Thursday, 12 July 2007


Ken Berwitz

Media bias is hardly a new phenomenon to most people, certainly not to people who read my blogs.

But the latest column by L. Brent Bozell -- who, understandably, is despised by the media elite he regularly decimates -- lays it out so clearly that even a LAMB (member of the Lunatic-left And Mega-moonbat Brigade) would have trouble rationalizing that he is wrong.

If I were a Newsweek journalist who cares about neutrality and/or integrity, I would be shamed by what Mr. Bozell shows us.  I wonder if there are any such journalists left at this once-great publication.

Here is Mr. Bozell's column.  See if you agree:.

More Obama Ogling In Newsweek

by L. Brent Bozell III
July 11, 2007

The 2008 presidential campaign could be one of the most critical in recent history. As things now stand, it could also be one of the most tiresome. Nowhere is media snobbishness more evident than when the big picture begins with the snide liberal elitist take on America: is the country ready to elect a black like Barack Obama or a woman like Hillary Clinton?

If Americans reject the icons of liberalism and vote Republican, apparently they will be proving the country is stuffed with benighted bigots who refuse to expand Americas sense of possibility. Those gauzy words came from Newsweek in their Barack-and-Hillary cover at the end of 2006. Obamas back on the cover of Newsweek again for the July 16 edition, photographed in black and white, with another question from left field: Will Obama be black enough for blacks and yet conciliatory enough for whites?

Reporters Richard Wolffe and Daren Briscoe apply all the usual goo to the Obama cause. Many of Obamas supporters are enthralled by the content of his character by his earnest desire to heal the nations political divisions and to restore Americas reputation in the world. Many are also excited by the color of his skin and the chance to turn the page on American racism, Wolffe and Briscoe add, but blacks are wary that whites might go soft and self-satisfied and think the playing field is leveled.

Heres another sappy line: On the campaign trail, Obama doesnt seek sympathy: he evokes hope. The reporters tell the story of how once-segregated Cairo, Illinois greeted Obama warmly during his 2004 Senate campaign. Pass the Pepto, please.

Its not very difficult to demonstrate that Newsweek doesnt provide this fluffy pillow and after-dinner chocolate to every candidate. Take its March 12 cover story on Rudy Giuliani: Giuliani can be arrogant, abrasive, and imperious, an average-size man trying too hard to prove himself to be a giant. Reporter Jonathan Darman told of Giulianis father being an enforcer for loan-sharks, dug up Giuliani screaming petulantly in Washington, and quoted former mayor Ed Koch sticking up for his colleague: Blacks and Hispanics would say hes a racist! I said, Absolutely not, hes nasty to everybody.

There was praise in the article, too, for his revival of New York and crisis leadership on 9/11, which raises the salient point: Just what has Obama accomplished in his brief period in the Senate that in any way matches the Giuliani turn-around in New York?

Newsweek recycles the Obama campaigns favorite publicity themes: how he won over conservative whites at the Harvard Law Review (how hard was that?) and named them to posts there, as if hed ever name conservatives to his Cabinet; how his wife Michelle overcame her misperceptions about him and discovered he was wonderful; how former opponent Rep. Bobby Rush compares him to Moses for his talent at winning powerful people over.

Newsweek is whistling past what may very well trip up the Democrats in 2008 that their nominee, whoever it is, will appear to be pandering to the radical-left base of their party at the expense of, well, everyone else. Wolffe and Briscoe trip all over themselves to deny that Obama or his backers are leftists even as their piece begins by touting how Obama won over far-left black professor Cornel West, a man last glimpsed in the public eye traveling in a junket with Harry Belafonte to meet and greet radical Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez. (Newsweek used no ideological label for West, either.)

Late in the article, they note that Obama was talked out of letting his pastor Jeremiah Wright deliver an invocation before his big announcement speech because Wright was caricatured as a radical for his Afrocentrism and his focus on black issues a strange criticism, perhaps, of a preacher on the South Side.

Caricatured? When New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor profiled Wright and Obama on April 30, she reported that Wright had gone to Libya in 1984 to meet with Moammar Ghadafi alongside Rev. Louis Farrakhan. (Why are all of Obamas allies enthralled with anti-American dictators?) Kantor described Wright as the man who converted Obama to Christianity, a dynamic pastor who preached Afrocentric theology, dabbled in radical politics and delivered music-and-profanity-spiked sermons. So, according to Newsweek, Wright was caricatured as a radical even by the New York Times?

