Monday, 07 May 2007

WHO IS BEHIND 'THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE'?

Ken Berwitz

As promised, here is a heads-up on who is behind "the fairness doctrine" - i.e. the desperate attempt by leftwing activists to neutralize the one place where conservatives have a stronger voice than they do; talk radio.

The organization most responsible for pushing this crown item of their agenda is Media Matters.  Media Matters is an organization run by former conservative David Brock, who magically, mystically changed to a leftist agitator about the same time george soros and a couple of other wealthy hard-leftists offered millions of dollars for him to start the site.  George soros is a USA hating convicted inside trader, who made billions of dollars within the system he now seems so intent on destroying.  Quite a tandem, wouldn't you say?

And if you think they are just one of the many "mice that roared" on the internet, read the following article and see how instrumental they were in removing Don Imus from the air, by using the opening he admittedly gave them when he called the Rutgers Black female basketball players "nappy headed ho's".  (Then remember that they leave the career racist, anti-semite al sharpton alone, as he broadcasts every day).

Here is a fact-laden deconstruction of Media Matters from Catherine Moy that lays it all out for you:-

Media Matters' Birthday Suit: Exposing the Distortion

Three years ago, David Brock prepared to launch Media Matters for America. The former conservative and admitted liar had collected $2 million from wealthy liberals, consulted Hillary Clinton and her allies, and set out to decimate conservative media.

As Brocks nonprofit organization approached its third-year anniversary, the group had its biggest get. They taped radio personality Don Imus making racist and sexist remarks about Rutgers University womens basketball team. Media Matters quickly sent press releases to friendly media and special interest groups.

Brocks group magnified his language in an attack that would help kill Imuss radio and TV gigs. Media Matters henchmen pounded their chest like schoolyard bullies. Next on their list: Rush Limbaugh, Bill OReilly, Ann Coulter and anybody else who dares to embrace conservatism. Even those who report fair articles about conservatives face the maniacal wrath of Brocks stable of researchers and writers, a group whose majority is culled from left-leaning groups, journalists, students and staffers from former legislators offices.

After three years of tax-exempt operation, Media Matters credibility as a media watchdog is questionable. Its leader, Brock, is a self-proclaimed liar who strong-armed sources that didnt agree with him. While writing his mea culpa, Blinded by the Right, Brock was hospitalized in a mental facility where he spent time in a quiet room and had delusions, he thought people were trying to kill him, according to the Drudge Report.

Media Matters stars, including Brock, Eric Alterman and Ryan Chiachiere, are hypocrites who have used the very sexist, bigoted and racist language for which they crucify others, including Imus. They appear to care more about taking out the kneecaps of conservatives than pursuing truth or accuracy in the media. After all, Media Matters certainly allows bigoted posts on their web site -- as long as they are directed toward conservatives.

Brock spoke with the New York Times three years ago as he launched Media Matters, recognizing that critics would come after him because he is a confessed liar and fabricator, usually a death knell for journalists. Like reformed smokers who cant tolerate cigarette smoke, Brock could no longer stomach conservatives and struck with a vengeance.

Perhaps Media Matters most publicized assault, aside from the April attack on Imus, started when Alterman sniped Time journalist John Cloud, who wrote an April 17, 2005, article about conservative pundit and best-selling author Ann Coulter titled Ms. Right.

Times cover story/whitewash of Ann Coulter, here, will make it impossible for serious people to accept what the magazine reports at face-value ever again, Alterman wrote. It is as if Time had contracted a journalistic venereal disease from Rush Limbaugh and Bill OReilly and is now seeking to lower itself to their level in pursuit of their ideologically-obsessed audiences.

I read every word of Clouds piece several times. I have worked many years as a daily editor. I know the difference between a puff piece, a hit piece, news, opinion and good journalism. I rated each paragraph of the cover article and found that 82% of the graphs were neutral, 17% negative and one percent positive toward Coulter. Clouds work was well reported, fair and revealing.

Cloud defended his work against Altermans irrational attack. He told the Columbia Journalism Reviews daily weblog that Alterman and Coulter are in the same bunch. They also, by the way, use the same language.

Media Matters bristled at Clouds words, saying Alterman never used language comparable to Coulter -- as if that is a sin.

