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The “Tyrant on Tour” Coverage Tops the News: Sept. 23 – 28, 2007
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speaking trip to New York proved irresistible for the news media last week. But once you got past the hype, the politics, and the First Amendment debate, how much did we learn about Iran?
Congressmen thank Prince and Blackwater
It was an unusual congressional hearing where the majority party had hoped to score a home run and mop the floor with the owner of the nation’s most prolific provider of diplomatic security services. Instead, after nearly four hours of talking and questioning at the October 2 event, even the critics appeared to grovel at the feet of the former Navy SEAL who is credited with saving the lives of all American diplomats in Iraq.
From the “Blackwater ‘Facts’” blog at Blogger.
Blackwater Hearings Ain’t no Superbad (by P.W. Singer, Wired)
The best encapsulation of the entire hearings on this important matter of national security was that offered by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA). He led his remarks by saying, “Hopefully, we will get to serious discussion.” Then he proceeded to talk about everything from diabetes drugs to Moveon.org — as opposed to the issues at hand.
Rep. Issa’s on the Case
Issa dedicated most of his question time to debunking Democrats’ claims that Blackwater is a Republican company… Issa noted that Blackwater employees had actually donated money to the Green Party. The only problem is that this was actually an effort by a clique of GOP activists last year to help Rick Santorum by making a rash of big money contributions to the obscure Green Party candidate in the Pennsylvania senate race last year.
Actual headline in The Weekly Standard. “Democrats Seize on Limbaugh to Distract from their Iraq Surrender” Not like the Senate resolution condemning MoveOn.org. That was completely different.
Killing The King (by digby)
I just watched Bill Bennett quivering with outrage that Media Matters has “smeared” Rush Limbaugh; according to him… Bennett said today that the Democrats had erred because if they were going to try to kill the king, they’d better succeed, and Rush is the king of talk radio. He’s right. And the Democrats should have been working to take him down long ago.
Limbaugh Compares Purple Heart Recipient In Vote Vets Ad To A Suicide Bomber
In a new Vote Vets ad released today, Brian McGough, an Iraq war veteran who received the Purple Heart, challenges Rush Limbaugh: “Until you have the guts to call me a ‘phony soldier‘ to my face, stop telling lies about my service.”… In response, Limbaugh today attacked McGough, comparing him to a suicide bomber and suggesting that someone “pumped him full of these lies about what I said“.
Click through to watch the ad video.
Clark: Yank Limbaugh off Armed Forces radio.
Gen. Wesley Clark: “It’s time to put real pressure on Rush Limbaugh. His show is broadcast on Armed Forces Radio, and this time we are going to go straight to the lifeblood of Rush’s show — Congress. Congress has the power to remove Rush Limbaugh from Armed Forces Radio, and it won’t be as easy for elected officials to ignore our call.”
Thank you, General Clark. Click through for an action link.
Number of Republicans who signed Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-NV) letter to Clear Channel’s CEO condemning Rush Limbaugh. Forty-one Democrats signed the letter. In contrast, 72 senators voted to condemn MoveOn.org’s New York Times ad.
O’Hanlon Defends His Old Friend Petraeus, ‘Convinced’ Pentagon Is Wrong On Iraq Stats
Yesterday, [ Brookings analyst Michael]O’Hanlon escalated his obsessive defense of [Gen. David] Petraeus, attacking the Pentagon because its statistics differed than those of his grad school buddy. In a Washington Times op-ed, O’Hanlon acknowledged that the Pentagon’s recent report “clouded” Petraeus’ report… O’Hanlon’s argument focuses on making the case for cherry-picking facts, or selecting what he personally thinks should and should not be included in a tally of violence.
WaPo and the Freep lead the way (by Paul McLeary)
The Washington Post has been running a truly amazing, multimedia series about the improvised explosive device (IED) threat in Iraq and Afghanistan and the ways the Pentagon has, and hasn’t, tried to combat it… It’s the kind of narrative writing that you don’t often see in the wooden prose typical of newspapers, and stands in stark contrast to the he said-she said, by-the-numbers approach to contemporary American journalism. The Post’s Web site is also full of complementary videos, graphs, charts, and further information that broadens and deepens the story of IEDs… But it’s not just the Post that is producing long form reports from the war zone.
