Friday, February 11, 2005

An Inside Look at Dan Rather

Each issue of Vanity Fair Magazine always brings me an extremely interesting tidbit. I get the feeling that VF honestly doesn't think anyone on the right reads this magazine. The Editor Graydon Carter's years of over the top anti-Bush, anti-Republican rants may have driven all those even leaning to the moderate right away, so perhaps I am the only one.

Michael Wolf has an article on the demise of the nightly network news. He describes this year's annual CBS holiday press party when Dan Rather suddenly appears in the room. Wolfe says he seemed "stoic, willfully dignified, his face set, almost immobile." As Rather headed toward him Wolf wondered how to tactfully deal with Rather's professional disgrace. Wolf finally manages, " you think it is that you have become such a......buzzword.....for the right wing.? "You tell me." Rather replied. Wolf said Rather stood "like an old soldier, stiff, stuffed, painfully erect."

How did he become a buzzword? Hasn't Rather always been what we deemed on the right as bias? This isn't new. We have ranted about Rather for decades. But this time Rather tried to put a fake document on the air, run a story that was false, and he got caught. But Rather, of course, doesn't see it that way.

"Civil Rights," said Rather. "Vietnam, Watergate. These were the stories we told. We're now being blamed for them." You are being blamed for never being fair politically. Your being blamed for letting your ideology come before your journalistic ethics. How many of us on the right were for Civil Rights? Against Vietnam? Horrified by Watergate? I think a great many of us. No, Dan, it wasn't the stories, it was the way you framed them. And it wasn't even those stories. It was all the stories in the years since. Decades of bias reporting that sent most of us to talk radio to TRY to get the other side of the story.

If it hadn't been for Rather, there would be no Fox News. Not because he paved the way, but because the marketplace demanded some fairness.

But even Wolf admits how pathetic that sounds:

"That we were back in the 60's was certainly pathetic. That we were blaming all our troubles on the great right-wing conspiracy was equally weak. Recalling all this was another way of saying that Rather, at 73, was not just a screwup, but misty with age."

Wolf then even admits what all in the network news business felt:

"I was or could be with just a little push, helplessly back in the cool and hegemonic and liberal network world. Our world. Our lost world. Our better world. When the news was the news. When we were young. When our side was winning. What had happened?"

Well, for one thing Mr. Wolf, the news wasn't "the news" and that was the problem. It was Dan Rather's version of the news. You even admit your side was winning. Should there have been "a side" in network news? Of course not. Which is why the right became so frustrated. I wish your world were lost, but it is still holding it's own, despite Rather. A better world? I'll just leave that one alone.

Mr. Wolf becomes brutally honest regarding the report on the memo scandal:

"Although the CBS report took special pains not to accuse the evening news of bias (a more dreadful sin than incompetence), surely Rather and company were thinking that they could kill the king."

He goes on:

"The king lives, however. Rather and the CBS's news division are dead. And their dying is for CBS's chairman, Les Moonves, something of a wet kiss."

But Wolf ends with an amusing belief. He says he doubts you could have a fruitful discussion about the value of the news with the CEO's of Viacom, G.E., and Disney "even on the best days-those without ominous calls from the Bush administration."

So the administration can strong arm those CEO's on the news, huh? An interesting but hardly realistic take I think.

There is no doubt that our voice is being heard now. There is no doubt that we have finally gotten our message out. But it took 2 decades of Rush and almost a decade of Fox News to get us there. And finally we have the bloggers, although not well known outside the internet and political circles, bloggers such as Instapundit, Hugh Hewitt, LGF, Powerline and Wizbang are no longer going to allow stories to go unchecked. Call them gatekeepers if you will. Most don't do it for money either, they do it for the love of politics, for the love of their ideas, for the love of truth.

You might call this a level playing field now.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Jeff Gannon....Who?

Ok, let me get this straight. If your a unknown reporter from a never heard from news organization and you asked the President a question in such a way that makes it obvious you are conservative and the leftie bloggers go insane investigating you, calling you gay (Kos, is there something wrong with that to you???) and because of all the invasion of your privacy, you quit your job and announce it at your website.

Ace of Spades gives us the Top Ten Reactions from Conservatives on this. (Very funny and has the guy's picture) sums it up nicely quoting the hypocritical Kos. via Beautiful Atrocities

Are the leftie bloggers so desperate this days they have to swoop down on unknown journalists like the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz.

They are just never going to get over that Dan Rather thing, are they?

UPDATE: Kevin at Wizbang has more on this BIG STORY. Kevin also has a bit on the hypocrisy of the leftwing bloggers on this.