Newsweek is not an honest, nonpartisan broker for voters in the 2008 campaign. It is a transparent Tiger Beat fan magazine for Democrats, for expanding Americas sense of possibility by promoting race and gender as the excuse for electing another liberal president.


Hi Senator Vitter, "Do you want two or three girls today"

barry sinrod

On the July 10 edition of MSNBC Live, USA Today Washington bureau chief Susan Page suggested that Sen. David Vitter's (R-LA) connection to the alleged "D.C. Madam," Deborah Jeane Palfrey, might not matter "[i]f you're running for mayor of New York City," but it matters to "a rather conservative state like -- like Louisiana. ... And especially to Republican voters who tend to be more conservative on social values." Page's comment suggests that the only relevant issue in the Vitter matter is possible sexual misconduct. But in addition to the question of possible illegality in Vitter's conduct, as CBS Public Eye editor Brian Montopoli noted -- citing posts on the weblogs The Carpetbagger Report and The New Republic's The Plank -- Vitter "said last year that the gay marriage ban was the most important issue out there" and campaigned on a theme of "stand[ing] up for Louisiana values, not Massachusetts's values." Montopoli concluded: "[T]his story has hit such a nerve with some folks" because "[i]t's the hypocrisy, stupid."

Vitter apologized for "a very serious sin in my past," about which he "received forgiveness from God and my wife," after it was disclosed that his phone number was among Palfrey's phone records. ABC News Investigative Unit producer Justin Rood wrote that Hustler magazine "may have prompted' Vitter's apology, reporting that soon after "a Hustler editor contacted Vitter's office to ask his connection to Palfrey's service. ... Vitter's office released its statement." Palfrey has been indicted on racketeering charges stemming from allegations that she ran a prostitution ring.

As the weblog ThinkProgress noted, in 2004, Vitter attacked Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and then-Sen. John Breaux (D-LA) for voting against the so-called "Federal Marriage Amendment:" "This is a real outrage," Vitter said in a statement released by his campaign. "The Hollywood left is redefining the most basic institution in human history, and our two U.S. Senators won't do anything about it." As New Republic senior editor Michael Crowley noted, in 2006, the New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote that Vitter clarified a remark suggesting that "gay marriage is more important that hurricane relief:"

"What I meant," Vitter said, is that "the existence or non-existence of a stable, loving, two-parent household" is the most significant predictor of success in life.

Page's comments recall NBC News congressional correspondent Chip Reid's assertion on the July 10 edition of NBC's Today, as Media Matters for America noted: "Vitter's website says he is 'focused on advancing mainstream conservative principles,' which is one reason many here in Washington are so surprised by this revelation."

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More and More Republicans are caught in sex scandals

Barry Sinrod    
Every day another righteous Republican is caught.  Senator Vitter twice in two days.  His wife said in 1998 that if "Her husband did what Clinton did, she would cut off his XXXX".  Well now we find that he has been a frequent visitor to Brothels in New Orleans and DC
Today one of John McCain's people was caught soliciting sex from a policeman in a bathroom. 
More and more to come from the always reliable Larry Flynt.

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Ken Berwitz Wrong (as usual). VItter has been busted for one use of the escort service. And the claim that a Republican a day is being found out is ludicrous and absolutely false. People who have facts use them. People who aren't happy with facts make them up. (07/12/07)


Ken Berwitz

While we're still on the subject of media bias, I watched some of the Today show this morning (if you know about the Today show, that probably could stand by itself, even BEFORE I mention the specific bias of the day).

There was a report on the progress being made in Iraq, to meet the political and military benchmarks we have set;  the ones that, some of us hope, the troop surge will help to facilitate. (Some of us seem NOT to hope this will happen, as I've indicated in previous blogs).

The first point to make here is that, just a couple of days ago, we were told that none of the benchmarks were being met.  But today's report indicates that, in reality, there is a mix of areas with and without progress;  i.e. none of the political benchmarks are being met, but there is progress in a number of the military benchmarks. 

It would have been nice if this news were contrasted with the report from a couple of days ago, thereby showing viewers that the first report was nothing other than  negative propaganda.  But who am I kidding?  We're talking about the Today Show.

In any event, the correspondent - Jim Miklaszewski, I think - reported this news in classicly biased manner:  when he noted that none of the political benchmarks were being met he presented it as a fact.  When he noted - from exactly the same report - that some of the military benchmarks showed progress, he presented it as a claim.  That's the specific word he used.

