Sunday, 11 November 2007
NOTHING, MINUS ONE
I have pointed out over the last several months that hillary clinton has no
qualifications to be president. None, zero. Within that claim I have
also pointed out that the one thing she was asked to do within her husband's
eight year administration was run the health care task force, and that it was an
In case you have forgotten, Ms. clinton's task force came up with a health
care plan for the country so out of whack with reality that almost every
DEMOCRAT voted against it, along with every Republican. And for good
measure it was fined almost $300,000 for being run illegally. Google "Ira
Magaziner" and read the particulars on that fine, it's quite an eye-opener.
So what does the clinton war room do with the fact that her one
"accomplishment" in all this time puts her right up there with wrong way
Corrigan and the captain of the Titanic? What is their strategy to
get by this?
Here's what they did, courtesy of the New York Times:.
Bill Clinton Says His Wife Took the
Rap on Health Care
ALBIA, Iowa, Nov. 8 Former President Bill Clinton said
Thursday that he should receive more blame than his wife for the failed attempt
to revamp the nations health care system more than a decade ago.
You know how much she cares about this, Mr.
Clinton told an audience in Glenwood, Iowa, according to an account on MSNBC.
She has taken the rap for some of the problems we had with health care the last
time that were far more my fault than hers.
In her Democratic presidential bid, Senator
Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York has placed health care at the heart of her domestic policy
agenda. Her rivals have sought to portray her experience on health care as an
example of why a fresh approach is needed to truly change and improve the
As he campaigned here Thursday, Senator Barack Obama of
Illinois said Mrs. Clinton could not claim credit for trying to overhaul health
care if she did not accept any of the blame.
All I know is that part of the record shes
running on is having worked on health care, he said, so its kind of hard to
gauge if one of her claims is to have experience in this issue to then suggest
that somehow she doesnt have anything to do with the fact that it didnt
Throughout the week, Mr. Clinton has injected
himself into the Democratic campaign, suggesting to audiences that several
candidates had unfairly heaped criticism upon his wife during a debate last week
Asked about the role Mr. Clinton has been playing
in the race, Mr. Obama grinned, saying, Were focused on trying to deliver a
message of the kind of president I would be and why I think I would be the best
nominee for the Democratic Party.
As more reporters gathered around, a spokesman for
Mr. Obama tried to end the impromptu session. But before Mr. Obama walked up the
stairs to his bus, he added one more thing, My understanding is President
Clintons not on the ballot. .
That's the strategy. They trot out hubby Bill to guffaw a
little, bite his lip a little and say that it wasn't her fault at all, he should
take the blame.
And, being bill clinton, he of course gives no specifics on why it is his fault,
so if he is ever questioned about any of the loopy ideas in hillary-care he
can look you in the eye and say he never claimed to be involved in that part of
Classic bubba-talk, from the undisputed champion.
But wait, there's a bit more here. Clinton's vague little mea culpa
raises another question -- one that neither the Times article or most mainstream
media are going to explore, if their history is any indication: If hillary
clinton wasn't actually in charge of health care, then what DID she do for
8 years as "co-president"?
One look at Ms. clinton's record as a senator tells you she has
accomplished little in that office over the past 7 years. No major
legislation, a lot of meetings, but no accomplishments of note. You would
have to go back to her "performance" as the czarina of Arkansas education
to find her last "accomplishment". And believe me, she doesn't want you to
learn how that turned out.
So I ask again: What are hillary clinton's qualifications to be
president? Can someone - anyone - tell me?
THE VAST CREDIBILITY GAP IN MIDDLE EAST JOURNALISM
Did I say "gap"? How about "grand canyon"? .
Here, courtesy of www.pajamasmedia.com and
investigative reporter Richard Landes, is one of the most important
articles about middle east journalism you will ever read. It details the
absolutely fraudulent reportage from that area, by "stringers" who are in
reality dedicated partisans. And guess which side they're partisan
Importantly, much of the article concerns itself with the infamous "al Dura"
fraud. Remember Muhammad al Dura, the 12 year old Palestinian Arab boy who
was supposed to have been shot by Israeli soldiers? It was a worldwide
story and a worldwide scandal -- a public relations disaster for Israel.
The problem? It was a hoax. A fraud. Subsequent
investigations showed that it was Palestinian Arab fire, not Israeli, that
killed this young boy. That, of course, did NOT get the publicity it
Please read the article below. I won't put any commentary after
it, because if this doesn't tell you the real story, nothing I say
afterwards will convince you.
