April 21, 2008

Couldn’t Help But Comment (042108, Evening)

At YouTube“FOX Reports On Innaccuracies Of Washington Post Article (about John McCain’s temper).” I like the second half: “(former New Hampshire US Senator Bob) Smith acknowledged that they have very, very deep differences of opinion, but that the sort of violent outbursts and the exchange of harsh words was exaggerated in the articles, and in the past reporting of it. And what is reported in the article is what Mr. Smith has already said never actually happened.”

Translation: The Washington Post is building its own alternative reality based on past erroneous reporting that it refuses to correct.

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Exactly why Bill Ayers matters (HT Instapundit):

William Ayers is Timothy McVeigh on a smaller scale. He is a murderer.

That Ayers is not rotting away in prison is a miscarriage of justice.

That the intellectual and political “elite” of Chicago embraces this murderer is deeply embarrassing to anyone who loves the city, as I do.

That a man who shrugs off Ayers’ murders is being seriously considered for president is a good sign of just how far we’ve sunk.

(Note: I believe Ayers actually didn’t commit murders, but that isn’t because he didn’t try. And of course, to this day, he wishes he would have done more; here’s the link to the September 11, 2001 New York Times article where he says so.)

Translation: The presidential candidate I refer to as Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters) has richly earned the words behind the seventh and eighth letters in his BizzyBlog-formulated acronym.

The fact that Chicago Mayor Dictator for Life Richard Daley is among those making excuses for Ayers is a despicable disgrace to and betrayal of his father’s memory. Bill Ayers would have taken out Daley’s father in a heartbeat and, if successful, would even today be bragging about it and dancing on his grave.

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Hmm — After gaining about 4% last week, the NASDAQ actually was up 0.2% today, while the Dow and S&P were down only 0.2%. Here’s what Briefing.com said — “The stock market posted a slight loss on Monday. The end results are actually pretty good considering the scope of last week’s gains.” Since the stock market’s performance tends to be a leading indicator, there may be some grounds for optimism in the reasonably short term.

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Rick Santorum: “Why conservatives should support McCain.” I’d be more impressed if Rick had written a piece during the 2004 primaries about why conservatives should support Pat Toomey.

TILTPAT-BIDHAT4 (042108, Afternoon)

Filed under: TILTpatBIDHAT — Tom @ 1:41 pm

“Things I‘d Like To Post About Today; But I Don’t Have Any Time ‘4‘”:

  • Wow, NewsBusters is on a roll, or should I say Old Media has generated a lot for NB’s bloggers to post about. This one by Lynn Davidson very early this morning is a doozy — “LAT Claims George Washington Only Served One Term in Office.” I don’t care if it is in the entertainment section, that’s pitiful.
  • NBer Tim Graham noted the Huffington Post’s latest offering of elitism from the Democratic commentariat. It’s from Nora Ephron, who wrote, “This is an election about whether the people of Pennsylvania hate blacks more than they hate women. And when I say people, I don’t mean people, I mean white men.” She’s not joking.
  • There are two NB posts (here by Paul Detrick and here by Jeff Poor) about Time Magazine’s Iwo Jima-mocking cover.
  • Elsewhere, if you’re looking for a reason why oil prices have skyrocketed, look no further than Venezuela, where production continues to fall — about 25% in the past 10 years, and, based on eyeballing the graph at the link, at least 10% in the past two. Some think it’s due to incompetent management (that’s my vote), others think it’s by design to maximize revenues.
  • I’m hearing on the bottom-of-hour radio news that the negative campaigning in the Pennsylvania Primary has reached a fever pitch. What a shame (/sarcasm).
  • From the Associated Press’s Jeannine Aversa earlier today — “Survey: 30 percent believe economy will shrink (in the first half of this year).” Gee, Jeannine, 2-1/2 weeks ago you wrote, “It’s no longer a question of recession or not. Now it’s how deep and how long.” You then backtracked to “widening agreement” four paragraphs later in the same report. Now only a minority of the people who look closely at these things thinks the economy will shrink. What gives?
  • Here’s an interesting Ohio story from last week — “Cleveland Clinic’s Michael Roizen criticizes Strickland over tobacco money.” Specifically, he called Ohio’s governor “stupid.” I posted about this in more civil terms a year ago, emphasizing, as Roizen did not, that much of the money being taken away will not go to farmers in the district Strickland used to represent. But the “fun” part of this is that the Plain Dealer chose to put Roizen’s clearly political statement into its Science & Medicine online blog instead of its Openers political blog. Obviously I don’t know where it ended up in the print edition, but the placement of the story in a blog political junkies wouldn’t normally go to is way too convenient.

Mark Dann Party-ID Follow-up: Ohio Media’s Amnesia Mostly Goes into Remission when the News Is ‘Positive’

Here, for fair use and discussion purposes, is the guidance from the 2000 Associated Press Stylebook on how to handle a story subject’s party affiliation:

Let relevance be the guide in determining whether to include a political figure’s party affiliation in a story.

