongoing trend toward the decay of nationalism and the devaluation of heroism.

Mr. Kaplan, a correspondent for The Atlantic and a visiting professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, is the author of "Hog Pilots, Blue Water Grunts: The American Military in the Air, at Sea, and on the Ground," just published by Random House.

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« Reply #196 on: October 05, 2007, 10:56:45 AM »

Anatomy of a BIG Lie: ‘Phony Soldiers’
Regular readers are aware that, since The Patriot’s founding a decade ago, we’ve included a short section within Friday’s Digest called, “The BIG Lie.” It’s a section we’ve reserved for egregious examples of Leftist disinformation.

There is an old maxim that if one repeats a lie often and loud enough, it will eventually be perceived as the truth.

Adolf Hitler defined that dictum in his 1925 autobiography Mein Kampf, writing that a big lie must be so “colossal” that the public would be confident that no national leaders “could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”

After Hitler became the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party, his chief propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, used the Third Reich’s big-lie apparatus to fortify the Nazi campaign against Jews. Goebbels blamed the Jews for Germany’s inability to recover from World War I, and this big lie led to the Holocaust—the wholesale murder of some six million men, women and children.

After Germany’s WWII defeat, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and subsequent Communist leaders perfected the big-lie propaganda machine with media “dezinformatsia” campaigns. The primary organ for disseminating this disinformation was the official newspaper of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, Pravda, which in English means “the truth.” Even the name is a big lie.

Here in the U.S. , the organs of Leftist disinformation have assumed equally impressive identities: The New York Times, The Washington Post, CBS, CNN, MSNBC and NPR, and the list goes on. (For a weekly recounting of the MSM’s biggest whoppers, please see the “Dezinformatsia” section of our Wednesday Chronicle.)

Most recently, the Democrats’ dezinformatsia machines were running overtime to discredit Gen. David Petraeus, commander of our Armed Forces in Iraq. In advance of his congressional testimony about the progress of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the Leftmedia gave endless play to those Demo-gogues who have bet their 2008 electoral prospects on failure in and retreat from Iraq.

On the morning of Gen. Petraeus’s testimony, the Democrats’ most effective web-based organ of disinformation, MoveOn.org, was given a deep discount by the Democrats’ most effective print-based organ of disinformation, The New York Times, to run an appalling full-page lie under the heading, “General Petraeus or General Betray Us?”

Democrats and the George Soros-funded MoveOn thought they could, with impunity, brand one of our nation’s most distinguished warriors a traitor. By extension, they branded as traitors all American forces fighting jihadi terrorists in Iraq and around the world. However, Leftist politicos and MoveOn grossly underestimated the new media’s ability to expose such a colossal lie and grossly overestimated the public’s tolerance for such accusations once brought to their attention.

In short, the Left got caught in a big lie and was severely rebuked.

In an effort to offset that rebuke, Democrats and their radical cadre have fabricated another big lie—this one targeting Rush Limbaugh.

Rush, of course, is the arch-nemesis of the Left. He broke ground for conservative perspective on the radio, much as Fox News did for television and The Patriot did for the Web.

To recap: Rush had been responding to an on-air caller who noted that the MSM has continually dredged up a handful of troops—some real, some fake—to provide antiwar statements to support the Demos’ desire for defeat and retreat. Rush agreed, noting that some of these anti-warriors, in particular Jesse MacBeth, have flat-out lied about their military service. He rightly dubbed them “phony soldiers.”

For the record, Jesse MacBeth, the prototypical anti-OIF poster boy, was in fact born Jesse Al-Zaid. Al-Zaid claimed to have served in Iraq, even receiving a Purple Heart after being shot. He claimed to have witnessed atrocities committed by “fellow soldiers.” But it turns out that Al-Zaid never completed boot camp, being discharged after 44 days because of his “entry level performance and conduct.” He was not a Green Beret, never in Special Ops, never in Iraq—though he even attempted to defraud the VA of more than $10,000 for “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.” Al-Zaid, whose protest diatribes have been circulating for several years, is indeed a phony soldier.

But the truth never deters the Left’s big lies.

