Saturday, September 04, 2004

More on the AP lie

Talking Points has this report from the scene of Karen Hughes' reaction to the blatant lie spread by the AP yesterday:

Karen Hughes went totally apesh-t at the AP when that dispatch hit the wire. She stormed up the bleachers and starting screaming at the AP writer (who took it in stride). "They didn't boo! Were you and I in the same rally! What is this crap?" or something along those lines (it was loud in there). The AP writer then canvassed his colleagues, who all said they hadn't heard any boos.
Meanwhile, the American Thinker has weighed in on the controversy:

What does AP need to do, if it wishes to avoid destroying its own credibility over the next two weeks?

One, it must acknowledge that it is responsible for an outright hoax, consciously intended to damage the image of President Bush and his supporters. The outright fabrication of "did nothing to stop them" proves malicious intent.

Two, it must apologize to President Bush and his Wisconsin supporters.

Three, it must publicly identify all the people who wrote and approved the issuance of the fraudulent story.

Four, it must present to the public the backgrounds of those people identified in step three, including identification of all other political stories written by them concerning President Bush and other Republican candidates.

Five, it must call a press conference, identifying it as a historic occasion, and publicly apologize.

Six, the staff identified in step three must be fired, and the top management of AP must resign. They permitted an organization to grow which casually believed, without checking, the worst sort of personal character slander of an entire large class of people. And we're giving them the benefit of the doubt.

Seven, the AP must launch an affirmative action program to recruit conservatives at all levels, to correct the systematic discrimination which has enabled such frauds to pass muster in its editorial screening process.

That's just for starters.

Powerline says that the AP has retracted the story, but it only appears on Newsmax, which had posted the bogus piece Saturday morning, and then pulled it when many complained. Since I have not seen any other retraction aside from there, I'm going to withhold judgment until I see it from several different sources. Meanwhile, Powerline also reports that the left is apparently trying to keep the story faking it:
The left, though, is not convinced. It has concocted an "alternate" audio of the West Allis rally. You can hear it here. The audio is an obvious fake; they play the first half of the real tape, and then three or four lefties come in yelling "Boo" like extras in a stage production. It is slightly amusing as long as no one takes it seriously.

UPDATE: Well, here is one retraction anyways.

Fighters...but not terrorists

Michelle Malkin points out that today's New York Times article on the Russian massacre is lacking a few uncomfortable facts:
Notice anything? The killers are called "guerrillas" and "fighters" and "armed captors" but not "terrorists." At one point the article grudgingly refers to these savage murderers as "people that Mr. Putin calls terrorists." In more than 1,750 words, the article includes not one reference to the religion of the Muslim perpetrators. Not one.
And they wonder why many no longer trust the MSM to tell people the truth...

Return of the Rodina

The terrorist have really stepped in it this time with the school massacre. The American Digest points out an unspoken phrase used in Putin's statements today and it would appear that the rules have changed.
Putin's list is chilling, the tone grave, and the measures he announces graver still. But beneath his words and within his tone we hear a word unspoken. We hear history begin to echo as Russia is stirred and what we hear is the call "Rodina" -- "Motherland."
The last century heard that call when Nazi Germany became insane enough to invade what was then the Soviet Union. Rodina rose and the end of that story was the destruction of Berlin and the beginning of the Cold War.
"Rodina" -- the massing of Russians behind the nearly holy cause of protecting and defending "the motherland," is not a term any Russian would use today. It carries too many memories of Stalin and the Soviets. But the emotion behind it remains. And the echo of what the United States discovered about terrorism three years ago and what Russia has concluded yesterday is distinct. What it portends is even clearer. The Alliance is back.
The old Alliance of World War II's drive to destroy fascism is rising along with Rodina. The United States, Britain and its coalition. Now Russia. Others will come in their time and as they discover the terrible truth about this enemy on their own soil.

Well, the Muslims always wanted a holy war, now they've got one. Welcome to the party, pal.

Getting nasty

It's going to get bad.

Susan Estrich fired the opening salvo with her recent piece, Mad as Hell, in which she calls for the democrats to get down and dirty in these last few weeks of the election:
Will it be the three, or is it four or five, drunken driving arrests that Bush and Cheney, the two most powerful men in the world, managed to rack up? (Bush's Texas record has been sealed. Now why would that be? Who seals a perfect driving record?)
After Vietnam, nothing is ancient history, and Cheney is still drinking. What their records suggest is not only a serious problem with alcoholism, which Bush but not Cheney has acknowledged, but also an even more serious problem of judgment. Could Dick Cheney get a license to drive a school bus with his record of drunken driving? (I can see the ad now.) A job at a nuclear power plant? Is any alcoholic ever really cured? So why put him in the most stressful job in the world, with a war going south, a thousand Americans already dead and control of weapons capable of destroying the world at his fingertips.
Joe Klein over at TIME seems to see nothing wrong with this. His latest screed, Tearing Kerry Down is all but calling for a dirty campaign to be waged:
After a week of gut-wound assaults on his character, Kerry finally fired back on Thursday night, assailing Bush and Cheney for having avoided service in Vietnam and for having "misled" us into Iraq. The latter may be an exaggeration, but after the G.O.P. assault, Kerry has a right to exaggerate with impunity. Indeed, if he hopes to win, Kerry will have to do much more of that. He will have to become a version of the young John Kerry not celebrated at the Democratic Convention the eloquent, passionate, uncoached leader of Vietnam Veterans Against the War who caused the Nixon White House serious heartburn. Where did that fabulous young politician ever go, anyway?
What, Joe? Do you mean this fabulous young politician? Or this one?

