Saturday, October 29, 2005

The clueless Gray Lady


“There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.”
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The use of the Internet has exploded, not just in the US,
US - Population: 296,208,476

Internet users as of Aug/05: 203,274,683, 68.6% penetration;
but across the planet.

Somewhere within its bowels, the New York Times Company recognized that the Internet was negatively impacting business and acquired About.com as a hedge. [Ed. - a move for which the jury is still out]

The NY Times newsroom, however, is clueless to their changing environment.

After two decades of “news reporting” that veered farther and farther Left, the NY Times reached the point where, thumbing its nose at objectivity and the concept of journalistic integrity, it became a not so subtle propaganda machine for “progressive” thought and government. This bias went largely unchallenged by the paper's competitors since most of them were of a like mind. Then came the Internet explosion and with it the circumvention of media news filters. The Times' newsroom seemed oblivious to its happening and remains so today. But not its readership; the more attuned and open-minded increasingly turned to the Internet, looking for the whole story. Many, among those straying, abandoned the NY Times altogether.

To say that this has caused a financial problem for the NY Times and its employees is an understatement.

Yet, the newsroom persists.

A case in point: Michelle Malkin’s reporting CPL. JEFFREY B. STARR: WHAT THE NYTIMES LEFT OUT.

Some humble advice to the “reporters” and editors of the NY Times: Look out your window(s). That encampment you see on the source side of your news filters is the blogosphere. It’s not going away and it’s growing, exponentially. You might think about returning to “All the news that’s fit to print.”

Friday, October 28, 2005

Marilyn, Sugar Pie, and Puppy speak out for PETA
Anna Nicole Smith's dogs boycott Iams

NEW YORK - Anna Nicole Smith's dogs are boycotting pet food maker Iams.

Smith's protesting pooches are refusing dog food from Iams in a new advertisement for PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.[Ed. – apparently, not so much]

"Marilyn, Sugar Pie and Puppy are boycotting Iams until it stops testing on animals in labs," the poster reads beneath a picture of Smith, a former Playboy model, and her three dogs.

“For the love of dogs, boycott Iams,” says Ms. Smith.

For the love of Mike, give me a break!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Never give a child a sword.

Editor (of the high school’s student newspaper): “What’s wrong, Susan?”

Susan (a copy editor for the newspaper): “This ad is so wrong, I mean totally.”

Editor (moving toward the computer to see the ad mockup on screen): “Which ad?”

Susan: “This supermarket ad for turkeys for Thanksgiving.”

Editor (after carefully studying the ad): “It looks fine to me, what’s wrong with it?”

Susan: “Duh, I’m a vegan. And the thought of eating meat offends me.”

Editor: “You’re kidding, right?”

Susan (looking daggers at her classmate): Does it look like I’m kidding?”

Editor: “So, what do you want me to do?”

Susan: “Tell the supermarket they’ll have to change the ad or we won’t run it.”

Editor (dismissively, as he turns away): “That’s not going to happen, you’ll just have to live with it.”

Susan (grabbing and opening a three-ring binder from a nearby shelf): “Not true, the school newspaper's policy states that editors have the right to reject, edit or cancel any ad, and that, quote, advertising should be free of statements, illustrations or implications that are offensive to good taste or public decency based on the opinion of the staff, end quote”

Five minutes later in a teacher’s office.

Editor: “So, that’s it, Ms. Yi. And Susan is insistent.”

June Yi (the student newspaper’s faculty adviser): “I feel that if one child feels offended, we change the ad," Yi said. "We have a policy."

Batten down the hatches

Cindy, does the name Ken Starr ring a bell?
War Critic Sets Her Sights on Mrs. Clinton

Cindy Sheehan, who has crusaded nationally against the war in Iraq since her son was killed there, called on antiwar activists yesterday not to support Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is seeking re-election next year. "I believe that any candidate who supports the war should not receive our support," Ms. Sheehan told The Associated Press in an interview. "It doesn't matter if they're Senator Clinton or whoever."

Though Ms. Sheehan has criticized Mrs. Clinton's position on the war in the past, this is the first time she has urged people to withhold support from the senator…

With her position as a senator," Ms. Sheehan said, "she's become more: `Let's see which way the wind blows, and what's going to get me re-elected or elected, or how am I going to benefit from this' instead of truly voting from her integrity."

Curiously, the NY Times article makes no mention of its reporter trying to reach the senator or her office for comment.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Dimensionally-challenged

British bobbie: “Can you describe the driver of the vehicle that struck you?

Hit-and-run Victim: ‘Well, she was a load, wasn’t she.”

Bobbie: “It was a woman driving?”

Victim: “Yes, a fat woman.”

Bobbie: “You can’t say ‘fat’”

Victim: “What?”

Bobbie (giving victim an icy stare): “You can’t use the word ‘fat’ to describe the driver of the vehicle. That language is offensive.”

Victim (staring at bobbie in disbelief): “What?”

Bobbie: You’ll have to use a word other than ‘fat.’

Victim: “I’m standing here bleeding and bruised, and you’re lecturing me on how I can describe that immense cow in the Citroen that drove onto the sidewalk and hit me?”

