Sunday, 14 September 2008
MORE ON THE FALL OF THE NEW YORK TIMES
Not content with its page 1 hit piece on John Mccain yesterday, The Times has another one today - this time
on Sarah Palin.
You can read the entire article by clicking here, but I've
excerpted the first part of it below which, in extremely negative
terms, will assure you that Ms. Palin plays favorites and rewards people
she likes!! (my god, who ever heard of a politician doing that!!)
In office, Palin hired friends and hit
Interviews indicate a governing style that uses
loyalty and secrecy
By JO BECKER, PETER S. GOODMAN AND MICHAEL
7:17 p.m. ET, Sat., Sept. 13,
WASILLA, Alaska - Gov. Sarah Palin lives by the maxim that all politics
is local, not to mention personal.
there was a vacancy at the top of the State Division of Agriculture, she
appointed a high school classmate, Franci Havemeister, to the $95,000-a-year
directorship. A former real estate agent, Ms. Havemeister cited her childhood
love of cows as one of her qualifications for running the roughly $2 million
Havemeister was one of at least five schoolmates Ms. Palin hired, often at
salaries far exceeding their private sector wages.
When Ms. Palin had to cut her first state budget, she avoided the legion of
frustrated legislators and mayors. Instead, she huddled with her budget director
and her husband, Todd, an oil field worker who is not a state employee, and
vetoed millions of dollars of legislative projects.
four months ago, a Wasilla blogger, Sherry Whitstine, who chronicles the
governors career with an astringent eye, answered her phone to hear an
assistant to the governor on the line, she said.
should be ashamed! Ivy Frye, the assistant, told her. Stop blogging. Stop
blogging right now!
Points to her management experience
walks the national stage as a small-town foe of good old boy politics and a
champion of ethics reform. The charismatic 44-year-old governor draws
enthusiastic audiences and high approval ratings. And as the Republican
vice-presidential nominee, she points to her management experience while
deriding her Democratic rivals, Senators Barack Obama and Joseph R. Biden Jr.,
as speechmakers who never have run anything.
examination of her swift rise and record as mayor of Wasilla and then governor
finds that her visceral style and penchant for attacking critics she sometimes
calls local opponents haters contrasts with her carefully crafted public
Throughout her political career, she has pursued vendettas, fired
officials who crossed her and sometimes blurred the line between government and
personal grievance, according to a review of public records and interviews with
60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials.
Yes, as with yesterday's article you can find some ameliorating material
buried well into the article's text. But by that time you already know
what an awful person Ms. Palin is.
antoin "tony" rezko is a
thoroughly corrupt slumlord who stands convicted of 16 felony counts and is going
to jail for a long time. Barack Obama purchased
a 1.6 million dollar mansion, then additional property adjacent to that mansion, with rezko's help. rezko
also contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Mr. Obama over the years,
both directly and indirectly, for his state senate and US senate runs and who knows
How many front page articles has the New York Times done on the cozy
relationship between Barack Obama and tony rezko? How many reporters did
they have scouring the records to see what rezko got for his help with the house
and his outpouring of money? Not many, it seems, since the Times barely
covered this at all.
But the issue of whether Sarah Palin rewarded people she knew and liked
? That's front page news.
Please note that Ms. Palin is not accused of graft
or bribery or any other such thing in the Times article, just political favoritism. Do you think the Times could say the same about
Barack Obama's close associate tony rezko? Me neither.