That's a bizarre accusation; as far as we know, Alterman, who has written a number of critically acclaimed books, has never lamented that the New York Times building wasn't blown up or suggested that a sitting president should be assassinated. He has never slurred Muslims or women or disabled Vietnam veterans.

Media Matters either doesnt fact-check its own statements, or it lives by the liberal-good-conservative-bad double standard. The group is likely guilty on both counts. Alterman, Brock and Chiachiere may not slur radical Muslims, Americas enemies in the War on Terror, but they have no problem smearing Jews, Republicans, straight white men and conservative women. By their standards, a real woman cant be conservative.

Perhaps Alterman has not lamented that the New York Times building wasnt blown up. But he did bellyache that the terrorists who killed U.S. sailors on the USS. Cole in 2000 didnt also blow up the Republican headquarters.

Altermans justice in the world includes the language Media Matters claims he would never use:|

I got a call one day from a Republican Party functionary telling me that Hillary Clinton supported a Palestinian state and took money from groups that supported terrorist organizations "like the one that just blew up the USS Cole. I told the sorry sonofabitch that like Israel's Prime Minister, I, too, support a Palestinian state. And, if there was any justice in the world, Hillary's "terrorist" friends would blow up Republican headquarters while we were still on the phone, so I could enjoy hearing the explosion, Alterman wrote in the Nov. 9, 2000, issue of The Nation.

And women? Media Matters cadre of left-wing attack dogs have denigrated so many women the group should be called Media Misogynists. Alterman has a rap sheet longer than the snake of Eden when it comes to slurring women. Of course, he reserves his vitriol for conservative women.

Altermans slurs include this from a Nov. 8, 1999 piece in The Nation:

Remember the MSNBC blondes? Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter and Jennifer Grossman? The three picture-perfect pundettes with one opinion among them are now oh so ten minutes ago, Alterman wrote.

Alterman attacked the three blonde women because they are conservative. He used the blonde stereotype. Blonde equals dumb, right?

How about anti-Semitism? The cub reporter who busted Imus, Chiachiere, cohosts a website that exploits the worst stereotypes of Jews and Italians: Republicans . . . or the Mafia: Helping you make sense of todays GOP.

On the left side of the site is a picture of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff in a fedora. Opposite is a shot of the fictional Mafia Don Corleone with a similar hat.

The sites introduction stereotypes of Italians as mobsters and Jews as the new mafia. Casinos! Bribes! Hitmen! Is this Season 5 of The Sopranos? No, it's just another day in the life of today's Republican party, the site reports.

Then theres Brock, who claims he lied about liberals when he acted conservative. But now that hes come out of the closet as a liberal, hes a truth teller without a scintilla of bigotry. Right? Apparently not.

MSNBC pundit Tucker Carlson called Brock out for lying about him in Brocks coming-out book, and for attacking David Horowitz as anti-gay without any verification. And a writer from the leftist Salon.com nailed Brock for fabrications. Brock admitted that he had misreported an issue in his book.

I have uncovered instance after instance of sexism, bigotry and distortions by Brock, Alterman and others at Media Matters. But the point is made.

During its three years of existence, Media Matters has proven to be a tool of the left to silence conservatives. Its proprietors are careless and cannot be trusted to tell the truth. They ignore the Rosie ODonnells of the left who slander minorities, but attempt to disembowel conservatives for using less offensive language.

Media Matters for Americas trail of deceit, disregard for the truth and utter blindness when the cancer of bigotry has poisoned its own should guarantee failure. But the money will pour in from the corrupt George Soroses of society because Brock and his nonprofit speak their language. Liberal is good, Israel is a disease, Christians are dangerous, and Americas First Amendment was written for them and only them.
  -

Do you really want an organization like this, run by a turncoat like Brock and funded by a USA hating felon like soros, controlling what you listen to?

Me neither.


CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER ON GEORGE TENET

Ken Berwitz

Here is an advance look at Charle's Krauthammer's latest column, which is dated May 8 (tomorrow).  It absolutely blows George Tenet's book to smithereens.  How?  By doing one basic thing:  reminding people of easily checkable facts that Mr. Tenet either forgot (the charitable version) or lied about (the more realistic one). 

This is not the first column to take Mr. Tenet apart.  Others have done so over the past week (I've shown you a couple in previous blogs).  This leads to the question that I find myself asking over and over again:  where are the mainstream media?  

