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Watch Those File Names



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Every now and then, journalists accidentally tip their hands, like when the Philadelphia Inquirer created a joke editorial page with an amusing comments policy (“To comment briefly on editorials, call 215-854-5060. The Editorial Board members will roll their eyes and chuckle at your remarks.”) Then they accidentally published it.

Along those lines, Glenn Reynolds keenly observes The Atlantic:

The Atlantic’s photo editors show their feelings – the McCain Photo above the story has this name: http://thecurrent.theatlantic.com/McCain%20loser.jpg

 Loser? Not only is it insulting, it may turn out to be wrong.

This Campaign Brought to you by “Abercrombie and Fitch”



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It’s not very good news when The New Republic and Keith Olbermann are making fun of the three guys in the Abercrombie T-Shirts standing behind you while you make you concession speech:

Maybe we haven’t seen enough video from Indiana yet (cue the weeks until May 6th), but the risers behind Obama as he speaks tonight look, I think, different. They host a single lady, a trio of young men in totally blatant Abercrombie and Fitch tees, and a couple straight out of American Gothic. No one looks that jazzed, especially the Grant Wood couple, but there must be some truth to those reports about Obama staffers tweaking the riser demographics.

Update: Olbermann (and Mike) reference the product placement. Not crazy.

And you too can dress like an Obamaist for the low, low price of $34.50!

If you want to order the A&F catalog and you live in the USA, however, you’re out of luck. Since it’s basically regarded as porn, you’ll have to buy a bootleg on Ebay or travel to the UK where it’s on sale. And the cost of the catalog so you can dress like all the cool kids who support Obama? $200.

Who knew populism was so expensive (and funny looking)?

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Headline of the Day



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Reuters:

Lynchings in Congo as penis theft panic hits capital

I Stand Happily Corrected



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A reader wisely points out that Iron Man / Tony Stark has always been conservative, so I shouldn’t have used the character as a shorthand for Robert Downey Jr.

Not being a comics guy, I don’t actually know much about this. But I found this post at the Liberty Film Festival website:

The original Iron Man books, like all of the Marvel comic books of the early-mid 60s, are extremely conservative. The United States is always representative of positive virtues, and the enemies are almost entirely communists from “Red China” or the Soviet Union. It’s lovable cold war propaganda – the commies are depicted in very derogatory racial carciatures, etc.

His origin isn’t some “nameless” Asian country – it’s Vietnam, which is pretty incredible considering the 1963 date it was published. He creates the armor to save his own life (basically creating a pacemaker to keep his heart going and prevent shrapnel from entering it(!), but Tony Stark’s sole goal after that is to build weapons to fight the commies. In one early comic, he unveils a disintegrator ray, which he boldly proclaims could be used to wipe out Commie battleships or even cities (!). Ah, the days when the entertainment industry realized we were at war.

Let’s hope the film lives up to the vision of the original, then.

Elitist Watch



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Memo to the Left: If you don’t want to be called a bunch of latte-drinking elitists, don’t make fun of country folk by posting odd pictures of what you think country folk look like on your website. From a Huff Po article titled, “On Course For Another White Guy Election”:

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Hillary’s Overusing Cooking Metaphors



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For someone who’s clearly stated she’s not much of a cook, Hillary Clinton is leaning heavily on the culinary metaphors of late, since Barack Obama started whining about the temperature in the kitchen after the ABC debate. On Tuesday’s Good Morning America came this exchange with Mario Cuomo’s son:

CHRIS CUOMO: When you think about the meal each of you is preparing for the American public, do you think both of you are going to put the same things on the table. Do you believe that your plans for things that matter, health care, taxes, the economy, that they are the same between the two of you?

HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I think I’m a more experienced cook and I think my meal will be better seasoned. [Laughs] Because I really believe that I do have some insight, and understanding of what it will take to achieve universal health care, for example, something that Senator Obama fell short of proposing, because it is hard. And I accept that.

I can only think of how servile journalists in the first lady years would eagerly describe how Hillary made omelettes for a sick Chelsea, but even liberal reporters like Elizabeth Drew thought the repeated anecdote “served only to suggest how rare this kind of thing must have been.”

‘Iron Man’ Going Conservative?