And then we have Mr. Obama's wife, Michelle, whose employer gave
her a $200,000 raise, and then receieved far more than that in "earmarks" that were
supported by hubby Barack. How much coverage did the Times give to
Specifically, according to the Chicago Tribune Ms. Obama's salary as the
University of Chicago's vice president for community affairs (I don't know what
that is either) went from $121,910 in 2004 (the year hubby Barack ran for his
senate seat) to $316,962 within months of his taking office. Thereafter,
magically and mystically, earmarks totalling $1 million or more were floated by
Senator Obama to build a new pavilion for the school. What a coincidence
How many articles have you read about this overripe little sequence of events in
This is how far the New York Times has fallen. An avalanche of
questionable attacks, much of it hearsay, directed against Sarah Palin, while
Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama is kept in a safe and comfy
And I have absolutely no doubt you'll see more of the same
throughout this campaign.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EXPERIENCE
John Hinderaker of www.powerlineblog.com has a very short
and very trenchant little blog on how experience is playing out in this
election, which I thought you'd like to see. Here it is:
This AP/GfK poll
finds John McCain with a four-point lead over Barack Obama, which is typical
these days. But this observation is interesting:
Eighty percent say McCain, with nearly
three decades in Congress, has the right experience to be president. Just 46
percent say Obama, now in his fourth year in the Senate, is experienced
Fully 47 percent say Obama lacks the proper
experience an even worse reading than the 36 percent who had the same
criticism about McCain running mate Sarah Palin, serving her second year as
Alaska governor after being a small-town mayor.
This is the problem with the Democrats' attempt to
attack Governor Palin's purported inexperience: she is, by any reasonable
standard, better qualified for the Presidency than Barack Obama. And if
experience is what voters are looking for, McCain is the obvious
This commentary is very much in tune with what I've been
saying since Ms. Palin was nominated. Her lack of
experience/qualifications to be President (which I concede) does not take this
issue away from Republicans who would use it against Barack Obama. In
reality, the opposite is true -- it accentuates
this as an
issue against him.
The logic is pretty basic: if Sarah Palin is unqualified to be president, but more qualified than Barack
Obama, what does that make Barack Obama?
And if these polling data are accurate, I'm not the only one who sees
things this way. Not by a long shot.
JOHN MCCAIN AND E-MAILING
With all the talk of how hard-hitting and aggressive John McCain's ads
against Barack Obama are, maybe you'd like to get a taste of what the Obama camp
is sending Mr. McCain's way.
To read much of the media, McCain is pummeling Obama while he is the picture
of sweetness and light.
Well, let's call upon the www.sweetness-light.com website to
show is how untrue this is...and how nasty the Obama people have gotten:
From the Obama campaign, via their water-carriers
at the Associated Press:
Obama mocks McCain as computer illiterate in ad
By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK - John McCain is mocked as an
out-of-touch, out-of-date computer illiterate in a television commercial out
Friday from Barack Obama as the Democrat begins his sharpest barrage yet on
McCains long Washington career.
The new fighting spirit comes as McCain has been
gaining in the polls and some Democrats have been expressing concern the Obama
campaign has not been aggressive enough. Obamas campaign says the escalation
will involve advertising and pushes made by the candidate, running mate Joe
Biden and other surrogates across the country.
Today is the first day of the rest of the
campaign, Obama campaign manager David Plouffe says in a campaign strategy
memo. We will respond with speed and ferocity to John
McCains attacks and we will take the fight to him, but we will do it on the
big issues that matter to the American people.
The newest ad showcasing their
hard line includes unflattering footage of McCain at a hearing in the early
80s, wearing giant glasses and an out-of-style suit, interspersed with shots
of a disco ball, a clunky phone, an outdated computer and a Rubiks
1982, John McCain goes to Washington, an
announcer says over chirpy elevator music. Things have changed in the
last 26 years, but McCain hasnt.
He admits he still doesnt know
how to use a computer, cant send an e-mail, still doesnt understand the
economy, and favors two hundred billion in new tax cuts for corporations, but
almost nothing for the middle class, it says. It shows video of
McCain getting out of a golf cart with former President George H.W. Bush and
closes with a photo of him standing with the current President Bush at the
White House. After one president who was out of touch, we just cant afford
more of the same.
Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer said the campaign
was not making an issue of the 72-year-old McCains age, but the time hes
spent in Washington.
Our economy wouldnt survive without
the Internet, and cyber-security continues to represent one our most serious
national security threats, Pfeiffer said. Its
extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in
chief doesnt know how to send an e-mail.