It is hard not to conclude that most media are far more interested in having you believe Tenet than in showing that he is full of what a bull produces after lunch. 

Please read the column.  Then, by all means, check the facts within it.   Don't take my word OR Krauthammer's.  It is easy enough to do, and you owe it to yourself to know for sure.

Checking Mr. Krauthammer serves two purposes.  One is that will prove to you he is correct.  The other is that it gives me the opportunity to smile along with you, because we will both be dealing in reality instead of fantasy.-

Charles Krauthammer: Tenet's book aims at amnesiac market

The former CIA director invents history - recent history, at that - in his account.

Published: May 08, 2007

WASHINGTON - George Tenet has a very mixed legacy. On the one hand, he presided over the two biggest intelligence failures of this era -- 9/11 and the WMD debacle in Iraq. On the other hand, his CIA did devise and carry out brilliantly an astonishingly bold plan to overthrow the Taliban in Afghanistan. Tenet might have just left it at that, gone home with his Presidential Medal of Freedom and let history judge him.

Instead, he's decided to do some judging of his own. In his just-released book and in hawking it on television, Tenet presents himself as a pathetic victim and scapegoat of an administration that was hellbent on going to war, slam dunk or not.

Tenet writes as if he assumes no one remembers anything. For example: "There was never a serious debate that I know of within the administration about the imminence of the Iraqi threat."

Does he think no one remembers President Bush explicitly rejecting the imminence argument in his 2003 State of the Union address in front of just about the largest possible world audience? Said the president, "Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent" -- and he was not one of them. That in a post-9/11 world, we cannot wait for tyrants and terrorists to gentlemanly declare their intentions. Indeed, elsewhere in the book Tenet concedes that very point: "It was never a question of a known, imminent threat; it was about an unwillingness to risk surprise."

Tenet also makes what he thinks is the damning and sensational charge that the administration, led by Vice President Dick Cheney, had been focusing on Iraq even before 9/11. In fact, he reports, Cheney asked for a CIA briefing on Iraq for the president even before they had been sworn in.

This is odd? This is news? For the entire decade following the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, Iraq was the single greatest threat in the region and therefore the most important focus of U.S. policy. U.N. resolutions, congressional debates and foreign policy arguments were seized with the Iraq question and its many post-Gulf War complications -- the WMDs, the inspection regimes, the cease-fire violations, the no-fly zones, the progressive weakening of sanctions.

Iraq was such an obsession of the Clinton administration that Clinton ultimately ordered an air and missile attack on its WMD installations that lasted four days. This was less than two years before Bush won the presidency. Is it odd that the administration following Clinton's should share its extreme concern about Iraq and its weapons?

Tenet is not the only one to assume a generalized amnesia about the recent past. One of the major myths (or, more accurately, conspiracy theories) about the Iraq War -- that it was foisted upon an unsuspecting country by a small band of neoconservatives -- also lives blissfully detached from history.

The decision to go to war was made by a war Cabinet consisting of George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld. No one in that room could even remotely be considered a neoconservative. Nor could the most important non-American supporter of the war to this day -- Tony Blair, father of new Labor.

The most powerful case for the war was made at the 2004 Republican convention by John McCain in a speech that was resolutely "realist." On the Democratic side, every presidential candidate running today who was in the Senate when the motion to authorize the use of force came up -- Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Edwards, Joe Biden and Chris Dodd -- voted yes.

Outside of government, the case for war was made not just by the neoconservative Weekly Standard, but -- to select almost randomly -- the traditionally conservative National Review, the liberal New Republic and the center-right Economist. Of course, most neoconservatives supported the war, the case for which was also being made by journalists and scholars from every point on the political spectrum -- from the leftist Christopher Hitchens to the liberal Tom Friedman to the centrist Fareed Zakaria to the center-right Michael Kelly to the Tory Andrew Sullivan. And the most influential tome on behalf of war was written not by any conservative, let alone neoconservative, but by Kenneth Pollack, Clinton's top Near East official on the National Security Council. The title: "The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq."

Everyone has the right to renounce past views. But not to make up that past. It is beyond brazen to think that one can get away with inventing not ancient history but what everyone saw and read with their own eyes just a few years ago. And yet sometimes brazenness works.

