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Saturday, March 13, 2010
I really can't say enough about how good Heavy Rain is

It's incredible how immersive the game is and how such an simple control scheme manages to just draw you in. You're constantly on guard for what the next choice is going to be, and at times it becomes clear that they simply intend for you to fail. Just like the characters you're playing there are simply some things you can't do. You miss 3 buttons in a row and something bad happens and you realize that seems like exactly what was supposed to happen.

I shot and killed a man today, and I find that it's really sticking with me. I find myself going back over the scenario and trying to figure out what I could have done differently to avoid that. Maybe if I'd just intervened a little earlier... I don't know. But the thing is, I never consciously made the choice to shoot him, but at the same time I didn't do it accidentally. I tried to talk him down, but it just came to a point where, with how he was talking, I felt certain that he was about to shoot my partner and instinct took over, I pulled the trigger. And I immediately thought "Holy crap, I just shot him..." It wasn't conscious, and it's not as if I accidentally bumped the button, at that moment I was just so immersed in the game that I instinctively knew that at that moment I had to do that. And I find that amazing, and I'm left wondering what that instinctive choice means for the rest of the game...

Posted by robbernard at 9:05 PM in Media , Technology/Internet

Wednesday, January 25, 2006
I guess you can file this under "What liberal media?"

Received an e-mail yesterday from a reporter for the Dayton Daily News which referred to President Bush as "our warmongering, torture-supporting fascist-in-chief".


Posted by robbernard at 11:11 AM in Media

Saturday, June 4, 2005
You want an example of biased reporting?

Try this Reuters report on for size. The author isn't reporting on the United Nations' release of an atlas showing pictures of how the earth has been changed by humans over the last 30 years, instead they're trying to make the point that the atlas is meant to make.

Posted by robbernard at 5:39 PM in Media

Thursday, April 28, 2005
A Slide for Soar Eyes

     "Oil Prices Slide More Than $2.50 a Barrel"--headline, Associated Press, April 27, 3:25 p.m. EDT

     "Bush Lays Out Energy Plan As Prices Soar"--headline, Associated Press, April 27, 5 p.m. EDT

--Best of the Web Today

Posted by robbernard at 2:53 PM in Media

Friday, February 18, 2005
Ok, please, everybody just remain calm

A van has overturned in Florida, killing 2.

Personally I don't have a clue why it's newsworthy, but 1290 WHIO seems to think it's important enough to make the top-of-the-hour news so who am I to argue.

I pray that we will be able to overcome this great national tragedy.

Posted by robbernard at 2:45 PM in Media

Saturday, February 12, 2005
Score one more for the blogosphere

Eason Jordan has quit at CNN.

CNN's chief news executive Eason Jordan quit on Friday over remarks he made in Switzerland last month about journalists killed in Iraq, possibly by U.S. forces, the television network said.

CNN said on its Web site that Jordan conceded his remarks at last month's World Economic Forum in Davos were "not as clear as they should have been." Several participants at the event said Jordan told the audience U.S. forces had deliberately targeted journalists -- a charge he denied.
The controversy gained steam last week, with Internet bloggers posting their accounts of what transpired at the Switzerland forum, an event attended by political, economic, academic and media figures from around the world, the CNN site said.


Posted by robbernard at 1:29 AM in Media

Friday, January 28, 2005
Good news

Experts seem to have ruled out the prospect of an "unkillable zombie Bin Laden". :)

Posted by robbernard at 12:34 PM in Media , War/Terrorism/Middle East

Monday, January 10, 2005
4 (more) out at CBS

Senior Vice President Betsy West, 60 Minutes Wednesday Executive Producer Josh Howard and Senior Broadcast Producer Mary Murphy were asked to resign. Mary Mapes, the segment's producer, was fired.

