Conversations with Michael Eisner

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8PM & 11PM ET


Too Good to Paraphrase

Bill Moyers explains why the Internet is the most "Democratic of all media." Read it.

Google Earnings up 92%

Google continues making that money.

NBC is undergoing a Digital Makeover

Network television, for half a century the unquestioned leader in media profitability and viewership, is wrestling with the same challenge facing newspapers, news magazines, radio and other traditional media properties: how to manage costs while converting to digital delivery in an increasingly splintered media landscape. Although the promise of revenue in the new era is great, actual revenues from Internet and mobile media services still are not.
As a result of this, the network is cutting 700 jobs and slashing $750 million from its budget.

Blair Makes an Announcement

Britain will pull out of Iraq in 12-18 months.


CBS Correspondent Dies

Longtime CBS Correspondet, Christopher Glenn, has passed today of liver cancer.

Universal Starts with the Lawsuits

Financial Times:
Universal Music has launched the established media industry’s first legal action against rapidly growing user-generated websites by filing copyright suits against start-ups Grouper.com and Bolt.com.

In separate lawsuits, Universal alleged that Grouper and Bolt had built up traffic by encouraging users to share music videos from its artists without their permission.
That's odd, Youtube probably shows far more copyrighted videos than these two startups. I wonder if Google's acquisition of Youtube last week had anything to do with this.

The Power of the Book

Howard Kurtz has an great piece on the lasting power of books in a media society currently driven by online and multimedia ventures.
In an age of blogging, podcasting, BlackBerrying and instant messaging, when any thought can be expressed within nanoseconds, an old-fashioned form of technology is making a comeback.

It's called the book, a collection of pages, bound between hard covers, that generally takes at least two years to report, write, edit and publish, using the kind of presses that date to the 15th century.
It is worth a read.

Americans Don't Trust Bush

Raw Story:
A poll conducted last week by the New York Times and CBS news found that just 16% of Americans believe the Bush Administration is telling the truth about what they knew prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Juxtaposition of Headlines

Huffington Post does an excellent job of pointing out the absurdity in a recent Cheney statement by placing the following headlines at the top of the page.


Addicted to the Internet

I'm afraid I might fall into this category.

White House on the Offensive

Apparently the White House Communications Office is now in the business of refuting news coverage that they do not view as favorable. This is a broad departure from the type of activities previous administrations have participated in.

The Emperor Wears no Clothes

Andrew Sullivan lays the smack down on the participants in an unannounced Bush pep talk that took place last month.
Who are these people called in to meet the president for a pep talk? Here are the toadies awaiting instructions and talking points: Mike Gallagher, Neal Boortz, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity and Michael Medved. It forces one to ask the question: what is the difference between journalists fawning on a president, taking spin directly from him, cozying up to him - and paid propagandists whose job it is to advance the interests of those who already wield power?
The extent to which some of these so called "journalists" are willing to barter integrity for access is appalling. Even more offensive, and just as pervasive, is the manner in which the Bush administration rewards journalists who cover the Republican party line by granting them exclusive interviews. I, like many others, dream of the day when Bush finds the courage to accept an interview by Keith Olbermann, Jack Cafferty, Stephen Colbert, or anyone else who might actually ask tough questions. Unfortunately, I don't see that happening anytime soon.

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EU Seeks to Regulate Video Bloggers

Bad news comes from the Times:
The Government is seeking to prevent an EU directive that could extend broadcasting regulations to the internet, hitting popular video-sharing websites such as YouTube.

The European Commission proposal would require websites and mobile phone services that feature video images to conform to standards laid down in Brussels.

Ministers fear that the directive would hit not only successful sites such as YouTube but also amateur “video bloggers” who post material on their own sites. Personal websites would have to be licensed as a “television-like service”.

I Never Thought the Day Would Come

The New York Times has embedded a Youtube video in an article.

Google Goes Green

From Slashdot:
Reuters is reporting that Google is equipping its headquarters with a solar panel 'capable of generating 1.6 megawatts of electricity, or enough to power 1,000 California homes.' This will make Google's Mountain View campus the largest solar-powered office complex in the United States.
Apparently Google is ahead of the curve in more ways that one.

David Gregory Does Bush

Chief White House Correspondent for NBC, David Gregory, does a quick yet hilarious impression of the president on Leno. Click here to watch it.

Pombo's Blog is Exclusive

Apparently you have to be invited by the Pombo campaign to be able to read the Pombo campaign blog.

I signed up for an account with WordPress, as the instructions tell you to do. But I was told "You’re logged in, but don’t have access to this blog. You may contact the blog administrator to gain access."
Somebody apparently doesn't get it.


Saddam's verdict will be read on November 5th.


Andrew Sullivan on Colbert Report

Sullivan, one of my favorite conservatives, was on Colbert last night. Video via Daily Dish:

Sullivan makes a great point about the divide over homosexuality within the Republican party. On this, and many other issues, the party seems to have some soul-searching to do.

Tony Snow is Wearing Too Many Hats

David Gergen is not happy about the fact that Tony Snow is using his position as Press Secretary to do major fundraising work for his party. Money quote:
“The principal job of the press secretary is to present information to reporters, not propaganda,” said David R. Gergen, who served in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations and also advised President Bill Clinton. “If he is seen as wearing two hats, reporters as well as the public will inevitably wonder: is he speaking to us now as the traditional press secretary, or is he speaking to us as a political partisan?”
Snow is scheduled to attend 16 fundraisers between now and the mid-term election.

Woodward Interviews Kerry

In an interview with John Kerry, Bob Woodward makes clear what most people already realize: Kerry would have been a better president than Bush.


Interview with the Editors

Check out this fascinating interview with two editor of a Toronto paper that releases the afternoon edition in PDF format.

Treating Journalists as Publishers

An article at Huffington Post discusses the problems inherent in news organizations paying journalists to blog based on the traffic they recieve. From the article:
To treat journalists like mini-publishers is a slippery slope. For all of blogging's editorial opportunities -- the freedom to innovate or the chance to collapse the normally endless magazine response to timely issues -- the journalists are no longer simply doing their job.

When the mission is tied -- directly, through the incentive of increased financial compensation -- to maximizing traffic, the blogger is as much a marketer as they are a journalist.
The whole thing is worth a read.


Changes at The NYT & NPR

New York Times Editorial page editor, Gail Collins, will step down from the position in January.

NPR's News Chief has resigned as well.

GOP Rep Bob Ney Pleads Guilty

Good news:
Rep. Bob Ney pleaded guilty Friday in the Jack Abramoff influence-peddling investigation, the first lawmaker to confess to crimes in an election-year scandal that has stained the Republican-controlled Congress and the Bush administration.

Standing before Judge Ellen S. Huvelle, Ney pleaded guilty to conspiracy and making false statements. He acknowledged taking money, gifts and favors in return for official actions on behalf of Abramoff and his clients.

Ney did not immediately resign from Congress, and within minutes, Republican and Democratic leaders vowed to expel him unless he steps down. The White House also called for Ney's resignation.
And bad news:
Air America Radio, a liberal talk and news radio network that features the comedian Al Franken, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, a network official told The AP.

The network had denied rumors just a month ago that it would file for bankruptcy. On Friday, Air America spokeswoman Jaime Horn told The Associated Press that the filing became necessary only recently after negotiations with a creditor from the company's early days broke down.