Meanwhile, the Washington Post is reporting that John Glenn has resorted to the kind of talk that you would expect to hear from some of those unwashed protesters that were in New York this past week:
Former senator John Glenn (D-Ohio) took the defense a step further by comparing the Republicans' misleading statements to those of Nazi Germany. "You've just got to separate out fact from fiction. . . . Too often, too often, in this country, if you hear something repeated, it's the old Hitler business -- if you hear something repeated, repeated, repeated, repeated, you start to believe it," he said.

In space, no one can hear you scream like a little girl, John. Or go senile.

Of course, what would be digging in the dirt without the skills of gossip monger Kitty Kelly, who is coming out with another one of those factually challenged books...this time about, you guessed it, the Bush family:

It reveals alleged sex offenses against minors by Dubya's father. It reveals the use of the White House by male hookers under Dubya. It reveals Bush's evil plans for YOU (details of which you will have to get elsewhere), which should alarm you. It reveals crooked business deals by every member of the Bush clan, including the oh-so-holy first lady, Laura "Round Heels" Bush. It reveals how former first lady Babs Bush is almost a practicing witch. It reveals how Dubya has had a very special friend in the mayor of a Tennessee city, who has has cohabited the Texas ranch many times. It reveals the details of embarrassing photographs of Bush that actually caused U.S. Govt. agents to perpetrate the anthrax mailings to destroy the building of National Enquirer and kill photo editor Stevens. It reveals how you can get surprisingly close to America's Darth Vader. me when someone rational shows up speaking for the democrats.

P.O.W's to have a go at Kerry

Back on Aug. 26, I gave a heads up about a group of vets who stayed in Vietnam a bit longer than four months:
"Stolen Honor" investigates how John Kerry's actions during the Vietnam era impacted the treatment of American soldiers and POWs. Using John Kerry's own words, the documentary juxtaposes John Kerry's actions with the words of veterans who were still in Vietnam when John Kerry was leading the anti-war movement.

Well, now there are clips of this available for viewing online. The question is: Will the Kerry campaign slime these guys too, as they did the Swift Boat Vets? And I wonder what Sen. John McCain's feelings are on all of this?

Somebody finally asks the Main Question

And what will terror's apologists say when the killers come for their own children?
Read the whole thing...and then ask yourself that question. Putin finally gets it, but it's a shame it had to take 322 dead bodies to get to that point.

The Media? Unfair? Say it isn't so!

Well, if yesterday's episode in media bias didn't wake you up, perhaps this will:
In his latest polemic, the editor of the once-respected Harper's Magazine sneers that President Bush "was trundled into New York City this August with Arnold Schwarzenegger, the heavy law enforcement and paper elephants."
"The speeches in Madison Square Garden," he continued, "affirmed the great truths now routinely preached from the pulpits of Fox News and The Wall Street Journal" editorial page, about the primacy of free markets and the declining significance of government.
Of course, Lapham was entitled to fair (or even unfair) comment on the GOP convention. But at least the Harper's editor could have waited until the convention was under way (or even completed) before writing his critique of the proceedings.
Instead, his attack upon the party of Bush actually was published the week before the Republicans descended upon New York City.

Instapundit has been on top of this since Aug. 24, but it takes a while for stories to emerge from the Blogsphere and reach the MSM. I wonder how long it will take for the AP Boo Scandal to reach that point...if it ever does.

And speaking of media bias...feel the love from Paul Krugman.

New 527 ad to hit?

Forget the Swift Boat Vets...The Blogspirator reports that it appears that another ad attack is about to be sprung against Kerry. Also, read the part about how Susan Esterich is calling for total war against Bush. It's about to get very ugly out there...

AP Booing Follow Up

It's been an interesting 16 hours. Within that time, this little ol' blog, which I've only had going for three weeks and would only get about 125 hits per day has gotten somewhere in the neighborhood of 17,000 visits since Instapundit linked to my coverage yesterday. All in 16 hours.

I can't begin to count or track how many blogs have either directly or indirectly linked to my posting about the AP blunder. But I really can't take credit for this. After all, it was the Freepers that jumped on it first. All I did was put it all in one place, streamlined it a bit and e-mailed to a few folks. Other bloggers and people posting on message boards were no doubt working this story as well, but it appears that a lot of the attention was directed here.

The only other coverage I've seen about this outside of Free Republic and the Blogsphere so far is at Editor and Publisher, where it is currently their top story. Seeing that this happened on the afternoon before the Labor Day weekend began, I'm a little worried that this story may not get the notice it deserves. In my opinion, the Associated Press has committed one of the worst journalistic sins imaginable: they published an outright lie as news and sent it out to their affiliates. As I said yesterday, there is no telling how many papers were being put to bed before the 3-day weekend began and you can bet that the first version of this bogus AP story was the one that was used. To quote Tim, who commented on yesterday's post: "THERE HAS BEEN NO RETRACTION. A retraction is contrite, a disavowal. All we have so far is REDACTION."

UPDATE: The media virus continues at CBS. The question is, how do we stop it from spreading?

Friday, September 03, 2004

Meanwhile, down at the border....Part 2

Last week, I linked up a piece about Mexican cops nabbing a couple of suspicious chaps that had gone to quite a bit of trouble to enter the country. Well, now comes this report:
BROWNSVILLE - New intelligence gathered along Texas' border indicates al-Qaida and other possible terrorist groups may be trying to enter the United States through Mexico, according to several Democratic lawmakers.
U.S. Rep. Solomon Ortiz, D-Corpus Christi, hosted U.S. Rep. Jim Turner, D-Crockett, and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, both members of the House Homeland Security Committee, in a tour of several border facilities in the Brownsville area Thursday. The three disclosed the intelligence in a news conference after the gathering.
Turner said intelligence reports indicated that "a group of Middle Eastern men" was moving through Latin America toward the Texas border. No further details of the threat were available, he said.
After what went down in Russia today, it certainly gives one food for thought. Sleep well, America.