The action was prompted by the report of an independent panel that concluded that CBS News failed to follow basic journalistic principles in the preparation and reporting of the piece. The panel also said CBS News had compounded that failure with a “rigid and blind” defense of the 60 Minutes Wednesday report.
The panel said a "myopic zeal" to be the first news organization to broadcast a groundbreaking story about Mr. Bush’s National Guard service was a key factor in explaining why CBS News had produced a story that was neither fair nor accurate and did not meet the organization’s internal standards.
“The panel finds that once serious questions were raised, the defense of the segment became more rigid and emphatic, and that virtually no attempt was made to determine whether the questions raised had merit,” the report concluded.

The panel believes a turning point came on Sept. 10, when CBS News President Andrew Heyward ordered West to review the opinions of document examiners who had seen the disputed documents and the confidential sources supporting the story.

But no such investigation was undertaken at that time.

“Had this directive been followed promptly, the panel does not believe that 60 Minutes Wednesday would have publicly defended the segment for another 10 days,” the report said.

--CBS "News"

Posted by robbernard at 11:24 AM in Media

Monday, December 6, 2004
Fox to provide news for Clear Channel stations
Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation's largest radio station operator, has picked Fox News Radio to be the primary source of national news for most of its news and talk stations, officials announced Monday.

The five-year agreement initially covers more than 100 radio stations.

Fox will provide a five-minute top-of-the-hour newscast, a nightly news broadcast, and around-the-clock dedicated national news coverage. In return, Fox News Radio will have access to news produced by San Antonio-based Clear Channel's news network.

--Yahoo! News

That sound you hear is tens of millions of Liberals wailing in anguish.

Posted by robbernard at 1:04 PM in Media

Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Rather out at CBS
Dan Rather announced Tuesday that he will step down as anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News in March, 24 years after his first broadcast in that position.

Rather will continue to work full-time at CBS News as a correspondent for both editions of 60 Minutes, as well as on other assignments for the news division.

CBS made no mention of a potential successor.

Rather, 73, has come under fire for his 60 Minutes report on President Bush's service in the National Guard during the Vietnam War. The report relied on documents that cast Mr. Bush's service in a negative light. Critics charged that the documents were forgeries, and CBS News was unable to vouch for their authenticity. An independent commission is now investigating the matter.


Posted by robbernard at 1:13 PM in Media

Monday, September 20, 2004
It's official: "we have been misled"

The source was in fact Bill Burkett. (Accepting any evidence from him is probably a bigger knock on CBS than The Documents being forged.

CBS's statement:

Bill Burkett, in a weekend interview with CBS News Anchor and Correspondent Dan Rather, has acknowledged that he provided the now-disputed documents used in the Sept. 8 "60 Minutes Wednesday" report on President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard.

Burkett, a retired National Guard lieutenant colonel, also admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the documents’ origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source.

Burkett originally said he obtained the documents from another former Guardsman. Now he says he got them from a different source whose connection to the documents and identity CBS News has been unable to verify to this point. Burkett’s interview will be featured in a full report on tonight’s CBS Evening News with Dan Rather (6:30-7:00 p.m., ET/PT).

In light of this and other developments reported by CBS News and other news organizations, CBS News President Andrew Heyward issued the following statement:

“'60 Minutes Wednesday' had full confidence in the original report or it would not have aired. However, in the wake of serious and disturbing questions that came up after the broadcast, CBS News has done extensive additional reporting in an effort to confirm the documents’ authenticity.

That included an interview featured on last week’s edition of "60 Minutes Wednesday" with Marian Carr Knox, secretary to the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, the officer named as the author of the documents; the interview with Bill Burkett to be seen tonight; and a further review of the forensic evidence on both sides of the debate.

Based on what we now know, CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic, which is the only acceptable journalistic standard to justify using them in the report. We should not have used them. That was a mistake, which we deeply regret. Nothing is more important to us than our credibility and keeping faith with the millions of people who count on us for fair, accurate, reliable, and independent reporting. We will continue to work tirelessly to be worthy of that trust.”

CBS News and CBS management are commissioning an independent review of the process by which the report was prepared and broadcast to help determine what actions need to be taken. The names of the people conducting the review will be announced shortly, and their findings will be made public.