Their so-called “watchdog group,” Media Matters for America, removed from context the two words “phony soldiers” and blast-broadcasted the big lie that Rush had branded that label on the handful of anti-OIF protestors who actually served in Iraq. In lock step, that smear was dutifully regurgitated by the MSM and then picked up by opportunistic Demo-gogues in Congress, desperately seeking a reversal of charges after their disastrous attempt to question the patriotism of Gen. Petraeus.

Chief among the most despicable of those propagating this dezinformatsia campaign from their Senate soapboxes are John Kerry and Tom Harkin.

Kerry, like Jesse Al-Zaid, embellished his military record and then used his “hero status” as a platform to falsely accuse ground troops in Vietnam of all manner of atrocities. (He is the target of a national petition to indict him for acts of treason, which now has more than 200,000 signers.)

Kerry’s most notable commentary on Iraq in the past year was his assertion that American service personnel are “stuck in Iraq” because they are too stupid to get a better job.

This week he led the charge against Rush, saying, “In a single moment on his show, Limbaugh managed to question the patriotism of men and women in uniform who have put their lives on the line and many who died for his right to sit safely in his air conditioned studio peddling hate.”

This is the same Jean-Francois Kerry who, back in 2005, accused U.S. forces in Iraq of “going into the homes of Iraqis in the dead of night, terrorizing kids and children, uh, uh, uh, you know, women...”

Iowa Demo Sen. Tom Harkin, who also falsified his military record by claiming to have been a Vietnam combat pilot when he actually flew repaired aircraft from Japan to U.S. bases in Vietnam, perpetuated the lie, saying, “I must say that as a veteran, I find it offensive that Rush Limbaugh would attack the patriotism and the dedication of any soldier fighting in Iraq... I also find it disturbing that his offensive comments have not been condemned by our Republican colleagues or by the Commander in Chief, all of whom are so quick to condemn a similar personal attack on General Petraeus several weeks ago.”

Of course, as Limbaugh said in response, “Why should they condemn something that wasn’t said? You know what ought to be condemned here is [the Left’s] wanton inability to find the truth.”

Further perpetuating the big lie—and further wasting the taxpayers’ hard-earned money—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his cadre of MoveOn Demos sent a letter to Mark Mays, CEO of Clear Channel Communications, which broadcasts Rush’s program via more than 1,200 stations. The letter demanded that Mays condemn “Limbaugh’s hateful and unpatriotic” remarks.

Further, former Democrat presidential wannabe, General Wesley Clark, who has endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, is demanding that Rush be removed from the Armed Forces Radio network.

In the House, Lefty Mark Udall introduced a big-lie resolution condemning Limbaugh, and 26 Democrats have signed on as co-sponsors.

And what of Media Matters, the propaganda organ that launched the lie?

My colleague, National Review essayist Byron York, offered this analysis: “Media Matters is much more than a traditional media-watchdog group. Indeed, it is probably more accurate to view Media Matters as part of the constellation of groups that have come together on the left in the last year or so, all aimed at electing a Democratic President. Their [donors list] reads like a Who’s Who of those who have financed the new activist Left.”

“Constellation of groups”? In other words, a Socialist propaganda network that would make even Goebbels blush with pride!

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« Reply #197 on: October 06, 2007, 08:55:48 AM »

Ted Koppel, even though he often let his Democrat preferences show, always impressed me.  Here's this on what he's doing now:

“Nightline” had its privileges, one being that viewers knew just where to find Ted Koppel during his quarter-century tenure there.

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 Additional articles and information about Mr. Koppel.
He’s now nearly two years removed from the program that made his name. But Mr. Koppel no doubt is still being discovered on the Discovery Channel, a comparative wilderness where he can indulge himself in the extended documentaries that long ago roamed free on broadcast television.

His latest two-hour effort, “Koppel on Discovery: Breaking Point,” is a report on the “overloaded and understaffed” California prison system. Escapist TV it’s not. And it will be tough to get much traction opposite the likes of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” and NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.”

Mr. Koppel’s efforts are no less valuable, though. This is television journalism the way it was drawn up in some mythical Edward R. Murrow playbook. Pertinent, eye-opening information is imparted. Individual stories flesh it out. All sides are heard. The correspondent is visibly involved yet unobtrusive. What a concept.