Another Bombshell Kerry Quote from 1971

Well, that online posting of the entire 21,477 pages of FBI files detailing the activities of Vietnam Veterans Against the War is producing some very interesting finds. Long time poster on Free Republic, Doug from Upland has apparently found a very disturbing quote attributed to John Kerry:

Note: I found this gem on the Winter Soldier site. This is staggering. The comment came just before the fateful meeting of Nov. 12-15, 1971 in Kansas City where the upper echelon of the VVAW discussed and voted on whether to assassinate seven U.S. Senators.
August 13, 2004 -- Found in the VVAW FBI Files on page 251 of Section 10.PDF:

From the Sunday Oklahoman, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, November 7, 1971 by Bryce Patterson

The political power structure within the United States can and must change if the nation is to avoid violent efforts to seize power. John F. Kerry, a member of the executive committee of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War, said in Oklahoma City Saturday.
Meeting with reporters before speaking at the University of Oklahoma, Kerry said, "If it (the government) doesn't change we are asking for trouble. If it is not done, those who are talking about seizing it will have every right to go after it."
Kerry emphasized that he and those he represents are totally opposed to any such violence.

The 24 meg PDF file does show a photocopy of the article in question. However, I do not have a Lexis-Nexis account to further confirm this, but if any of my readers do, please pass it along. If this is accurate, it is truly a staggering find.

AP Bias Strikes Again

The AP is really showing their bias again, except this time, they have been caught in the act.

Sharp eyed posters over at Free Republic spotted this story about the president's reaction (version #1) to news of Bill Clinton's upcoming surgery:

WEST ALLIS, Wis. - President Bush (news - web sites) on Friday wished Bill Clinton (news - web sites) "best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery."
"He's is in our thoughts and prayers," Bush said at a campaign rally.
Bush's audience of thousands in West Allis, Wis., booed. Bush did nothing to stop them.
Bush offered his wishes while campaigning one day after accepting the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in New York. Clinton was hospitalized in New York after complaining of mild chest pain and shortness of breath.
Bush recently praised Clinton when the former president went to the White House for the unveiling of his official portrait. He lauded Clinton for his knowledge, compassion and "the forward-looking spirit that Americans like in a president."

Needless to say, there was massive outrage. Many on the thread had listened to the speech live and heard no boos at all and were screaming liberal media bias...and rightfully so. Others e-mailed the AP to express their displeasure. So, minutes later, a new version gets posted to the same yahoo link and another thread pops up on Free Republic:

WEST ALLIS, Wis. - President Bush (news - web sites) on Friday offered former President Bill Clinton (news - web sites), who faces heart bypass surgery, "best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery."
"He's is in our thoughts and prayers," Bush said at a campaign rally.
Bush offered his wishes while campaigning one day after accepting the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in New York. Clinton was hospitalized in New York after complaining of mild chest pain and shortness of breath.
Bush recently praised Clinton when the former president went to the White House for the unveiling of his official portrait. He lauded Clinton for his knowledge, compassion and "the forward-looking spirit that Americans like in a president."

Of course, someone with access to the raw wire posted this as well to archive this monumental, and perhaps intentional screw up.

BC-Bush-Clinton, 1st Ld-Writethru,150 Bush offers best wishes for Clinton's recovery
Eds: SUBS lead to include reference to surgery. DELETES 3rd graf previous, Bush's audience, because of uncertainty about crowd reaction.
WEST ALLIS, Wis. (AP) - President Bush on Friday offered former President Bill Clinton, who faces heart bypass surgery, "best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery."
"He's is in our thoughts and prayers," Bush said at a campaign rally.
Bush offered his wishes while campaigning one day after accepting the presidential nomination at the Republican National Convention in New York. Clinton was hospitalized in New York after complaining of mild chest pain and shortness of breath.
Bush recently praised Clinton when the former president went to the White House for the unveiling of his official portrait. He lauded Clinton for his knowledge, compassion and "the forward-looking spirit that Americans like in a president."

Someone at the Associated Press has some major explaining to do.

UPDATE: Just so there is no doubt, a Freeper posted a screen capture:

UPDATE #2: still has the first version up on their site.

UPDATE#3: Another Freeper who attended the rally checks in.

I wouldn't have posted this as a separate topic until I heard on the radio on the way home from the rally that the AP had reported the crowd booed when it was announced that the former president had been hospitalized. That is a bold faced lie. I understand it was later retracted, but that's like unringing a bell. I do not think it was in error, either, since the writer further stated that 'Bush did nothing to stop them.' Shameful.
The rally was amazing. I don't know how many were in attendance, but the crowd could not have been more enthusiastic.
UPDATE#4: Some of our comments are featuring posts from liberal bloggers who are taking the first version of the AP story at face value. However, another reader has provided a sound clip of the quote in question: Judge for yourself.

UPDATE:#5: Country Store has links to the original AP stories up that the rewriting of history won't go unnoticed. Also, I been getting a ton of hits via Instapundit. (thanks again, Glenn) Drudge is also working on this as well and has linked to a transcript of the speech:

...and before I talk to you about why I want to be your President for four more years, I do want to address several situations in the news that call for our concern and prayers.
En route here we just received news that President Clinton has been hospitalized in New York. He is in our thoughts and prayers. We send him our best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery. (Applause.)
I posted this in the comments, but feel it is worthy to say here as well: Given the overwhelming earwitness accounts via TV and radio plus an eyewitness who actually ATTENDED the rally, I'm going to have to say that the AP screwed the pooch again. They GOT CAUGHT and RETRACTED IT. It's not the first time this has happened, either. The shame is, the damage has already been done. The first version of the story is all over the wires and has been reposted to many a left wing blog and message board. There is no telling how many papers were on deadline this afternoon and were going to press before everyone heads out for the Labor Day weekend. If this makes any print edition (and probably will) and is not followed up by a full retraction, there could be major credibility trouble ahead for the Associated Press.