--CBS News

Dan Rather's statement:

Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a "60 Minutes Wednesday" story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question-and their source-vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome.

Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where-if I knew then what I know now-I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.

Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.

--CBS News

CBS Story

You know CBS, this all could have been avoided if, right from the start, you would have put more emphasis on your efforts to confirm The Documents and less on standing behind them and reporting only the facts that backed the side that The Documents were real.

You may now commenc the Dan Rather parodies.

Posted by robbernard at 1:34 PM in Media
It's taken them long enough
After days of expressing confidence about the documents used in a "60 Minutes'' report that raised new questions about President Bush's National Guard service, CBS News officials have grave doubts about the authenticity of the material, network officials said last night.

The officials, who asked not to be identified, said CBS News would most likely make an announcement as early as today that it had been deceived about the documents' origins. CBS News has already begun intensive reporting on where they came from, and people at the network said it was now possible that officials would open an internal inquiry into how it moved forward with the report. Officials say they are now beginning to believe the report was too flawed to have gone on the air.

But they cautioned that CBS News could still pull back from an announcement. Officials met last night with Dan Rather, the anchor who presented the report, to go over the information it had collected about the documents one last time before making a final decision. Mr. Rather was not available for comment late last night.

--The New York Times

Posted by robbernard at 1:59 AM in Media

Sunday, September 19, 2004
Rathergate cartoons

Ratherbiiased rounds up a whole bunch of Rathergate editorial cartoons.

Posted by robbernard at 12:11 PM in Media

Saturday, September 18, 2004
Real & fake side by side

A real Texas National Guard Memo with Killian's signature next to one of The Documents over at the Washington Post. Not at all close.

Posted by robbernard at 9:52 PM in Media

Thursday, September 16, 2004
Editing the 60 minutes piece

Bill Hobbs has taken last week's 60 Minutes piece and edited out everything related to The Documents. What's left is simply the story of a partisan Democrat claiming he helped get George Bush into the National Guard. Without the memos there's not one valid concern to be raised about his last 2 years in the Guard, it's all about how he got in. And lets remember that Bush didn't have to jump in front of hundreds of people to get his Guard slot as many would have you believe. Very few people were willing to put in the required training time to be a pilot. There were 156 openings in that Group and 26 for officers like Bush.

And yet Rather still wants us to ignore Th Documents and instead focus on the serious questions raised. Now if only there were some serious questions raised without the forgery of Th Documents.

Posted by robbernard at 2:32 PM in Media
Killian's secretary

Some less-than-consistent stories from Marian Carr Knox, Col. Jerry Killian's secretary (though she was apparently not just his secretary but rather the secretary for the whole office).

From the Sept. 14th Houston Chronicle:

Last week, Knox said she had no firsthand knowledge of Bush's time with the Texas Air National Guard, although she did recall a culture of special treatment for the sons of prominent people, such as Bush and others.

--Houston Chronicle

From last night's 60 Minutes

Knox remembers Lt. Bush well, and saw him often as he showed up for weekend training in 1971 and 1972.

--CBS News

I don't know that I'd put much weight behind the story of an 86 year old Bush-hater whose story has changed drastically in just the past week.

Posted by robbernard at 2:08 PM in Media
Quote of the day
"If the documents are not what we were led to believe, I'd like to break that story," Rather said in an interview last night. "Any time I'm wrong, I want to be right out front and say, 'Folks, this is what went wrong and how it went wrong.' "

--Washington Post

From this I gather that CBS News has a time machine tucked away somewhere and at some point in the future plans to send Dan Rather back to halfway through last Wednesday's 60 Minutes so he can be the first to break the story.

Posted by robbernard at 3:16 AM in Media

Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Tracing the origins of The Documents

The Washington Post is reporting that The Documents contained a fax header indicating that they were faxed to CBS from a Kinko's in Abilene, Texas.

Documents allegedly written by a deceased officer that raised questions about President Bush's service with the Texas Air National Guard bore markings showing they had been faxed to CBS News from a Kinko's copy shop in Abilene, Tex., according to another former Guard officer who was shown the records by the network.