McCain has said he relies on his wife and staff
to work the computer for him and that he doesnt use e-mail
The campaign dispatched Sen. Dick
Durbin and Rep. Rahm Emmanuel, both Illinois Democrats, to lay out the new
aggressive tone in a conference call with reporters
Oh, and never that this is the product of the
mans war wounds, as chronicled by the Boston
Globe, via Jonah
Goldberg at NROs Corner:
McCain character loyal to a fault
By Mary Leonard, Globe Staff, 3/4/2000
McCain gets emotional at the mention of
military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The
outrage comes from inside: McCains severe war injuries prevent him
from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes.
Friends marvel at McCains encyclopedic knowledge of sports. Hes an avid fan
- Ted Williams is his hero - but he cant raise his arm above his shoulder to
throw a baseball
The Obama camp might want to take this ad
That's just lovely, isn't it? Mr. McCain CANNOT USE A KEYBOARD because
of the torture he received at the hands of the Vietcong. So let's mock him
for not learning how to use e-mail.
Steve Gilbert of sweetness-light ends his piece by suggesting that the Obama
camp might want to take this ad back. Think he's got a
THE REAL PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN
How sweet it was.
When Barack Obama was taking a leisurely stroll into the white house a few
weeks ago, he smiled, he spoke in pleasantries and was the picture of
sweetness and kindness. Mainstream media were similarly content because
this was a wonderful way to see him become President.
Now, however, it appear that John McCain has blown past Mr. Obama and
has something of a lead among voters. While the lead may not hold, it
certainly demonstrates that this is no coronation; Mr. Obama has a genuine fight
on his hands.
So what happened to that "tra-la-la life is sweet" comportment we had
I'll let Mike Allen of www.politico.com
furnish the answer:
So much for nuance, or elevating the
Locked in a political death match with 52 days to live, the
presidential campaigns went nuclear on what looked to be a quiet Saturday, with
stumping curtailed because of Hurricane Ike's catastrophic overnight hit on
Sen. Barack Obama's
national press secretary, Bill Burton, accused
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) of "cynically running the sleaziest and least honorable campaign in
modern presidential campaign history. His discredited ads with disgusting lies
are running all over the country today. He runs a campaign not worthy of the
office he is seeking."
That was prompted by a McCain campaign statement
about remarks Obama (D-Ill.) made in Manchester, N.H., on Saturday
McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds
thundered by e-mail: "During the event, Barack Obama showed zero restraint in
the ferocity of his attacks despite the wreckage in the gulf and his running
mates cancellation in reaction to it.
"It says a lot about Barack
Obamas judgment that while his campaign canceled his appearance on 'Saturday Night Live'
and his running mate stayed home, Obama went ahead and delivered a series of
scathing personal attacks. Todays attacks mark a new low from Barack
I would hope that the people who thought this was going to be different from
other recent campaigns are now officially disabused of that thought.
It won't be.
Can anyone possibly be surprised to see the Obama camp whining that they're
being mistreated, now that they're behind? That is standard-issue politics
(though I have to admit that, after a year of media fawning over Mr. Obama, and
in view of the New York Times' daily hit pieces on McCain and Palin, it's
more than a little amusing).
And don't expect the tenor of the campaign to elevate between now and
election day. It's got nowhere to go but down. You can take that to
SPEAKING OF MEDIA BIAS (AGAIN)......
The hits just keep on coming, don't they?
Here's the latest, this time about the level of coverage afforded John McCain
by the Washington Post. Tim Graham of www.newsbusters.org takes a look at how
the paper's "ombudsman", Deborah Howell, sees things:
WaPo Tries to Explain Not
Putting Huge Va. McCain Rally on Page One
On Sunday, Washington Post ombudsman Deborah
Howell noticed in passing an obvious example of front-page Obama favoritism in the Post. On Thursday,
the huge McCain-Palin rally in suburban Fairfax, Virginia, with an estimated
crowd of 23,000 reported in the story, was bizarrely placed on the front page of
the Metro section. On June 6, the Post put an Obama rally in Virginia at the
Nissan Pavilian concert venue with an estimated attendance of 10,000 people on
the front page. (Actually, they offered two front-page stories.) How
does the Post defend itself?