I'm sure you have heard all about the 27-year-old former teacher Pamela Rogers Turner who was arrested and charged with 15 counts of sexual battery by an authority figure and 13 counts of statutory rape for having sex with a 13 yr old student. For some takes on it:
Wizbang , Diggers Realm, Protein Wisdom , Six Meat Buffett , and Angry In The Great White North.

To begin with, if I hear another man say he wished he had had a teacher like that have sex with him when he was 13 I am going to puke. Also, when looking through the bloggers on this I could not find a single female blogger who had blogged on it. If you know of one, let me know.
If you read the commenting section on those blogs you will see the VAST difference of opinion between the men and the women. Most men are just babbling about how hot she is.. ect. (I know, there are exceptions) The women are totally disgusted by it, as we all should be. Some, like Digger, are asking why a goodlooking young woman would not just find a man her own age? Why a 13 yr old? Digger thinks they must be crazy. I think they are just a result of our culture. We are a sex saturated culture and as I have said over and over again, we have done little to keep our children from it. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the 13 yr old who started everything, or when she started it he knew just what to do. The amount of "instructional material" is readily available in every video store, most movies and music videos, not to mention the internet.

The 27 yr old woman grew up in a society that glorified sexuality. What is the difference between the pictures Britney Spears appeared in GQ and pictures in a 1975 Playboy magazine? Hardly any. How many R rated movies have sex scenes that would have been considered porn in the 1960's? Tons. One of the most popular TV shows of recent times is "Sex In The City." A show basically about slutty women sleeping with whoever fits their fancy. One show had the 30 something character having an affair with a college student who lived with his parents. The humor was all about his "young" interests like skateboarding and comic books, and his mom calling him to come home from her apartment while they were in bed, yet she just loved that young sex. Another show had one of the women characters lying about her age to bed a younger man while on spring break at the beach, and then she gets the crabs. She then gets a co-worker she doesn't like back by encouraging her to sleep with the guy.

Lovely stuff, huh?

Young women growing up in a time and perhaps a home where there doesn't seem to be any sexual boundaries, certainly no moral or religious standards to abide by, where does she learn where to draw the line? How many daughters have watched their Dad dump their mom for a young woman close to their own age? (Or have an affair, as in Clinton's case)

Demi Moore lives with a guy not much older than her oldest daughter and everyone thinks that is just great.

The sad fact is that we have blurred the line so much in our culture about when sexual activity should begin and who it should be with, that our kids are getting the message that just about everything is ok as long as you use "protection."

Aren't we all tempted with desire? We desire things we know are wrong all the time. Part of being responsible is learning to control those desires. Look at the many that cannot control their desire for food to the point where their weight and health are in jeopardy. There are also many who cannot control their sexual desires to the point of putting their relationships (and criminal behavior) in jeopardy.

Some people refer to overeating as medicating themselves with food. I think many also "medicate" themselves with sex because, as Clinton put it, they can. Digger thinks this former teacher is crazy, I think she is just a product of our culture, a culture that does not protect kids, nor even see them as such in their teenage years.

I found this opinion piece in Arab News. I liked it for his objectivity. It seems to be more sincere and less poltitical. I copied in it's entirety.

Washington Finally Putting Its Trust in the People
Dr. Mohammed T. Al-Rasheed,

"In an area ravaged by wars, we grew up thinking that peace is the most important thing in life. In the thirty years of the last century, we had the Lebanese civil war, the Arab-Israeli wars, the Iran-Iraq conflict, the invasion of Kuwait and the ensuing war, and finally we have Iraq today. We are not even counting your almost daily dose of bombs, explosions, and human madness on personal scale, not even traffic accidents.

We were also told that “security” is the most important factor that should rule our lives. For better security, we should tolerate a grievous lack of freedom and civil liberties. Like many, I went for this myth with reservations.

Then again, I really had no say in it personally. The great window of dialogue the Internet has opened brought with it dialogue of the type we do not and could not have.

I had thought education to be the most important thing in life — more important than peace. I guess it is an issue I would fight for. But today we see the world in a different way and the world sees us differently too. Our “peace” was basically worthless. Our security a myth and our lives a waste land that even T. S. Eliot can be proud of.

There is very little peace in Iraq today, but Iraq is free of Saddam. America is an occupier, yet many countries in the world have an American base in it. Every single pundit tells us that America should leave Iraq, yet no one says a word about those bases and what they do. Double standard on our part? Of course.

But all in name of peace. I cannot quote what King Philip of France told Henry II when offered some similar deal, but you can imagine it.

This business of peace at any price has made clear the fact that if America comes in to preserve the status quo, America is a dear friend. If, on the other hand, America comes with its own agenda, it is a villain. The dialectics of history have forced America from its earlier position into something different. Suffice it to say that America is finally putting its trust in the people themselves.

