Monday, 21 May 2007


Ken Berwitz

I am watching the Today show this morning.  It has been on for less than one hour.  So far:

-There has been a showcase interview with Hillary Clinton, who viciously attacked the Bush administration.  Today provided no Republican response;

-There has been a report that the body armor used by the army is inferior to a different kind of body armor the army rejects.  The tests NBC used were entirely in a laboratory and "under limited conditions".  Today also declined to say what ammunition the armor was tested with.  There was no rebuttal;

-There has been an interview with jimmy carter.  It lasted for over 10 minutes, I'm sure.  Carter seemed confused, and backtracked on things he said previously.  But he remained in heavy-artillery attack mode against President Bush and Israel.  Today provided no rebuttal by any Republican or any representative of Israel;

-The beginning of the show had a teaser in which Today promised to explore how Rush Limbaugh is getting away with a parody piece he ran about Senator Obama.  Maybe that was already on, but so short that I missed it, or maybe it is yet to come. 

The teaser did not mention that Limbaugh, for his part, has already debunked criticism of the parody piece on his show.  Limbaugh pointed out that the line which sparked the most controvery within this parody,  "magic negro", was not his -- it was lifted from an article in the Los Angeles Times. 

That, folks is the first 50 or so minutes of Today on Monday morning.  It is guaranteed to help set the, viewers on track with useful talking, knowledge for the week.

Media bias?  Naaaaaaahhhhh

UPDATE:   Via the wonders of my cable box's DVD feature, I have just seen the Rush Limbaugh piece from Today, in which they darkly imply that he is racist for playing a song parody which refers to Barack Obama as 'the magic negro'.    Incredibly, they wrap it around an interview with David Ehrenstein, the (Black) L A Times writer whose article the term was lifted from. 

I call this incredible because Ehrenstein explained that, "magic negro" is a literary device in which a Black person somehow comes out of nowhere to rescue White people.  The Today show even played a segment from the movie "The Legend of Bagger Vance" to illustrate this.  If anything, therefore, a "magic negro" is ABOVE the White people he interacts with, not below them.  Thus the premise of Today's piece - that Limbaugh may have gotten away with racism - is belied by their own report.  And, apparently, they were so hell-bent to nail Limbaugh that they either didn't even notice, or did notice and assumed viewers are too dumb to figure it out.

One other thing:  if "magic negro" is  such a negative, racist term, why did the Today show play it over and over again within the segment?  And why did they play Don Imus using the term "nappy headed ho's" within the segment as well? 

If the Today show actually believes Rush Limbaugh was getting away with racism, what do they think THEY were doing?

Maybe Lauer, Viera and Co. should pay a bit less attention to the parodies of Rush Limbaugh and a little more to the poetry of Robert Burns, who said..

"O would some power the giftie gie us to see ourselves as others see us".

Clarence "frogman" Thomas at his best.. Not a single word this enter term

barry sinrod        
WASHINGTON Justice Clarence Thomas sat through 68 hours of oral arguments in the Supreme Court's current term without uttering a word.
In nearly 16 years on the court, Thomas typically has asked questions a couple of times a term.
But the last time Thomas asked a question in court was Feb. 22, 2006, in a death penalty case out of South Carolina.
A unanimous court eventually broadened the ability of death-penalty defendants to blame someone else for the crime.

See what's free at

J Hauser I see no coment from the author (shrug) (05/23/07)

J Hauser Ummmmmmmm your name calling seems a bit out of line. Do I detect a bit of racism? Gosh never from someone on the left is so tolerant........................... (05/22/07)


Ken Berwitz

With the release of his new movie, "Sicko", michael moore is about to reinforce his status as king of the hate-USA left, both domestic and foreign.  This being the case, I thought I would inject some reality into the mix.  God knows, if you're talking about a michael moore movie, reality is going to need a boost.

Readers of this blog know I've already put up significant information that debunks Sicko - most recently in the form of an essay by possible 2008 Republican presidential candidate Fred Thompson.  But I wonder how many people know just how dishonest moore's other "documentaries" actually were.

To give you an idea of the answer, here is a fascinating article, published two and a half months ago, which generated almost no further media attention (that in itself tells you plenty about moore's ubermenschen status among USA journalists).  It concerns two documentarists - both political leftists I might add - who tried to get something honest and forthcoming from moore.  Their original intent was to do a film supporting him. But the more they found out.........well, let me not give it away.  Read the article.  The bold print is mine: -

Tables turned on Fahrenheit 9/11's maker

THE hunter has become the hunted. Michael Moore, the celebrated left-wing film-maker, has become the unwilling subject of a new documentary that raises damaging questions about the credibility of his work.

The director and star of successful documentaries such as Roger & Me, Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, Moore has repeatedly been accused by his right-wing enemies of distorting or manipulating the material in his films. On his website he dismisses his critics as "wacko attackos".

Yet the latest assault on Moore's film-making techniques has come from an unexpected quarter. In Manufacturing Dissent, a documentary to be shown for the first time at a Texas film festival on Saturday, a pair of left-wing Canadian film-makers take Moore to task for what they describe as a disturbing pattern of fact-fudging and misrepresentation.