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First David Mamet, now … Robert Downey Jr.? His New York Times interview offers a suggestion of creeping conservatism. You be the judge:

“I have a really interesting political point of view, and it’s not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here, but you can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal. You can’t. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my proclivities and politics every since.”

How could he not end up conservative eventually? He’s a Reagan-era icon who picked up Molly Ringwald in a movie. And he was in Weird Science, where he had a chance to pick up insights on the Second Amendment from Chet:


McCain’s “Temper”



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Since Washington Post writer Michael Leahy wants to focus on Senator McCain’s relationship with Governor Evan Mecham to prove that McCain’s temperament makes him unfit to be president, here’s something I found in the NR archives from 1992:

Meanwhile, Republican U.S. Senator John McCain faces the fight of his life against left-liberal Democrat Claire Sargent. Mrs. Sargent–she insists on Ms., never Mrs.–is waging a war on the abortion issue (McCain is strongly pro-life) and loves to sing the glories of Anita Hill. McCain’s membership in the Keating Five is a handicap. A further complication is the independent candidacy of former governor Evan Mecham, who retains a core of true-believing backers in spite of– or perhaps because of–his impeachment and his verbal gaffes (it was Mecham who said, “Blacks like to be called pickaninnies, at least they did when I was a kid”).

McCain’s $1.7 million war chest has allowed him to launch a full-scale media blitz, and polls have him leading Sargent by some ten points, with Mecham a distant third. But Mecham as a straggler can wail away at McCain –whom he loathes–with little concern over the effect on his own chances. So far, Mecham has accused McCain of “participating in the cover-up” of missing POWs in Vietnam, despite the fact McCain himself was in the Hanoi Hilton for years.

Tell me again why John McCain is not allowed to yell at this guy?

And going back to the Washington Post smear on McCain, why didn’t Michael Leahy feel the need to tell his readers that McCain and Mecham were opponents for McCain’s Senate seat? Also, look at the dates. Although it’s not clear what the exact date is from the way the piece is written (is it that hard to get maybe just the year this occurred?), the Mecham anecdote looks to happen right around the time of the Mecham challenge for McCain’s seat. Here’s the excerpt from the article:

During the early 1990s, McCain telephoned the office of Tom Freestone, a governmental official little known outside Arizona’s Maricopa County. McCain had an unusual request. He wanted Freestone, then chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, to reject a job applicant named Karen S. Johnson, whose last governmental position had been in the office of a former Arizona governor and who had just interviewed for a position as an aide in Freestone’s office.

According to two employees in the office, McCain told Freestone that the applicant’s past political associations left her carrying unflattering baggage.

Imagine that. A senator might have an issue with the hiring of the former assistant of the guy who tried to beat him in an election, or at the very least, cost the Senate a Republican seat.

(One other thought. There’s no gap in Karen Johnson’s work experience on her state-senate website from the time she worked as an assistant to Gov. Mecham to when she received the disputed job as described in the Post. If her last job was indeed for Gov. Mecham while he was running against John McCain, it’s just another reason why her story should not have been included in the piece)

Commander-in-chief Hillary’s tough comments picked up around the world



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Hillary Clinton’s tough remarks this morning on ABC’s Good Morning America are being picked up prominently around the world, for example here in India, here in Russia.

Ahead of today’s crucial primary in Pennsylvania, Clinton said that if she were in the White House and Tehran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons, the U.S. would “totally obliterate” Iran.

It looks like Hillary’s been reading Charles Krauthammer. Nothing yet from Obama on this.

More Errors with NY Times Obituaries



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When Mr. Buckley died, the NY Times had what I thought was one of the sloppier pieces of journalism I’d ever read. From my count, the Times had three corrections of their online obituary for Mr. Buckley before settling on a final draft in the paper the next day.

