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Saturday, October 18, 2003
 
THE NPR O'REILLY INTERVIEW

Back on the 9th NPR's 'Fresh Air' had an interview with Bill O'Reilly that didn't end well. O'Reilly got fed up with the questioning of Terry Gross, the host, and walked out.

Various people were irked some because they thought the questions showed NPR's liberal bias and some because they thought O'Reilly is an idiot, doubly more so for walking out.

Now comes an interesting piece from the NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin:

I agree with the listeners who complained about the tone of the interview: Her questions were pointed from the beginning. She went after O'Reilly using critical quotes from the Franken book and a New York Times book review. That put O'Reilly at his most prickly and defensive mode, and Gross was never able to get him back into the interview in an effective way. This was surprising because Terry Gross is, in my opinion, one of the best interviewers anywhere in American journalism.

Although O'Reilly frequently resorts to bluster and bullying on his own show, he seemed unable to take her tough questions. He became angrier as the interview went along. But by coming across as a pro-Franken partisan rather than a neutral and curious journalist, Gross did almost nothing that might have allowed the interview to develop.

By the time the interview was about halfway through, it felt as though Terry Gross was indeed "carrying Al Franken's water," as some listeners say. It was not about O'Reilly's ideas, or his attitudes or even about his book. It was about O'Reilly as political media phenomenon. That's a legitimate subject for discussion, but in this case, it was an interview that was, in the end, unfair to O'Reilly.
...
Finally, an aspect of the interview that I found particularly disturbing: It happened when Terry Gross was about to read a criticism of Bill O'Reilly's book from People magazine. Before Gross could read it to him for his reaction, O'Reilly ended the interview and walked out of the studio. She read the quote anyway.

That was wrong. O'Reilly was not there to respond. It's known in broadcasting as the "empty chair" interview, and it is considered an unethical technique and should not be used on NPR.
--NPR : The Ombudsman at National Public Radio


Friday, October 17, 2003
 
SCHULTZ ON ARNOLD


Former U.S. Treasury Secretary George Shultz, sitting in serene retirement in his office on the campus of Stanford University, likes to tell this story about Arnold Schwarzenegger.

``Buffett and I'' -- that would be billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who with Shultz heads the soon-to-be-governor's team of informal economic advisers -- ``were doing a conference call with Arnold back in September. A number of businessmen had joined us. And one of them, a Latino restaurant owner, starts to push this driver's license thing.''

That would be the new California law, signed by a desperate Governor Gray Davis shortly before last Tuesday's recall election, allowing illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses.

``This fellow says, `Arnold, all my employees are for it. All my customers are for it. You support this thing and I can guarantee you a lot of votes.'

``There was a long silence. Finally Arnold says, `But I don't support it.'

``And this businessman says, `But it would be very good for you,' and so on and so on.

``Another long silence.

``Finally, Arnold says, `I'm sorry, I can't. What kind of governor would I be if I started supporting things I don't believe in?'

``Remember, this was not a public event for public consumption. This wasn't some kind of grandstanding. I just thought, Wow. Bam. What an answer. This guy's got it. This guy's the real thing.''

-- Bloomberg.com


 
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE THE MORE THEY... SOMETHING, SOMETHING...

"Americans are losing the victory in Europe"

"We have swept away Hitlerism, but a great many Europeans feel that the cure has been worse than the disease."

Jessica's Well has posted a couple articles from a 1946 Life magazine that are quite similar to some today's Iraq reporting.

 
"WE'RE SPENDING $87 BILLION IN IRAQ... THAT COULD BE SPENT ON X, Y, AND Z HERE!!!!!"

It seems to me this is quite possibly the stupidest reason to oppose a bill I've ever seen. And it's all over the place among the Dems. It's especially asinine when viewed in conjunction with the other favorite: "We can't spend more money, we're running a deficit!"

So they both want to spend $87 Billion here at home and not spend a penny more than we are now... assuming of course that they really mean what they say and aren't just objecting for the sake of objecting... which is actually a fairly big assumption.