Bobbie (dismissively): “Madam, ‘immense cow’ is also contrary to the Appropriate Language Guide of the Greater Manchester police.”

Victim: “How about this then. A human female, easily 25 stone, whose body mass consisted chiefly of animal tissue cells distended by greasy, oily matter and whose person occupied most of the car space allocated for the driver and front passenger. “

Spot the UN idiot

I know, I know, they are stumbling all over each other in that “village.”

This week’s standout (so far) is “special envoy” James Wolfensohn.

In today’s news comes:
Bombing at Israeli Food Stand Kills Five

A 20-year-old Palestinian blacksmith blew himself up at a falafel stand in an open-air market Wednesday, killing five Israelis and wounding more than 30 in the deadliest attack in the country in more than three months.

The bombing stifled faint peace hopes following Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip. The blast also embarrassed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who only hours earlier had scolded militant groups for repeatedly violating a truce.

What has this to do with Wolfensohn? On Monday it was revealed that Wolfensohn was insistent that Israel open its borders with Gaza and “accused Israel of unnecessary delays in restoring movement across the borders. He said the stalling is preventing him from moving on to larger reconstruction efforts, such as tourism, agriculture and industrial projects." [Ed. – bold and italics are mine]

Envoy: Israel must step up effort to reopen Gaza borders

JERUSALEM (AP) — A top Mideast envoy criticized Israel in especially tough language for moving too slowly on negotiations to open Gaza's borders, saying the country is behaving almost as if the withdrawal from the Gaza Strip never happened.

Without dramatic progress soon, a rare chance to revive Gaza's shattered economy — and the peace process — will be lost, James Wolfensohn said in a letter to the U.N. secretary general and other international mediators obtained Monday by The Associated Press….

[Israel] has severely restricted the passage of Palestinian laborers and goods in and out of Israel, the main Palestinian export market, since an earlier wave of rocket attacks right after the pullout.

Israeli officials say the measures are solely because of security considerations.

An aside

Also in same article revolving around the peeved Wolfensohn's laments came this:
Israel closed the Rafah crossing into Egypt, Gaza's main link to the outside world, shortly before it withdrew from Gaza.

The stupidity of including that statement to chastise Israel is almost beyond belief; the AP assumes the reader is as ignorant as the news agency is haughty.

The other shoe drops

It is all together fitting and proper that the Associated Press (AP) has listed this item, McManus Replaces Heyward As CBS News Head, in its entertainment section, where it is accompanied by these other breaking and equally important "news" stories:
  • Janet Jackson Denies Having 'Secret Child'
  • Actor Hunter Reflects on Past in Memoir
  • Blake Dines Out
  • Billboard for 50 Cent Movie Criticized

Desperate about ‘Desperate’

'Housewives' Backlash Doesn't Worry Cross
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) -- You can count Marcia Cross among the fans of "Desperate Housewives" who want the characters' stories to connect again.

"I think it would be nice if we start spending a little more time together," said Cross, who plays Bree on the hit ABC series.

I don’t know which is sadder, that there is a “backlash” or that a “news” organization would actually have a “reporter” interview one of the show’s actors about the criticism and then send the result out over the wire.

Empathizing with the infamous Nazi Fuehrer

Anti-Semitic poem in children’s school book

A poem which praises the murder of Jews by the Nazis has been included in a book of children’s poetry to be distributed amongst schools in the UK.

The publication, entitled Great Minds, features the work of school children aged 11 to 18 who won a nationwide literary competition.

But one poem has generated outrage amongst Jewish groups, politicians and Holocaust charities for its anti-Semitic content.

The entry by the 14-year-old Gideon Taylor is apparently written from the viewpoint of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

It includes the lines "Jews are here, Jews are there, Jews are almost everywhere, filling up the darkest places, evil looks upon their faces."

Another part reads: "Make them take many paces for being one of the worst races, on their way to a gas chamber, where they will sleep in their manger… I'll be happy Jews have died."

The book was produced by Forward Press who ran the Great Minds competition through its youngwriters.co.uk website.

According to the Jewish Telegraph newspaper, the poem was the only entry in the entire book not to include the writer’s school or location.

Young Writers editor Steve Twelvetree, who also edited the book, said the poem was included as it illustrated how the writer was able to empathise with the infamous Nazi Fuehrer.

Is the poem anti-Semitic and hateful? Unquestionably. Was its inclusion in a book of children’s poems malicious? Only if you believe this guy and his “team” have a clue.
Although [Steve Twelvetree] denies it he is often likened by colleagues to a ginger Rick Astley (judge for yourself) and outside interests include, books, films and video games.

What is pathetic is that the book was approved for use by whatever adult supervision lurks in the halls of UK education system.

(Nod to: lgf)

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The meek shall inherit the earth

That, of course, assumes that there will be something left of it.

Six Stabbed at 1-Year-Old's Birthday Party After Neighbor Complains About Noise

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. Oct 24, 2005 — Six people were stabbed early Sunday during a melee at a 1-year-old's birthday party, police said. It apparently started when a downstairs neighbor went upstairs to complain about the noise.