It looks like nothing has changed. Here’s their correction from today’s paper on their Charlton Heston obituary:

An obituary on April 7 and in some copies on April 6 about the actor Charlton Heston misstated the year he enlisted in the Army Air Forces, as well as other aspects of his life. He enlisted in 1942, not 1944. He served in the Aleutian Islands about two years, not three. And he and his wife, the former Lydia Clarke, an actress, spent less than one year, not several seasons, at the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Theater in Asheville, N.C., which they founded after the war. (Go to Article)

The Benefits of “Corporate” Media



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The Left makes much of the supposed evils of “corporate” media–as though a company’s organization as a corporation, rather than as a partnership or as a sole-proprietorship, were meaningful in and of itself–but independent and family-owned outlets have their drawbacks, too. As anybody who has ever worked for an eccentric, independent publisher can attest, enthusiasms ranging from numerology to religious fanaticism to the publisher’s family’s social-climbing can leave editors longing for a good, old-fashioned, corporate type who only cares about the bottom line.

Those who champion independently owned media should have a look at the documentary Citizen McCaw, which chronicles the trouble that was visited upon Santa Barbara’s News-Press after it was published by Wendy McCaw, who made it big in the divorce lottery. John Diaz reports in the San Francisco Chronicle:

In scene after scene, a new documentary, “Citizen McCaw,” captures the tranquil aura and stunning beauty of Santa Barbara.

To see this film is to appreciate why Jerry Roberts, a former Chronicle managing editor, was so sanguine about his appointment as top editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press during a farewell party at his San Francisco home in spring 2002. I remember Roberts talking about the climate, the houses, the idyllic seaside ambience and – most of all – the appealing “scale of the operation” that would allow an editor who loves to roll up his sleeves to work closely with a talented staff that was yearning to improve.

No screenwriter could conceive a more perfect setup for a horror story.

“Citizen McCaw” delivers chapter and verse of how owner Wendy McCaw, who had bought the News-Press from the New York Times Co. for more than $100 million after her reported billion-dollar divorce settlement from cellular magnate Craig McCaw, poisoned the climate of ethics and professionalism that Roberts had been working so doggedly to elevate.

McCaw regarded her newspaper as a vehicle to celebrate her friends and personal causes – most notably an obsession with animal rights – and to punish her enemies, which included a good portion of the town’s political establishment.

Mr. Diaz hits the usual pious notes in his write-up, even deploying the creaky “church-state” cliche to describe the divide between editorial and business interests. He also writes:

“Citizen McCaw” is the scariest film involving journalists since “Zodiac.” It’s also a vital primer for these times, when economic stresses are leaving the press vulnerable to hostile takeovers of our values and standards. Unlike the Zodiac case, the pall and anxiety over this horror story has not lifted.

I’m not entirely sure how McCaw’s management in Santa Barbara is a greater assault on journalistic “standards and values” than Pinch Sulzberger’s management in New York City, or Dan Rather’s hawking of phony military documents, Glass’s one-man fraud marathon at The New Republic, Chris Newton’s imaginary sources at the Associated Press, or the daily barrage of sloppy, biased, lazy journalism that floats atop our public discourse like an oil slick. It’s true that there are lots of badly managed media companies, but the great problem with journalism is journalists.

McCain was right: Iran’s help for Sunni terrorism



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The four million Democrats eligible to cast ballots today in the crucial, delegate-rich Pennsylvania primary might like to consider the following.

The repeated claim by Barack Obama and his supporters in the media that Shia Iran doesn’t help Sunni terror groups is wrong — very wrong — and yet again reveals their ignorance of foreign affairs, an ignorance that may prove extremely dangerous were Obama to become president.

While Shia and Sunni extremists do of course have deep theological differences they cooperate in at least a dozen countries on a political and terroristic level to work against the interests of the United States.

The following are a few examples of Shia Iran helping Sunni militants. Amir Taheri, who was formerly the executive editor of Kayhan, Iran’s largest daily newspaper and remains one of the leading experts on Iran in the world, tells me the following:

* In AFGHANISTAN, Iran has financed and armed the Sunni Hizb Islami (Islamic Party) since the 1990s.

* In the former Soviet republics (and now independent states) of TAJIKISTAN and UZBEKISTAN, Iran has for years supported two Sunni movements, the Rastakhiz Islami (Islamic Awakening) and Hizb Tahrir Islami (Islamic Liberation Party).

* In AZERBAIJAN, Tehran supports the Sunni Taleshi groups against the Azeri Shia majority (who are pro-American).

* In ALGERIA between 1992 and 2005, Iran financed the Sunni terrorist group, The Front for Islamic Salvation (FIS).