We're not rebuilding Iraq just because we think it's a cool idea, we're doing it because it's important for our national security. Better schools, a cleaner environment, or more money being poured into a particular group of voters doesn't help us if we've got dirty bombs blowing up in Manhattan or a Smallpox epidemic in the District of Columbia. We're rebuilding Iraq because it's an important part of making Iraq a country that doesn't want to blow us up.

Thursday, October 16, 2003
 
IMPORTANT DAY FOR DVD

Best Buy is doing away with VHS videocassettes in their stores.

 
I GET THE FEELING LILEKS DOESN'T LIKE QUENTIN TARANTINO

He's got some very strong stuff to say about Kill Bill and Tarantino in general.

One of these days he’ll make a movie where the hero kills a kid. And if it gets cut from the final release, he’ll hang on to a copy so he can run it in his home theater, and sit in the middle of the room with a bucket of popcorn in one hand and his personal pink crayola-stub in the other.

--James Lileks


 
SPINSANITY TAKES ON MOORE AGAIN

Spinsanity takes Michael Moore to task over his latest book.

 
TIM BLAIR ON THE IMMINENT THREAT MYTH

Check it out.

 
IT'S A GOOD THING FOR THE DEMS THAT THE UN HASN'T PASSED ANYTHING SUPPORTING THE US IN IRAQ

Oh, wait...

Well at least there was lots of dissent and it was not nearly unanimous...

Oh, wait...

Wednesday, October 15, 2003
 
POLITICIZING THE WAR


At any rate, the idea that the party that has downplayed every success in Iraq, completely distorted the SOTU so that the actual speech has little or no connection to the DNC talking points, lied about the Kay report, lied about their stance before and after the war (and for good fun- tune into the Democrat debates, where you can see them switch positions real-time), lied about pre-emption, then lied about the 'imminent' threat claim, lied about yellowcake, lied about being bogged down during the war, lied about how long or how easy this Bush claimed this would be, and lied about what is going on after the war, all so that they can attempt to diminish the current administration so that they can re-take the White House next year, the idea that this party is now going to claim Republicans 'politicized' the war is enough to make me sick.

--John Cole


 
PLEASE JOIN ME NOW IN A BIT OF LOGIC

A study came out about a week and a half ago.

Funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Ford Foundation, the study was conducted from June through September. It surveyed 3,334 Americans who receive their news from a single media source. Each was questioned about whether he held any of the following three beliefs, characterized by the center as "egregious misperceptions":

-Saddam Hussein has been directly linked with the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

-Weapons of mass destruction have already been found in Iraq.

-World opinion favored the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
...
Sixty percent of all respondents believed in at least one of the statements. But there were clear differences in perceptions among devotees of the various media outlets.

Twenty-three percent of those who get their news from NPR or PBS believed in at least one of the mistaken claims. In contrast, 80 percent of Fox News viewers held at least one of the three incorrect beliefs.

Among broadcast network viewers there also were differences. Seventy-one percent of those who relied on CBS for news held a false impression, as did 61 percent of ABC's audience and 55 percent of NBC viewers. Fifty-five percent of CNN viewers and 47 percent of Americans who rely on the print media as their primary source of information also held at least one misperception.

-- sunspot.net

The entire study can be found here.

Now, what does this study show?

Does it show that Fox News viewers are dumber than NPR viewers? No.

Does it show that Fox News viewers are more gullible than NPR viewers? No.

Does it show that Fox News viewers are more likely to be ill-informed or have misperceptions about the war? No.

What this study shows is that Fox News viewers are more likely to hold those 3 particular misperceptions. It says nothing about anything else. It doesn't show that Fox News is any more likely to mislead their viewers than any other network.

The study included only pro-war misperceptions. They didn't include anything like "The US acted unilaterally in Iraq" or "UN resolutions required inspectors to prove that Iraq had WMDs" or "Bush said that Iraq was an 'imminent threat' to the US". Ask the viewers of any of a number of other networks these questions and I imagine you'll find that every network fosters its own set of misperceptions.