UPDATE#6: "If at first you deceive, spin, spin again" seems to be the AP motto today. There is now yet another version posted that appears to try to cover for the original screw up:
WEST ALLIS, Wis. - President Bush on Friday offered former President Bill Clinton, who faces heart bypass surgery, "best wishes for a swift and speedy recovery."
"He is in our thoughts and prayers," Bush said at a campaign rally in Wisconsin.
The crowd reacted with applause and with some "ooohs," apparently surprised by the news that Clinton was ill.
Far too late for that now, don't you think? Because WNBC-TV via MSNBC has an "audience is booing version" of the story on their site. How many hits do you think they get? And how many people will this false story be forwarded to? The damage has been done.

UPDATE#7: Blogger Tom McMahon said that Mark Belling of WISN radio reported that Scott Lindlaw was the AP reporter responsible for this false story. Instapundit reveals that his work has been seen "previously with distorted reports of Bush visits to military bases and NASCAR races -- the latter of which got characterized as a "cheap shot" by the Columbia Journalism Review." Here's a RealAudio file of the entire speech.

UPDATE #8: This media virus has now infected the Knight-Ridder wire as well. It's in the last graph. A Freeper living abroad also reports that "the BBC is reporting the booing like it is the honest truth, complete with appalled faces on the anchor and the reporter. Really shows you how the media bias works. IT IS ALL LIES..." Who knows what form it will take in tomorrow's papers. Stay tuned.

UPDATE #9: Instapundit has an update on this and states that the false story is not by Scott Lindlaw, as earlier reported, but by Tom Hays, who is exposed by the Galley Slaves, as they point to Lexis-Nexis for the real source. Meanwhile, Powerline has coverage of how far the media virus had spread since the net and the wires were infected by this bogus story early this afternoon:
The AP's lie is spreading rapidly around the globe. Salon says: "Audience boos as Bush offers best wishes for Clinton's recovery." WSTM television in New York has a slightly different version of the story, with an AP copyright, which says: "Many in Bush's audience booed when Clinton's name was mentioned. The president made no comment on that and continued with his rally speech." WRIC television in northern Virginia has the same "many booed" story. In Iowa, KWWL television reports that "Many in Bush's audience booed when Clinton's name was mentioned. The president made no comment on that and continued with his rally speech." The same misinformation is being promulgated in Georgia, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, California, Tennessee, Indiana, the Carolinas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Ohio, Minnesota, and New York again.
UPDATE#10: One final note and I'm calling it a night, It seems that the Yahoo links above that showed the first versions of this story have all been pulled. As if that will do them any good. It's all over the Blogsphere now and spreading like wildfire. I fully expect the fine folks at the Media Research Center to pick this up. It will be a real surprise if Howard Kurtz does, however. Editor and Publisher has posted a piece on it.

And one final comment from the Captain's Quarters:
We've been used to the press reporting selectively on issues in order to make John Kerry look good and George Bush look bad. We've watched while the press ignored the Christmas in Cambodia mythology that Kerry spewed for three decades until the blogosphere finally forced them to report it. We've sat back and fumed while the press has made excuse after excuse for Kerry's collapsing campaign during this past month.
But this is far too outrageous for people to sit quietly by. It's one thing to report selectively; it's something completely different to write fiction and pass it off as news. The Associated Press has apparently decided to trade in its credibility with news readers and media sources in order to libel George Bush and a group of people who reacted in a most human and sympathetic fashion to the news of a political opponent's ill health.

In the immortal words of Stan Lee...."'Nuff said."

Mad at Zell

Peter Brown talks about the obvious liberal media bias concerning the shameful treatment of Sen. Zell Miller the other night...and he's right:
Instead of focusing on what Miller said and the significance of his willingness to savage the titular head of his own party, they tried to explain away his behavior or get inside Miller's head about why he would turn on his own party. It was almost as though they were high-school kids talking about a friend who had decided to hang out with a rival clique. They were trying to rationalize it, rather than present it as something the Democrats should take to heart.

Meanwhile, John McCain keeps folks wondering which side he's on in his continuing attempt at being relevant in today's political arena.

October surprise?

They're losing it

The democrats are becoming unhinged. This story from Cybercast News Service revels a mindset that we can only hope belongs to a tiny minority.

However, if this piece is any indication of what we are going to be hearing over the next sixty days, then Bush will probably win in the biggest landslide in American political history...even outdoing Nixon's thrashing of George McGovern in 1972.

UPDATE: Shot Fired Into GOP Headquarters. I'm praying that this is just an isolated incident...but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Worst. Speech. EVER

No, I am not talking about the president's acceptance speech at the GOP shindig. That was masterful. I'm talking about Kerry's ill-conceived salvo that occurred 15 minutes afterwards in Ohio.

What were they thinking?

Oh, I know that the democratic campaign has had a major shakeup, bringing in more former Clinton attack dogs and such, but nothing could have prepared viewers for the onslaught of pure foolishness that was displayed last night. He's STILL harping on Vietnam, a topic that the Swift Boat Vets have called into question as of late and an issue that the public will soon get very weary of.

I won't waste time taking it apart. The Kerry Spot over at the National Review Online does that well enough. But I do have one observation that I haven't seen in print expect over on Free Republic: With Kerry's slurred speech, wild gestures and rambling diction last night...if I was a cop, I would have considered administering a field sobriety test on the spot.