"When we started this project we hoped to have done a documentary that celebrated Michael Moore. We were admirers and fans," said Debbie Melnyk, who made the film with her husband, Rick Caine. "Then we found out certain facts about his documentaries that we hadn't known before. We ended up very disappointed and disillusioned."

Melnyk and Caine are best known for their previous documentary Citizen Black, about Conrad Black, the Canadian-born former proprietor of The Daily Telegraph. Last week both of them acknowledged an important debt to Moore for popularising the documentary genre.

Yet when Caine and Melnyk began to follow him as part of their own documentary, their efforts to interview him met with the same kind of obstruction, denial and, ultimately, physical ejection that Moore had suffered when he tried to track down Roger Smith, the former chief executive of General Motors, for his first film, Roger & Me.

It was in Flint, Michigan, Moore's former home town, that Caine and Melnyk made the first discovery that they say rocked their confidence in his approach. Roger & Me was a hugely successful account of what Moore portrayed as a fruitless task to force Smith to answer questions about GM's policies in closing the car manufacturing plants that had long been Flint's economic lifeline.

Caine and Melnyk claim that Moore interviewed Smith on camera twice. But the scenes were left on the cutting room floor, apparently for greater dramatic effect.

Manufacturing Dissent includes a long catalogue of alleged exaggerations or distortions in several of Moore's films. In Bowling for Columbine, a scathing indictment of US gun violence, Moore visited Toronto to show parts of the city that were supposedly so free of crime everyone left their front doors unlocked.

"In the film, Michael makes it look as though 100% of the doors were unlocked, but his local producer told us it was really only 40%," said Caine.

Caine and Melnyk said they had hoped to interview Moore about his views on how much editing was acceptable before a factual documentary turned into misleading propaganda.

"We had met him at a premiere of the Columbine film in Toronto, and he said, 'Oh yes, talk to my people and theyll set something up'," said Caine. "We then called his people and they said hes not doing any more interviews in Toronto. We had his e-mail, we sent a letter to his lawyers, we had his phone number in New York. But each time he said no."

Then Caine and Melnyk began to run into open hostility. Eventually, in a scene that might have come from Roger & Me, they were bundled out of an event at Kent State University, where Moore's sister, Anne, knocked aside Caines camera.

Moore is reportedly editing his next film, Sicko, about the US healthcare system, and a spokesman said he had no comment on Manufacturing Dissent. On his website he dismissed critics of Bowling for Columbine as "lying liars" and claimed that "organised groups [are] going full blast trying to discredit me".

Yet Caine and Melnyk insist they should not be confused with the right-wing hordes who want to damage Moore.

"If you have to sell out your values and principles to get at a greater truth, where does that leave you?" said Melnyk.

"If we think it's wrong for the government to lie and manipulate, how do we think that [left-wingers] doing it is the solution?"  -

I have little doubt that Sicko will make another major fortune for moore - the man who has gotten fabulously rich by attacking the USA any way he can, with a level of concern about facts that is roughly as loose as the skin of an anorexic shar-pei.  But it is important that people remember his modus operandi, and understand that there may be a vast gap between what moore says and what is real. 

Caine and Melnyk give us all the information necessary to come to this conclusion.  I thank them both.



Ken Berwitz

"Well, I don't claim to have any relevancy. I have a completely unofficial capacity. The only thing I lead is the Carter Center.":

jimmy carter, after:

... calling the Bush administration the worst in history...

...then claiming he was misinterpreted...

...then being caught in a lie when the Arkansas Post-Gazette, which conducted the interview, put out an audio clip of him saying exactly what they claimed (hear it at )...

...and the White house dismissing carter as being "Increasingly irrelevant". 



Ken Berwitz

This is for anyone who thinks that PC within the educational system is restricted to the USA:-


Gore's Inconvenient Truth required classroom viewing?

By Kevin Libin, National Post

Published: Friday, May 18, 2007

First it was his world history class. Then he saw it in his economics class. And his world issues class. And his environment class. In total, 18-year-old McKenzie, a Northern Ontario high schooler, says he has had the film An Inconvenient Truth shown to him by four different teachers this year.

"I really don't understand why they keep showing it," says McKenzie (his parents asked that his last name not be used). "I've spoken to the principal about it, and he said that teachers are instructed to present it as a debate. But every time we've seen it, well, one teacher said this is basically a two-sided debate, but this movie really gives you the best idea of what's going on."

McKenzie says he has educated himself enough about both sides of the climate-change controversy to know that the Al Gore movie is too one-sided to be taught as fact.

  Even scientists who back Mr. Gore's message admit they're uncomfortable with liberties the politician takes with "science" in the film. But, McKenzie says most of his classmates are credulous.

His teachers are not much more discerning. "They don't know there's another side to the argument," he says. McKenzie's mother was outraged to find out that Mr. Gore's film was being presented as fact in her son's classroom. "This is just being poured into kids' brains instead of letting them know there's a debate going on," she says. "An educational system falls down when they start taking one side."

