December 18, 2005

Passage of the Day: Steyn on Events in Iraq

Filed under: Quotes, Etc. of the Day,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:10 pm

The usual grand slam from Steyn:

The timeframe imposed on the democratic process turns out to have worked very well — the transfer of sovereignty, the vote on a constitutional assembly, the ratification of the constitution, the vote for a legislature — and, with the benefit of hindsight, it now looks like an ingeniously constructed way to bring the various parties on board in the right order: first the Kurds, then the Shia, now the Sunni. That doesn’t leave many folks over on the other side except Zarqawi and Dean. What do the two have in common? They’re both foreigners, neither of whom have the slightest interest in the Iraqi people.

And no, I’m not questioning their patriotism. Honestly, who can be bothered questioning anything so footling as Howard Dean’s patriotism? If you’re a Democratic patriot and you’re outraged by my linking your party to the “insurgents,” take it up with your leaders: They’re the ones who’ve over-invested the party in American failure. And instead of being angry at me you should be ashamed of them. Your party is regarded as unserious on national security because it got it wrong last time round, when Kerry spent the last half of the Cold War siding with every loser on the planet — opposing the liberation of Grenada, supporting the Sandinistas in Nicaragua.

….. George Clooney, the matinee idol, made an interesting point the other day. He said that “liberal” had become a dirty word and he’d like to change that. Fair enough. So I hope he won’t mind if I make a suggestion. The best way to reclaim “liberal” for the angels is to get on the right side of history — the side the Iraqi people are on. The word “liberal” has no meaning if those who wear the label refuse to celebrate the birth of a new democracy after 40 years of tyranny. Yet, if you wandered the Internet on Thursday, you came across far too many “liberals” who watched the election, shrugged and went straight back to Valerie Plame, WMD, Bush lied.

Bush lied, people dyed. Their fingers.

The purple-fingered Iraqi voter is BizzyBlog’s Person of the Year. Time Magazine’s selections, though deserving human beings, are much weaker.

Time’s “People Who Mattered” Are Framed with Bias-Tinged Pictures and Captions

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias — Tom @ 3:17 pm

Veteran observers of media bias know that it’s not just about the words. It’s also about the pictures.

Time Magazine deserves all the wrath that will be hurled its way in the coming days not only over not naming “The purple-fingered Iraqi voters” their 2005 Persons of the Year, but for totally omitting them from its 2005 “People Who Mattered” list.

The Iraqi voter may not have mattered, but according to Time, actress Geena Davis, scifi character Darth Vader, singer Kanye West, and teenage golfer Michelle Wie all did.

But as outrageous as the selections are, the pictures of those selected are often worse. Scroll through the “People Who Mattered” pictures at Time’s Web site and here’s what you’ll see (some captions were so awful I had to mention them too):

  • George Bush-Dick Cheney — black and white, shunted to the bottom right, sullen. Last half of caption: “On issue after issue, Bush and Cheney stumbled and saw their popularity drop. Although the team’s numbers are improving somewhat, Republicans are facing next fall’s midterm congressional elections with trepidation.” Really?
  • John Roberts — a bizarre color pic with his son in shorts, in front of what is probably the Supreme Court, with both of them too small to be recognizable, and his son running to him from a distance of 10 feet or so.
  • John McCain and Harry Reid – black and white, in a bizarre (a recurring theme), Blair Witch-like setting.
  • Tom Delay — black and white, 60-Minutes close, sullen, looking down.
  • Joe Wilson/Valerie Plame — black and white, Wilson near the front looking put-upon, Plame in back in her PJs. Caption opener: “All marriages weather storms, but only this career diplomat and his outed spy wife know what it’s like to be at the center of the year’s biggest political scandal.” A self-inflicted boo hoo.
  • Patrick Fitzgerald — in color, taking questions, ultimate professional.
  • Cindy Sheehan — in color (you wondered?), holding a heart, two doves, and a peace sign.
  • Ray Nagin — in color, bizarrely shunted to the bottom left. What’s really offensive is the description here: “Could he have done more to get his people out before Katrina hit? Probably. But once the levees broke, the mayor of New Orleans embodied the pain and frustration of his city, even cursing on the radio as he joined thousands of stranded residents in wondering why their government had failed them.” Uh, Ray, you ARE the government!
  • Condi Rice — black and white, this one tops them all. It’s as if Time said “Let’s use the worst pic we have of Condi as the ultimate witch.” End of caption: “And she must be doing something right: she’s far more popular than her boss.”
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — the pic of Iran’s dictator is black and white, but he is in a very distinguished and polished pose. The first sentence of his caption: “He is an unlikely firebrand: the soft-spoken son of a blacksmith who still sometimes drives a 30-year-old Peugeot.” Charming.