The network will stay on the air while it resolves issues with its creditors, Horn said. In addition to Franken, the network also features shows from liberal talk show host Randi Rhodes and Jerry Springer.
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Online Conference on Digital Media

This conference will actually take place online in an interactive javascript environment. How cool is that? I plan to "be there" with bells on.

Join keynoters Howard Rheingold, author of Smart Mobs, among many other books and articles, and danah boyd, noted researcher and speaker on social networking, for this 2-day examination of the impact of digital media on all aspects of our daily lives.

The conference features 45-minute live breakout sessions conducted in an interactive online format, each with a "live/interactive" component, a "presentation-on-demand" component, and a vibrant threaded discussion that will expand on and illuminate the topic.

Designed for both synchronous and asynchronous participants, the event will be conducted entirely online using an innovative conferencing environment provided by NMC Distinguished Partner LearningTimes. Attendees of NMC's online meetings enjoy a wide range of features commonly associated with their traditional face-to-face conferences, including interactive sessions from engaging presenters, "hallway" conversations, chances to ask presenters questions, and more.
The subject matter of the conference is fascinating as well.
The conference is designed to extend the examination of this phenomenon now underway among leading writers and researchers in the MacArthur-sponsored project to a broader audience, and further explore both the positive and negative aspects of technology on learning, social interaction, self-expression, and more.

Digital media, for this event, is interpreted broadly as anything from the traditional uses of the medium for creating and sharing rich content to the explosion of blogs for self expression, and increasingly, real time interpretation of news and breaking events. Also included is the notion of shared content via sites like Flickr, YouTube, and blip.tv, social sites like FaceBook and MySpace, and more powerful content and media search tools.

Hastert to Resign in the Next Few Days?

Think Progress:
This afternoon on MSNBC, controversial evangelist K.A. Paul announced that Speaker Dennis Hastert promised him on Tuesday that “he would resign with one week.”

Paul met with Hastert on Tuesday for more than thirty minutes, during which time Paul says he asked Hastert to resign. Hastert’s spokesman described it as a “cordial discussion,” but claimed that Hastert had been “duped” into the meeting.

The Iraq Question

A juxtaposition of the three countries with the largest troop committment in Iraq.

The presence of UK armed forces in Iraq "exacerbates the security problems" and they should "get out some time soon", the head of the British Army has said.

Chief of the General Staff Sir Richard Dannatt told the Daily Mail that the military campaign fought in 2003 had "effectively kicked the door in".

He also said that initial planning for the post-war period had been poor.

PRIME Minister John Howard says he would be surprised if Australian troops are still in Iraq in 2010, but is refusing to set any timetable for a withdrawal.

The U.S. Army is planning to maintain present troop levels in Iraq through 2010 in case they are needed, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker said Oct. 11.

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Does the Left Control New Media?

Robert Cox of The Examiner seems to think so.
Google understands this dynamic, which is why the company announced Monday that it will purchase YouTube — a company that has never made a dime — for $1.65 billion. YouTube fits very well within the Google online media portfolio. The company already owns Blogger.com, the most popular blog hosting site online, and Google News, which in two short years has become one of the top news sites in the world.

Don’t think it matters? Consider that, according to USA Today, 98 percent of the money donated to political parties by Google employees — “Google Millionaires” — went to Democrats.

But it’s not just Google’s media and financial muscle that benefits the left. Liberals run the leading blog search engine — Technorati. They run the leading blog software manufacturer — Six Apart. They invented two of the most important blogging technologies — Podcasting and RSS. The list goes on and on.

The Fox Presidency

Tony Snow explains how is experience with Fox News helps him as White House Press Secretary:
Snow says his years as host of "Fox News Sunday," and especially as a radio host, were ideal preparation for the daily briefings, because you have to "think on your feet" with callers and guests. When facing reporters, he says, "if you can't roll with the punches and give sensible answers, you're going to get killed." And, he says, "if you try to spin guys, they're going to see through it."

Mark Warner won't Run in 2008

Democratic former Virginia Governor Mark Warner announced today that he will not run for President in 2008. Warner is conservative fiscally and moderate socially and was considered by many to be the Democrats' best hope for picking up electoral votes in the South. Hopefully he puts his machinery and Forward Together PAC to good use by supporting other candidates.

Update: Glenn Reynolds suggests that he has had doubts for several months.


Misleading AP Headline on North Korea Policy

Bush says U.S. Won't Attack North Korea

That is the headline of an AP article that hit the wires just over an hour ago. It is currently the top headline on many news sites. Anyone who listened to the press conference, however, knows that the headline is misleading. From the AP article itself:
Bush said the United States remains committed to diplomacy but also "reserves all options to defend our friends in the region."
Reserving all options does not sound like he has ruled out the possibility of a military response. What Bush actually said was that the U.S. "has no intention of attacking" North Korea. Where have we heard that phrase before? In 2002 Bush repeatedly claimed that he had "no intention of attacking Iraq." February 2002:
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said in remarks published Sunday that he has received assurances from President Bush the United States has no intention of attacking Iraq.
The significance of this is twofold:

1. The American people should (and many do) know by now that Bush cannot be trusted when he says he has no intention of attacking a country. He lied to get us into a war with one country in his "axis of evil," why wouldn't he do it again?

2. The Associated Press has a responsibility to inform their readers. The fact is, many people skim headlines and only read the articles that are particularly interesting to them. When the headline reads "Bush Says U.S. Won't Attack North Korea," many people will take them for their word and breathe a sigh of relief without actually clicking the link. By publishing the article with the headline they chose to use, the Associated Press is willingly taking part in the deception of the American people with regards to current U.S. policy on the North Korean nuclear crisis. In the AP it says:
We abhor inaccuracies, carelessness, bias or distortions. It means we will not knowingly introduce false information into material intended for publication or broadcast. Quotations must be accurate, and precise. If a quote's meaning is too murky to be paraphrased accurately, it should not be used.
Perhaps someone at the AP needs to re-read this section in light of their recent editorial mishap.

If you would like to contact the AP about this, as I have done, use the email address info@ap.org and please post any responses in the comments.

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Mid-Day News Roundup

Only 45 percent of Democrats are very confident their votes will be counted, and only 30 percent of blacks are confident. Almost six in 10 of all voters polled had a lot of confidence their votes will be counted, according to the AP-Pew survey.
The U.S. Army has plans to keep the current level of soldiers in Iraq through 2010, the top Army officer said Wednesday, a later date than Bush administration or Pentagon officials have mentioned thus far.
The president of OPEC, Edmund Daukoru, said today that the 11 members of the oil cartel have agreed to trim production by 1 million barrels a day.
USA Today:
The Justice Department approved AT&T's (T)purchase of BellSouth (BLS) on Wednesday, clearing a major hurdle for reuniting two parts of the old Ma Bell phone monopoly that the government broke up in 1984.
Wish I had some good news for you, sorry, it just isn't in the cards.

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Digby on Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews, to me, is the perfect embodiment of the delusional, millionaire DC courtier who thinks he is channeling the common man. The beltway is full of those guys apparently, but Tweety has a very special perch from which he dispenses all kinds of what he thinks are folksy observations about "Real Americans" but which are actually 50's cartoon characters along the lines of Fred and Wilma Flintstone. He's a fascinating case study in how the dysfunctional DC political media are completely immersed in rightwing bias and don't even know it.
Spot on.