“Breaking Point” focuses on California State Prison, Solano, in Vacaville, where a onetime indoor basketball court is now H Dorm. Designed for 200 inmates, it houses more than 340. They’re stacked three bunks high in a cauldron rife with “drama and politics,” Mr. Koppel says.

“It’s about turf and protection, drugs, weapons and prostitution,” he continues. “It’s a rigid code of segregation along ethnic and racial lines. And most of all it’s about gangs.”

All told, a California prison system built to hold 100,000 inmates is bursting with 173,000, Mr. Koppel says. Each prisoner costs taxpayers $43,000 annually. Many are repeat offenders serving mandatory sentences of 25 years to life as part of the “three strikes and you’re out” law.

The impetus for that legislation was the 1993 kidnapping, rape and murder of a 12-year-old girl, Polly Klaas, by a man who had just been paroled from prison. Mr. Koppel interviews her father, Marc Klaas, identified as a “victims’ advocate,” who has an understandable enmity toward violent criminals.

“As far as I’m concerned, you can stack these guys like cordwood,” Mr. Klaas says. “And you can keep them locked away forever.”

Many of the long-term inmates were not convicted of violent crimes, however.

One is Joey Mason, who says he voted in favor of the three strikes law before being convicted of a nonviolent burglary. He has since been imprisoned two more times for the same offense and is not eligible for parole until 2019. Believe him or not, though, Mr. Mason tells Mr. Koppel he’s a changed man.

“I really believe I’d be a better taxpayer than a tax taker,” he says.

“Breaking Point” is divided into chapters, and one of the more striking is called “Powder Keg.”

“Race guides every aspect of prison life,” Mr. Koppel tells viewers before inmates and prison officials back him up. Cellmates are invariably of the same race by design. Prisoners eat and share food only with their own kind. Fights are almost always between inmates of different races. No one, inmates say, wants to be branded a “race traitor.”

“It is as rigid a form of segregation as ever existed in this country,” Mr. Koppel says.

A recent court order has mandated that California prisons be integrated. An inmate named Darren Doucette, among others, isn’t in favor of that.

“I think it’s bad,” he tells Mr. Koppel, “because someone’s son’s gonna die.”

There are some bright spots, too. The chapter “Graduation Day” is surprisingly moving, with a relative handful of inmates proudly wearing caps and gowns to receive their G.E.D. diplomas. Friends and relatives applaud after a prison official intones, “Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the spring 2007 graduating class.”

Mr. Koppel quickly adds, “Keep in mind that these inmates are the exception.”

“Breaking Point” is exceptional. Real-life looks at prison life generally aren’t crowd-pleasers, even if fictional depictions often are. But Mr. Koppel and his longtime executive producer, Tom Bettag, have fought another good fight on behalf of in-depth television journalism about a subject of true import.

Ed Bark, a former television critic for The Dallas Morning News, is now proprietor of the television Web site unclebarky.com.
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« Reply #198 on: October 17, 2007, 07:44:26 PM »

Wasn't sure whether this belonged here or the in "Dogs, Wolves, & Canines" thread.

I know that neither Ellen or the Fairness Doctrine are very popular in this forum Smiley, but what are you guys' thoughts about Ellen using however much of her daily nationwide TV show to say whatever she wants about the dog adoption agency that's now receiving death threats?

Not to mention that Ellen gave up on socializing the dog with her cats after *10 days*!?  What a softcore.

http://www.eonline.com/news/article/index.jsp?uuid=c528d860-95a0-46bd-a2b8-58f19367d2e8&sid=fd-news

Ellen DeGeneres' dogfight continues to intensify.

Marina Baktis, who runs the nonprofit rescue agency Mutts and Moms with business partner Vanessa Chekroun, filed a police report Tuesday night, after receiving death threats in the wake of DeGeneres' tearful on-air plea for the return of her adopted pooch to her hairdresser's family.

The Pasadena Police Department said it was investigating the source of "several threats [made to Baktis'] cell phone and work phone from several angry persons who threatened her life and her property."

"This is horrible. I rescue dogs. I can't believe this," Baktis told Access Hollywood.

"I haven't eaten, I'm sick and I've had heart palpitations."

Mutts and Moms has also been targeted by an Internet-powered call for a boycott, launched by dog-loving DeGeneres fans via Craigslist.

Batkis said DeGeneres' A-list status does not make her exempt from the agency's rules.