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INSANITY POSING AS HIGHER EDUCATION

Ken Berwitz

This one doesn't need any commentary.  If you don't see the problem here I can't help you:

Monday, May 7, 2007 2:06 p.m. EDT

Professor Forced Out for Citing George Washington

A tenured college professor is set to be fired for simply sending out an e-mail to colleagues containing George Washingtons "Thanksgiving Day Proclamation of 1798.

Already professor Walter Kehowski at Glendale Community College in Arizona has been placed on forced administrative leave and the schools chief has recommended his termination.

"It simply boggles the mind that a professor could find himself facing termination simply for e-mailing the Thanksgiving address of our first president, said Greg Lukianoff, president of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

On Nov. 22, 2006, the day before Thanksgiving, Kehowski, a professor in mathematics in the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) sent the e-mail containing Washingtons message to all MCCCD employees, using a district-wide service designated for "announcements.

Within weeks, five MCCCD employees filed harassment charges against Kehowski, claiming his message was "hostile and "derogatory. They complaining employees also cited the fact that the e-mail contained a link to Pat Buchanans Web site, where Kehowski had found Washingtons proclamation. Buchanan, a conservative commentator, had also posted to his Web site criticisms of immigration policies.

On Jan. 3, 2007, MCCCD found that Kehowski was guilty of violating policies limiting e-mail usage to messages that "support education, research, scholarly communication, administration, and other MCCCD business.

These policies also prohibit "mailings to large numbers of people that contain unwanted solicitations or information.

However, MCCCD employees commonly use the "announcements service to send out unsolicited information, according to a statement from FIRE.

Recent e-mails sent out using this service include an advertisement for purchasing goats for orphans in Uganda, quotes about Womens History Month, and a reminder about the health benefits of eating bananas.

"To FIREs knowledge, not one of the senders of these e-mails has been forced to cease teaching or threatened with dismissal, according to the organizations statement.

On March 9, MCCCD Chancellor Rufus Glasper placed Kehowski on administrative leave and recommended to the MCCCD governing board that he be dismissed. Kehowski has since appealed that decision and will defend himself at a hearing before a panel of three faculty members on June 5.

Kehowski contacted FIRE for help, and FIRE wrote to Glasper on April 25 to protest the actions against Kehowski, asserting that e-mailing a proclamation from George Washington or including a link to Pat Buchanans Web site does not constitute punishable harassment.

FIRE reminded Glasper that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that for workplace expression to be considered "harassment, it must be "severe or pervasive enough to create an objectively hostile or abusive work environment.

Sending a link to a Web site, which readers can either visit or simply ignore, does not fit this standard, FIRE maintains.

Glasper responded with a letter on April 30, but failed to address any of FIREs concerns, according to the groups statement.

"It is dark day for free speech and common sense in Arizona, Lukianoff said.

"If the MCCCD believes at all in the importance of the right to free expression, or even just in basic fairness, it will undo its illiberal actions and exonerate professor Kehowski immediately.

"This situation is an embarrassment to MCCCD and would be laughable if a professors most basic rights and very livelihood werent on the line.


MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS WANT THE WAR TO CONTINUE UNTIL WHEN?

Barry sinrod
 
Democrats passed a bill to give the President more than he wanted in terms of dollars. They offered "pork" which includes money to help the wounded veterans that are now not taken care of in the right way, the offered much more with regard to our military and of course the dumb pork that is always in a bill. Most of that "pork" was to get the votes of a few Republicans for their district.
 
What are we to do now?  He will not let us set a date to get the hell out of a lost war.  Today they announce there will be more casualties in the coming weeks. This is the Karl Rove way of dumbing down the dead. So that if only 150 die this month it will look as if that is good.
 
We cannot let this ONE man run the country as if he is king.  He thanked Queen Elizabeth for coming to the US to celebrate "our bi centennial".  He missed by 20+ years ago.  The man is a moron and he must be prosecuted and let them decide whether he should be sent to prison, the same for Cheney who must also face prosecution for war profiteering.
 
First and foremost the war must be stopped.  How do we do it? Or do the Republicans simply want a blank check and no accountability forever.? 




See what's free at AOL.com.