The markings provide one piece of evidence suggesting a source for the documents, whose authenticity has been hotly disputed since CBS aired them in a "60 Minutes" broadcast Sept. 8. The network has declined to name the person who provided them, saying the source was confidential, or to explain how the documents came to light after more than three decades.

There is only one Kinko's in Abilene, and it is 21 miles from the Baird, Tex., home of retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett, who has been named by several news outlets as a possible source for the documents.

Robert Strong, who was one of three people interviewed by "60 minutes," said he was shown copies of the documents by CBS anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes on Sept. 5, three days before the broadcast. He said at least one of the documents bore a faxed header indicating it had been sent from a Kinko's in Abilene.

--Washington Post

Blogs for Bush indicates that the Abilene Kinko's is, in fact, the closest Kinko's to Burkett's home.

Kevin McCullough of has spoken with the Abilene Kinko's. It was confirmed that Burkett has a standing account there and that he was there last week. It's looking more and more like Burkett's a/the source.

So, how long do you figure it'll be before we get our first "Rove gave The Documents to Burkett" or "Rove sent someone to Abilene to frame Burkett" conspiracy theory?

NRO's Kerry Spot points out that Killian's secretary thinks the wording used in The Documents sounds more like Army wording and that Burkett spent 28 years in the Army National Guard.

Marion Carr Knox, the secretary to Col. Jerry Killian, President Bush's National Guard commander, this evening, during her interview with Dan Rather:

"And there are words in there that belong in the Army, not to the Air Guard. We never used those terms."
From the Veterans for Peace web site:
Lt. Col. Bill Burkett completed 28 years of decorated service and was medically retired from the US Army National Guard in 1998.

Ace of Spades HQ provides a good background on Bill Burkett.

Posted by robbernard at 10:46 PM in Media
The CBS statement

Everyone's got the statement from CBS News President Andrew Heyward.

We established to our satisfaction that the memos were accurate or we would not have put them on television. There was a great deal of coroborating [sic] evidence from people in a position to know. Having said that, given all the questions about them, we believe we should redouble our efforts to answer those questions, so that's what we are doing.

That of course clears nothing up and tells us nothing other than that they've switched from saying The Documents are authentic to saying they're "accurate".

There is however an extended statement, a 3 page pdf on CBS's site. It also clears nothing up.

It tells us that Killian's secretary is on 60 Minutes tonight.

It has a section meant to address the procurement of The Documents which simply says that they got them from a source they're not willing to identify and that you should trust that Mary Mapes vetted The Documents.

In a section about the authentication of The Documents they tell us they were examined by Marcel B. Matley, James J. Pierce, Emily Will and Linda James. The latter two came forward yesterday to say they do not vouch for their authenticity, Matley came forward earlier to say that he looked only at the signature on one document. Only Pierce seems to be standing by the authenticity of The Documents. They also list typewriter repairman Bill Glennon and "computer software expert" Richard Katz as believing The Documents to be authentic. If we consider Glennon and Katz to actually be document experts that would seem to bring the total number of document experts worldwide who believe The Documents to be authentic to be 3. That's only half of the people CBS puts forward in this memo.

Then, totally ignoring many, many problems surrounding The Documents they simply point out that Bobby Hodges said The Documents "reflected issues he and Col. Killian had discussed" and that Gen. Buck Staudt was still powerful after he retired.

They then go on to point out that we shouldn't really be concerned with The Documents which would seem to be fake so much as people should be answering the fake questions raised by the fake documents.

A thoroughly unconvincing defense/clarification/explanation.

Ernest Miller fisks The Statement.

Posted by robbernard at 9:39 PM in Media
A new product from Microsoft

MS Forger: For all your document forging needs.

Posted by robbernard at 3:48 AM in Media

Tuesday, September 14, 2004
2 more of CBS's document experts speak out
Emily Will, a veteran document examiner from North Carolina, told ABC News she saw problems right away with the one document CBS hired her to check the weekend before the broadcast.

