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C&L Wins the 2008 Bloggie – Best Political Blog Award (by bluegal at Crooks and Liars)
The C&L staff knows we’ve got some of the best, most politically aware readers of any blog out there, and we feel deeply honored every single day to be a part of this. Really. This year we’re also deeply gratified to have received the 2008 Bloggie Award for Best Political Blog. The Bloggies are the oldest blog awards, started in 2001. As the boss man John Amato says, “very kewl.” Thanks much to the nice folks who voted for us, much appreciated.
Congratulations, C&L, John Amato, and all the staff. You deserve the honor. Yours is the only massively-trafficked progressive blog that consistently links to the smaller blogs, and we appreciate you.
SALACIOUS SEX RAISES TV RATINGS: Are We Being HOOKERed? (by Danny Schechter the News Dissector)
What a web we weave. Eliot Spitzer, once the sourge of Wall Street has been undone by the wages of Sin Street. Should we gloat, laugh, sneer? I am sure some of the Repugs are as they watch another big Man and a Dem go down. The cable nets are buzzing. This is the kind of story they live for. Their pundits tsk tsk. Oh, no, not Alan Dershowitz again, with yet another Solomonic observation. It’s a big deal. It’s a small deal. Ok, lets watch a rerun of all the sex scandals of the past. Bill is waging that finger again: “I did not have sex with THAT woman” seems to be on a loop. We condemn as we exploit. What a formula! What a circle jerk.
I’m Not The Only One Asking Dept.: The Spitzer Sex Sting: A Few More Questions (by Scott Horton at No Comment, Harper’s Magazine, thanks to No Quarter)
Note that [the Eliot Spitzer] prosecution was managed with staffers from the Public Integrity Section at the Department of Justice. This section is now at the center of a major scandal concerning politically directed prosecutions. During the Bush Administration, his Justice Department has opened 5.6 cases against Democrats for every one involving a Republican. Beyond this, a number of the cases seem to have been tied closely to election cycles. Indeed, a study of the cases out of Alabama shows clearly that even cases opened against Republicans are in fact only part of a broader pattern of going after Democrats. So here are the rather amazing facts that surface in the Spitzer case:
(1) The prosecutors handling the case came from the Public Integrity Section.
(2) The prosecution is opened under the White-Slave Traffic Act of 1910. You read that correctly. The statute itself is highly disreputable, and most of the high-profile cases brought under it were politically motivated and grossly abusive…
(3) The resources dedicated to the case in terms of prosecutors and investigators are extraordinary.
(4) … The Justice Department has yet to give a full account of why they were looking into Spitzer’s payments, and indeed the suggestion in the ABC account is that it didn’t have anything to do with a prostitution ring. The suggestion that this was driven by an IRS inquiry and involved a bank might heighten, rather than allay, concerns of a politically motivated prosecution.
All of these facts are consistent with a process which is not the investigation of a crime, but rather an attempt to target and build a case against an individual.
Dr. Laura blames Spitzer’s wife for scandal. (Think Progress)
Today, right-wing radio host Dr. Laura Schlessinger appeared on NBC’s Today Show in a segment called “Why do men cheat?” Schlessinger argued that Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) cheated because his wife failed “make him feel like a man”.
Please don’t forget that Dr. Laura is such a great family person that she had extramarital affairs herself, one with a man who took nude photos [warning: x-rated material] of her, and didn’t know her mother had died, the body lying decomposing for months before it was discovered.
Searching For Media Hypocrisy, Doocy Falsely Claims Vitter Prostitute Scandal Led To ‘06 Losses (Think Progress)
On Fox and Friends this morning, host Steve Doocy pre-emptively claimed media bias in the coverage of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer’s (D) tie to a prostitution ring. “When David Vitter, the senator from down south, was caught up in the DC Madam scandal, of course the mainstream media said, ‘look this is just part of the culture of corruption with the Republican party,” complained Doocy. “Will the mainstream media talk about this being a big scandal in the Democrat party?” asked Doocy. To illustrate his point, Doocy claimed that coverage of Vitter’s scandal led to “steep losses in the 2006 congressional elections” for Republicans.
Click through to watch the video.
Craziness (by Paul Krugman)
One measure of how crazy people on at least one side of the Democratic nomination struggle have become: I’ve gotten a number of complaints that the end of my last — entirely non-political — column, “hope is not a plan,” was a swipe at Obama. Um, guys, it’s a phrase military types use; I started using it a lot when Iraq went pear-shaped. In fact, if you Google it, the first entry that comes up is a book about the Iraq war. I’m sorry to say that a large part of the progressive movement seems to have lost its sanity.
And on Wall Street, they say, “Hope is for dopes.” Deal with it, Obama fans.
THE HILLARY FEEDING FRENZY…. (by Kevin Drum at Political Animal, The Washington Monthly)
The online feeding frenzy against Hillary Clinton is driving me crazy. And that’s despite the fact that I support Obama and, all things considered, think Hillary should probably withdraw from the race… [T]he current attempts to tar Hillary as a racist have gone way, way over the top.
THIS IS YOUR PROFESSOR ON YOUTUBE: (by Bob Somerby at The Daily Howler)
Harvard professor Orlando Patterson had suffered a troubling experience… “PATTERSON: I have spent my life studying the pictures and symbols of racism and slavery, and when I saw the Clinton [3 a.m.] ad’s central image—innocent sleeping children and a mother in the middle of the night at risk of mortal danger—it brought to my mind scenes from the past. I couldn’t help but think of D. W. Griffith’s ”Birth of a Nation,” the racist movie epic that helped revive the Ku Klux Klan, with its portrayal of black men lurking in the bushes around white society. The danger implicit in the phone ad—as I see it—is that the person answering the phone might be a black man, someone who could not be trusted to protect us from this threat.”
Playing the race ace (by Jeff Jarvis)
The New York Times op-ed page has now crossed the line I was hoping would not be crossed in a piece by Orlando Patterson that makes criticizing Barack Obama or questioning his qualifications — both the essence of campaign debate — tantamount to racism. We have crossed into a land where political discussion is politically incorrect… [A]s I read this sorry piece again and again and saw its clear intention of painting Hillary Clinton as a racist, I could not help but think that it is a sad day when a Harvard professor and the New York Times sink to playing the race card in this election, turning political debate into victimization. In this, the age of offense, let me say, I’m offended.
Hillary Clinton, 60 Minutes, and the Muslim question (by Eric Boehlert at Media Matters)
Less than one second. That’s how long it took Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to answer, “Of course not,” to Steve Kroft’s question on 60 Minutes about whether she thought Sen. Barack Obama was a Muslim. You can time it yourself by watching the clip at YouTube. Still, that didn’t stop MSNBC’s Chris Matthews from complaining on-air last week that it took Clinton “the longest time” to answer Kroft’s question. Lots of eager, tsk-tsking pundits and reporters agreed.
Kos is a Klown (Or: Why did “Obama Girl” darken Obama?) UPDATE: Proof that Kossacks are morons (by Joseph Cannon at Cannonfire, thanks to No Quarter)
Kos started it. Now the meme has spread throughout blogland like a California brushfire.
The claim: In one of her recent television ads, evil racist Hillary intentionally darkened the face of Barack Obama. Moreover, she supposedly widened his face in order to give him a “blacker” nose. Kos himself has devoted two front-page columns to this nonsense. We should note that Markos Moulitsas (unlike yours truly) has no background in image manipulation, video production or advertising. Moreover, he seems to have lost his ability to fire up Google in order to do basic research… But if eeevil Hillary manipulated the image with racist intent, the same accusation can be levied against the pneumatic Obama Girl.
Click through for the fascinating details.
It’s coming down to brains vs. brawn (by: Roger Simon at Politico)
Is Barack Obama a wimp?… [H]e seems like the guy who brings a Nerf bat to a knife fight… [H]is attacks always seem based on reason, while [Hillary Clinton’s] seem more like a swift punch to the gut… I [wonder] whether Obama had an instinct for the jugular. The Democratic nominee is going to need one. The battle now is not really for the pledged delegates, those won in caucuses and primaries. Both sides agree Obama will enter the Democratic convention with more pledged delegates. The real battle is to persuade the 795 party insiders, the superdelegates, to go with the candidate who can win in November. In other words, who is tough enough to beat John McCain? And the one thing to keep in mind about McCain is not that he has a temper but that he is a warrior. He is a tough bird, and he knows how to fight. Does Obama?
Obama adapts war room tactics to hit Clinton back (The Hill)
Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) campaign has signaled in recent days it will hit back harder and more quickly to criticism from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (D-N.Y.) campaign, mirroring the rapid response efforts of President Bill Clinton’s 1992 war room. Senior Obama officials have said they intend to respond to Clinton’s professed strategy of throwing the “kitchen sink” at the Illinois senator. And even though Obama supporters say they are still running a positive campaign, the responses have been more intense.
So transformation politics doesn’t work when you’re facing a tough opponent? WOT a surprise! Besides, the campaign has only been pretending it didn’t already have a war room operation going on. How did Bill Clinton go from being the first Black president to a racist in just a week?
Obama in Senate: Star Power, Minor Role (The New York Times)
Senator Barack Obama stood before Washington’s elite at the spring dinner of the storied Gridiron Club. In self-parody, he ticked off his accomplishments, little more than a year after arriving in town. “I’ve been very blessed,” Mr. Obama told the crowd assembled in March 2006. “Keynote speaker at the Democratic convention. The cover of Newsweek. My book made the best-seller list. I just won a Grammy for reading it on tape. “Really, what else is there to do?” he said, his smile now broad. “Well, I guess I could pass a law or something.”
But he never did. And that’s exactly the problem I have had with him. He’s done nothing for the people of Illinois and nothing for African Americans. He’s only furthered his own career. That won’t change if he manages to edge his way into the white House.
One-degree of separation: Obama and the “bad guys”. It’s a question of judgement (Rezkowatch)
There is a constant fascination expressed by RezkoWatchers about Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)’s proximation to known and suspected terrorists and assorted “bad guys”. RezkoWatch has been helping to connect the dots for nearly two months now in the series of articles called One-degree of separation. Some recently discovered video clips and articles—as well as some from RW’s archive—follow for your perusal. Enjoy.
Tuesday Rezko Update: A Whisper Was All It Took (WBBM Chicago)
CHICAGO (AP) – The Jury was told a millionaire attorney and admitted fixer publicly whispered in the ear of a state planning board member who then changed a vote and approved an $81 million hospital construction project, as political fund-raiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko’s fraud trial continued Tuesday. The April 2004 vote clearing the way for construction of Mercy Hospital at Crystal Lake in McHenry County was a key to a plan by Rezko and attorney Stuart Levine to split a $1 million payoff, according to federal prosecutors at Rezko’s trial.
Think Progress’ McCain watch
Franken’s main opponent drops Senate bid
MINNEAPOLIS – Al Franken’s main competition for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate dropped out Monday, giving the comedian-turned-candidate a major boost.
Beck: ThinkProgress = ‘liberal hacks.’ (Think Progress)
On his radio show last week, right-wing pundit Glenn Beck mocked ThinkProgress for noting that he recently asked controversial pastor John Hagee if Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) “might be the Antichrist.” On his CNN Headline News show yesterday, Beck again attacked “liberal hacks who are disguised as journalists” and brought on Noel Sheppard of Newsbusters to go after ThinkProgress.
Click through to watch the video.
CEI: Fixing Climate Change Will Cause ‘Death On A Massive Scale’ In The Developing World (Think Progress)
[Tuesday], the right-wing think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) launched its new round of ads attacking Al Gore for his leadership on climate change. According to CEI, the ads “contrast Gore’s energy-consuming lifestyle with the life-and-death need for energy in developing countries.” The ads are set to run for two weeks on CNN, CNBC, and Fox News. Announcing the $30,000 ad buy at a press conference today, CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman said that climate change legislation of the kind Gore supported would herald “death on a massive scale” and “absolute disaster, suffering, and starvation on a massive scale” in the developing world.
Click through to watch the ad.
Media Overlook Fed Bailout in Plain View (by Dean Baker)
Can’t the media find any economists who don’t think that handing hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to the big banks and the incredibly rich people who own and manage them is a good idea? Apparently not, given the coverage so far to the Fed’s proposal to lend $200 billion to the banks using mortgage backed securities as collateral… [T]he Fed [Tuesday] announced that it would lend $200 billion to banks and other financial firms, accepting mortgage backed securities as collateral. This is effectively the same as saying that the Fed is going to lend money to banks and accept … counterfeit currency as collateral, treating it just as though it were real money.
“Get the bastards,” says the philanthropist behind ProPublica
Herb Sandler, who is spending $10 million a year on the ProPublica investigative journalism project, “doesn’t like crooks, liars, predatory lenders and lots of other people that you and I wouldn’t like,” journalist Lowell Bergman tells Joe Nocera. The Times writer says to listen to Sandler and wife Marion “is to be in the presence of the kind of proud, righteous liberals who went out of fashion a long time ago. Dispassion and irony, the twin shields of the modern age, are not part of their makeup.”
Mythbuster: The Truth About Aging Boomers’ Effect on Our Economy (by John B. Shoven, Foreign Policy., posted at AlterNet)
It’s true that as boomers retire, they will consume more and produce less. But gloomy projections about them bankrupting us are deeply flawed.
Media Matters for America headlines
• Matthews: Spitzer allegations raise questions about “the judiciousness of these superdelegates” [but only because Spitzer is a Clinton supporter]
Journalist to be executed
Iranian journalist and civil rights campaigner Yaghub Mehrnehad faces imminent execution after an unfair trial
Appeals court blocks fines for reporter
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court Tuesday temporarily blocked a lower court’s order requiring a former USA TODAY reporter to pay thousands of dollars in fines. Toni Locy would not identify sources who named former Army scientist Steven Hatfill as a possible suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks. Lawyers for Locy, now a West Virginia University journalism professor, had requested that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit block the fines while they appealed a contempt order by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton.
Judge quashes libel ruling against restaurant critic
LONDON (AFP) – In an important victory for press freedom, a Belfast court has ruled that restaurant critics should be able to review an eatery without fear of being sued for libel.
Exclusive: Charting 4-Year Circ Plunge at Major Papers
The Los Angles Times lost 20% of daily circulation over the past four years, for example, while up the coast the San Francisco Chronicle’s daily circulation dropped almost 30%. The Boston Globe plunged about 20% and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution almost 17%.
Ft. Worth ‘Star-Telegram’ To Outsource Ads
NEW YORK The Fort Worth Star-Telegram in Texas is outsourcing part of its ad production department to Express KCS resulting in a loss of about 26 jobs. “As we are being challenged in a difficult business environment, this is a good cost-saving move that will not affect quality,” Star-Telegram Publisher Gary Wortel told his paper. Several other McClatchy-owned newspapers, like the Fresno Bee and The State in Columbia, S.C., have announced the outsourcing of some of its ad production work.
Murdoch tells WSJ DC bureau he’s not pushing an agenda
Rupert Murdoch told Wall Street Journal DC bureau staffers that he plans to put more resources into Washington coverage and take on the New York Times. He also reassured them that he’s not a “conservative” pushing an agenda in the news pages. “Murdoch’s visit came as a complete surprise to most staffers,” reports Michael Calderone.
Analyst doubts publishers will invest in local business news
“For the most part, I think we’ll see the level of actual local business news reporting diminish,” writes Ken Doctor.” Sure national reporters will parachute in to follow bigger stories and businesses themselves are rapidly becoming ‘publishers’ filling the void with ‘news’ they generate about themselves and then merrily distribute on the web. Yes, Pfizer, Ford and Chevron are all now publishers. But knowledgeable local business news coverage — barely out of adolescence — seems unlikely to develop into a robust middle age.”
Short Kindle supply is keeping e-book fans waiting
Julie Ann Shapiro’s debut novel Jen-Zen and the One Shoe Diaries is among more than 100,000 digital titles for sale on Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader. But the author is one of many readers who cannot get hold of a Kindle.
Google wraps up $3.1B DoubleClick deal
SAN FRANCISCO – Google Inc.’s long-anticipated acquisition of online ad service DoubleClick Inc. is expected to turn the Internet search leader into an even more powerful marketing vehicle that’s fueled by better insights about consumers.
What Will Media Buying Look Like in 10 Years?
Hundreds of Consumer Segments, Marketers Making Media and No More Upfront
17 Tips For Getting Bloggers To Write About You
One of the best ways to get publicity and generate buzz is to get bloggers to write about what you’re doing. Boing Boing co-author Cory Doctorow provides some tips on making it easy for bloggers to point to you.
When a Corporate Donation Raises Protests
Abercrombie & Fitch, known for sexy ads, made a $10 million donation for an emergency department at a hospital in Ohio. Children’s advocates contend that an Ohio hospital went too far by naming a department after Abercrombie & Fitch in exchange for a $10 million donation.
Nortel set to launch faster network technology
TORONTO (Reuters) – Nortel Networks Corp is about to roll out new technology that lets telecom companies immediately quadruple the capacity of their networks to help them cope with a boom in Internet video, high-definition programming and the use of mobile video phones.
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