But Mr. Gore's filmed climate-change lecture is showing up in classrooms across Canada, frequently unaccompanied by critical analysis or a discussion of competing theories. "One of the teachers at my kid's school showed it and he even said ahead of time, 'There is some propaganda in this,' " says Tim Patterson, a Carleton University earth sciences professor. "I said to him, 'You even knew this was a propaganda film, and you still showed it in your classroom?' " The weirdest part: It was the gym teacher. -

Now the question we should be asking is, how often does this scenario repeat itself south of the Canadian border? Would you be shocked if the answer were "plenty"?  I know I wouldn't be.

Maybe Mr. Gore can offer some of the fortune he's made on carbon offsets to fund a study about this.  Sheryl Crow can contribute one square of toilet paper to publish the findings on - or maybe two or three if she doesn't have any "pesky" problems that would require them.


Ken Berwitz

Here, courtesy of the AP, is a new chapter in the life and times of palestinian Arabs, Israel's "peace process" partner. 

Please note the gentility and lovingkindness:-

47 dead as Lebanese army lays siege around Palestinian camp

Tripoli (Lebanon), May. 21 (AP): Lebanese troops tightened a siege of a Palestinian refugee camp today, pounding the camp with artillery as new signs emerged that their target, a shadowy militant group that follows al-Qaida ideology had been training fighters inside the camp for attacks on Europe and perhaps the United States.

One militant killed in the two days of fighting, Saddam El-Hajdib, the fourth-highest ranking official in the Fatah Islam group that began operating from the refugee camp last fall was a suspect in a failed German train bombing last summer, said a Lebanese security official.

He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

The death toll remained uncertain as hundreds of Lebanese army troops, backed by tanks and armored carriers, surrounded the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp on Tripoli's outskirts today.

M-48 battle tanks unleashed their cannon fire on the camp, sending orange flames followed by white plumes of smoke. The militants fired mortars toward the troops at daybreak.

At least 27 soldiers and 20 militants had been killed, Lebanese security officials said today, but they did not know how many civilians had been killed inside the camp because it is off-limits to their authority.

One official in the camp said a total of 34 people had been killed inside the camp, including 14 civilians. But that could not be independently confirmed and other estimates of civilian deaths were lower.

It was unclear if Lebanese authorities had known El-Hajdib's whereabouts, or the whereabouts of the group's leader, who has ties to slain al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before a gunbattle first broke out in Tripoli, witnesses said.  -

Hey, it's only fair.  Why shouldn't Lebanon enjoy these lovely folks as much as Israel does.

On a more serious note, let's again remember that there are almost 1.5 million palestinian Arabs living within Israel's borders, who enjoy a level of peace and prosperity they cannot get anywhere else, certainly not in the Arab countries.  With the partial exception of Jordan (they allow a tiny number in), every Arab country on earth refuses to allow palestinian Arabs to emigrate and become citizens.

I have no illusions about how palestinian Arabs in Israel feel about Jews.  I assume that most hate them and wish there were no Israel.  However, what their citizenship within Israel proves is that, whatever their feelings, palestinian Arabs are capable of living and prospering with Jews.

In the so-called "palestinian territories", however, that kind of coexistence is a pipe dream.  The people are taught nothing but hatred and violence against Jews, and they willingly pass it along to their children. 

As for the rest of the world?  It demands that Israel function as a multi-ethnic melange of Jew and Arab.  But that same world has no problem with Gaza and Judea/Samaria (the west bank) being rid of all Jews.  This, ladies and gentlemen, is the "peace process".

And if anyone thinks the culture of hatred and violence among palestinian Arabs is restricted to Gaza and the west bank, I strongly urge a re-reading of the AP article above. 




J Hauser I am a bit confused about the *Palestinean Camps* in Lebannon. There are 12 of these so-called camps with a population of approximately 300,000. What is confusing is these camps have existed for almost 60 years and from the violence today, what struck me is that they are building compounds such as small cities. Why are they called camps? Is this some kind of palestinean trick for the West to believe they are not settled in these compounds? Is this the continuing legacy of Arafat with all his deceit? The Palestineans in Lebannon cannot work or have access to higher education? Professionals such as physicians and lawyers are not allowed credentials in Lebannon? Please tell me I am wrong, how is it possible that the Palestineans are being discriminated by their fellow brothers/sisters in Lebannon? How is Israel blamed for this? I guess because Israel allows their arab muslims the right to vote, education, and holding office? Imagine the Jewish State allows this??? What defies logic is how can a sovereign country such as Lebannon not have access to enter these camps? Perhaps the Palestineans in Lebannon should lobby the UN and have the 12 camps declared *sovereign camps*. The Palestineans in Lebannon could then begin new industries of border control, visa administration for officials from Lebannon, lobby for aid from the world. Gosh, these people are not as clever as I was lead to believe! I guess there only industry is the importation and exportation of terrorism. (05/21/07)

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