Read every word. Then think about it every time you read
anything from the middle east that purports to be factual:
Al-Dura and the "Public Secret" of
11, 2007 1:00 AM
The evidence emerging from the ongoing Al Dura trial in France indicates that
Western journalists are fully aware that some of the footage they use in their
reports on the Mideast conflict
is staged, charges Richard
Landes. When confronted with the pervasive evidence of
staging in the case of Al Dura, the reaction of France 2, which ran the story,
has been essentially that everybody does it.
In the summer of 2006, Reuters News Agency, humiliated when bloggers caught them duped by obvious photographic
manipulation, fired both the photographer and the chief of
their photographic bureau. They then removed all the photographers photos from
their news archive. In so doing, they acted decisively in punishing two of the
cardinal sins of modern journalism: creating evidence and getting duped by
These principles i.e., the ethics of a free press go so deep, that
Westerners apparently have difficulty imagining that others might not share our
commitments. Thus few people believe claims that footage of Muhammad al Dura,
the twelve year old boy allegedly gunned down by Israelis at Netzarim Junction
on September 30, 2000, was staged. Charles Enderlin, the correspondent for
France2 who presented the tale to the world, derisively and successfully
dismisses such claims as a conspiracy theory as ludicrous as those about 9-11.
How absurd: Palestinian journalists would not do such a thing; and if they did,
the Western media would catch it. To this day, most journalists still ask, Who
killed al Dura? not, Was he killed in the footage we see?
And yet, one of the major differences between Western journalism and
self-styled Islamic media men emerges on just this issue of the permissibility
of staging the news and attitudes towards what constitutes honest information.
According to the Islamic Mass Media Charter (Jakarta, 1980), the sacred
task of Muslim media men [sic], is on the one hand to protect the Umma from
imminent dangers, indeed to censor all materials, towards that end, and on
the other, To combat Zionism and its colonialist policy of creating
settlements as well as its ruthless suppression of the Palestinian
So when asked why he had inserted unconnected footage of an Israeli soldier
firing a rifle into the Al Dura sequence in order to make it look like the
Israelis had killed the boy in cold blood, an official of PA TV responded:
These are forms of artistic expression, but all of
this serves to convey the truth We never forget our higher
journalistic principles to which we are committed of relating the
truth and nothing but the truth.
When Talal abu Rahmah received an award for his footage of Muhammad al Dura
in Morocco in 2001, he told a reporter, I went into journalism to carry on the
fight for my people.
These remarks serve as an important prelude to considering the France2 rushes
that will be shown in court in Paris on November 14 in the Enderlin France2 vs.
Philippe Karsenty defamation case. These tapes were filmed by Talal abu Rahmah
on September 30, 2000, and for seven years, Enderlin has claimed that the tapes
prove him right and show the boy in such unbearable death throes that he cut
them out of his report. But several experts who have seen the tapes (this author
included) claim that the only scene of al Dura that Enderlin cut
was the final scene where he seems alive and well; and still more disturbingly
the rest of the rushes are filled with staged scenes. Indeed there seems to be a
kind of public secret at work on the Arab street: people fake injury, others
evacuate them hurriedly (and without stretchers) past Palestinian cameramen like
Talal, who use Western video equipment to record these improvised scenes. Pallywood: the Palestinian movie industry.
Which brings us to a problem more complex than the fairly straightforward
observation that Palestinian journalists play by a different set of rules in
which this kind of manipulation of the truth is entirely legitimate. What do
Western journalists do with these products of propaganda? Do they know these are
fakes or are they fooled? Do they tell the cameramen working for them and using
their equipment that filming such staged scenes is unethical and unacceptable?
And if they do, why do cameramen who have worked for them for years Talal
worked for Enderlin for over a decade when he took these rushes continue to
film these scenes. And how often do our journalists run this staged footage as
Here the evidence provided by the Al Dura affair suggests that, in some
sense, journalists are in on the public secret. When representatives of
France2 were confronted with the pervasive evidence of staging in Talals
footage, they both responded the same way. Oh, they always do that, its a
cultural thing, said Enderlin to me in Jerusalem. Yes Monsieur, but,
you know, its always like that, said Didier Eppelbaum to Denis Jeambar, Daniel Leconte,
and Luc Rosenzweig in Paris.
As an echo of this astonishing private complacency, Clment Weill-Raynal of
France3 made a comment to a journalist that he meant as a
criticism of Karsenty: Karsenty is so shocked that fake images were used and
edited in Gaza, but this happens all the time everywhere on television and no TV
journalist in the field or a film editor would be shocked.