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Study: Internet Overtakes Newspapers as Primary News Source in Europe

Via Telecom Asia:
The Internet has overtaken newspapers and magazines as Europeans' main source of news and feature-type information, according to a new study quoted by an AFP report. "The fact that Internet consumption has passed print consumption is an important landmark for the establishment of the Internet in the European media mix," JupiterResearch's vice-president Mark Mulligan was quoted as saying.

The AFP report further said the main factors affecting Internet use are age and broadband access, according to the report.

So for example France, which has the highest rates of broadband household access, also registers the highest average hours spent online whereas Germany ranks lowest in both cases, the report said.
It had to happen eventually. I wonder what the domestic numbers on this look like.

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John Stewart Reads Blogs

I read the Huffington Post and Instapundit, and I click through from them to items that interest me.
As expected, Stewart has good taste.

A quick note here on Instapundit: While I don't generally agree with the viewpoints, I also frequent the blog. After reading Glenn's book, An Army of Davids, I was truly fascinated and hooked on his writing style. Furthermore, he updates constantly and links to interesting stories on a broad array of topics. If you haven't yet explored the world of Instapundit, I suggest you do so.

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CJR Daily on the Role of the Press

Columbia Journalism Review:
Part of mainstream journalism's problem today is that it tries to have it both ways. On the one hand, there is an almost reflexive desire to hide behind the mantle of the objective, just-the-facts, observer of life's rich pageant. On the other, we tend to bristle when it is suggested that we are not doing enough to set the agenda -- or lead the debate. When the New York Times chooses to front a story about potentially illegal eavesdropping by our government -- after choosing to hold it for a year -- it is leading a national debate. The Miami Herald and the St. Petersburg Times chose not to go with a story on congressman Mark Foley's inappropriate behavior toward underage pages. ABC News chose differently. We now have a national debate about the actions (and inaction) of Foley and his GOP superiors in Congress.
If you are into this sort of thing (and I assume you are), read the whole article.

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Reuters Editor Fired for Writing Anti-Coulter Book

Jane Hamscher at Firedoglake tells it like it is.
It appears that Reuters has fired editor Joe Maguire for writing a book critical of Ann Coulter, entitled: Brainless: The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter.
Apparently it was a violation of some sort of objectivity clause in his contract. The truth is, Reuters is just afraid of being attacked by the right for having such a partisan on their editorial staff.
Reuters has been mau-maued by the right before. You want to know how the media gets bullied and whipped into repeating nothing but right wing talking points if they want to keep shoes on their kids' feet? This is how it happens.

Now we don't have the ability to hurl powerful politicians at them, or throw teams of expensive, angry think-tank funded lawyers at them, but we can vote with our pocket books like we did with Keith Olbermann's book (and it should be noted that Keith's ratings since his Rumsfeld moment have gone up 69%).

If you want to give people a reason to stand up to right-wing bullies like the borderline human Coulter who seems to have the ability to have people guiliotined from their jobs if they displease her ladyship, buy this book.

You can buy the book from Amazon, here.

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Google has Officially Acquired Youtube

Moments ago the deal was confirmed. In their largest acquisition to date, Google has acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in an all stock transaction. Both companies have approved the deal, which should officially close in the fourth quarter. YouTube’s 65 employees will remain with the company at YouTube’s San Bruno headquarters.

Details are also emerging that Yahoo was in the bidding war until very close to the end.
You can listen to the conference call the two companies did today here.

This deal has huge implications for the future of new media. With Newscorp's purchase of Myspace, the deal yesterday, and rumors circulating that Yahoo may be purchasing Facebook, the major players in social networking all seem to be going corporate. It remains to be seen whether this will be a positive development or not. Myspace, since being acquired, has considerably more advertisements. The same is likely to happen with Youtube given Google's unique position in online advertising. I am optimistic, however, about the outcome of this deal. Google is a respectable company with vast resources that will inevitably improve the service Youtube provides.

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Fox is at it Again

Via a Dkos Diary:
This weekend I was idly flipping channels and happened to land on Faux News' "Beltway Boys." They were discussing incumbent senators who face uphill battles in their reelection bids.

And guess what? After all of last week's craziness regarding their incessant labeling of Mark Foley as a Democrat, here's what they put up while discussing the Rhode Island Senate race between Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D):


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The Foleygate Fallout Continues

As the second full week of Foleygate begins, the questions remain: Who else was involved in the cover-up and will they be held accountable? Something tells me there will be several more revelations this week.
The bipartisan ethics panel met Thursday for the first time, approving nearly four dozen subpoenas for witnesses and documents regarding improper conduct between lawmakers and current and former pages and who may have known about it.
If it turns out, as it likely will, that Democrats did not in fact know about this, Republicans may find themselves wishing they hadn't pushed the "who knew about this" meme so hard. Below I've listed some of the key players (thus far), and their general involvement in the matter.

Mark Foley

Kirk Fordham

Dennis Hastert:
tried to blame the Democrats and the news media for leaking the story but then accepted responsibility. He's resisted pressure to resign his speaker's post over his handling of the scandal. Also, more than half of those surveyed in a Newsweek poll released this weekend believe Hastert tried to cover up news of Foley's messages to the pages.

John Shimkus :
Republicans and Democrats alike have criticized Shimkus, a Republican from Collinsville, House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and other House leaders over how they handled the scandal.

The Democrat running against incumbent U.S. Rep. John Shimkus says fallout from the congressional page scandal has breathed new life into his campaign in southern and central Illinois.

Centralia Councilman Danny Stover said most people who have contributed to his campaign in the past week were angry over how Shimkus - who is chairman of the board that oversees the page program - handled the matter.

Stover's campaign Web site has gotten more hits since the scandal broke than it has during the rest of the campaign combined.

Tom Reynolds:
On July 27, 2006, the NRCC, which Reynolds chairs, accepted an unusually large contribution of $100,000 from Foley. Hard to imagine something of that size just slipping past the chairman. Reynolds is now in something approaching open war with the Speaker of the House amid recriminations over who knew what when.
His absence on the Sunday talk shows was particularly noticeable. Booked weeks ago for ABC's "This Week," he confirmed his appearance on Wednesday. By Saturday, his office cancelled without explanation and arranged for a substitute guest.

Jim Kolbe:
A Republican congressman knew of disgraced former representative Mark Foley's inappropriate Internet exchanges as far back as 2000 and personally confronted Foley about his communications.

A spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) confirmed yesterday that a former page showed the congressman Internet messages that had made the youth feel uncomfortable with the direction Foley (R-Fla.) was taking their e-mail relationship.
Regardless of the specifics, the toll on the Republican party is just beginning to be seen.

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The Challenges of Modern Journalism

Bob Scheiffer
I cannot remember a time when it's been more challenging for journalists. Why does the government need a list of my phone calls? And what business does a democracy have running secret prisons? Do you believe that anyone would have known about these secret prisons or what was going on in Abu Ghraib if it had been left to the government to announce it?
More journalists need to ask these types of questions.

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Image Making: MSM vs New Media?

Greg Sargent breaks it down on the role of mainstream media in shaping John Kerry's image. Money quote:
To whatever extent Kerry was seen as an elitist by the electorate, big news orgs like the Post were every bit as instrumental in shaping that image in the minds of voters as Drudge was, and almost certainly more so. As for the debatable point made by Mehlman, which is that the big news orgs "have to" follow Drudge, in Kerry's case "old media" didn't just simply follow Drudge, they all too often actively pushed the same storylines.
When it is about taking credit for something positive, the mainstream media is all over it. When it is about taking blame for something negative, they immediately point to blogs and new media. This is becoming commonplace and far too predictable. As Sargent implies, although a new media source may break a story, it often wouldn't, as they say, get legs, without the help of more traditional outlets.