The injured were taken to Hartford and St. Francis hospitals, where they were treated for stab wounds to their faces and necks. All were later released.

Police said they received several 911 calls around 12:45 a.m. They arrived at a two-family home on Crosby Street to find dozens of people running around in a thunderstorm. Some were screaming and bleeding….

Police were interviewing witnesses to find out what sparked the brawl.

Gee, could it be rank, abject stupidity?

Monday, October 24, 2005

Roid milk

New 'Got Milk?' Ad Not a Hit With MLB

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The latest "Got Milk?" commercial hit a little too close to home for Major League Baseball. Poking fun at the league's steroid scandal, the television ad for the California Milk Processor Board talks about a player getting pulled from a game "after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance."

In the next scene, a coach pulls a carton of milk from the slugger's locker.

"There is nothing humorous about steroid abuse," said Tim Brosnan, executive vice president for business for the league.

The 30-second spot is part of a new "Got Milk?" series that began airing during the baseball playoffs.

Jeff Goodby, co-founder of the San Francisco advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners... said the ad was never meant to be taken so seriously.

"It's just milk," Goodby said. "Believe me, we know parody is based on a serious topic [Ed. – the “seriousness” of the topic is irrelevant, parody is the copying of something in a comic or satirical way. And in these commercials that something is the use of illegal drugs by athletes]. So we wanted to make sure that it was goofy enough so that people didn't get upset."

A conversation between a father (or mother) and their young child that takes place while the two are watching the MLB playoffs on TV (one of these milk commercials has just aired).
Child: Dad, what is wrong with drinking milk, isn’t it good for you?

Parent: Yeah, it’s good for you.

Child: Then why are the ball players in trouble for drinking it?

Parent: They’re not really. It’s a joke. It’s a parody. It’s supposed to be funny.

Child: What’s funny about being in trouble?

Parent: It’s not funny to be in trouble. But see, some players took… I mean there is a problem… Never mind. It’s just a stupid commercial. Let’s watch the game.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Stupid Pills

Have long been the drug of choice in Hollywood. Their use is rampant not only among the movie industry elite but also inside the halls of government in and around that burg. It seems, of late, the pill poppers are ratcheting up the intake.

Sizemore's Lawyers Want Conviction Tossed
"I completely deny that she doesn't exist," said Deputy City Attorney Robert Cha, who prosecuted Sizemore. [Ed. – said differently, “She exists.”]

"[T]he photograph speaks for itself," says Cha. [Ed. –Dan Rather and Mary Mapes call your office]
One can only imagine what the judge hearing the original case asked the prosecutor when the evidence, just introduced, was objected to by the defense attorney (assuming there was an objection). Perhaps, “Well, Mr. City Attorney, if you can’t produce the individual who you say took the picture, can you produce a picture of that individual? Because, as you say, ‘photos speak for themselves.’”
Sizemore, who appeared in "Saving Private Ryan" and "Black Hawk Down," said he has found two witnesses who claim they saw Fleiss around the time the photo was supposedly taken and did not notice marks or bruises on her face.

[Sizemore] was sentenced to 17 months in jail and more than four months in drug treatment for repeatedly failing drug tests while on probation.

Update:

I left out another sub-culture in the stupid pill poppers crowd: the “journalists” that cover the entertainment industry elite.

Britney's Black Market Baby Pics?
By Joal Ryan
It's not the Lindbergh kidnapping, but to Britney Spears, it's bad enough.

Pictures from a photo shoot featuring Spears' and husband Kevin Federline's month-old baby boy have been stolen, the pop star's camp said late Friday.
Clearly, there is a moral equivalence between the abduction and brutal murder of a child and the theft of newborn photos.

Not yet… Not yet… Ah, there it is.


It’s become cliché, like the gratuitous nude/sex scene(s) in all of Hollywood’s R-rated films. I’m referring to gratuitous USA-bashing in mainstream media (MSM) reporting, regardless of the “news” topic.

Nation Stuck Between Fear and Regret (1600 words in length) seems, for all intents and purposes, a balanced, well-organized, and informative [Ed. - for me anyway] article by LA Times writer Megan K. Stack on the political state of affairs in Morocco. Then, about 1400 words into the piece, comes this:
As the crackdown continued, the United States increased aid to Morocco to $60 million in 2004, in part to fund its war on terrorism. Washington also praised the kingdom as a "model of tolerance
Only by reading the entire article can one appreciate how asinine that paragraph is.

I make an effort to stay informed about many things - Morocco is not one of them. I know that Rabat is its capital and that a Humphrey Bogart film put another of its cities, Casablanca, on the map. And that’s about all I know.

In other words, I’m ignorant about things Moroccan.

After reading Ms. Stack’s report, am I still uninformed? That is, what else in this article is nonsensical? Can I trust her reporting?

It’s certainly not unreasonable for me to ask, and that’s a shame.

I have reached the point where I no longer give the MSM, particularly newspapers, the benefit of the doubt. I am not alone, which may explain why they are hemorrhaging money and jobs.