* In 1996, a suicide attack claimed the lives of 19 American servicemen in Al Khobar, in eastern SAUDI ARABIA. The operation was carried out by the Hizbullah in Hejaz, an Iranian-financed outfit, with the help of the Sunni militant group “Sword of the Peninsula.”

* In 2000, Sunni groups linked to al-Qaeda killed 17 U.S. servicemen in a suicide attack on USS Cole off the coast of YEMEN. A Shia militant group led by Sheikh al-Houti, Iran’s man in Yemen, helped with the operation.

* There are no PALESTINIAN Shia, yet Tehran has become the principal source of funding for Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other Palestinian Sunni terror groups.

* Indeed, Iran is now the chief direct state funder of HAMAS. The new Iranian budget, which came into effect on March 21, allocates over $2 billion to the promotion of “revolutionary causes.” Much of the money will go to Hamas and Hizbullah.

* In PAKISTAN, the Iranian-financed Shia Tehrik Jaafari last year joined a coalition of Sunni parties to govern the Northwest Frontier Province. The fact that the Sunnis and Shiites elsewhere in Pakistan continue to kill each other did not prevent them from developing a joint, anti-U.S. strategy that included the revival of the Afghan Taliban and protection for the remnants of al-Qaeda.

* This month, Tehran is hosting what is billed as “THE ISLAMIC CONVERGENCE CONFERENCE,” bringing together hundreds of Shia and Sunni militants from all over the world, under the auspices of Ayatollah Ali-Muhammad Taskhiri.

* Many TALIBAN LEADERS and several al-Qaeda figures are reported to spend part of the year in a compound-style housing estate near the village of Dost Muhammad on the Iranian frontier with Afghanistan. Tehran has declared large segments of eastern Iran a “no-go” area, even for its own state-owned media.

* The 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT states that Tehran was in contact with AL-QAEDA at various levels before the 2001 attacks. Tehran has admitted the presence of al-Qaeda figures in Iran on a number of occasions before and since then. Iran has arranged for the repatriation of at least 13 Saudi members in the past five years. At least one of OSAMA BIN LADEN’s sons, Sa’ad, has lived in Iran since 2002.

* Iran also works with many Christian and atheist groups to further its interests against the U.S. These include the Baath party in Syria, ex-Gen. Michel Aoun Maronite Christian faction in Lebanon, and the Colombian FARC. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has awarded the Muslim title of “brother” on Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, and Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega. Iran maintains close links with Communist North Korea.

***

If it was only one, or two, or even three, of Obama’s close advisers who have adopted anti-American positions, one might possibly excuse Obama. But Obama has chosen to surround himself with many such persons.

Again, if Obama had appointed even one reliable, experienced Democrat, such as Richard Holbrooke, to his foreign policy team, one might feel more comfortable that he won’t make disastrous foreign-policy mistakes if elected. But he hasn’t.

As an intelligent man, Obama is no doubt capable of mastering foreign policy but it will take some time; and while he’s doing so, in an extremely dangerous world, it may well prove a very costly education for the rest of us.

(For a longer version of this piece, please click here.)

The Old White Guy with an Anger Problem



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Bill Clinton, unplugged:

Clinton told WHYY radio in Philadelphia in a phone interview that his words about Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns leading up to wife’s primary loss in South Carolina had been twisted and he has been unfairly painted with the banner of racism.

As evidence of his work for racial equality, he pointed to his own appointment of blacks, Hispanics and women to top administration posts, his work worldwide to combat AIDS, and to his Harlem office space.

The interview complete, Clinton appears to think the phone or microphone is turned off, and makes a remark to someone near him.

“I don’t think I should take any sh** from anybody on that, do you,” Bill Clinton said.

The New York Post shrinks



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The New York Post has shrunk. As of today, the paper will be 12 inches high, down from 13½ inches.

“Just like The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post will be making the size of the daily paper slightly smaller effective today,” a spokeswoman for the Post said.

Rumor has it that the new “mini” size is the equivalent of The Wall Street Journal folded in two. So the change will allow the Post and Journal to be printed on the same presses and cut Rupert Murdoch’s losses on the Post.

But we hope the headlines will still be larger than life!