THEY NEVER LEARN. (by Scott Lemieux)
Frank Rich is once again trotting out asinine tautologies about the meaningless issue of Hillary Clinton’s “authenticity.”… For some reason, Rich’s belated, not-telling-you-anything-you-don’t-already-know criticisms of the calamitous Bush administration have blinded some progressives to the fact that nobody was more responsible for pushing the idiotic “Gush-Bore” storyline of the 2000 campaign, helping Bush immeasurably by making the campaign about Al Gore’s suits rather than about the substantial policy and competence differences between the two candidates. Rich is not a useful political analyst, and is not in any meaningful sense a progressive ally. If Clinton is the Democratic nominee, we’re in for another year of this crap, and if this helps Clinton lose, starting in 2010 Rich will sorrowfully concede that the invasions of Iran and Syria haven’t worked out that well.
The Attack of the Protectionists: Where are the Economists? (by Dean Baker)
The Washington Post has an article on the entertainment industry’s efforts to increase penalty’s for copyright violations. The article wrongly claims that these violations cost the economy money. This is untrue on its face. The losses to the industry are gains to consumers, and those who know economics would know immediately that the gains to consumers vastly exceed the losses to the industry. Some economic analysis would be useful in this article.
It’s still upsetting, Dean. I don’t care how little comes out of my own pocket, I don’t want this stuff going on.
Media Matters for America headlines
Modern Bionic Woman, Retrograde Feminism
Jaime Sommers, heroine of the 1970s show Bionic Woman is back, but in a gender role that seems older than the original.
Competition Commission rules against BSkyB’s stake in ITV
Sky could be forced to sell its 17.9% stake in ITV at a substantial loss after the [British] Competition Commission said this morning that the holding restricts competition and is against the public interest… The ruling is a blow for BSkyB, part of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation empire.
LAT editor: Long vs. short stories debate is over; short wins
“That doesn’t mean we won’t run long stories,” says Jim O’Shea, noting that “if we focus on becoming better writers and editors, our stories will be better, shorter and more inviting to readers.”
Meeting of the minds (by Jeff Jarvis)
Congrats to HuffingtonPost for snaring Betsy Morgan as its new CEO. Betsy was general manager of CBSNews.com and I became her big fan after meeting her at various conferences (see, they do have a purpose). I was quoted in yesterday’s FT saying that they laughed when Arianna sat down to the keyboard, but she has created something incredible. Now friend Betsy will turn Arianna’s blogging phenom into a real media business.
Some of us, though not laughing, are shaking our heads in disbelief.
Boing Boing Launches Daily TV Show
Popular blog BoingBoing is launching its own web-based daily tv show. Much like the blog, BoingBoingTV will focus on odd bits from around the Web, but in daily 3-5 minute video segments, five days a week… BoingBoing has inked a three month sponsorship deal with IBM to kick-off the show.
Click through to watch the first episode.
Ballmer’s Push for Microsoft Ad Network Dominance
Steve Ballmer’s talks in Paris today continued with his announcement of Microsoft’s plans to increase spending on its online advertising network… As online advertising continues to grow, it’s expected to overtake all other media advertising platforms in the next few years. That’s what Ballmer is banking on. With $6 billion.
Corporate-funded research designed to influence public policy
Reports by well-known think tanks and individuals funded by telecoms are helping quash competition, increase phone rates and set up a corporate-oriented Internet system.
Chevron Taps “Human Energy”
While ExxonMobil and BP have “spent lavishly on image ads,” Chevron’s new “power of human energy” campaign is a particularly ambitious “bid to recast itself as an environmentally responsible corporate citizen.”… Online components include “interactive stories showcasing ‘human energy’ at work within the company,” at chevron.com, along with “Energyville,” an “interactive game showing the tradeoffs of different energy sources.”
What would the word be like if these corporations spent as much on actually doing the right things, instead of trying to CONVINCE people they’re doing the right things? Half as much? ONE TENTH as much?
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