Ken Berwitz One other thing. Barry invented the "quote" about Bush. Yes, he thanked Queen Elizabeth for coming here for the bicentennial, but he did not say it was on THIS visit. President Bush's exact quote was "The American people are proud to welcome your majesty back to the United States, a nation youve come to know very well. After all youve dined with 10 U.S. presidents. Youve helped our nation celebrate its bicentennial in 17 - 1976," Despite starting to say a wrong date and correcting it on the spot, Bush was 100% accurate.  But if you hate enough, you can imagine it into something different and then claim that Bush said it the way you imagined it. All you need is hate. (05/07/07)

Ken Berwitz Wrong, wrong wrong.  The "pork" was almost 25 BILLION DOLLARS' worth that had nothing to do with the war at all, it was entirely bribe money to get the bill passed. That is 20% of the entire spending bill.  And it was not to Republicans, it was to Democrats .  Even with this insane amount of pork and a Democratic majority, it barely passed -- because not even bribe money would make a number of clear-thinking Democrats set a specific time of withdrawal (good for them!).  President Bush called this bill a date of surrender and he was 100% correct. If you set an arbitrary date, the enemy holds fire until then and runs wild when you're gone.  Why not, you've told them when they can do it!   However bad you may think this war is, the bloodbath that happens AFTER a set-date withdrawal is dramatically worse. Remember the killing fields after Vietnam? Remember the boat people? Millions and millions dead. One other thing - why is the left so eager to declare this war lost. You almost get the feeling they think THEY win if WE lose. I wish my friend Barry, and some of his cohorts at moveon.org, would take a minute or two off from attacking Bush and Republicans, to read the stated objectives of this war.  They were made public before we even invaded, so that people would know what we intended to accomplish. But they haven't yet and I doubt that they will.  Getting the leftwing moonbat brigade to do something other than pump out hate-attacks against Bush, Republicans and anything we do in our national interest is a near impossibility. (05/07/07)


Keith is simply the best. Comparing him to O reilly is more than absurd...

barry sinrod
 
Here is an idiot who actually wrote that Keith is as Oreilly is to Fox.   He never heard about the truth and facts
 

Another touch o' drivel from our sterling mainstream press, as noted by various commentators: Yesterday AP ran a story about Giuliani's complaint over Keith Olbermann's participation in the GOP "debate" broadcast.

I guess since Olbermann hammered America's Mayor for going demagogic with 9/11 speeches (Giuliani, ole Mr. Police Riot Instigator, a demogogue?

heaven forfend!), there was a question of "fairness" in some carping quarters.

Well gee whiz. The mayor who tried to halt ads on buses from poking fun at him is now whining about some critic, is he?

But the AP story yesterday actually describes MSNBC's use of Olbermann as the equivalent to Fox's using O'Reilly, say, in the same circumstance!

Excuse me??

This is the kind of fatuous mulch that passes for news analysis in the mainstream media these days.

Pardon reprinting letters again, but here's what I wrote yesterday to the AP reporter, one David Bauder:


Dear David Bauder,

In your AP story today, "MSNBC'S OLBERMANN SEEKS DELICATE BALANCE," you write the following:

Having Olbermann anchor -- as he will continue, with Matthews, for big political nights throughout the campaign -- is the MSNBC equivalent of Fox News Channel assigning the same duties to O'Reilly."
Can you possibly be drawing an equivalence between Olbermann & O'Reilly in terms of their relationships to fact & something like truthful journalistic practice!?

Yes, Olbermann is critical and opinionated -- but on the basis of fact, not demagogic bluster and namecalling.

You cannot appreciate the difference? Truly, you cannot??

I don't to go over the top here; but it is this kind of fatuous "equivalency-making" that has toppled mainstream journalism into the ditch where it now lies, honking bubbles in the mud.

I say this as someone who worked as a reporter for several years, and has written for numerous publications, incl NY Times, LA Times, New York etc.

I say this in disgust and...more disgust.

Thank god for the internet.
Barry Yourgrau


David Bauder's email address, as listed at the bottom of the article on Yahoo News, is dbauder@ap.org. Perhaps you'd care to write him yourself. Please do, of course, keep it civil.. (Don't go O'Reilly on him)

Now also over @ www.smirkingchimp.com

 




See what's free at AOL.com.