The implications of this remark undermine its very use in his argument: How
can Karsenty defame Enderlin by accusing him of using staged footage when, as
Clment Weill-Raynal here admits, everybody does it? Is it wrong to do
this? And if so, why does Weill-Raynal criticize Karsenty for blowing the
whistle? If not, wheres the defamation?
We may have stumbled here onto the very nature of public secrets and
the value of a good reputation: everyone can cheat so long as no one is caught.
Its okay for the insiders to know, but the effectiveness of the
(mis)information depends on the public not knowing. As Daniel Leconte reproached
Eppelbaum: the media may know [about this staging], but the public doesnt.
Indeed, the public must not know. CNN advertises itself as The Most Trusted
Name in News, not because it struggles against the influences, like access journalism, that destroy trustworthiness, but
because it knows how important trust is to their audience public consumers of
news. Thus, even if Western journalists use staged footage regularly, they
cannot admit it. And, if denial doesnt work, then, apparently, the next move is
to say, its nothing; everyone does it.
An incident at Ramallah, however, suggests that Western journalists have
systematically submitted to Palestinian demands that they practice Palestinian
journalism. On October 12, 2000, to cries of Revenge
for the blood of Muhammad al Dura, Palestinian men tore to pieces
the bodies of two Israeli reservists. Aware of the potential damage, Palestinians attacked any journalist taking pictures.
And yet, one Italian crew working for a private news station, at great risk to
their lives, smuggled out the footage. Eager to avoid being blamed, the
representative of Italys official television station RAI wrote to the PA that his station would never do such a
because we always respect (will continue to respect) the
journalistic procedures with the Palestinian
Authority for (journalistic) work in Palestine
Just what are these journalistic procedures? Do they resemble the rules of
the Jakarta charter, including the censorship of anything damaging to the
Palestinian cause (no matter how true), and publication of anything damaging to
the Israeli cause (no matter how inauthentic)? The PA, apparently unaware that
this is not how journalism should be done in the West, published the
But on the side where modern journalism allegedly reigns, such revelations
were profoundly embarrassing: even the normally timid Israeli government
temporarily suspended the press card of Roberto Cristiano, and no one in the
normally aggressive Western media objected. Cristiano had violated the basic
rule of Western journalisms omerta, and openly admitted shameful practices.
The public consumer of Mainstream Media (MSM) news needs to ask, How many
journalists adhere to these Palestinian rules, and how much does that adherence
distort, even invert, our understanding of what goes on in this interminable
conflict? Can we afford this public secret?
Nor can we expect the MSM to discuss this willingly. On the contrary,
awareness of the importance of trust often enough leads journalists to hide
their mistakes rather than admit and learn from them. As a French friend put it
to me: No one admits publicly to mistakes in France. Its a sign of weakness.
While these are the rules of honor-shame culture, civil society
depends on having people prefer honesty to saving face, no matter how painful
that may be. And while we cannot expect people to volunteer for public
humiliation, we can and must insist that there are limits to both individual and
corporate efforts to resist correction.
This is Charles Enderlins problem with the al Dura case. He has, with his
eagerness to get the scoop, foisted upon an unsuspecting world, a nuclear bomb in
the world of information
warfare. As Bob Simon put it (wmv file), to the background of a
medley of Pallywood images: In modern warfare, one picture is worth a thousand
weapons. And no image has done more to inspire the desire for violent revenge
and global Jihad than this icon of hatred (wmv file) To admit his mistakes, to
release the public from this images thrall and alert us to the possibility that
such colossal errors not only occur, but go years without correction, would
destroy Enderlins career.
Moreover, Enderlins failure, at this point, seven years later,
implicates the larger MSM who, with their refusal to even allow the critique to
air, protect him. This dilemma may partly explain why the MSM in France has scarcely
mentioned this case; why they had nothing to say about the initial
trial until Karsenty lost, at which point they leapt into print to reassure the
public that the image choc of the Intifada was not staged. Enderlin,
after all, is not some Palestinian hack, even if he trusts and therefore
regularly channels the work of such journalists. He is perhaps the best known
and most widely trusted European correspondent in the Middle East. Surely, as a
Jew and an Israeli, he would not report false stories that blackened his own
countrys name. They must be true.