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North Korea Joins the Nuclear Club

North Korea said Sunday night that it had set off its first nuclear test, becoming the eighth country in history, and arguably the most unstable and most dangerous, to proclaim that it has joined the club of nuclear weapons states. The test came just two days after the country was warned by the United Nations Security Council that the action could lead to severe consequences. Senior Bush administration officials said they had little reason to doubt the country’s announcement, and warned that it would usher in a new era of confrontation with the isolated and unpredictable country run by President Kim Jong-il.
Kudos to The Times for placing this in the proper context:
The explosion was the product of nearly four decades of work by North Korea, one of the world’s poorest and most isolated countries, a country of 23 million people that appears constantly fearful that its far richer, more powerful neighbors — and particularly the United States — will try to unseat its leadership. The country’s founder, Kim Il-sung, who died in 1994, emerged from the Korean war determined to equal the power of the United States, and acutely aware that Gen. Douglas MacArthur had requested nuclear weapons to use against his country.
This seems to be a lesson that is lost on the Bush administration: military conflict can have longstanding ramifications. I sincerely hope the U.S. responds to this without resorting to violence.

Here is the statement released by North Korea:
"The field of scientific research in the DPRK successfully conducted an underground nuclear test under secure conditions on October 9, 2006, at a stirring time when all the people of the country are making a great leap forward in the building of a great, prosperous, powerful socialist nation.

"It has been confirmed that there was no such danger as radioactive emission in the course of the nuclear test as it was carried out under scientific consideration and careful calculation.

"The nuclear test was conducted with indigenous wisdom and technology 100 percent. It marks a historic event as it greatly encouraged and pleased the KPA and people that have wished to have powerful self-reliant defense capability.

"It will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the area around it."

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Another GOP Rep. Implicated in Foleygate

Washington Post is running this tomorrow on the front page.
A Republican congressman knew of disgraced former representative Mark Foley's inappropriate Internet exchanges as far back as 2000 and personally confronted Foley about his communications.

A spokeswoman for Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) confirmed yesterday that a former page showed the congressman Internet messages that had made the youth feel uncomfortable with the direction Foley (R-Fla.) was taking their e-mail relationship.
This comes after a long weekend of Republicans blaming the coverup on Democrats on the talking head shows. The questions that still remain: Who else knew about this and will they be held accountable?

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Happy Birthday Fox!

Hilarious video courtesy of Newshounds:

The Mainstream Media Can Wait

Mediabloodhound wonders why the mainstream media didn't cover the massive World Can't Wait protests that took place on October 5th.
Thousands of protestors in over 175 cities across the United States took part in today's "Drive Out the Bush Regime" demonstrations (organized by World Can't Wait). But you wouldn't know it from watching the national TV news tonight.

CNN, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, ABC World News and PBS' NewsHour ignored this day of American protest, as did their corresponding websites. Considering the predominant U.S.-centric focus of these newscasts, it's interesting how a nationwide protest against this administration is the one exception to that rule.
Following this intro the post lists the stories that were covered by the aforementioned outlets.

Mediabloodhound has just been added to my blogroll.

Online Journalism Awards

The winners have been announced. Conspicuously missing: Huffington Post and all bloggers. How can you have online journalism awards without including bloggers?

Journalism is a Dangerous Game

The World Association of Newspapers today condemned the 'shocking murder' of , the Russian journalist. Ms Politkovskaya, a reporter for the Novaya Gazeta newspaper, was found dead Saturday afternoon from a bullet wound in the elevator of the building where she lived in Moscow.
To make matters worse:
She was the 76th journalists killed world-wide in 2006, the most deadly year since WAN began keeping records of journalist murders in 1997.

According to BBC, Deputy Prosecutor Vyacheslav Rosinsky said that one theory was that the killing had been "linked to the victim's social or professional duties".

Her own newspaper, Novaya Gazeta, suggests on its front page that she was killed for her reporting on Chechnya.

Rupert Murdoch: The Time Interview

Can be found here. The highlight for me:
Q: Is there anything that Fox has done in the past 10 years that in retrospect you thought was "unfair and unbalanced"?

A: Nothing I can think of. As someone who is reputed to be more conservative than I really am, I get annoyed sometimes that subjects are not put out properly, explained properly. But in short, no. Roger Ailes has been insistent on equal time for all sides.

The GOP Base is Eroding

For the first time since 2001, the NEWSWEEK poll shows that more Americans trust the Democrats than the GOP on moral values and the war on terror. Fully 53 percent of Americans want the Democrats to win control of Congress next month, including 10 percent of Republicans, compared to just 35 percent who want the GOP to retain power. If the election were held today, 51 percent of likely voters would vote for the Democrat in their district versus 39 percent who would vote for the Republican.

Wow. It is about time but still pretty unexpected.

A nationwide poll of 1,500 registered voters released yesterday by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center found that 57 percent of white evangelicals are inclined to vote for Republican congressional candidates in the midterm elections, a 21-point drop in support among this critical part of the GOP base.


Ezra Klein on the Value of Book Reviews

An interesting read:
This is partly a quirk of journalism: Very few outlets will simply allow a writer -- even a renowned one -- to publish an essay on a large subject of their choice. Magazine articles require ledes, color, and interviews, while op-eds constrain you to three paragraphs and a bio line. But that doesn't mean writers don't have long, non-reported ideas on big subjects that they'd prefer not to turn into books. So political publishing has come up with a sneaky compromise: Publications will let you spend pages and pages ostensibly reviewing a book, when what you're really doing is crafting an essay on the book's subject. That way, the piece ostensibly "reports" on an event -- the release of a new book. And since many writers want to expound on foreign policy and the left, Beinart's book, which addressed that precise topic, has proved perfect cover.

Tony Snow on Bush's Comma Comment

Amazing. Good luck trying to spin this one Tony.

WaPo Editor Caught in Lie

Here is a fascinating Think Progress post in which the claim that conservatives have the edge in new media is thoroughly debunked.


Hastert: Would Resign if it Would Help Republicans

Raw story has the news:
Embattled House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) has told conservative activist Paul Weyrich that he would resign if it would help the Republicans, Congressional Quarterly is reporting.

"He said if he thought that resigning would be helpful to the Republicans maintaining the majority, he would do it," Weyrich said in an interview. "But he did not think it would be helpful for Republicans."
Hastert's reasoning for why he thought his resignation would not be beneficial to Republicans was interesting:
"[Hastert] said he thought his resignation would just lead to a feeding frenzy where they would go after (Majority Leader John A.) Boehner, then (Rep. Thomas M.) Reynolds, then (Rep. John) Shimkus. And he said we would have the story running right up to the election."
David Sirota makes a great a point about this:
Understand what Hastert is saying: He’s not going to resign because he feels embarrassed that he helped cover up a child sex predator’s behavior. No, he’s only going to resign if he feels it will help Republicans.
Here are some of the latest numbers:

Survey USA:

43% think he should resign from Congress.
20% think he should resign his leadership position as speaker.
27% think he should remain speaker.
Just 10% are "not sure" what he should do.