Ken Berwitz Who cares what this Barry Yourgrau guy thinks? I never heard of him, I'd bet anything Barry never heard of him either, and the only reason he's up there is because he agrees with Barry. You may like or not like O'Reilly, but he makes damn sure there are opposing sides represented on every show. I literally do not recall any time olbermann has had a guest who disagreed with him on anything. A "debate" on his show is when two people nod agreement a little differently. It's like shooting fish in a barrel. Little wonder that, after four years, olbermann still gets fewer than one-third the audience that O'Reilly gets. (05/07/07)


"THE FAIRNESS DOCTRINE"

Ken Berwitz

Do you know what "the fairness doctrine" is?  It sounds wonderful, doesn't it?  How could anyone possibly be against "fairness".

Well, the answer is that today's "fairness doctrine" is in reality an effort to end the success of conservatives on talk radio -- the media venue where conservative opinion is most easily found and has the most influence -- by forcing stations which air them to provide about as much time for "opposing views".  What does and does not qualify will be decided by FCC bureaucrats. 

The people pushing this legislation are aiming directly at talk radio.  They are not, for example, demanding that half the New York Times articles about Iraq express the views of people who support this war.  They are not demanding that half the time NBC, ABC and CBS have conservative news anchors instead of  Williams, Gibson and Couric.  They are not.....I'm sure you get the idea.

So, in reality, "the fairness doctrine" is a directed effort to do what the marketplace doesn't - i.e. force radio listeners to hear people and opinions they prefer not to hear.

Do you like Rush Limbaugh's radio show?  Maybe you do and maybe you don't.  A lot of people do, because over twenty million people listen to Mr. Limbaugh every week.  This "doctrine" would require the stations that carry Limbaugh to also carry programming like "Air America", which has so few listeners that it has done nothing but lose money for its rich leftwing owners/investors from day one.  The marketplace said no, it isn't interested in randi rhodes, sam seder, rachel maddow and company.  But "the fairness doctrine" would say yes, it HAS to be on the radio, replacing conservative commentary, even if precious few people want to listen in.

In 1949, when the fairness doctrine first came into existence, its purpose was very different than today.  It was still the infancy of broadcast media (certainly TV-wise) and it was feared that people might only be exposed to one point of view to the exclusion of others. So the FCC required that companies which were granted broadcast licenses "afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of public importance."  Now that was a REAL fairness doctrine.

As time went on, however, media proliferated and there were countless radio and TV stations covering a complete spectrum of opinion.  While it could be argued that one side might be heard more than another, the point was that all views were accessible.  Further, the US Supreme Court ruled, in several decisions, that broadcast media had evolved to the point where the doctrine inhibited rather than promoted freedom of speech, because it could be construed as forcing radio and TV stations into programming that neither they nor their listening/viewing audience wanted, but was fully accessible elsewhere***.  For these reasons, the FCC ended the fairness doctrine in 1987.

Now we fast-forward to the present.  Mainstream media -- the major newspapers, network news, etc. -- is dramatically tilted to the liberal and/or leftward viewpoint. There is no 50/50 balance or anything like it.  But talk radio, which came into its own in the past 25 years because of conservative pioneers like Bob Grant and Rush Limbaugh among others, is the one corner of information flow in which liberal and/or left opinion does not exercise hegemony.  And therefore it must be destroyed. 

The hell with what YOU want to listen to.  That only counts for the media which pump out the stuff WE want you to hear.  WE will make sure that OUR positions dominate and YOURS are, at best tolerated among ours.  As for the rest of media, where we dominate?  Can I have an AMEN!!

At this point you should be asking who is behind such a blatant attempt to control the information superhighway.  That is going to be the subject of my next blog, a little later today.   You should know who is driving this effort, and I'll show you who it is.  If you're waiting for mainstream media to tell you, don't make plans for the twelfth of never.

*** With thanks to The Heritage FoundationThe fairness doctrine's constitutionality was tested and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a landmark 1969 case, Red Lion Broadcasting v. FCC (395 U.S. 367). Although the Court then ruled that it did not violate a broadcaster's First Amendment rights, the Court cautioned that if the doctrine ever began to restrain speech, then the rule's constitutionality should be reconsidered. Just five years later, without ruling the doctrine unconstitutional, the Court concluded in another case that the doctrine "inescapably dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate" (Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241). In 1984, the Court concluded that the scarcity rationale underlying the doctrine was flawed and that the doctrine was limiting the breadth of public debate (FCC v. League of Women Voters, 468 U.S. 364). This ruling set the stage for the FCC's action in 1987.


LAURIE DAVID AND CARBON

Ken Berwitz

Too funny.

Jim Manzi of National Review wrote this, and neither it nor you needs any further commentary from me.  Suffice it to say that hypocrisy is in the seventh house and self importance is aligned with Mars.:

-

Friday, May 04, 2007


Ali G vs. Borat   [Jim Manzi]

Why is Ali G so much better than Borat? Because its much better to laugh at a comic when he is making fun of self-important celebrities than when he mocks ordinary people just trying to be nice to someone who is mocking them.

 

I have a lot of sympathy for people who are trying to lead simpler lives. Not so much for vapid celebrities who are hectoring everyone else on the planet.

 

K-Lo just post a link to this interview with the insufferable eco-celebrity Laurie David. Here is my favorite excerpt:

What changes have you made in your own life? I don't believe everyone has to do everything. I don't do everything. It's about everyone doing something. I have changed as many lightbulbs as I could to (higher efficiency) bulbs. I started a new idling rule at the school carpool lane (cars dropping and picking up kids can't idle their engines more than 30 seconds). I bring a garment bag to the dry cleaners (instead of having the dry cleaners wrap her clothes in petroleum-based plastic). I drive a hybrid.

I decided to build a little carbon balance sheet for Ms. David.

Her are things she says shes done to reduce emissions reductions:

  • Switch as many lightbulbs as I could to higher efficiency bulbs. Im sure Ms. David lives in a large house. Lets assume 20 bulbs. According to www.stopglobalwarming.org, 1 bulb =100 Lbs/year. 20 bulbs = 2000 Lbs/Year = 1 ton.
  • New idling lane at school. Note that this is not really a change shes made, as much as a rule she has gotten imposed on others people. Lets give her credit for her change in idling. Assume an average of halving idle time or 0.5 minutes of idle time / day eliminated, assume 180 school days per year = 1.5 hours of eliminated idle time per year, assume 2 gallons of fuel / idle hour = 3 gallons per year, assume 30 mile equivalents per gallon = 90 mile equivalents per year. According to http://www.climatecrisis.net/takeaction/carboncalculator/ this is worth .05 tons per year.
  • Bringing a garment bag to the dry cleaners. So small its hard to calculate. Lets give her credit for a ridiculously high amount of savings, say a full ton per year, to offset (so to speak) any errors in prior approximations.

So all-in, her stated lifestyle changes have reduced her carbon footprint by about 10 tons / year.

 

A lot is often made of the fact that she sometimes flies in private jets. According to TerraPass, a Gulfstream G4 generates 8,785 Lbs of carbon per flight hour. Lets assume Laurie David took one roundtrip flight last year between LA and NY. Assume 10 hours of flying time = 87,850 Lbs = 44 tons.

 

So, so far shes in the hole by about 34 tons if you assume one r/t private flight.

But hey, shes started to cut way down on toilet paper.

-


THIS DAY IN WORLD WAR II: MAY 7, 1943

Ken Berwitz

Here are the key events of World War II, whic occurred on May 7, 1943:

-

In Tunisia... Tunis and Bizerta are both captured in the afternoon by British and American forces, respectively. The Axis defenses can no longer contain the Allied pressure.

In the Solomon Islands... Americans lay mines in the waters around New Georgia to prevent Japanese supplies reaching the island.

In Burma... The Japanese force the British to withdraw from Buthidaung. The city is occupied by the Japanese.

-

A mixed day.  Good news in Tunisia and bad news in Burma. 

How would today's media have reported it?  Well, how much good news do they report and how much bad news?  That should give you a hint. 

The bigger of the two stories would be Japan's successful conquest of Buthidaung.  The allied capture of Tunis and Bizerta would be mentioned, along with the casualty figures and commentary that it was "troubling" to see how many of our soldiers died in an effort to win a piece of land that we can never hold, that will revert back the minute we leave.

But neither of these would be the lead story.  The lead story would be that we mined the waters around New Georgia.  The New York Times would be at the forefront of publicizing this action, thus enabling the Japanese to steer clear.  The Times would angrily defend their publication of such information on the grounds of free speech, and editorialize that if were weren't fighting in that area of the world none of this would even be relevant.


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