"Celebrities, you know, they get preferential treatment. They have lots of money. They go into a restaurant, they get a table. And so you know, this contract was breached. It was breached. So, people need to understand when you enter a binding legal agreement that you can't just go, 'And here you go, I don't want you,' " Batkis told Access Hollywood.

In an exclusive phone conversation with E! News' Ryan Seacrest Wednesday, DeGeneres reiterated her dismay over the dog being taken away and denied she had been deliberately trying to disregard the agency's policies, saying, "The whole situation is surreal."  (Get the full audio of Ryan and Ellen.)

"I will say this: We never filled out an application. We never had a home evaluation," she told Seacrest, indicating the agency was somewhat unpredictable about adhering to its own rules.

Her celebrity status, she said, had nothing to do with it.

"I didn't say you can't come to my home, I didn't say I won't fill out a form. She didn't ask me to," DeGeneres said.

"We're not trying to be anything other than a regular person trying to adopt a dog."

DeGeneres first took to the airwaves sobbing Tuesday, as she recounted the tale of her four-month-old adopted Brussels Griffon mix, Iggy, whom she passed off to her hairdresser after he wasn't getting along with her cats.

Upon learning DeGeneres had relocated the pet without permission—a violation of the agency's adoption policy—a Mutts and Moms representative went to the hairdresser's home with a police escort and seized the dog.

DeGeneres, 49, who admitted on her show she had not read through the adoption paperwork carefully enough, suggested to Seacrest that the owners of the agency had a vendetta against her. She said she pleaded with them not to take out her mistake on the dog and the family and begged them to just go to the home to evaluate Iggy's new living situation. Instead, she said, the representative entered the house and snatched the dog away.

She said her hairdresser's 11- and 12-year-old daughters were devastated by the loss of the dog, after begging with the agency for three hours to let them keep their pet.

"I thought I did a good thing," an emotional DeGeneres said Tuesday during her show. "I tried to find a loving home for the dog, because I couldn't keep it.

"I feel totally responsible for it, and I'm so sorry. I'm begging them to give that dog back to that family. It's not their fault. It's my fault. I shouldn't have given the dog away. Just please give the dog back to those little girls."

However, Mutts and Moms, which has a policy of not working with families with children under 14, has declined to do so.

"[Batkis] doesn't think this is the type of family that should have the dog," attorney Keith A. Fink, who does not represent the owners but was authorized to speak on their behalf, told the Associated Press. "She is adamant that she is not going to be bullied around by the Ellen DeGenereses of the world…They are using their power, position and wealth to try to get what it is they want."

DeGeneres' publicist, Kelly Bush, said her client was simply interested in ensuring the dog was in a good and loving home.

"It's very upsetting to hear that someone is getting those kinds of calls," Bush told the AP about the threats directed at Mutts and Moms. "Ellen just wants the dog reunited with the family."

A more composed DeGeneres said as much on her show Wednesday, while renewing her plea for Iggy to be given back to her hairdresser.

"It's become so insane," she said. "The dog just needs to go to the family."
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« Reply #199 on: October 17, 2007, 07:54:52 PM »

I know, this post may be more appropriate for the "political rants" thread...

DeGeneres, 49, who admitted on her show she had not read through the adoption paperwork carefully enough, suggested to Seacrest that the owners of the agency had a vendetta against her. She said she pleaded with them not to take out her mistake on the dog and the family and begged them to just go to the home to evaluate Iggy's new living situation. Instead, she said, the representative entered the house and snatched the dog away.

She said her hairdresser's 11- and 12-year-old daughters were devastated by the loss of the dog, after begging with the agency for three hours to let them keep their pet.

"I thought I did a good thing," an emotional DeGeneres said Tuesday during her show. "I tried to find a loving home for the dog, because I couldn't keep it.

This really &*@^ing burns me.  She admits she didn't thoroughly read the contract she signed, but insists the agency has some kind of beef with her.

The arrogance is just astounding.  Apparently the agency has a specific policy about not adopting dogs to families with children younger than 14 (as if the decision of whether a given dog will do well in a home with small kids is one that just any shmo like her is qualified to make), but as far as Ellen's concerned, those kinds of issues (and abiding by a contract she signed) are just for little people.
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