I'm not kidding. Kerry looked and sounded like he was three sheets to the wind.

Is it news posing as an editorial or an editorial posing as news?

I don't even know where to begin. Me thinks that the folks at AP have tossed objectivity out the window if their editors let something like this get out on the wire in this form.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Good thing we didn't take his advice

Bill Hobbs has a two page memo from 1984 written by John Kerry that would have ended funding for just about every important weapons system that we are using today to fight the War on Terror. What was he thinking?
Congress, rather than having the moral courage to challenge the Reagan Administration, has given Ronald Reagan almost every military request he has made, no matter how wasteful, no matter how useless, no matter how dangerous.
The biggest defense buildup since World War II has not given us a better defense. Americans feel more threatened by the prospect of war, not less so. And our national priorities become more and more distorted as the share of our country’s resources devoted to human needs diminishes.

CBS to the rescue

This is getting so predictable. The democrat's favorite outlet for rehashing old, discredited stories and Bash Bush Book promotions is to once again ride in to save John Kerry's political bacon.
It's not October, but the Kerry campaign is playing perhaps its final card for a surprise with the help of Dan Rather and "60 Minutes." On Wednesday, stories began breaking that Ben Barnes, the former speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and former lieutenant governor, was breaking his off and on silence and telling how he pulled strings to get a then-young George W. Bush into the Texas National Guard.


I thought stuff like this belonged on the editorial page. Powerline takes the Washington Post to task.

A bigger problem now...

It was bad enough that Kerry had to deal with the Bloggers over the Vietnam medals he has to worry about the Navy:

Mr. Kerry’s campaign Web site, which may be viewed at, lists a Silver Star with a Combat V on his DD214. This form issued by the Department of Defense summarizes a serviceman’s career. It is always signed and authenticated as accurate by the individual, in this case Mr. Kerry. But according to a Navy spokesman it is “incorrect.”The Navy has never issued a Combat V at any time for the Silver Star.

This is a serious issue. The chief admiral of the Navy, Jeremy Michael Boorda, committed suicide over questions raised about his right to wear a Combat V by Newsweek magazine in 1996. Boorda stated in his suicide note to his sailors that the questions raised about those he wore caused him to take his life. And that was only a Bronze Star, not the Navy’s third highest decoration.

At the time, Mr. Kerry told the Boston Globe that Boorda’s conduct was “sufficient to question [Boorda’s] leadership position.…If you wind up being less than what you’re pretending to be, there is a major confrontation with value and self-esteem and your sense of how others view you.”

Illegal Outsourcing?

Looks like someone slipped up and said something they shouldn't have.

Torpedo in the water off the stern!

Hey...remember this?'s being noticed:

Months ago, I was chatting with a Republican who is very, very knowledgeable about Kerry and I mentioned Kerry's 1971 travels to Paris and meetings with Madame Nguyen Thi Binh. Binh had been a member of the Central Committee for the National Front for the Liberation of the South, and was now Foreign Minister of the Provisional Revolutionary Government (PRG) of South Vietnam. The military arm of the PRG was widely known as the Viet Cong, just as Madame Binh was widely recognized as the Viet Cong delegate to the conference.
"Yeah, I've heard about that," the Republican said. "I've heard a lot of interesting things about that, but I don't think I want to talk about that just yet."
Not just yet... Also....


The John Kerry camp should be careful about how much mud it flings. According to media sources in New York for the campaign, a number of national media outlets have already completed or close to completing several major investigations into possible Kerry fundraising irregularities, as well as what one media source calls "devastating" stories of Kerry's time in Paris when he was meeting with Communist Vietnamese officials. "Americans have no idea what Kerry was doing during that time in Paris," says a journalist. "It makes the Swift Boat ads look lightweight by comparison."

Democrats plays checkers. Bush plays chess.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Legion speech observations

I wanted to jot down a few observations about the difference between the President's address to the American Legion Convention in Nashville on Tuesday vs. John Kerry's appearance today. I did not get to see the Kerry speech today (I hope to catch it on C-SPAN later) so I really can't comment on it too much but I did attend Tuesday's speech personally, covering it for the paper I write for.

According to live threads on Free Republic, this one and also this, the response to Kerry was much more subdued that Bush's appearance. The Washington Times reports that Kerry "was received politely" by the vets. Many on the FR threads complained about the lack of crowd shots being provided for the broadcast. I'm not sure if they used a "pool feed" for Kerry, but on Tuesday, the Legion was using the services of a local A/V company to provide sound and video of the event. Let me explain the media setup in the hall so people can get an idea over how it was covered, at least on Tuesday.

The Delta Ballroom of the Gaylord /Opryland Hotel can hold 5000 people, about 250 by 100 yards by my crude estimate, and when Bush spoke yesterday, it was totally packed. There were four enormous projection screens set up in the chamber --two in the front of the hall and two more hanging from the ceiling in the middle. There were also four platforms set up for the media. Video and audio for the production were controlled from an area about 50 feet away from the front of the stage on the left hand side of the ballroom. The A/V company's gear was set up there, with a raised platform for a camera pointed at the stage in front of it. When the "working press" showed up (the group that travels with Bush) they set up their video equipment alongside the single camera being used to feed images to the projectors. About 15 feet behind that area and against the wall, was a table where folks from AP, Reuters, wire services and papers could dial in and file their stories from the event.

Another camera was set up on a much smaller platform directly in front of the speaker's podium about 30 to 40 feet from the stage. When the press that traveled with Bush arrived about 30 minutes before he spoke, two or three videographers set up their gear there. The other two media platforms were for local press and other TV. These were set up on the left and right hand sides of the ballroom, nearly in the middle of the room about 90 to 100 yards from the stage. The platforms had two levels and also seating was provided for journalists from the print media in front of those areas.