Meanwhile, in what must surely be totally unrelated news from last Tuesday, “Time lays off 105, including top executives.”

Cross-posted at Newsbusters.

Previous Post: Time’s 2005 “Persons of the Year”

Time’s 2005 “Persons of the Year”

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance — Tom @ 1:49 pm

The winners (HT Michelle Malkin) are apparently noble people, but considering everything that has happened in the world this year, I can only ask “Who’s really living in a bubble?”

Michelle’s post and The Captain’s comments section at his anticipatory post has at least a few who would have made better selections (some sorting through poor choices required).

Also: Time’s “People Who Mattered” Are Framed with Bias-Tinged Pictures and Captions

UPDATE: Given that the target of the winners’ largesse is mostly Africa, this piece from Paul Theroux is highly recommended (HT Betsy Newmark via Ed Driscoll). A previous BizzyBlog post noted the futility of African aid provided in its current forms–from an African’s perspective.

Free Market Project Names “The Media’s Top 10 Economic Myths of 2005″

It’s a pretty accurate list (HT Amy Ridenour, who has been on a roll lately). Many of these myths were busted at this site this year, but go to the link for relatively succinct rebuttals:

  1. The U.S. economy is hopeless — There are plenty of reasons to doubt the economy. Gas prices; housing bubble; auto workers losing jobs… the evidence is everywhere.
  2. Big money-makers like the oil and drug industries should be sharing the wealth. Oil companies were profiting off others’ misfortunes – laughing all the way to the bank while you got squeezed at the pump. And Wal-Mart’s business practices were just as bad.
  3. Rising energy prices mean there won’t be much in little Timmy’s stocking this Christmas. Mom and dad can’t heat their home and buy food, so other business sectors are going to get Scrooged.
  4. America is suffering from an obesity epidemic, so we’ve got to keep everyone away from foods and beverages with calories. This has become the nation’s No. 1 health problem and we’re dying at the rate of 400,000 a year.
  5. The housing market, white-hot for so long, is about to go bust and take you and your home’s value with it.
  6. With homes and businesses destroyed and the nation’s oil supply hit, the United States will surely hemorrhage jobs and head toward a huge downturn in Katrina’s wake.
  7. At least our good-hearted celebrities understand that compared to other nations, America doesn’t give much to help the world’s poor.
  8. Thanks to the U.S. rejection of the Kyoto treaty, global warming is on the rise and warmer oceans are spawning deadlier hurricanes than ever.
  9. Spending for hurricane recovery and Iraq is driving the U.S. deficit out of control. The only answer is to raise taxes to pay for it all.
  10. France’s short work week, benefits and loads of vacation time made it a workers’ paradise.

I can only think of one replacement, and I would put it at Number 2, while throwing out Number 4 (obesity): The “there is no crisis” claim about Social Security and Medicare. The unfunded liability of Social Security alone went up a $660 billion this year to $12.8 trillion, and will go up by ever-accelerating amounts in each coming years if the crisis isn’t dealt with. Medicare is actually an even bigger albatross.

Look at the bright side: At least during 2005 we didn’t have to endure the previous 2 years’ endless (and inaccurate) whining about the “jobless recovery.”

Positivity: Christmas at the Porch’s

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:05 am

The otherwise great article could use a good picture of the place: