Whites Out Front

Hello. I am Bob. And I am a white American. I mean WHITE. I fit all the stereotypes. My soul food is Wonder Bread. I am so ashamed. No, not because we are responsible for so much injustice and oppression. There is that. But I am embarrassed because as a group, we whites don't have a spokesman or two to express the feelings of all of us.

Swift-Boating a 12-year-old

He’s at it again. The Rush Limbaugh Smear Machine is in high gear.

First he smeared all members of the military who don’t support the war in Iraq by calling them “phony soldiers.” Then he smeared an Iraq veteran by comparing him to a “suicide bomber.” And now he’s gone after 12-year-old Graeme Frost, accusing him and his parents of lying, just because they dared oppose George Bush’s veto of the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) legislation.

Media Muddle

When the Society of Professional Journalists holds its national convention here in Washington this weekend, I’ll be part of a panel discussing the ethical questions surrounding the CIA leak case.

Putting aside the argument about what the hell a “professional journalist” is, or whether there are many ethical ones, we’re left with the many questions about covering the whole matter that are flummoxing all of us. (Maybe a good definition of “professional journalist” is someone who uses words like “flummoxing.”)

There Are No Phony Soldiers

Once in a while, we all say something wrong — especially those of us who talk for a living. And when you do, the only answer is to admit your mistake, apologize and move on.

But not Rush Limbaugh. He refuses to apologize for calling men and women in uniform who disagree with George Bush’s war in Iraq “phony soldiers.” He still insists his remarks were taken out of context, misquoted, or aimed at somebody totally different — none of which is true.

Republican Talking-Point Posts

I noticed that more than one of our Republican Pundits wrote virtually the exact same post, using the exact same words, which also used the exact same words used by Neil Cavuto and others on Fox News, which also used the exact same words as more than one Republican during the Petraeus hearings today. 

Fourth Estate Gets One Right

As regular readers of this blog and my columns will attest, I’m not one to heap praises on the media, particularly the Washington press corps. As I see it, they have totally allowed themselves to be steered by and pulled wherever the blogosphere will take them — all in the name of getting there first and scooping their rivals. Now, I’m all for competition, but true journalism thrives and maintains its respectability when it can corroborate details from a credible source. 

Summer of Scandal

Listening in to one of the cable outlets this morning I heard one of the anchors proclaim this is the “Summer of Scandal” for the Republican Party. Cue the music: Larry Craig? Bad. Ted Stevens? Bad. David Vitter? You get the idea.

What I found particularly irritating with this sensational coverage is the fact that two scandalous issues have unfolded TODAY and yet the media makes scant reference. Could this have anything to do with the fact that the focus of these two scandals involves Democrats?

DailyKos vs. the DLC

It always amazes me how ideologues of both the left and right can filter out unpleasant evidence to arrive at the conclusion they wanted to reach all along.

The latest evidence is the campaign by leftist bloggers, who have become quite a force within the Democratic Party, to read the moderate Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) out of the party.

The Foxification of America

Chalk up one more big step in the Foxification of America. Lured by the promise of big bucks, the Bancroft family has sold The Wall Street Journal to right-wing robber baron Rupert Murdoch. Which means there is one less place you can look for good, strong, objective reporting — and one less newspaper that publishes the truth.

Except for its Neanderthal editorial page, The Wall Street Journal is actually a damned good paper. One of the best. With top-notch reporters. Or was. But all that will change once Murdoch gets a hold on it. His goal is not just to make money — it’s to push his own right-wing political agenda. 

The Times Can't Believe There's Good News

Check out this story.

It's a piece by Janet Elder, a New York Times reporter, about the paper's polling. It says that the Times couldn't believe that its polling showed an increase in the number of people who felt it was a correct decision to invade Iraq in the first place, from 35 percent last month to 42 percent this month. Nor could they believe the finding that the proportion of voters who felt the war was going badly dropped by 10 points.

The newspaper article said the findings were "counterintuitive." In other words, The New York Times cannot believe good news! Typical.