Press check-in was from 7 to 8 that morning (security sweep and all that) and I had arrived 45 minutes early. However, veterans and their families were already lined up and being checked out by uniformed Secret Service agents and filing in to the huge ballroom. Everyone had to pass through your standard metal detectors like you see in airports and then have an agent give you the once over with a handheld magnotomitor, while you bags were checked. I had attended three other events such as this when Gore was VP and the routine had not changed much. An agent asked me to switch on my digital camera (Nikon D70 with 300mm lens) and activate the LCD screen to see if it was the real thing. This is done to video equipment as well. After that, I checked in with two more USSS agents, these were plainclothes, and picked up my White House Press Pool credentials which I had applied for the day before on Monday. From there, I was escorted to my choice of either the left or right middle platform.

One advantage of being an early bird was that no other media had even showed up yet, so I picked what looked to be the best spot to get my shots: the left platform, since there seemed to be more of the square signs indicating state delegations blocking the view from the right side. Both platforms already have tripods and wiring set up for live satellite feeds. From that point, it was a nearly three hour wait, since once you get placed in your spot, you don't leave without an escort.

I'd also like to point out that the Secret Service guys were a lot more friendly and accommodating than I have encountered covering previous events of this type. Polite but firm. The crew that protected Gore in 1996-98 seemed to me to be quite rude and arrogant at the time. Only one plainclothes agent asked to see my credentials, but that was only due to the fact that my camera was obscuring it at the time. Very professional.

Other reporters and their videographers started showing up over the next hour and a half. People from Fox News in Washington, (not the network, a local affiliate) HDN, the local Fox station, photographers from AP, Getty and others soon filled up the platform. Good thing I got there early, because this was the one thing I dreaded. Some media folks can get quite pushy and be a real pain, mostly the pool that travels with the president. Fortunately for us, they would set up on the forward platform on the left. On the right media platform in the middle, many other stations set up their gear, including all of the other local affiliates, where live stand ups were performed. The folks that stood with me were very friendly. Some of them were quite young too. Local print journalists sat below us, including a few from The Tennessean.

The room filled up pretty quickly and by 9 a.m., the place was packed. The convention kicked off with introductions from the Legion Commander and then several awards were given to servicemen who represented the spirit of the Legion as well as recognition to five youngsters who won various Legion sponsored competitions. There was also a very stirring video tribute that was accompanied by a high school choir from Tifton, GA. The video montage contained images of our armed forces from the start of our nation's history, all the way up to 9/11, which provoked a tearful reaction from some in the audience.

At this point, there was bit of confusion about the credentials of a two-person crew from NHK, the Japanese TV network, that set up behind me. The pair had arrived about an hour after press check-in time and I did not see them escorted in by anyone. A group of about 6 or 7 USSS agents gathered at once and began to check their various media badges over and over. I personally think that part of the reason they were check so extensively was the fact that the cameraman was Japanese, but the reporter was an attractive blond American lady, not exactly what I expected from NHK. Over the next 15 minutes, they were checked and rechecked and it looked like things might have ended up with the crew being asked to leave, but in the end they were allowed to stay....but were closely watched.

The traveling press showed up soon after this and then, at 9:45 exactly, the President of the United States made his appearance.

I did not get to see the entire footage that was shown live of course, and only caught snips on the local news reports later in the day, but the response that Bush got from the veterans was nothing less than thunderous. There must have been 5 to 6 standing ovations during the speech, the loudest one came when Bush said that he would support an amendment against flag desecration. The crowd practically leaped to their feet at that one...and most of these folks were quite elderly. During the parts when Bush was not interrupted by applause, you could hear a pin drop...not even your basic random coughs and sneezes.

Compare that with the friendly, but tepid reaction reported when Kerry spoke this morning.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Sign the 180...release the full records

Kerry could make this all go away if he just signs on the dotted line. Meanwhile, the contradictions just keep growing:

Why are there three -- THREE! -- separate and differently worded citations for Kerry's Silver Star award. On Saturday, former Navy Secretary John Lehman denied that he ever signed that third, generously worded citation, which Kerry has posted on his website.

Why has Kerry claimed that he was awarded a "Combat V" for his Silver Star, when such an award has never been awarded?

Why are there two separate, differently worded citations for Kerry's Bronze Star? Again, with the second officially reworded by Lehman?

Why did Kerry seek a revision in 2001 to the number of campaign stars on his Vietnam service medal? Kerry's website claims Kerry had four, when the Navy says that he deserves only two. These stars are critical, because they indicate the number of military campaigns a soldier served in.

Ban those books!

Why am I not surprised. Media Matters for America, one of those wonderful 527's working against the President, sent this letter to Wal-Mart,, and Barnes & Noble asking these top booksellers to review policies on selling Unfit for Command:
With the revelations of August 19, it's clear that Unfit for Command is the Hitler Diaries of the current political season -- a complete fraud. As you know, and as reported on August 19, "[T]here is a long-standing tradition by reputable publishers of withdrawing titles that prove to be hoaxes or frauds." I would hope that in the case of Unfit for Command, Regnery, the book's publisher, would do the right thing and withdraw it from publication. However, given Regnery's history as an irresponsible publisher, I have no expectation, nor should you, that it will act responsibly with respect to this deeply flawed book.
I therefore ask you to consider what is the responsibility of a bookseller when a prominent work of nonfiction is found to be based on false information. As the president and CEO of Media Matters for America, a nonprofit organization that seeks to rid the U.S. media (including book publishing) of conservative misinformation, I ask you to consider taking some action on Unfit for Command -- if not simply pulling it from the shelf -- to alert your customers that this book is a paid political hatchet job, full of false allegations and lies. One way you could do so is to prominently place on your Unfit for Command product page a link to -- and excerpt from -- one of the many refutations of Unfit for Command and the organization behind it.
And the response from Barnes and Noble?
"We do not intend to pull Unfit for Command from our shelves. The question of whether the book is a fraud or hoax belongs in a court of law, not in a bookstore. If we pulled all the controversial books that customers have at one time or another asked us not to sell, our shelves would be pretty bare."

