Thursday, 01 January 2009


Ken Berwitz

L. Brent Bozell, who runs the Media Research Center, has written a very worthwhile piece on the prospect of Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg being appointed to the U.S. Senate.  Here is what he has to say:

Bozell Column: Sweet on Caroline

One sign the liberal news media live in a plastic Manhattan bubble is their undying ardor for the Kennedy Myth, best known by that public-relations construct "Camelot." Instead of a president and First Lady, they believe, we had the King and Queen of Glamour. Never mind if their marriage was a joke and his list of presidential accomplishments was short. Never mind if the Republican half of the country feels sickened by the obsession. The media preferred the myth and they still do to this day. It is why they are promoting the anointment of unaccomplished Caroline Kennedy for the U.S. Senate in New York.

The very same media which spent months dismissing former mayor and Gov. Sarah Palin as too inexperienced for national office is now championing a woman whose primary qualification her only qualification -- is her last name. The very same media which still mock Palins folksy "you betcha" or her interview with Katie Couric dont seem to notice when John Fund reports that in one 30-minute interview on the cable news channel New York One, Caroline Kennedy used the slang "you know" a total of 168 times.

How will Caroline Kennedy be expected to cast votes in the Senate when shes cared so little about voting as a citizen? Faced with reports that she had missed voting in several New York elections, including the 1994 re-election effort of Sen. Daniel Moynihan (the Senate seat she now expects to be handed like royalty), Kennedy told the Associated Press "I was really surprised and dismayed by my voting record. I'm glad it's been brought to my attention."


Theres a long line of New York politicians who are more qualified and more deserving of a Senate seat than this dippy heiress even liberal ones. Yet they have to watch this wannabe sound like one of her limo drivers just handed her the dismaying news of her own voting history? You know?

But the Kennedy-worshiping media elite just cant stop scratching their Camelot itch, showing those ridiculously over-broadcasted home movies of the Kennedy kids, and marveling over Caroline Kennedys life story. From "Nightline," heres ABC high-fructose syrup specialist John Donvan: "She would be the fourth Kennedy to be called senator. Surely a new dynastic record. And her return to Washington would close a circle after nearly half a century. For this is where, when her dad was the president, we first came to know the little girl, riding his shoulders, saddled up on ponies."

Riding ponies in your playground years somehow qualifies you for federal office, at least if your last name is Kennedy.

Donvan set the bar of qualifications incredibly low, for Caroline Kennedy had no drug arrests or overdoses, and no rape trials, unlike her cousins: "Other Kennedys of her generation ran afoul of the law, but Caroline Kennedy raised her kids and did work for charity and did the family name proud." Never mind that she admitted doing drugs in the 1970s "like a typical member of that generation."

Caroline is also allegedly qualified because she had no Chappaquiddick: "Consider this, Ted Kennedy, same name, but it took him years to figure out how to become the Lion of the Senate, with multiple missteps along the way, not always doing the name proud....At least she has kept it the way it was remembered, as part of a story that so many wanted to believe in."

Back in August, this same network treated John McCains choice of Palin with nothing less than contempt. They "looked a little like father and daughter out for an ice cream," said ABCs David Wright. This is the same David Wright who swooned when Caroline Kennedy endorsed Obama last January. Obama became the "adopted son of Camelot...blessed not just by the Lion of the Senate, but by JFKs daughter."

McCain aide Mike DuHaime attempted to tout Palins "incredible life story" when she was first picked, but ABC anchor Bill Weir told him that in the "brutality of a national campaign," Palin was neglecting her duties as a mother: "She has an infant with special needs. Will that affect her campaigning?" This is the same Bill Weir who found the first whispers of Caroline Kennedy for Senate "exciting to talk about."

Reporters are incredibly transparent in their biases these days. Experience is a huge issue unless a Kennedy is running. Motherhood isnt a qualification for office unless a Kennedy is running. Smarts are important unless a Kennedy is running.

In short, the media have a slight possibility of being fair unless a Kennedy is running. You know?

Frankly, Mr. Bozell is too snide and contemptuous of Ms. Kennedy Schlossberg for my taste.  But he is also making some excellent points about the neverending media adoration of all things Kennedy.

And, to be fair, after watching Sarah Palin take the drubbing she did from much of the same media which is in permanent drool mode over Caroline, I suppose he can be excused for a little excess.

Meanwhile, Governor Paterson of New York has yet to make a decision about the senate appointment.  Maybe he's too busy trying to figure out what new personal goods and services he can buy with his campaign funds.  There's got to be something he hasn't used them for already.....


Ken Berwitz

Here is a short story from the Jerusalem Post.  It is about Israeli neighbors who huddle in a bomb shelter to protect themselves from the artillery fired at them from Gaza.  See if you notice anything unexpected:

In Beersheba, rockets bring Arab, Jewish neighbors together

Jan. 1, 2009

Beersheba looked like a ghost town Wednesday afternoon, as the sporadic wail of sirens and rattling booms of Grad rockets prompted many to stay within the relative safety of their homes, glued to their TVs and radios.