Rasmussen Reports:
The Rasmussen Reports survey found 61 percent of Americans believe Republicans have been "protecting Foley for several years." Only 21 percent believed the GOP leaders learned about Foley's problems last week.
A Time magazine poll showed that two-thirds of Americans who knew about the scandal believed the Republican leadership tried to cover it up. Just 16 percent approved of the way Republicans have handled it.
And there is also, of course, the Fox News internal poll mentioned yesterday:
House Republican candidates will suffer massive losses if House Speaker Dennis Hastert remains speaker until Election Day, according to internal polling data from a prominent GOP pollster, FOX News has learned.

"The data suggests Americans have bailed on the speaker," a Republican source briefed on the polling data told FOX News. "And the difference could be between a 20-seat loss and 50-seat loss."
Quite frankly, I'm surprised Hastert didn't resign Friday afternoon to take advantage of the weekend news dump. It seems unlikely at this point that he'll hang on until the election; doing so would just keep attention on the Foley scandal all through October. Unfortunately, given the short political attention span of the American public, Hastert may be able to ride this one out relatively unscathed. I guess it depends in part on how fast the ethics probe begins picking up steam. Regardless of the political ramifications, it seems clear to me: Hastert participated in this cover-up and for this he must be relieved of his leadership duties in the House, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Media Outlets Eligible for Nobel Peace Prize

Guardian (registration required):
Forget the Pulitzer prize. Drop the Royal Television Society Awards. Journalists could be in line for the ultimate international accolade: the Nobel peace prize.

On October 13, when this year's laureate will be announced, media outlets could join the select group of statesmen, human rights campaigners and international organisations that have won, arguably, the world's most prestigious honour.

"Media organisations could receive the Nobel peace prize in future," Professor Geir Lundestad, the secretary of the Norwegian Nobel committee, told MediaGuardian.co.uk.
Somehow I doubt it will happen this year. Then again, why else would they make this public just a week prior to the announcement of this year's winner?

Google to Purchase Youtube?

For $1.6B? It is in the works.

Daily Show vs. Network News

Which would you think has more substantive news coverage -- traditional broadcast network newscasts or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart?

Would you believe the answer is neither?

Julia R. Fox, assistant professor of telecommunications at Indiana University isn't joking when she says the popular "fake news" program, which last week featured Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf as a guest, is just as substantive as network coverage.
It goes on:
The study, "No Joke: A Comparison of Substance in The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and Broadcast Network Television Coverage of the 2004 Presidential Election Campaign," will be published next summer by the Journal of Broadcast and Electronic Media, published by the Broadcast Education Association.
Here is the kicker:
Not surprisingly, a second-by-second analysis of The Daily Show's audio and visual content found considerably more humor than substance -- Stewart himself has insisted that he is a comedian and not a journalist. A similar analysis of network coverage found considerably more hype than substance in broadcast newscasts. Examples of such hype included references to polls, political endorsements and photo opportunities.
So humor to the daily show is like hype to the broadcast newscasts. Sounds about right to me, at least Stewart is honest about it.

Irresponsible Press Corps

Atrios calls them out, all of them:
We're all a bit annoyed that reporters are unwilling to call a lie a lie, but there's something even worse going on. I've found that reporters are unwilling to believe that they're being lied to, based on an odd belief that their power to fuck over the person who lied to them insulates them from things. There's such a strong presumption of innocence based on their own perceived power. Which they never use. It's weird.

The odd sight of b-list Republicans fanning out to suggest that what this scandal is really all about is What Nancy Pelosi Knew And When She Knew it is somewhat entertaining, but it's really time for the press corps to not put up with this game.
It is as if they are afraid that if they call a lie what it is they will be accused of a liberal bias. Calling someone out for lying is not a liberal bias, it is practicing journalistic integrity. If calling someone out for lying is liberal than sign me up. As it stands, Republicans across the board are beginning to blame Democrats for the timing of this story, with no proof whatsoever. I wish we had someone other than Olbermann and Cafferty to call them out on this.

Playboy Blog Recommendations

Playboy, in its latest issue, listed their top 10 favorite blogs. Among those included are Tapped and Daily Dish. Andrew Sullivan quipped:
It's the highest honor a gay man could get: I'm at the top of the list of their favorite blogs.
Funny, those are some of my favorite blogs too. Maybe I should be reading playboy...

The Problem with Big Media

Or, as I should say, one of the problems with big media. Aside from narrowing viewpoints, the unwillingness to take chances and squeezing out the competition, another major problem is the tendency to get rid of publishers who don't support spending cuts:
The LA Times isn't sugarcoating the truth: Today it reports that publisher Jeff Johnson, who earned grateful appreciation from his staff by putting his foot down against cuts imposed by owners The Tribune Company, was duly "forced out" by those owners earlier today. The LAT's James Rainey makes the connection right off the bat:

The Tribune Co. forced out Los Angeles Times Publisher Jeffrey M. Johnson this morning, a little more than a month after he defied the media conglomerate's demands for staff cuts that he suggested could damage the newspaper.
Deadline Hollywood is not pleased.

The Real Foley Story

In response to this WSJ article Christy Hardin Smith on FDL had the following to say:
Here is a thought for all the reporters out there: how about the next time some Republican talking head raises the straw man that Democrats planted this story, why not simply ask them to produce some proof other than just tossing off a straw man.

The fact that Brian Ross of ABC News who broke this whole mess says this accusation is untrue — that his source was a Republican – makes me wonder if the source was a Republican who is gunning for Hastert's leadership position. Wouldn't that make a nice, fat, juicy story for a hard-working reporter to break instead of just allowing people to spew unsubstantiated ass-covering talking points with no foundation in fact whatsoever and then not calling them on it? Yeah, I thought so.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Video on Critical Media

Students from my Alma Mater, Miami University, in the Interactive Media Studies department (where I took several classes), have just been recognized for a DVD they produced.
A project designed by a professor and students in Miami University's interactive media studies (IMS) program to help high-school and college students think critically about the media won the Grand Prize Faculty/Student Collaboration Award from the Fair Use Free Speech Film Contest. The contest is sponsored by the University Film and Video Association (UFVA) and the Center for Social Media at American University in Washington, D.C.

Bettina Fabos, assistant professor with a joint appointment in interactive media studies and journalism, led 18 students in an IMS capstone class in spring 2006. They designed a DVD, "Critical Media," which contains 18 segments ranging from five to eight minutes.

The segments confront a wide range of media issues, including the problem of direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical advertising, racism in local TV news, the Channel One in-school commercial TV news service, and the ethics of the U.S. government's public relations practices. The DVD uses many excerpts of television, film and print, using copyrighted material under the legal exception for fair use and criticism.

"The DVD encourages students to become critical consumers of media messages and more knowledgeable about the political and economic circumstances in which our commercial media system operates," said Fabos, who has a professional background in documentary video production and journalism.
You can watch the video here.

The Death of the Liberal Media Bias Myth

An otherwise worthwhile editorial in Friday's Washington Post entitled New Media A Weapon in New World Of Politics makes the claim that:
Former president Bill Clinton had a televised temper fit when an interviewer challenged his terrorism record.
The editorial is of course referring to the Fox News interview by Chris Wallace embedded below.

Before the video was even aired, Fox News was promoting it with this image:

The rest of the MSM quickly picked up on this and began characterizing Clinton's performance in the interview as conspiratorial, red with rage, belligerent, and ranting. MSNBC went as far as to do an entire segment on the fact that Clinton's pants hiked up and showed about an inch of his leg during the interview. What the mainstream press didn't mention, but Think Progress did, was that:
He set the record straight on his efforts to combat terrorism, the Bush administration’s record and the tactics of Fox News.