More on that “Free” Russian Press



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Vasily Yakemenko, leading a delegation of pro-Kremlin “Nashi”–think Russian Hitlerjungen–met with students at Stanford and dropped some amusing rhetorical bombs:

With reluctance, Yakemenko touched on the issues like freedom of press in Russia.

At one point, Yakemenko took on the matter of Novaya Gazeta, the newspaper that was shut down on charges of unlicensed software for the six months preceding Russia’s December 2007 parliamentary election. Claiming that Novaya Gazeta was available on every street corner, Yakemenko stated that the paper’s existence was the perfect example of Russia’s free press.

“At times, [the paper] writes things about the government for which they’d be lynched in the U.S.,” he said straight-faced.

Why Would A Russian Paper Cover Politics, Anyway?



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This begs all sorts of questions, including: 1. Has Russia regressed to the point where Kremlin pressure no longer has to be active, but is merely understood? 2. Why don’t we have more rhythmic gymnasts in the House? 3. Didn’t Putin notice that this sort of thing did wonders for Sarkozy?

A RUSSIAN newspaper suspended after claiming that President Vladimir Putin is to marry an ex-Olympic gymnast promised today to come back – minus the political coverage.

The senior executive at Moskovsky Korrespondent, Artyom Artyomov, confirmed to AFP that the daily tabloid was suspended, missing its weekend issue, and that editor in chief Grigory Nekhoroshev had been fired.

However, he denied this was due to Kremlin pressure.

“No one called to demand this. I have my own responsibility and I saw the story about Putin’s divorce that we published was not sufficiently verified,” Artyomov said.

Moskovsky Korrespondent broke a major taboo in Russian media last month by running a story about Putin’s private life, writing that he had divorced his wife Lyudmila Putina and was to marry a 24-year-old former rhythmic gymnast, who also sits in the lower house of parliament.

Putin dismissed the rumour Friday and attacked the “snotty noses” and “erotic fantasies” of those prying into his affairs.

Russian newspapers almost never write about Putin’s personal life, while details about his wife and two daughters are barely mentioned. Television is even more strictly controlled.

Re: Scaife’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Endorsement of Clinton...



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here.

Not really an endorsement of Clinton, but more of a warning to Pennsylvanians if they vote for Obama. An excerpt:

More important, she is extremely knowledgeable on crucial foreign issues. Meeting with Trib editors last month, she ticked off an impressive list of international challenges and the solutions. (In Wednesday’s Philadelphia debate, Obama praised George H.W. Bush’s foreign policy — apparently not realizing that one of its architects was then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, a man he regularly excoriates.)

Well, since Obama and Cheney are family, I’ll let this one go.

Mr. Scaife Turns in His VRWC Decoder Ring



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What will the conspiracy enthusiasts make of this?

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Could it be the “vast right wing conspiracy” is having second thoughts? Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton was endorsed Sunday by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, whose owner and publisher, billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife, personally funded many of the investigations that led to President Clinton’s impeachment in 1998.

It was one of a handful of endorsements the New York senator has received from Pennsylvania newspapers before the state’s primary Tuesday. Most of the state’s major papers have endorsed Barack Obama.

In its endorsement, Tribune-Review editors said Obama is too inexperienced to be president and that his recent comments about bitter voters living in small towns showed a lack of respect for middle-class values.

CNN Hires Tony Snow



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Prepare for a whole Götterdämmerung of operatic woe from the Left. It’s going to be even worse than when Bill Kristol joined the New York Times:

Former White House Press Secretary (and former Fox News staffer) Tony Snow has signed on with CNN, which says his job will be “conservative commentator.”…

So here’s your latest update on ex-Bush advisers now commenting for cash:

Tony Snow, CNN. Karl Rove, Fox. Matthew Dowd, ABC.

Need we point out that while Tony Snow’s job description is “conservative commentator,” George Stephanopoulos’s job description at ABC is “anchor and chief Washington correspondent”? In ABC’s 11-paragraph bio of Stephanopoulos, there is one sentence, in the ninth paragraph, that touches on the only reason anybody has ever heard the name “George Stephanopoulos,” i.e. that he was a very successful operative/enabler for Bill Clinton.

Re: Re: Character Issues, Etc.



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Good point, Greg. Ross Douthat also made the Bob Jones analogy in a post this morning on the topic of why these issues matter.

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