Then McCain and Palin's large Fairfax County
rally was on the Metro section front page Thursday; a June 6 rally for Obama
at Nissan Pavilion was on Page A1. [Assistant managing editor Ed] Thiede said,
"We had a busier day with more competing for A1 play Wednesday, including a
main art package commemorating the opening of the Sept. 11 memorial." These
are logical answers in a newsroom, but they don't cut it with
Republican-leaning readers, especially when, as I've reported, Obama has had a
preponderance of Page 1 stories and photos throughout the paper.
On August 17, Howell noticed a dramatic
three-to-one imbalance in Post front-page stories from June 4 to August 15,
especially around Obamas Nissan Pavilion event:
Obama has been featured in 35 stories on Page 1;
McCain has been featured in 13, with three Page 1 references with photos to
stories on inside pages.
The coverage of June 4, 5, 6 and 7 led to six
Page 1 stories in The Post, including Obama's nomination victory his strategy,
elation among African Americans over the historic nature of his win and his
fundraising advantage. Then he made an appearance at Nissan Pavilion with
Virginia's Gov. Timothy Kaine and Sen. James Webb, and it became a local Page
1 story. During those few days, there was one Page 1 reference to an
inside-page story about McCain going after Clinton's disgruntled supporters.
On Sunday, Howell didnt go any deeper than a
paragraph about how the Post downplayed the huge McCain-Palin rally, moving into
more specific complaints about Palin coverage. Looking at Thursday's front page,
its hard to quibble with a story and photo of the new September 11 memorial at
the Pentagon. Its reasonable to expect an international story (hurricane deaths
in Haiti), a local story (vote-counting glitches over RINO City Council member
Carol Schwartz losing an election), and a military story (the chairman of the
Joint Chiefs of Staff expressed skepticism about whether were winning in
But sharing the top of the front page of
Thursdays paper is a story about Inspector General reports of improper gift
acceptance, drug use and sex at the Department of Interiors Minerals
Management Service. How does Thiede explain how thats an Earth-shaker?
It's too bad Howell didn't probe a little on that.
If you dig a little deeper, you'd also notice
that the Tim Craig-Peter Slevin
story on the McCain-Palin Fairfax
rally...veers off the rally. It discusses Obama appearing at a school in
Norfolk, Virginia, and how "emotion is growing among supporters of both
candidates." It also relays plenty of hope Democrats can take Virginia
thanks to social issues and resistance in Fairfax County to "conservative" views
on abortion, and quotes Democrats saying "McCain's too conservative." Only
one McCain fan is quoted at the rally, at the very end -- saying she
wouldn't have attended if it wasn't for Palin.
Craig and Slevin also made sure to insert
Democrat hecklers into the story: about 150 Obama supporters stood near the
entrance to the rally, chanting "Bush, McCain, more of the same. They made
space to note: "McCain supporters responded with taunts of their own, including
'zero,' 'losers,' 'baby killers,' and 'No-bama.'"
Compare this to the Nissan Pavilion story in June.
front-pager had no mention of McCain
or GOP hecklers, if there were any, and included five stories of excited Obama
fans who pulled their kids out of school or cast their first vote for
Obama. Tim Craig's front-pager offered the political analysis about how Dems hoped to
take the state.
Here's one last sign of how out-of-whack the B-1
placement of the huge 23,000-strong McCain-Palin Fairfax rally was: on August 7, the Post gave similar B-1 placement with color photo to Michelle Obama
"mingling with hundreds" at a fundraiser and reading to school children in
I have no doubt there are many, many readers of the Washington Post who not
only have no problem with this overt bias in favor of Barack Obama but are happy
as larks that it exists.
But I also have a strong feeling that an increasing number of people who want
neutral reportage rather than cheerleading are disturbed by the Post (and
countless other media venues) behaving this way.
If Barack loses the presidential election (a prospect that seems to
grow every day), I wonder how much of it will be backlash voting by people who
resent this, and assume that McCain may be a lot more attractive
- and Obama a lot less so - that what is being reported.
THE BUSH DOCTRINE: DOES IT EVEN EXIST?
Charles Krauthammer is no fan of the selection of Sarah Palin as John
McCain's running mate. But he knows BS posing as a serious question as
well as the next man, maybe better than both.