Got that?  Same report, same source.  But the bad news is a fact (indisputable) and the good news is a claim (yeah, right, sure). 

Sometimes I think media bias is so institutionalized, so ingrained, that the offenders don't even realize they're doing it any more.  Then I come to my senses and remember that, typically, news reports are scrutinized by numbers of people before they get on air. 

Nah, they're not on cruise control, they know what they're saying.  Bias is bias.


1934 decision supercedes executive privilege and can deliver Bush people to jail

Barry Sinrod
within hours.  It only requires a simple majority vote.
NOW is the time to bring out a very old statute to put all of those who have not answered subpeonas in "jail".  Executive privilege is overridden. Requires simple majority only!  Arrest them today.
Here it is:
[edit] Inherent contempt
Under this process, the procedure for holding a person in contempt involves only the chamber concerned. Following a contempt citation, the person cited for contempt is arrested by the Sergeant-at-Arms for the House or Senate, brought to the floor of the chamber, held to answer charges by the presiding officer, and then subject to punishment that the House may dictate (usually imprisonment for punishment reasons, imprisonment for coercive effect, or release from the contempt citation.)
Concerned with the time-consuming nature of a contempt proceeding and the inability to extend punishment further than the session of the Congress concerned (under Supreme Court rulings), Congress created a statutory process in 1857. While Congress retains its "inherent contempt" authority and may exercise it at any time, this inherent contempt process was last used by the Senate in 1934, against the Postmaster-General. After a one-week trial in the Senate floor (presided by the Vice-President of the United States, acting as Senate President), the Postmaster-General was found guilty and sentenced to 10 days imprisonment.
The Postmaster General had filed a petition of Habeas Corpus in federal courts to overturn his arrest, but after litigation, the US Supreme Court ruled that Congress had acted constitutionally, and denied the petition in the case Jurney v. MacCracken, 294 U.S. 125 (1945). [1]

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Ken Berwitz

I don't know if this is a fair criticism of Michael Moore.  But every time I think of what Governor Huckabee said, I laugh.  So I'll show it to you and see if you think it's as funny as I do:.

Huckabee: Filmmaker Moore an example of health care problems

LITTLE ROCK (AP) -- The producer of Michael Moore's documentary on the nation's health-care system, "Sicko," suggests that Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee's criticism of the filmmaker may be motivated more by his need for campaign funds than his concerns for Americans' health

The former Arkansas governor told reporters in a conference call Wednesday that he hasn't seen and probably won't see Moore's documentary "Sicko," which calls for an overhaul of America's health care system.

"Frankly, Michael Moore is an example of why the health care system costs so much in this country. He clearly is one of the reasons that we have a very expensive system. I know that from my own personal experience," said Huckabee, who lost more than 110 pounds and became an avid runner after he was diagnosed with diabetes.

"I know how much more my health care cost when I didn't take care of myself than when I do take care of myself, not only in terms of doctor visits but regular diseases, illnesses, chronic things that come up, monthly prescription bills," Huckabee said. "All of those things have gone dramatically down since I've taken care of myself and worked to live a healthier lifestyle."

No comment could be obtained from Moore, but Meghan O'Hara, producer of "Sicko," questioned Huckabee's motives in criticizing Moore.



Ken Berwitz

I bet the congregants at the Calvary Baptist Church in Darien, Connecticut are nice folks.  Really, truly nice.  And I bet they think they were being really, truly nice when they showed mercy to the young man you will read about below. 

I don't. 

Read this excerpt from the Stamford (Connecticut) Advocate (the entire article is at,0,668295,print.story?coll=stam-news-local-headlines, and then we'll talk.  The bold print is mine:.

No prison for man who poisoned juice

By Zach Lowe
Staff Writer

July 12, 2007

STAMFORD - A city man will serve no prison time for spiking grape juice at a CVS that poisoned more than 40 members of a Darien church last year, a judge ruled yesterday.

Members of the Calvary Baptist Church urged the court to show mercy on 29-year-old Wendell Woodroffe, and a judge sentenced him to five years of probation over the wishes of the prosecutor.

"I'm glad he received probation," said Anthony Gibson, the church pastor. "We did not want to see this young man's life ruined by this."

Woodroffe's attorney, Philip Russell, argued yesterday that Woodroffe did not have the capacity to understand the seriousness of his crimes.

Woodroffe, who lives with his family and receives counseling at the Dubois Center, told police he poured dishwashing liquid into the grape juice at a Darien CVS store to get back at his bosses there.