Bias at Reuters? We're shocked, shocked to hear of such a thing!

This one has been making the rounds on the pro-life circuit over the past few days. Don't these editors realize that e-mails can be forwarded?
According to the National Right to Life Committee, the email came "out of the blue" from Todd Eastham, a news editor for Reuters. Eastham was responding to a press release that the National Right to Life Committee sent to hundreds of news outlets after a federal judge in New York struck down a ban on partial birth abortion.
Eastham's email read as follows: "What's your plan for parenting & educating all the unwanted children you people want to bring into the world? Who will pay for policing our streets & maintaining the prisons needed to contain them when you, their parents & the system fail them? Oh, sorry. All that money has been earmarked to pay off the Bush deficit. Give me a frigging break, will you?"

Sigh....things like this make it harder and harder for our profession to be taken seriously...

Media Moans...and groans

From the New York Post:
The success of the Swift-boat vets' ads is the tale of the triumph of the nation's alternative media. The mainstreamers didn't want to touch the story with a 10-foot pole, and they didn't. But the alternative media did. Amateur reporters and fact-gatherers offered independent substantiation for some of the charges. It turned out the criticisms of the Swifties weren't quite so easily dismissed.
Because there was new information coming out every day, there was more and more to discuss on talk radio and cable news channels. And the story just wouldn't go away, because millions of people were interested in it.
This democratization of the news is clearly a good thing, if only because it increases available sources of information in a democracy.
But it isn't a good thing if you're a proud part of an Establishment whose authority is being eroded and whose control of the marketplace is being successfully challenged.

Let's make a deal...with Iran

What part of "we don't deal with terrorist nations" doesn't Kerry understand?
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - If elected U.S. president, Sen. John Kerry would offer Iran a deal allowing it to keep its nuclear power plants if it gave up the right to retain bomb-making nuclear fuel, said Kerry's vice presidential running mate in an interview published on Monday.

Sounds a lot like Jimmy Cater's deal with North Korea back in 1994, doesn't it?

More bad news for Kerry

It's getting nasty out there

Why am I not surprised...
Ray Waldron, President, Minnesota AFL-CIO
Dear Mr. Waldron
Even during the most heated political battles, Minnesotans have always prided themselves on a nonviolent and civil political discourse.
That is why I was shocked to learn that during John Kerry's visit to the State Fair today union members wearing "Laborers for Kerry" t-shirts physically assaulted two College Republicans.

Bad move, fellas...bad move. Meanwhile, in Washington State...

Yesterday's protest

If you watched C-SPAN's coverage of yesterday's protests in New York City, you would have been exposed to every fringe group and whack job from across the nation. I'm not kidding. You would think that the hippies all died out, sold out or retreated to Big Sur or the Oregon coast by now, but no, they were out there in all their splendor. More photos are here. David Adesnik has a good point about the media's coverage of the march:
"The big papers also fail to convey how the protest resembled a carnival of the absurd, with every obscure leftist faction in attendance. For example, there were hundreds of big red signs provided by a coven of conspiracy theorists who insist that Bush had advance warning of 9-11. If I had bigger pockets, I could've collected at least half-a-dozen different socialist and communist newspapers and newsletters. . . . If you read the NYT or the WaPo, you get the impression that the protest was filled with reasonable people who just don't like George Bush. . . . So there you have it. The big papers managed to be unfair to both sides while failing to provide critical information. Let's hope things get better from here."

Indeed. Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

UPDATE: Here's more from Frontpage Magazine:
Who are the "people?" If the American people are 95% college age scruffians who think their leaders are war criminals, maybe Salon has a point. The NY Times actually conflated the street radicals with the Democratic Party itself calling the march "a heavily Democratic street protest." According to the Times, "the marchers carried placards calling Mr. Bush 'the next Milosevic'" referring to a head of state currently in dock before a War Crimes Tribunal. The marchers also could be heard chanting "Fox News sucks."
The Times has a point. The Democratic Party has nominated a man who indicted his whole country, including its highest officials as war criminals more than thirty years ago. The Democratic Party leadership has accused the President of "lying" to conduct a war that was unnecessary in order to line the pockets of his friends. Although neither Times mentions the fact (since they share the agendas of the marchers) the organizers of the protests in New York are the same anti-American, totalitarian-sympathizing radicals who organized the anti-Vietnam protests back then, and who willingly helped the Communists to power on the grounds that America was the greater evil.

NOW they tell us...

Bite by bite, media eat away own credibility:
Reporters are already perceived as too much part of the power structure, the luxury culture, too invested in money and status, too detached from the way ordinary people live. There are plenty of reporters who aren't that way and plenty who can't be influenced by martinis and sashimi. But something like Saturday's party sure doesn't help the image.
There is one thing worse than journalists grabbing up all those free goodies at a luxury party. That's our refusal to see it as a problem.

Of course, you didn't see this sort of column while the press were all up in Boston a few weeks ago, gobbling up all the goodies...