It might take a while, but the policy will bear fruit.
An Iraqi constitution that provides for democratic succession is the next step. I would also add a clause about mandatory age of retirement for officials at 101. I wouldn’t be averse to constructing a secure chamber where nutters can go blow themselves up without risk to others. All in the name of peace for those who cannot understand anything else."

What to do about North Korea? The New York Times is reporting that even though North Korea agreed to seal a plutonium-based nuclear program,
..." in 2002, an American official confronted Pyongyang with evidence that it had been cheating on its nuclear promises, maintaining a covert uranium enrichment program.
In response, North Korea expelled international inspectors from Yongbyon, announced that it was quitting the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and said it was building up what it ambiguously called its "nuclear deterrent." The six-nation disarmament talks started in Beijing in August 2003, but have not yielded any tangible results."

The article goes on to say:

".... in today's statement, Pyongyang (a North Korean Foreign Minister) zeroed in on Dr. Rice's testimony last month in her Senate confirmation hearings, where she lumped North Korea with five other dictatorships, calling them "outposts of tyranny."

As much as I admire Dr. Rice, I think this was a mistake on Dr. Rice's part. North Korean's leader Kim Jong is clearly unhinged. It would do Dr. Rice well to choose her words more carefully when dealing with this man. He has a huge ego and does not like to be insulted. Yes, we should not back down from being tough, but words mean things. It wouldn't hurt Dr. Rice to be a bit more diplomatic. I know that sounds simplistic, but we have all known people like this. If it takes a little ego stroking to get him back to the table, then we should do it. If you can't change a situation, you try and control it the best way you can. We simply cannot afford to get into any kind of conflict with North Korea now and Kim Jong knows this and is taking advantage of it. We need to send someone over there now that can do that ego stroking. I don't feel we are in danger. North Korea is known for blowing smoke. But our leaders need to watch how they say things and keep in mind who is listening.

LONDON (Reuters) - British heir to the throne Prince Charles announced Thursday he will marry long-time lover Camilla Parker Bowles, the woman blamed for destroying his "fairytale" marriage to the late Princess Diana.

I hope they were being sarcastic with that fairytale thing. It was more of a nightmare marriage. I always think of a line I heard soon after Charles and Diana divorced. It said something like Prince Charles may be the only rich guy who threw out his trophy wife for his unattractive older mistress.

Not that I blame Charles (not that this matters in the big scheme of things anyway) but after reading and hearing so much about their lives, it should make one realize that it is not wealth, royalty, or fame that brings us happiness. Diana was beautiful and no one dressed more beautifully or was more loved by her fellow countrymen. But despite it all, she was sad and lonely most of the time.

And now it seems we will be treated to all the drama of her sons for years to come. I'm sadly guessing we will have more of the same kind of soap opera life for them.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A little history of Ash Wednesday.

Ashes are an ancient symbol of penance predating Christianity. They remind us of our mortality. We come from dust and unto dust we shall return.

They are made from the burned palms of last year. Placing ashes on the head was an ancient penitential custom, as is evident in the Bible (e.g. Jonas 3:5-9)

From about the fifth century, sinners confessed their sins on Ash Wednesday. They did not receive absolution but were enrolled in the "order of penitents," signified by placing ashes in the form of a cross on their foreheads. They were then assigned public penance to be performed throughout Lent and on Holy Thursday morning they received absolution.

2005 Lenten Booklet

In the comments section below regarding the "Progressive Depot" promoted on Air America Radio website, one liberal questioned my assumption of the word "progressive" for "liberal," but as another commenter pointed out, we on the right are used to the "language" of the left. I had cited many ways the left uses different words to make their agenda sound better or get a different message across. The leftwing blog Interesting Times provided exactly what I was talking about:

"One bit of framing advice to Democrats has been to avoid using the term "War on Terror". Doing so just re-affirms the Bush conception of the war we are in. But how do you talk about this war without using this all purpose, commonly accepted term?
The first way is to divide the war into its component parts, thus highlighting the contrast between the different conflicts. Refer to it as the "War in Afghanistan" and the "War in Iraq". This highlights the fact that they are separate conflicts that need to be justified separately.
The second way is to re-emphasize the reason we got into this conflict in the first place. This all stared with the attacks on September 11th. Thus, any conflict we get into must be justified on the basis of redress for that attack. We are in a war that is a response to 9/11. Therefore, this is the "9/11 War

He seems to be ignoring the fact that we are killing or capturing terrorists everyday in Iraq (or they are killing themselves) which clearly puts Iraq in the "War on Terror" category. But this is the kind of thing I was talking about in the "Progressive Depot" post. Change the words and make it sound better. Instead of abortion, say "women's reproductive health care." Instead of sex ed, say "life skills class." Instead of invasion of property rights, say " environmental protection."