Compare this with how the major media networks have treated Bush's anger and attacks on the press. Below are several of the affronts on the media Bush has made in the last few years. Keep in mind that these all involved a sitting President and didn't garner anywhere near the attention that Clinton's interview with Wallace did. Also keep in mind that these are just a few examples out of dozens that exist.

Insulting CNN's Wolf Blitzer to his face:

Insulting a blind reporter:

Explaining how he "catapults the propaganda":

Getting testy with David Gregory:

And Finally, here are some hilarious Bush clips for good measure:

It is time we put the myth of the liberal media to rest once and for all. It has dominated the discourse for far too long.


ABC News: 3 More Pages Come Forward

Via Andrew Sullivan:

ABC News is reporting that three more former pages have come forward with allegations of sexual IM communications from disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley. As Andrew points out:
The GOP is going to have to find another angle to deflect this. They've tried blaming the MSM; they've tried blaming Clinton; they've tried to turn all the victims into pranksters. It's been a worthy display. But in the end they may have to take ... responsibility.
From ABC:
The pages served in the classes of 1998, 2000 and 2002. They independently approached ABC News after the Foley resignation through the Brian Ross & the Investigative Team's tip line on ABCNews.com. None wanted their names used because of the sensitive nature of the communications.
In the same story, ABC also debunked Matt Drudge's claim that the original page who came forward was just trying to play a prank:
"This was no prank," said one of the three former pages who talked to ABC News today about his experience with the congressman.
This is typical Drudge. He tosses unlikely scenarios out there in an attempt to make the issue cloudy. Much of what he publishes would not even be considered by a credible news outlet. If only 5% of the people are fooled by his bunk stories he considers it a success. The premise of this is that something that would normally be considered a huge failure by the republican party is construed by a minority as something else. If you ask me, drudge can have his 5%, all discerning people know better.

This is what Journalism Looks Like

This is old news but is worth reading for anyone who is unfamiliar with the story: Sudan frees jailed US journalist.

NFL Restricts Post-Game Interviews

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, the NFL is now restricting local news sites from posting video of postgame press conferences or locker room interviews. “Video from our stadiums on game day is one of our most valuable assets, including video of our people, players, coaches talking about the game,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL’s vice president for public relations. “The policy is designed to ensure that our rights holders, who have paid for access to that asset, receive the value they’ve paid for.” The new rule applies to game day, not to press conferences during the week. Of course, journalists are livid. “There is a smell here,” said the Poynter Institute’s Bob Steele, “and it gives the impression that the NFL and the teams are more interested in their own financial protection than they are helping the public understand what goes on in the field with the players in the games.” Well, I think it’s obviously the case, isn’t it? Meanwhile, the Washington Post and the Associated Press — with their lawyers — plan to ask new NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to reverse the new restriction.
This is a damn shame. Unfortunately, the only way the NFL will reconsider this is if they start losing revenue as a direct result. This is not likely to happen, or at least, not in a way in which the correlation can be verified. It seems to me though that the NFL would be smart to realize that football fans love pre and post-game interviews. If they want to increase the value of their product, they might want to pay more attention to the desires of their consumers.

From a journalistic point of view it is just rotten. Anything that decreases the access that reporters and journalists have to the stories they are covering is a bad thing and will have negative impacts on the coverage.

Right Wing Media Blasted for Outing Pages

Utterly shameless. In an attempt to intimidate other pages that may come forward, right wing media outlets are releasing identities as fast as they can:
Rush Limbaugh re-victimized Mark Foley's teenage victim today by using his name publicly, as did Matt Drudge. (Both Roger Simon and InstaCracker made sure the identity was widely disseminated by linking to the no-name wingnut blogger to whom the original dirty work was tasked.)  Because it's not enough that their leaders are beating off online during national security votes, or that the GOP spent years covering the whole thing up — no, no they must do their part to harass, bully and intimidate anyone who threatens their authoritarian cult, even the young victims of sexual predators.  Especially if there might be other kids thinking of stepping forward with similar stories (as three more now have).  It's the manly thing to do, after all.

Jane got it right when she said, "How low can they go?"

Foley Fallout: A New Fox Poll

A new Fox News Poll indicates that the fallout from Foleygate/Predatorgate/Pagegate may be larger than expected:
"The data suggests Americans have bailed on the speaker," a Republican source briefed on the polling data told FOX News. "And the difference could be between a 20-seat loss and 50-seat loss."
Remember, Democrats only need to pick up 16 seats to take control of the House.

Additionally, the mistakes of Foley and Hastert present plenty of opportunities for Democrats politically. Kos points out an example of such in this exchange regarding the Tennessee Senate race:
In TN, How does Harold Ford, Jr. beat back an NRSC ad that notes he once partied with Playboy bunnies?

Says Ford: "I'm not going to take a lecture on morality from a party that took hush money from a child predator."
Kos goes on to point out that:
Foley will continue to pay political dividends to Democrats not because they are taking advantage of a horrible situation, but because Republicans refuse to be held accountable for their screwups.
Somehow I don't think this was the October surprise Republicans were hoping for. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, the ethics probe is underway.

The Blogger who Scooped the MSM

From the anonymous blogger who broke the Foley story.
I'm not interested in media interviews. Thank you for your interest, but if you were doing your job to begin with, Mark Foley would have been exposed a long time ago. Instead of wanting to do a story about this blog, how about covering the fact that the media sat on this story for over a year. You're as bad as the Congressional Leadership that covered for Foley.
He goes on to write:
I am not Karl Rove, Mark Foley, or John Boehner. I am not employed in Democratic politics. I am not 'funded' by George Soros. I'm nobody that anybody should care about.


Media Cheerleads for War in Iran

Norman Soloman makes a strong case that media outlets are not doing their job as a watchdog when it comes to the buildup to war in Iran. He writes:
When the media system undermines the free flow of information and prevents wide-ranging debate, what happens is a parody of democracy. That’s what occurred four years ago during the media buildup for the invasion of Iraq.
He goes on to explain how the same process is taking place again regarding Iran. You should read the whole thing, now.

Katrina's Lesson for the Press

CJR Daily:
One of Katrina's lessons for the press, perhaps, is how such crises offer newspapers a chance to recapture the position of civic leadership that they once enjoyed. The Sun Herald spearheaded and served as a forum for the recovery effort. It managed to print a paper every day during the disaster, keeping intact the legacy of 121 years of uninterrupted daily reporting. During the height of the crisis, the Sun Herald distributed the paper for free. Without going into much detail, Tiner explained that the paper's staff raised about $325,000 among themselves, which was matched by Knight Ridder (the paper's owner at the time), enabling it to distribute approximately 80,000 free papers a day for six weeks.

Many Sun Herald reporters stayed behind when the storm was at its worst, reporting on the paper's blog in real-time. To Tiner, real-time blogging was one of the paper's greatest achievements. While the national media were preoccupied with the devastation in New Orleans, the Sun Herald blog enabled people across the country to grasp the true scope of the disaster.

The Nature of the October Surprise

With Republicans polling poorly and Iraq beginning to look like Arabic for Vietnam, an October surprise by the administration would come as, well, no surprise. Adding fuel to the speculative fire, Newsmax recently reported that Karl Rove has been promising Republican insiders such a surprise to help them maintain control of the House and the Senate. Given the fact that this administration has repeatedly placed politics before policy and seems more interested in maintaining power than protecting the American people, it is safe to say that an October surprise is on the way in the next few weeks.