Sunday, August 29, 2004

More bad news

Say, remember those over 20,000 pages of FBI files on the VVAW that are online? It looks like that someone is actually taking the time to look through them and are finding all sort of interesting things.
MILL VALLEY, Calif. — Senator Kerry of Massachusetts yesterday retreated from his earlier steadfast denials that he attended a meeting of Vietnam Veterans Against the War at which a plan to assassinate U.S. Senators was debated.
The reversal came as new evidence, including reports from FBI informants, emerged that contradicted Mr. Kerry’s previous statements about the gathering, which was held in Kansas City, Mo. in November 1971.

What a wuss

This is simply pathetic. The First Lady can't even express an honest opinion without a bunch of crybaby antics from the Kerry campaign. Would you like some cheese with that whine?

"War-torn soul"

BeldarBlog has done it again and has found another one of those strange inconsistancies that have plauged John Kerry's Vietnam War tales...and this one is a doozy. It cites biographer Douglas Brinkley's Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, and Kerry's agony at facing the horrors of war. It quotes a long letter he wrote to his sweetheart:
There are so many ways this letter could become a bitter diatribe and go rumbling off into irrational nothings.... I feel so bitter and angry and everywhere around me there is nothing but violence and war and gross insensitivity. I am really very frightened to be honest because when the news [of the combat death of his college friend, Dick Pershing] sunk in I had no alternatives but to carry on in the face of trivia that forced me to build a horrible protective screen around myself....
The world I'm a part of out there is so very different from anything you, I, or our close friends can imagine. It's fitted with primitive survial, with destruction of an endless dying seemingly pointless nature and forces one to grow up in a fast — no holds barred fashion. In the small time I have been gone, does it seem strange to say that I feel as though I have seen several years experience go by.... No matter [where] one is — no matter what job — you do not and cannot forget that you are at war and that the enemy is ever present — that anyone could at some time for the same stupid irrational something that stole Persh be gone tomorrow.

There's just one problem.

Kerry had not even been to Vietnam yet.
...this letter was written in Febuary 1968, while Kerry was an ensign aboard the missile cruiser U.S.S. Gridley while it plied the dangerous waters of war-torn Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America. The Gridley was still almost 6000 miles and many weeks away from the waters offshore of Vietnam. Certainly Kerry already knew that once there, he would remain aboard that large ship, on which his own risk of death or injury through combat would be essentially nill. (During its entire service, the Gridley had only one combat fatality, Petty Officer William J. Duggan, who was killed while aboard a helicopter flying a search and rescue mission in 1967. Kerry flew no such missions.)
Read the whole thing.

About the RNC List...

Drudge is reporting that the N.Y.Times is to file a piece Monday (tonight on the web) on the recent hack of the RNC delegates names and addresses that ended up on a website called I had something on this last week about how Online Haganah had tracked it back to this site. Drudge reports:
Federal prosecutors said in a subpoena that the information was needed as part of a criminal investigation into possible voter intimidation. But civil rights advocates argue that the Internet postings amount to political dissent, not threats or intimidation.

You will remember that the site featured two worrisome statements:
"The earth is not dying, it is being killed. And those that are killing it have names and addresses."

And this little admission:
Our objectives are to:* Supply anti-RNC groups with data on the delegates to use in whatever way they see fit.* Supply a body of information that can be easily added to.* Encourage the republishing and redistribution of this data.* Facilitate making local connections. Many of these delegates are involved in politics and business on a town or county level.

Given the amount of coordination between these outside groups and the DNC, this could get very interesting.

A doozy from the N.Y.Times

Just when you thought it couldn't get any stranger, The New York Times is calling for abolishment of the Electoral College.
The main problem with the Electoral College is that it builds into every election the possibility, which has been a reality three times since the Civil War, that the president will be a candidate who lost the popular vote. This shocks people in other nations who have been taught to look upon the United States as the world's oldest democracy. The Electoral College also heavily favors small states. The fact that every one gets three automatic electors - one for each senator and a House member - means states that by population might be entitled to only one or two electoral votes wind up with three, four or five.
I guess they don't understand the original reasoning behind the College. It was set up this way to ensure that a centralized or a group of population power-bases (like New York, California, Illinois and Florida) would not be the ones electing the president while the rest of the country has no say in the matter. They set up the College to give proportional weight to each state when it comes to electing the president. I suppose the Times just doesn't get the constitution and the concept of states' rights and federalism.

Or perhaps they do...

Part 2 on Ben Barnes

The Blogspirator has Part 2 of his investigation into Ben Barnes and his claims about Bush's service in the National Guard
The Mainstream Media (MSM) is covering the Barnes "admission,", but EVERY STORY leaves out the bit about how Barnes is a top Kerry fundraiser who has raised $500,000 for him, and the fact that Barnes is considered a "Gatekeeper" for access to a potential future Kerry administration.

Here's the previous article: "EXCLUSIVE: The Dirt on Ben Barnes Claims about Bush and the Air National Guard"

UPDATE: Here is even more from Chronically Biased.

Sweating, Squealing & Sinking

The Bush haters are shifting, scratching, hemming, hawing and twitching like a 14 year old Amish boy whose mother has just fond his Playboy stash in the horse’s feed bag.

That's gotta hurt. Read the whole thing.

UPDATE: A good example from TIME. Hey, Joe...your boy started it.

The Not-So-Swift Mainstream Media

Great article in this week's Weekly Standard about how the New Media (bloggers, cable news and others) has ripped apart the Old Media's stranglehold on what people see and hear and are now stomping on the bits. The final graph nails it:
John Hinderaker, one of the bloggers behind Powerline, summed up the mood of the blogosphere by comparing journalism with brain surgery: "A bunch of amateurs, no matter how smart and enthusiastic, could never outperform professional neurosurgeons, because they lack the specialized training and experience necessary for that field," he said. "But what qualifications, exactly, does it take to be a journalist? What can they do that we can't? Nothing."

Exactly. Read it all. Thanks to Instapundit.