Pipa suggests that "it does appear likely that support for the war would be substantially lower if fewer members of the public had these misperceptions." I'd suggest that support for the war would be greater if fewer members of the public had misperceptions like those I listed above.

There is a thing or two to be drawn from this study, but not as much as most seem to think.

 
THIS SPAM THING IS GETTING RIDICULOUS PART II

We've all been getting those Nigerian scam e-mails for quite some time, and as I said yesterday I've started receiving Christian spam lately. Today I open my mailbox only to find a Christian version of the Nigerian scam. *sigh*

 
RUSH CRITICS

John Podhoretz chronicals the "sick glee" of Rush's critics during the drug scandal.

 
JUDICIAL FILIBUSTERS

The Dems are getting ready to start it up again. Would it be too much to ask that the Republicans actually show a little backbone and make the Dems actually get up in the chamber and filibuster? If they're going to use the filibuster we might as well make them actually talk till their throats are dry.

 
THE CHINESE SPACESHOT GOT ME THINKING...

Just how much more capitalistic can China get before they're no longer communists and are just a socialistic despotism? They've got Hong Kong infecting them, they've got a growing middle class. It seems the only part of communism they're still devoted to is the cracking down on religion thing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2003
 
REGARDING THE CUBS: WOW...

The Chicago Cubs: Living down to expectations for 95 years.

It should be noted though that even though the fan may have cost them an out, it was still the Cubs players who let the fish score 8 freakin points in one inning.


 
WILL WORK FOR MONEY AND BENEFITS

Just for the record, I need a job. Graduated from the University of Cincinnati in June with a BS in Computer Science. If anyone has need of a software developer/system analyst type guy let me know. Currently in the Cincinnati/Dayton area, but open to relocation.


 
AND WHILE I'M ON THE SUBJECT OF RELIGION

Might as well tackle the Pledge dealie.

First off, I hope the 9th Circuit's Pledge ruling is overturned. Not because I think "Under God" should be either in the Pledge or on our money, but because I don't think it's unconstitutional to have it there. If you don't like it then I'd fully support a grassroots campaign to get the government to change things. I think there's a very strong case to be made for it being unnecessarily divisive.

It kind of parallels my views on abortion. I'm not so much against abortion as I am against the courts saying that we the people don't have the right to decide things on our own.

And while I've got my head firmly entrenched in the bees' nest ala Winnie The Pooh I might as well say this: Atheism is no less a belief than Christianity is. (Or Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism or any other religion of your choosing for that matter.) You may be able to explain everything in the universe without a god, but it can also be explained with Him, Her, or It. The existence of a higher power can no more be proved than it can be disproved.

I guess I'm just tired of the... holier than thouself-righteous, we're smarter and more logical than you attitude that comes from many atheists. (Note that I don't support the holier than thou, we're going to Heaven and you're not attitude that comes from many religious people either.) The secular humanists/atheists have people on their side just as condescending as on the religious side of things, but I think many only see the self-righteous pricks on the other side of things.

 
THIS SPAM THING IS GETTING RIDICULOUS

I am now actually getting Christian spam. "You are loved", "Jesus died on the cross to save us all", "Search for The Bible on the internet", blah, blah, blah. The least they could do is let people who are already Christians opt out.

 
PROPOSED: THE GAME STRIKE COMMANDER IS THE MOST UNDERRATED COMBAT FLIGHT SIM EVER

The game had everything: mercenaries, dictators, seedy bars, finances, an accountant... it really was a very good game when it came out in the early-to-mid '90s. *whistful sigh* why don't they make games like that anymore?

Monday, October 13, 2003
 
THOSE DAMN REPUBLICANS KEEP CUTTING MONEY FROM OUR SCHOOLS

Or not.

 
JUST A REMINDER


Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

-- State of the Union Address


 
LILEKS

Lileks LILEKS (James) fisks the life out of a Colleen Rowley editorial. Thus according to many on the left (and from what I gather from Rowley's piece her too) somehow limiting her freedom of speech by disagreeing with her.






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