I suppose you could call it spin, but I call it deception.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

A life-sized cutout of an American soldier appears to guard patrons of 'Our Hero's Hometown Restaurant' in Wellsburg, W.Va. Owners Rodger and Sandy Plants have a son serving with the Army in Iraq. They have dedicated the theme of the diner to veterans.
Andrew Cutraro
Cool huh?
Posted by Hello

Thanks to everyone who responded on the three questions post. I can't wait to read some of the books, try and find some time to rent the movies, and listen to some of this music that I have never even heard of. But thanks most of all for the questions. Not only were they fun to answer, but they really made me think about some things.

You guys are great.

"Fool! Clinton would have had my bra undone moments ago." "Don't flatter yourself, girlfriend." via the ever funny Caption This!
Posted by Hello

Men + Sex = Stupid

I am convinced without a doubt that sex renders intelligent men completely stupid. Clinton is the poster child for this and now it looks like Bill Cosby could be following in his footsteps.

On Fox News this morning they are reporting that the young woman who is filing charges against Cosby for "drugging" her and then sexually molesting her, has taped phone conversations they had after the encounter. The news said that Cosby is saying that they did have sex, but that it was consensual.

When I say stupid, I am not just referring to the fact that these men were role models and famous and cheated on their wives. That is immoral as much as is it is stupid. I don't think anyone would argue with the fact that these men are intelligent. So how does one explain how someone who is famous, and every move is reported upon, cannot seem to control themselves even with the risk of total humiliation? But even more incredible is having PHONE CONVERSATIONS about anything intimate. Even Bill O'Reilly fell for that one. Had these men never heard of a taped phone conversation????? Did Nixon teach us nothing?????? How stupid can one be??????? Clinton even left messages on Monica's answering machine!!!!

I will say in Cosby's defense, (not that I wish to defend him) that what he has been preaching lately has never been about adult sexual moral behavior. He was preaching about parental responsibility, kids not dressing like a thug, and kids getting an education. He did say that 15 yr olds having babies is wrong, and we all know he is right about that. So, his preaching is really more about common sense and teaching kids to get to adulthood with an education and no children out of wedlock. Cosby has never claimed to be a Christian or religious in any way that I know of, so I don't think it is fair to paint him as being a hypocrite. He obviously feels that adults can make their own decisions regarding morality, but feels the inner city black community are not doing their job in parenting.

He may be cheating, but his message still rings true. He has probably lost a lot of credibility here and that is too bad, because his message badly needed to be heard from a man that the black community respects.

Now, I am relying on "innocent until proven guilty" here. If he actually molested this woman then he is a scumbag, but if it was consensual, then he is a cheater and it is disappointing, but it is even more disappointing that this important message might disappear along with his respectability.

Monday, February 07, 2005

I found this link at Air America Radio. It seems "Progressive Depot" has products and stores that give to "progressive" (read liberal) causes. I am not to happy that Old Navy is on there since they have great jeans that I love. I am also disturbed that Toys R Us, Barbie, Hello Kitty, Comp USA, Office Depot, and Apple computer were listed.

As long as I don't know, I can handle it. But once I see they give to causes I disagree with I can't bring myself to buy from them anymore.

Air America also talked about the candidates contending for the head of the DNC during a regional caucus in New York City. . Both Air America and
this article described the crowd as "hissing" when Former congressman Tim Roemer discussed his abortion views. (he is pro-life, one of maybe two democrats in the country). They hissed. What is wrong with these people?

Hope for peace in the middle east.

"Israeli and Palestinian leaders have agreed a truce to end more than four years of fighting, both sides confirmed today.
Negotiators from both sides finalised the agreement during last-minute preparations for tomorrow's summit meeting between the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, and the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh."

More here.

This could be the beginning of sanity over there. It is hard to hold on to hope when nothing ever seems to change, but after what we have seen in Afghanistan and Iraq, it actually seems possible. Condi has a long road ahead of her, but I think she will turn out to be one of the most influential and world changing Secretary Of States we have ever had.

Liberal or conservative, this could be a win win.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

This is an indication that there might actually be some hope for the democrats. Open your minds, consider for a moment, that maybe you were wrong. It's a start. via ColdFury

Spongebob weighs in on Ward Churchill.

As does Ace and Jeff at PW.
More than you could possibly want to know about the subject here at PW's comment section.
PW also gives us Churchill's latest quote:

In an interview Ward Churchill gave with Satya magazine, he was asked about the effectiveness of protests of U.S. policies and the Iraq war, and responded: “One of the things I’ve suggested is that it may be that more 9/11s are necessary.” via CBS/AP