Woodroffe had worked at the CVS at 964 Post Road since 1998 and was bitter because he still was stocking shelves when he spiked the juice in January or February 2006.

He faced up to five years in prison after pleading guilty in May to six counts of second-degree assault and one unrelated count of harassment for making 39 threatening phone calls to a female friend's ex-boyfriend.

He apologized in front of Judge Robert Devlin at state Superior Court yesterday and declined to comment after the hearing.

Woodroffe must pay $500 to the victim of the harassing phone calls, the judge ruled.

Members of the church drank the juice during a Communion service Feb. 5. Forty-four people, half of them senior citizens, reported burning sensations in their throats, vomiting and nausea after drinking the juice.

State lab tests later determined the juice was tainted with detergent or soap.

Police found traces of Woodroffe's DNA on three bottles the church purchased, and he confessed after first denying his involvement.

He also admitted pouring mouthwash in a bottle of prune juice that sickened a Danbury woman in 2005. 

So?  What do you think?  Are these nice people?  Merciful people? Do you think they are wonderful to prevail upon the judge and get him to give Wendell Woodroffe a second chance?

Well, if so, I'm with you on the first two.  But if you think that their niceness and mercy are well placed in this instance we are, to say the least, on different tracks. 

I think these nice, merciful folks have, with the best of intentions, put a dangerous criminal who poisons innocent people back on the streets.  And because they have done so, they will share in the responsibility when (not if, based on his previous record, but when) he does it again. 

Look at what Woodroffe has done so far, that we know about (do you doubt for a second that he's done other things and not been caught?)

-He spiked a grape drink and poisoned 44 people;

-He harassed and threatened a man for the "crime" of being someone's ex-boyfriend;

-He poisoned a woman in 2005 in much the same way that he poisoned the oh-so-merciful members of the Calvary Baptist Church.

Look, I don't mind if the church members forgive Woodroffe for poisoning them.  They have every right to do so.  And I certainly admire their capacity for mercy, which far exceeds my own ( I would not feel very merciful toward someone who poisoned me and my fellow congregants).

But when they prevail upon a judge to lighten Woodroffe's sentence down to probation - especially when he has a record of doing it before, as well as committing at least one other crime (that we know about)?  Then they are inflicting a dangerous criminal on the public at large.

What will the merciful folks at the Calvary Baptist Church say if, the next time Woodroffe spikes a drink, he uses rat poison or lye?  What will they say to families of the people who die in agony because of it?   Will they add some words of (equally merciful) compassion for the victims, as they forgive Woodroffe again?

And what will the JUDGE say?  "Gee, I'm really sorry about this, but those folks at the church were so nice that I couldn't help myself.  I truly regret that this has happened"?

I believe in mercy.  But not when it makes sitting ducks out of innocent people. 

If the good folks at Calvary Baptist Church want something new to pray about, I hope their prayers are that the man they helped to free doesn't permanently damage his next victims or kill them outright.


Ken Berwitz

For months and months I've noted that cindy sheehan is (putting it nicely) an unbalanced woman who is being exploited mercilessly by the left, and who they would drop as soon as there was nothing left to exploit from her.

Well, that day has come. 

Cindy crossed the final line, by threatening to run against leftwing icon Nancy Pelosi in her San Francisco district - a race that, given the voter profile there, she actually could have a chance of winning.

Because of this, Cindy's main hangout, the leftwing Daily Kos (, has dumped her like an overripe rutabaga.  And she is, you should pardon the military parallel, shell-shocked over it. 

Read her swan song for yourself:

I have been "warned"

Thu Jul 12, 2007 at 06:16:05 AM PDT

I can't post here anymore because my potential run for Congress
is not on the Democratic ticket.

I have been deeply grateful for all of your support over the years.
Your love and kindness helped me through lots of sleepless nights
at Camp Casey '05.

If Speaker Pelosi does her constitutionally mandated duty and I don't run,
then I can come back and post.

I know a lot of you are hostile towards my candidacy. Please
understand that I am doing it for your children and grandchildren
(and my surviving ones.)

Love always,

Poor Cindy.  Somewhere, in a little recess of her cerebrum, she has a fiber or two where she actually believed these people gave a damn about her.  Was she ever wrong about that!

They gave a damn about the media attention she drew.  Nothing else.  Casey Sheehan meant exactly zero them them.  Zip, nada, the big goose egg.  Their interest was 100% tied to the number of cameras and microphones she commanded.