More ominously, just as Al Dura represents a higher truth for Muslims a
justification for hatred, a call to revenge so does it carry symbolic freight
with Europeans. Catherine Nay, a respected news anchor for Europe1, welcomed the image:
The Death of Muhammad cancels out, erases that of the
Jewish child, his hands in the air from the SS in the Warsaw
How ironic! The Europeans use an image produced by those who admire the Nazis
and dream of genocidal victory over the Jews, to
erase their own guilt over the Holocaust. In so doing, Europe has atoned for
its sins against the Jews by empowering its Muslim extremists.
So not to admit such mistakes, destroys the very fabric of the civil
society that allows a free press. In the long history of blood libels, no people
have benefited from embracing the twisted hatreds they evoked.
At what point does self-protection become self-destruction, not only for the
journalists who deny their errors no matter how costly, but for the public that
believes them? As an Israeli journalist remarked: Every day I have to walk the
fine line between loyalty to my sources and loyalty to my audience. How
grievously have our journalists betrayed us, their audience, for the sake of
finding favor in the eyes of their sources?
Palestinian journalists, in their own ethical declarations, argue that their
role is to defend their cause and weaken its enemies. Journalism for them is war
by other means; the media, a theater of war.
Honesty and fairness do not intrude on this ethical prescription, but merely
present a requirement for versimilitude designed to deceive susceptible Western
audiences and incite Muslim rage.
In this clash of journalistic cultures, how often has the Western media
played the useful idiots to Palestinian demands. How often have they presented
Palestinian truths to us as news? And if they have done so as often and as
destructively as Pallywood and its greatest success, the Al Dura Affair,
suggests, how much longer will they persist?
THAT CHAVEZ CHARM
In 1948 Robert Taylor starred in an entirely forgettable movie called
"That Saxon Charm", about Matt Saxon, a Broadway personality whose ego was so high
and personal attritbutes so low that no one could stand him.
Sometimes I think hugo chavez, the dictator (don't tell me his last
"election" was legitimate, save it for jimmy carter) is trying to become a
real-life version of Saxon.
We've seen and heard his increasingly bizarre antics for years, so it is no surprise
that he leans this way. But read the following Associated Press article
and see just how far over the edge he's actually gone:
|Spanish King Tells Chavez to "Shut
06:13 PM US/Eastern|
By EDUARDO GALLARDO
(AP) - The king of Spain told Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to "shut
up" Saturday during a heated exchange at a summit of leaders from Latin
America, Spain and Portugal.
Chavez, who called President Bush the
"devil" on the floor of the United Nations last year, triggered the
exchange by repeatedly referring to former Spanish Prime Minister Jose
Maria Aznar as a "fascist."
Aznar, a conservative who was an ally of
Bush as prime minister, "is a fascist," Chavez said in a speech at the
Ibero-American summit in Santiago, Chile. "Fascists are not human. A snake
is more human."
Spain's current socialist prime minister,
Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, responded during his own allotted time by
urging Chavez to be more diplomatic in his words and respect other leaders
despite political differences.
"Former President Aznar was democratically
elected by the Spanish people and was a legitimate representative of the
Spanish people," he said, eliciting applause from the gathered heads of
Chavez repeatedly tried to interrupt, but
his microphone was off.
Spanish King Juan Carlos, seated next to
Zapatero, angrily turned to Chavez and said, "Why don't you shut up?"
The Venezuelan leader did not immediately
respond, but later used time ceded to him by his close ally Nicaraguan
President Daniel Ortega to answer Zapatero's speech.
"I do not offend by telling the truth," he
said. "The Venezuelan government reserves the right to respond to any
aggression, anywhere, in any space and in any manner."
You might or might not like Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (he's certainly no
favorite of mine), but you have to admire him for standing up for his
country, which is exactly what he did. Because by calling Zapatero's
predecessor a "fascist" chavez was saying the people of Spain had freely
elected a fascist. That is an insult to Spain.
And how about King Juan Carlos telling this little pus pimple to shut up? I
salute him for having the blunt honesty to say what chavez had coming.
Where did chavez think he was, to talk like a maniac and a fool and think he
could get away with it? The UN?
MOVIES THAT SUPPORT THE USA? HOLLYWOODN'T
We have been at war for 5 years in Afghanistan and over 4 years in
We have removed the taliban from ruling Afghanistan and the country has had
free elections. We have removed saddam from ruling Iraq and the country has
had free elections.
You would think that someone, somewhere in Hollywood, would find something
good to say about this.
But that would not be so. You can't find one
feature film in all this time that has treats anything we have
done in either country in a positive light.