That is why he has written his latest column, which makes mincemeat out of
Charlie Gibson's intentionally dishonest question to Sarah Palin about the Bush
Here it is,. See for yourself:
Charlie Gibson's Gaffe
By Charles Krauthammer
Saturday, September 13, 2008
"At times visibly nervous . . . Ms. Palin most
visibly stumbled when she was asked by Mr. Gibson if she agreed with the Bush
doctrine. Ms. Palin did not seem to know what he was talking about. Mr. Gibson,
sounding like an impatient teacher, informed her that it meant the right of
'anticipatory self-defense.' "
-- New York Times, Sept. 12
Informed her? Rubbish.
The New York Times got it wrong. And Charlie Gibson got it wrong.
There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine.
In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another
over the eight years of this administration -- and the one Charlie Gibson cited
is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different.
He asked Palin, "Do you agree with the Bush
She responded, quite sensibly to a question that
is ambiguous, "In what respect, Charlie?"
Sensing his "gotcha" moment, Gibson refused to
tell her. After making her fish for the answer, Gibson grudgingly explained to
the moose-hunting rube that the Bush doctrine "is that we have the right of
I know something about the subject because, as the
Wikipedia entry on the Bush doctrine notes, I was the first to use the term. In
the cover essay of the June 4, 2001, issue of the Weekly Standard entitled, "The Bush Doctrine: ABM, Kyoto, and the New
American Unilateralism," I suggested that the Bush administration policies of
unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol,
together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should
be called the Bush doctrine.
Then came 9/11, and that notion was immediately
superseded by the advent of the war on terror. In his address to the joint
session of Congress nine days after 9/11, President Bush declared: "Either you are with us or you are with the
terrorists. From this day forward any nation that continues to harbor or support
terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." This "with
us or against us" policy regarding terror -- first deployed against Pakistan
when Secretary of State Colin Powell gave President Musharraf that seven-point ultimatum to end support for the
Taliban and support our attack on Afghanistan -- became the essence of the Bush
Until Iraq. A year later, when the Iraq war was
looming, Bush offered his major justification by enunciating a doctrine of
preemptive war. This is the one Charlie Gibson thinks is the Bush
It's not. It's the third in a series and was
superseded by the fourth and current definition of the Bush doctrine, the most
sweeping formulation of the Bush approach to foreign policy and the one that
most clearly and distinctively defines the Bush years: the idea that the
fundamental mission of American foreign policy is to spread democracy throughout
the world. It was most dramatically enunciated in Bush's second inaugural
address: "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the
success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the
expansion of freedom in all the world."
This declaration of a sweeping, universal American
freedom agenda was consciously meant to echo John Kennedy's pledge in his inaugural address that the United States "shall pay any
price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe,
in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty." It draws also from
the Truman doctrine of March 1947 and from Wilson's 14 points.
If I were in any public foreign policy debate
today, and my adversary were to raise the Bush doctrine, both I and the audience
would assume -- unless my interlocutor annotated the reference otherwise -- that
he was speaking about the grandly proclaimed (and widely attacked) freedom
agenda of the Bush administration.
Not the Gibson doctrine of preemption.
Not the "with us or against us"
no-neutrality-is-permitted policy of the immediate post-9/11 days.
Not the unilateralism that characterized the
pre-9/11 first year of the Bush administration.
Presidential doctrines are inherently malleable
and difficult to define. The only fixed "doctrines" in American history are the
Monroe and the Truman doctrines which come out of single presidential statements
during administrations where there were few other contradictory or conflicting
foreign policy crosscurrents.
Such is not the case with the Bush
Yes, Sarah Palin didn't know what it is. But neither does Charlie Gibson. And at least
she didn't pretend to know -- while he looked down his nose and over his glasses
with weary disdain, sighing and "sounding like an impatient teacher," as the
Times noted. In doing so, he captured perfectly the establishment snobbery and
intellectual condescension that has characterized the chattering classes'
reaction to the mother of five who presumes to play on their
That's our media. And Charlie Gibson is front-and-center within it.
But listen to Gibson and the rest of them squeal like stuck pigs if you call