Below I present several possibilities for the form this surprise may take, along with evidence supporting the likelihood of each. I have listed them in what I understand to be the most likely order of probability, from greatest to least.

1. A Pre-Emptive Strike on Iran

Former Senator Gary Hart made a surreal prediction of this possibility a few weeks ago:
The president will speak on national television. He will say this: Iran is determined to develop nuclear weapons; if this happens, the entire region will go nuclear; our diplomatic efforts to prevent this have failed; Iran is offering a haven to known al Qaeda leaders; the fate of our ally Israel is at stake; Iran persists in supporting terrorism, including in Iraq; and sanctions will have no affect (and besides they are for sissies). He will not say: ...and besides, we need the oil.

Therefore, he will announce, our own national security and the security of the region requires us to act. "Tonight, I have ordered the elimination of all facilities in Iran that are dedicated to the production of weapons of mass destruction....." In the narrowest terms this includes perhaps two dozen targets.
Making his argument seem even more likely, Hart goes on to write:
Were these more normal times, this would be a stunning possibility, quickly dismissed by thoughtful people as dangerous, unprovoked, and out of keeping with our national character. But we do not live in normal times.
Despite the hope offered by plans for talks and negotiations between the two powers, many analysts fear that the opportunity for a peaceful solution may be passing. As MSNBC reports:
The US and Iran appear to be on the brink of missing what analysts see as an historic opportunity to engage in comprehensive, high-level talks because of a complete lack of trust on both sides.
It looks as if the timing for the administration couldn't be better:
The US is set to resume its efforts this week to get a United Nations Security Council resolution that would impose limited sanctions against Iran for failing to heed an August 31 deadline set by the council to suspend enrichment.
The White House does not believe the Iranian leadership is serious about negotiations. And in Tehran there is intense suspicion about US motives and an understandable reluctance to throw away one of its strongest cards – the ongoing enrichment programme – before talks even begin.
Time Magazine recently asked the question "What Would War Look Like" in Iran and led the story with the following:
A flurry of military maneuvers in the Middle East increases speculation that conflict with Iran is no longer quite so unthinkable.
Given all of these factors, and the fact that a major Administration strategy for holding onto Congress in this election is to appear to be the party that is "tough on terror," a pre-emptive strike on Iran looks to be the most likely of the possibilities.

2. A Major Terrorist Attack on U.S. Soil or a Thwarted Plot

As the UN Observer points out, this administration has developed a habit of catching terrorism suspects at highly suspect times:
The day after Senate Democrats brought a vote to pull out of Iraq, we catch a few idiots in Miami who were supposedly trying to blow up the Sears Tower, despite the fact that they lacked the means and ability to do so. Then there were the guys busted for supposedly plotting to blow up a New York subway exactly a year after the London bus bombings. And don't forget the release of new Osama bin Laden tapes just before the 2004 election as well as the very day after the Supreme Court decision striking down the Guantanamo Bay military tribunals. And now today, a few men in England were arrested for a plan to blow up planes flying to America, just a day after Connecticut voters flatly rejected Joe Lieberman and the war in Iraq.
This, coupled with the fact that Bush's approval ratings were by far the highest immediately following 9/11, leads me to believe that we may be in for another terrorist attack, either successful or thwarted. Chris Weignant makes an interesting point about this possibility on HuffPo:
Some argue that this would hurt Republicans in the elections ("You haven't kept us safe!"). Others argue that it would help Republicans ("You were right about the War on Terror, please protect us!"). My guess is that it would depend on the timing. If it happened less than a week before election day, I bet it would help Republicans. If it happened any further out than that, voters might have time to reflect, and pin the blame for the attack on the Republicans.
The rest of his article is worth reading for an even broader range of October surprise possibilities.

3. A Pre-Emptive Strike on North Korea

North Korea just announced that they will be conducting a nuclear weapons test sometime in the near future. The U.S., of course, repsonded in a threatening tone:
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Chris Hill had a blunt warning for North Korea. "It can have a future or it can have these weapons," said Chris Hill. "It cannot have both."
Keep in mind that North Korea, though it has been largely ignored by the administration lately, is part of the original axis of evil. An attack on North Korea would not only act as an October surprise, it would also serve as the ultimate distraction from the quagmire in Iraq.

Possibilities not included for reasons of brevity, unlikelihood, and/or absurdity.

The Capture or Death of Osama Bin Laden.
The Revelation that Lamont and Woodward are gay lovers.
Cancellation of the Election for National Security Purposes.
Cheney and/or Rumsfeld resignation.
Victory and/or Troop withdrawal in Iraq.
Cheney Heart Attack or other health problems.

Add your own possibilities in the comments!

Iraq Is No Longer Newsworthy in WaPo

11 U.S. Troops, 52 Iraqis Killed. This is from today's Washington Post, hidden on page A21.

Meanwhile on page A4, you can find: Stepping Up Attacks, Bush Calls Democrats 'Softer' on Terrorists.

ABC Would Rather Talk About Steve Irwin

New York Daily News:
Barbara Walters landed a big get last week with her exclusive "20/20" interview of croc hunter Steve Irwin's widow. But it didn't come cheap.

Sources inside and outside ABC News are questioning the ethics of a whopping "licensing fee" that Terri Irwin and her late husband's manager, John Stainton, demanded for footage of the daredevil.

While some sources say ABC coughed up $1 million or more, an ABC exec argues the network paid "mid-six figures."
It is quite telling of the state of affairs within modern journalism when networks are willing to pay such a pretty penny for a fluff story. Perhaps they should stay focused on the story that has been earning them attenion lately.

Predators, Pillagers and Pre-9/11 Failures

As Kos says, Cliff Schecter strikes again. Kudos to Cliff for keeping real and repeatedly holding his own despite the lies of those he debates.

Youtube of Fox Calling Foley a Dem

Andrew Sullivan has it embedded. I still can't believe this.

YearlyKos 2007 is in...


We're pleased to announce that the 2nd Annual YearlyKos Convention will take place August 2 - 5, 2007 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago is not only a truly great American city but it's also has strong support in the Kos community. It's got everything that we liberals pine for: great museums, efficient public transportation, diversity, a strong union presence, delicious food and, of course, a huge convention center. YearlyKos 2007 is going to be bigger and better than 2006, and maybe even a little more fun.
Now that we've got the dates set, don't let yourself arrive in Chicago wishing that you had been an exhibitor -- email our exhibits coordinator, Robyn, at exhibits (dot) yearlykos (at) gmail (dot) com, and become one today!

If just exhibiting your goods at YK isn't enough, and you want to step up and become a sponsor, email our Fundraising Director, Linda, at sponsors (dot) yearlykos (at) gmail (dot) com. We've got all levels of sponsorship so don't be shy!

Want to volunteer to help with YearlyKos? Send us an email at volunteers (dot) yk (at) gmail (dot) com.

You can also support YearlyKos Convention by making a donation today.


Sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words.

AP Plays the Same Game as Fox

Thanks to Josh Marshall for pointing this out. From the San Jose Mercury News:
[Dobson] touched on the uproar over former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, D-Florida, who resigned Friday in a scandal over electronic messages he sent to former teenage male congressional pages.
This has since been corrected but as Marshall pointed out, this is how the AP sent it out over the wire so thousands of other papers probably made the same mistake.