You can, however, find film after film that does not. Though the
public's reactions to these wars have ranged from tremendously positive, to
mixed to negative over the years, but Hollywood has never presented anything but
The good news, however, is that these geniuses have been punished
severely for it. By who? By you, that's who. Virtually
every negative film about the wars and our soldiers' actions during this time has been a
loser at the box office.
Want the specifics? Then read this piece that I pulled from www.breitbart.com and there they are:
|Hollywood is casualty of war as
movie-goers shun Iraq films
11:21 AM US/Eastern|
|The wave of recent
films set against the backdrop of war in Iraq and post-9/11 security has
failed to win over film-goers keen to escape grim news headlines when they
go to the movies, analysts say.
In a break with past convention, when films
based on real conflicts were made only years after the last shots were
fired, several politically-charged films have gone on release while
America remains embroiled in Iraq.
Almost without exception, however, the crop
of movies have struggled to turn a profit at the box-office and in many
cases have received a mauling from unimpressed critics as well.
"Rendition," a drama starring Reese
Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal about the CIA's policy of outsourcing
interrogation of terror suspects, has taken just under 10 million dollars
at the box office, a disastrous return.
Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis's latest
film "In the Valley of Elah," about a father investigating the death of
his son in Iraq, earned favorable reviews but less than seven million
dollars following its release in September.
Even the action-packed "The Kingdom,"
starring Jamie Foxx and Jennifer Garner, fell well below its 70 million
budget with around 47 million dollars in ticket sales.
The poor returns do not augur well for more
war films due for release in North America later this month, notably the
Robert Redford-directed drama "Lions for Lambs" and Brian De Palma's
hard-hitting "Redacted," based on the real-life rape and murder of an
Iraqi schoolgirl by US soldiers.
Lew Harris, the editor of website
Movies.com, said the films have struggled to be successful because the
subject matters of Iraq and 9/11 remain too close to home. And in many
cases, the films have not been entertaining enough.
"These movies have to be entertaining,"
Harris told AFP. "You can't just take a movie and make it anti-war or
anti-torture and expect to draw people in.
"That's what happened with 'Rendition' and
it has been a disaster," he said.
"People want war movies to have a slam-bang
adventure feel to them ... But Iraq is a difficult war to portray in a
kind of rah-rah-rah, exciting way.
"And it's just too close to home. The
Vietnam war movies didn't start until long after the war was over.
"But here for the first time you're seeing
things that you're reading about in the newspaper or seeing on television
in movie theatres. I'm not sure that's something that people want. A lot
of people go to the movies to escape."
According to Gitesh Pandya, an analyst with
website boxofficeguru.com, cinema-goers were unenthusiastic about spending
money for movies about subjects they see on television at no cost.
"I just think it's something that people are
not willing to pay top dollar to see, especially when we get so much
coverage at home for free," Pandya told AFP. "At the end of the day it's
not content people are willing to pay for."
Pandya said the subject matter of the films
also made them particularly vulnerable to poor reviews.
"Older-skewing films are affected by reviews
a lot more than a movie aimed at teenagers. It's possible for a teen movie
with horrible reviews to be a commercial success; but for films targeting
an older audience, the reviews can make or break them," he added. "And the
reviews for these films have not been great."
Veteran television producer Steven Bochco,
whose 2005 television series "Over There" about a platoon of soldiers
fighting in Iraq ended after just one season, said it was hard to engage
audiences in a "hugely unpopular war."
"TV is fully saturated with this war and I
don't know if you can do a serious drama about this war and locate any
angle that would overcome the negativity about it," he told the New York
Iraq films remain a difficult sell for
audiences because of the swirl of confusion surrounding the rights and
wrongs of the conflict, he added.
"World War II was hugely romanticized in
terms of its fiction. There were unambiguous villains, and the feeling we
were fighting the right people over the right issues, as opposed to this
war, which many people feel is misguided.
In discussing this nothing-but-negative phenomenon with people, I have found there to be no shortage
of rationalizers who tell me that "The only reason they make movies is to
make money. If they could make money from a movie that takes the other
side they would be doing it"
Well I think it's fair to say that this assumption is belied by the fact that
the movies they are making do not make money. And they aren't trying the
other side anyway.
But I admit that it's fun to see the "explanations" by Hollywood leftists
that the reason their anti-war movies are down the tubes is that people are so
anti-war. Sure, that's logical: People won't see the movies because
they are in agreement with them.
That's Hollywood for you. Who says fantasy is dead?