Party affiliation is pointless in some stories, such as an account of a governor accepting a button from a poster child.

It will occur naturally in many political stories.

For stories between these extremes, include party affiliation if readers need it for understanding or are likely to be curious about what it is.

Saturday’s post (“Ohio Media Suffers Collective Amnesia on AG Marc Dann’s Party”), was about the apparent inability of Ohio’s Old Media, including AP, to identify what party Ohio Attorney General Marc “My Beloved” Dann belongs to in stories relating to the ongoing sexual-harrassment scandal involving employees in his office.

My post brought forth this comment from “Kevin”:

What’s even more odd about this is that they had no problem identifying Dann as a Democrat when writing about non-scandalous aspects of his job. When he’s suing a polluter or any other corporation, he’s a Democrat. When he’s talking about bringing crime labs to another city, he’s a Democrat. When he gets in hot water, everyone magically fails to include what party he is in …..

Kevin is in essence suggesting that what I called left-brained “Chronic Reportorial Amnesia” (CRA) should more accurately be referred to as “Selective Left-brained Amnesia in Media” (SLAM). Update your Physician’s Desk Reference accordingly.

Evidence of SLAM’s impact on Ohio Old Media reporting relative to Marc Dann is easily found:

  • Youngstown Vindicator; April 3, 2007 — “Dann to move 38 jobs downtown Youngstown.” Job Go-Getter Dann’s identification as a Democrat is in Paragraph 2.
  • Columbus Dispatch; Feb. 27, 2007 — “Dann chases mortgage cheats.” Crusader Dann’s party ID is in the fifth paragraph. Go to the link and decide for yourself whether the headline fits the story.
  • Columbus Dispatch; June 8, 2007 — “10 mortgage lenders sued; state alleges illegal practices.” Eliot Spitzer Mini-Me Dann’s party ID is in Paragraph 7.
  • Warren Tribune Chronicle; March 18, 2008 — “Dann talks to students about public service.” Word Number 7 in Jennifer Kovacs’s puff piece is “Democratic.”
  • Cleveland Plain Dealer; Jan. 11, 2008 (from Google cache) — “Attorney general collects record $329 million.” Reginald Fields identified Delinquent Dunner Dann as a Dem in Paragraph 5, and set up the story to highlight Dann’s criticism of former AG Jim Petro for Petro’s alleged “pay to play” approach. The trouble is that the story’s entire premise falls apart after adjusting for inflation. After considering the 2006-2007 annual average inflation of 2.8%, the $329 mil Dann collected in 2007 is $320 million ($329/1.028) in 2006 dollars — that is, over $5 million less in real terms than the previous year’s $325.4 mil.

Of course, SLAM is not an Ohio-only affliction. NewsBusters, at this link, has 350 or so posts carrying the “Labeling” tag. Probably half of them, and maybe more, are specific examples of either D-avoidance or R-emphasis relating to political figures or political commentators.

Referring back to AP’s Stylebook, which likely reflects guidance journalists in general are supposed to follow: If Dann’s party affiliation is “relevant” when the news is “good,” it ought to be equally so when the news is “bad.”

As to the specifics of Marc Dann’s most current problems — the harassment cases, plus the concealed-carry issue (“Dann authorized his driver to carry concealed weapon”) that broke over the weekend — the two major parties have been trading charges over which is more corrupt, less law-abiding, and less ethical for years. The parties obviously think these matters are “relevant” to “curious” voters, or they wouldn’t waste their time with them. So, “naturally,” it’s pretty difficult (I’d say impossible) for reporters to argue that party affiliations should be kept out of such stories, or that they can be justifiably buried until the final few paragraphs.

Positivity: Fresno Man Meets Police Officer Who Saved His Life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Fresono, California (video is at link):

Posted: April 12, 2008 01:41 AM

The last time Fresno Police Officer James Lyon saw William Davis, Davis was near death.

“When I got to the house, there was chaos inside. The family was crying. There were people upstairs and downstairs. His wife led me to him and he was on the floor in the living room,” Lyon said.

It was June 2007 and Davis’ family called 911 after what they know now was a heart attack and a stroke.

“He didn’t have a pulse. He wasn’t breathing,” Lyon said.

The officer with just two years of police work under his belt knew there was no time to think.

“He was the first person I’d actually done CPR on. I was one for one, pretty good,” Lyon said.

“You’ve given me a second chance and I’m going to use the second chance to the best of my abilities,” William Davis said.

Once complete strangers, their lives are now connected forever.

“It’s unreal. It really is. I don’t know what to say. It’s amazing,” Lyon said.

“Thank you Officer Lyon so very much,” Davis told him. ….

Go here for the rest of the story.