Hastert and Harris Jump on the Conspiracy Bandwagon

Hastert has officially lost it. By it, I am of course referring to any semblence of credibility. Believe it or not, the speaker of the house has actually stooped to implying that the timing of the Foley story is part of some liberal plot to influence the election. Apparently Foley isn't the only GOP Congressman who is painfully delusional. On the Rush Limbaugh show today Hastert said the following:
There were two pieces of paper out there, one that we knew about and we acted on; one that happened in 2003 we didn’t know about, but somebody had it, and, you know, they’re trying — and they drop it the last day of the session, you know, before we adjourn on an election year. Now, we took care of Mr. Foley. We found out about it, asked him to resign. He did resign. He’s gone. We asked for an investigation. We’ve done that. We’re trying to build better protections for these page programs.

But, you know, this is a political issue in itself, too, and what we’ve tried to do as the Republican Party is make a better economy, protect this country against terrorism — and we’ve worked at it ever since 9/11, worked with the president on it — and there are some people that try to tear us down. We are the insulation to protect this country, and if they get to me it looks like they could affect our election as well.
Listen to the audio.

Hat tip: Think Progress.

Just to clear up the fact that this story was not given to the media just prior to the election intentionally, take note of this. As The New York Times points out, Brian Ross, the reporter who broke the story, indicated that his sources were republicans.
Mr. Ross dismissed suggestions by some Republicans that the news was disseminated as part of a smear campaign against Mr. Foley.

“I hate to give up sources, but to the extent that I know the political parties of any of the people who helped us, it would be the same party,” Mr. Ross said, referring to Republicans.
Update: Katherine Harris is now on board with the conspiracy theory.

From Firedoglake:
Oh, god, it's Katherine Harris. She's baaaaaack. And here's what she has to say about Foleygate: "The media are being quite disingenous to make it a partisan issue. If anything, the Republicans didn't know about these issues and we're going to be very anxious to find out who in the media and on the other side of the aisle knew this and kept it from the public interest as our children were at stake…"
Wow, just wow. The nerve of this woman never ceases to amaze me. Trex on FDL sums it up nicely:
The fact is that this is a Republican scandal, made by Republicans, perpetrated on Republican Youth, covered up and hidden by, yes, Republicans. They have no one to blame on this but themselves.
Time to Resign, Denny.

Office of Meddling Bloggers

The OMB is now welcoming help from anti-pork bloggers. Looks like a smart move to me.

Hat tip: Instapundit.

Fox Attempts Subliminal Message

Via the Democratic Party on Myspace.com:
While a former congressional page, Tyson Vivyan, was talking about the e-mails he recieved from Mark Foley on The O'Reilly Factor tonight,10/3, a photo was flashed on the screen labeled Mark Foley D.-Fl. This happened at 8:30 and 8:32 PM ET. The second shot appeared conveniently after Vivyan revealed that Foley was known as FFF for Foley Fag from Florida.
It looks like Fox believes that the electorate is so ignorant that they might be fooled by something like this. I wonder how many Fox viewers will be under the impression that Foley is a Democrat after all is said and done. This serves as proof, once again, that Fox is either completely incompetent or outrageously corrupt. If I had to guess I would say that it is a combination of the two.

Jay Rosen on Citizen Journalism

Slashdot just published a fascinating collaborative interview with Jay Rosen of Pressthink. As Slashdot says in the intro:
This is a "must read" for anyone interested in the growing "citizen journalism" movement either as a writer/editor or as an audience member -- and please note that Rosen and many others say, over and over, that one of the major shifts in the news media, especially online, is that there is no longer any need to be one or the other instead of both.
Here is the money quote:
I think we have to accept that Big Media, which isn't going anywhere, is society's default legitimacy-distribution machine. But that doesn't mean it works well. The machine itself can lose legitimacy without exactly falling apart. If you're an upstart publisher of news and you suck at it, Big Media will try to ignore you. If you're an upstart publisher of news and you're really good at it, Big Media will try to ignore you. Then when you assume the shape of a writes-itself story--first bloggers to go to the political conventions!--Big Media will over-cover you, spreading a small bit of understanding over lots and lots of stories. Six months later it's time to debunk the trend they missed, then over-hyped and finally misdescribed. It's not personal. It's protective. It's also cheaper than figuring out what's going on.


Olberman on Letterman Tonight

Right about now on the East Coast.

The Truth about Faux News

Via Peggy Noonan:
One can't exaggerate how large Fox looms in the liberal imagination. They see it as huge and mighty and credit it with almost mythical powers. It is a propaganda channel whose mission it is to destroy the Democratic Party. That's part of why Clintons' performance had such salience. Finally he was standing up to an evil empire.

It is odd that they are so spooked. In October America is set to become a nation of 300 million. What a big country. Fox News's average evening prime-time viewership is less than two million. Its average daytime is less than a million. And if my mail is an indication, they're already Republicans. Fox's power is that it is an alternative to the mainstream media. It did not take its shape by deeply inhaling liberalism and slowly breathing it out.
Amen to that.

The Foley Incident is Getting Nastier

And so is the state of journalism.

First this, regarding this:
It turns out that several news agencies had information that Foley was a child predator and chose to sit on the story rather than do real reporting -- you know, the stuff their readers supposedly pay for. And as a result of their negligence, a sexual predator continued to roam the halls of Congress.
Then this:
It's confirmed. Congressman Tom Reynolds' (R-NY) chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, tried to broker a secret deal last Friday to get ABC News to cover up the worst part of the Foley child predator scandal, the lurid five-plus-page instant message chat in which Foley asked a child to measure his penis and then led the child into a detailed discussion of masturbatory techniques.

The Myth of the Liberal Media

Via Firedoglake.

Mike Viqueira, Chairman of the Radio-Television Correspondents' Association wants to flip the script on predatorgate:
Everything is partisan around here, Chris, even this; a lot of Republicans suspect that Democrats have held onto this and disseminated it at the last minute just six weeks before the midterm elections.
Since when is it appropriate for someone in his position to talk about what "a lot of republicans" suspect? A lot of democrats might suspect that gas prices are at the lowest point in years six weeks before the midterm elections to boost republican support but you certainly won't hear anyone in Viquiera's position discussing that idea. For what it's worth, a lot of republicans also suspect that the mainstream media as a whole has a strong liberal bias.

WaPo weighs in and reveals the fact that the FBI knew about all of this in July. This fact definitely deserves some attention and scrutiny. Let's see if anyone else picks up on this and looks further into it.

The Washington Times gets it right, sort of

You know things are going bad for Republicans when the right-wing mouthpiece the Washington Times is calling for Hastert to resign. Although they minimize their calls for his resignation by claiming that this is not a "republican scandal", the impact of this could still be disastrous for GOP leadership. Here is the money quote:
House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once. Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week's revelations -- or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away. He gave phony answers Friday to the old and ever-relevant questions of what did he know and when did he know it? Mr. Hastert has forfeited the confidence of the public and his party, and he cannot preside over the necessary coming investigation, an investigation that must examine his own inept performance.
As if often the case, Drudge caught word of this first.

Andrew Sullivan makes an interesting point:
There is a very sick irony in the possibility that of all the issues that this Congress deserves rebuking on, they may end up being most damaged by coddling and protecting a sexually predatory creep.
I couldn't agree more.