But in the city's Gimmel neighborhood - a heavily-Sephardi, working class bloc near the city center - people stood outside the entrance to a bomb shelter, passing the time with jokes and gossip while waiting anxiously for the next siren or boom.

"We didn't hear it this morning," Riki Yitzhak said. "The siren hasn't been working in this part of town at all, so we left our houses and came to the shelter. I'd rather stay here all day than go home."

Yitzhak explained that she and the others were crowded around the shelter's entrance and had just stepped outside to get a breath of fresh air.

"There are many more people downstairs," said a man who stood with the small crowd, his Hebrew peppered with an Arabic twang. "I'd say there are at least 50 people down there."

Down the flight of stairs and into the shelter's main room, it became apparent he had left out at least one unusual detail.

Sitting around the room, Jewish women pored over books of Psalms and other religious texts, while Arab women, dressed in traditional head coverings and long, modest dresses, sat next to them, knitting scarfs and caps for their young children who waited nearby.

"Look at this," Yitzhak said as she followed the crowd back down the stairs. "This is a mixed neighborhood - Jews and Arabs live here together, and we're all suffering from the rockets together. These women are scared just like we are, and they're our neighbors - we decided that we should all stay down here together."

Indeed, the Arab families, mostly Beduin, said they were happy to be with their Jewish neighbors in the shelter, and that they abhorred the rocket fire coming in from Gaza.

"What do I care about Hamas?" one of the Arab men asked, his anger visible. "This is my home right here, and they're firing rockets at it. Do you think they would stop if they knew there were Arabs living here?"

Others expressed their satisfaction with life in the neighborhood, until it was disrupted by the rocket fire.

"I've been living in this neighborhood for over 10 years," said Daoud Khaled, whose kids hung onto his pant legs as he spoke.

"I love it here, I want to keep living here forever. I have fantastic neighbors, and I'll tell you, in the Gimmel neighborhood, we're all in this together. There's no Arab and Jew here, we're all like one."

Miriam, who was standing nearby, chimed in: "We're like one big family, we get along," Then, switching to Arabic, she asked the woman sitting next to her, "How long have you been here? Eight years?"

The woman nodded, "Yes, eight years in the neighborhood."

"You see," Miriam continued, "we all get along just fine."

But aside from their stories of coexistence, nearly everyone in the shelter said they were scared, tired, and anxious to get back to their regular lives.

"Have you heard anything about when this is going to be over?" asked Muriel, a younger girl who said she had been in the shelter all day. "It's stuffy down here, and we want to go back up. But, how can we leave if more rockets are going to come down?"

Others tried to keep the mood light.

"Listen," one of the Arab men, Hamed, said. "We don't have to go to work today, the kids aren't in school, so we'll just enjoy each others' company. My wife just went to the house to bring candy; everything is going to be just fine."

Huh?  Jews and Arabs living together in the same area?  In peace?  Wait a minute, that must be propaganda, we all know it isn't true.  Jews and Arabs never live together in the Middle East.

Well it is true.  And you can find it all over Israel.  Beersheba, Haifa, city after city, neighborhood after neighborhood.

That is the untold story of Israel.  About one eighth of all Israelis are Arab - almost as many Arabs in Israel as Blacks in the United States.  And while there are tensions between Arabs and Jews, and areas within the country which are exclusively one or the other, the fact is that many Israeli Jews and Arabs live together in harmony.

Try to find that in any Arab country on the face of the earth. 

You certainly won't find it in "moderate" Jordan, which has never knowingly had one Jewish citizen.  That's not a sarcasm or an exaggeration, it is a fact.  Jordan was created and remains "judenrein" - no Jews allowed.  I bet most readers didn't know that any more than they knew how many Jews and Arabs live together in Israel.

Try to find peaceful coexistence between Jews and Arabs in Egypt.  Or Syria.  Or Lebanon.  You might as well look for a rainforest in the Arctic Circle.

Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, it should be noted, are the four Arab countries bordering Israel. 

If that gives you a sense that Israel is an oasis of tolerance and mutual respect in a desert of intolerance and know something most people have no idea of.

And if you're counting on our wonderful "neutral" media to educate you about it?  Keep looking for that arctic rain forest.  You have about the same shot at finding it.


Ken Berwitz

From Rasmussen research:

Sixty-two percent (62%) of Republicans back Israel's decision to take military action against the Palestinians, but only half as many Democrats (31%) agree. A majority of Democrats (55%) say Israel should have tried to find a diplomatic solution first, a view shared by just 27% of Republicans.

Wake up.  For god sake, wake up.

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