Now, the cameras and mikes are mostly gone.  And so is their interest in her.

A lesson well learned for Cindy.  But....if she repents and agrees to leave Queen Nancy intact, maybe the big bossman at daily kos (Marcos Moulitsas Zuniga) will change his mind and let her whine - er, rant - er, speak again.  Obviously, he is in complete control of Ms. Sheehan's future there.

Maybe they should change the name of his website to the daily kosIsaidso.

Interim Report shows Iraq a complete failure

Barry Sinrod
Bush still has blinders and is deaf.  He doesn't care about polls. He doesn't care about anything.
The Emperor is now running out of time and soon will be further embarrassed as his policy makes us
sick every day. This man is a moron. Plain and simple and the worst president in the history of the world.

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Ken Berwitz This is absolutely untrue. The INTERIM REPORT, which gives progress assessments AT THE VERY BEGINNING OF WHEN THE TROOP SURGE HAS BEEN FULLY IMPLEMENTED, shows that, while the political criteria are not doing well, many of the military criteria are showing progress. I sometimes get the feeling that Barry would be far happier if we lost this war than if we won it. He certainly is happy enough to grossly misrepresent the assessment information in the most negative way possible. (07/12/07)


Ken Berwitz

Today the Democratic majority passed a "bill" that, if enacted, would result in a withdrawal of almost all US troops by April, 2008.

I put the term "bill" in quotations because this is so vague, and so obviously a propaganda piece rather than actual legislation, that even an anti-war activist would sneer at it.  And that's before we get to the fact that President Bush will veto it, and they don't come close to having enough votes to override his veto.

As we see again, and again and again, this Democratic congress is far more interested in dog and pony shows than actually legislating anything for the country.

Ed Morrissey takes the "bill" apart better than I could, so I'll let him do it:

'This Bill Is About Politics'

The House just passed a resolution that demands a withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. The final vote had more Democrats crossing over to oppose it (10) than Republicans crossing the aisle to support it (4), and it faces a certain veto if it even gets through the Senate:

Iraq has achieved only spotty military and political progress toward a democratic society, the Bush administration conceded Thursday, an unenthusiastic assessment followed quickly by a House vote to withdraw U.S. troops by spring.

The measure passed 223-201 in the Democratic-controlled House despite a veto threat from President Bush, who has ruled out any change in war policy before September. ...

A few hours after Bush's remarks, Democratic leaders engineered passage of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops to begin within 120 days, and to be completed by April 1, 2008. The measure envisions a limited residual force to train Iraqis, protect U.S. assets and fight al-Qaida and other terrorists.

Unfortunately, the AP writes the bill much more coherently than the Democrats in Congress did. The bill does not define the "residual force" in either size or scope, and it doesn't specify exactly what is meant by "other terrorists". In fact, it is useless as a military plan or as a public policy, and could get interpreted to maintain almost as many troops as are deployed at the moment.

John Shadegg pointed this out in his speech in opposition to the bill. Since his office has kindly provided it, I will post it here in its entirety. I have it in the extended entry, but this point seems the most germane:

First, it is a purely political document, hopelessly vague and meaningless. Let me explain why. The bill turns on two key terms. One, that the United States transition to a limited presence in Iraq within the next 120 days; and, two, that the President provide a justification of the minimum force levels required to protect the United States national security interests in Iraq.

While I am pleased that the authors recognize that we are in Iraq to protect our national security interests, again, the legislation is hopelessly vague and therefore meaningless. Neither of these two key terms, limited presence and minimum force level required to protect U.S. national security interests, is defined. Oh, the bill has a definition section and other terms are defined, but limited presence and minimum force level required to protect U.S. national security interests arent defined. ...

The Chairman of the Armed Services Committee knows exactly why these terms are not defined, and indeed the Democratic Leadership knows why these terms are not defined. They are not defined because they need ambiguity. Indeed, ambiguity in this legislation is essential to its passage. They know that they cant agree on what the meanings of these terms are. You see, if they defined limited presence as too many troops, then their most liberal, most antiwar Members would not vote for the legislation. They couldnt. And, if they defined limited presence too low, then their Blue Dog Members would not support the bill. Again, this bill is about beating up on the President and about scaring nervous Members of Congress.

This shows why the military cannot be run with 535 Commanders-in-Chief. This does nothing but make war policy especially murky and unwieldy. If this is the caliber of military thinking in the 110th Congress, it's even more imperative to rebuke them for their unconstitutional power grab.

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