"I found five significant differences in the questioned handwriting, and I found problems with the printing itself as to whether it could have been produced by a typewriter," she said.

Will says she sent the CBS producer an e-mail message about her concerns and strongly urged the network the night before the broadcast not to use the documents.

"I told them that all the questions I was asking them on Tuesday night, they were going to be asked by hundreds of other document examiners on Thursday if they ran that story," Will said.

But the documents became a key part of the 60 Minutes II broadcast questioning President Bush's National Guard service in 1972. CBS made no mention that any expert disputed the authenticity.

"I did not feel that they wanted to investigate it very deeply," Will told ABC News.
A second document examiner hired by CBS News, Linda James of Plano, Texas, also told ABC News she had concerns about the documents and could not authenticate them. She said she expressed her concerns to CBS before the 60 Minutes II broadcast.

"I did not authenticate anything and I don't want it to be misunderstood that I did," James said. "And that's why I have come forth to talk about it because I don't want anybody to think I did authenticate these documents." (via Instapundit)

Posted by robbernard at 11:47 PM in Media
Catch Me If You Can

Frank Abagnale, inspiration for the 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can has put in his two cents on The Documents.

"Though Mr. Abagnale has not personally seen the documents or copies of the documents, from what he has seen on television he believes the documents are forgeries. He feels this should be evident to anyone of any knowledge of forged documents," Sarah Hammermill, an information officer at Abegnale's[sic] company, Abegnale and Associates[sic] said in an email to blogger Robin K. Juhl.

"I can tell you that he sent an e-mail to Neil Cavuto of Your World on Fox News Network (he knows him personally) that stated: 'If my forgeries looked as bad as the CBS documents, it would have been Catch Me In Two Days.'"

Contacted by, Kelly Welbes, executive assistant to Abegnale[sic], confirmed the message.

"The person who wrote it was just asking his opinion on it. Mr. Abignale[sic] did, in fact, send that email to Fox News. And it is the opinion of Mr. Abignale[sic] that, having seen the documents as presented by CBS on TV, it is his opinion that they are forgeries," Welbes said.

Abegnale's[sic] comments are just the latest from what is fast becoming a gaggle of experts who doubt the authenticity of the CBS memos.

"Most of the colleagues that I know that are -- that are well trained and have a good reputation, every one that I have heard of on the nightly news or on the internet have basically come to the same conclusion regarding both the typing and handwriting," Jerry Richards, a former FBI document analyst told Fox News Channel's Special Report during tonight's edition. (bold emphasis added)

RatherBiased's post also would be a strong entry in any "Spell 'Abagnale' incorrectly as many times and in as many ways as possible" contest.

Posted by robbernard at 9:00 PM in Media , Politics/Government
On the font

Joseph Newcomer has a very in-depth look at the font used in The Documents.

Posted by robbernard at 3:42 PM in Media
CBS's document authenticator didn't even try to authenticate The Documents
The lead expert retained by CBS News to examine disputed memos from President Bush's former squadron commander in the National Guard said yesterday that he examined only the late officer's signature and made no attempt to authenticate the documents themselves.

"There's no way that I, as a document expert, can authenticate them," Marcel Matley said in a telephone interview from San Francisco. The main reason, he said, is that they are "copies" that are "far removed" from the originals.
CBS executives have pointed to Matley as their lead expert on whether the memos are genuine, and included him in a "CBS Evening News" defense of the story Friday. Matley said he spent five to eight hours examining the memos. "I knew I could not prove them authentic just from my expertise," he said. "I can't say either way from my expertise, the narrow, narrow little field of my expertise."

--Washington Post

Posted by robbernard at 11:52 AM in Media , Politics/Government

Monday, September 13, 2004
Fred Barnes on The Documents
CBS has left the flap over purported documents involving President Bush's record in the Texas Air National Guard in this posture: Who are you going to believe, CBS or your lyin' eyes?

To accept CBS's insistence the four documents from the early 1970s are authentic, you would have to believe the following:

(1) That the late Jerry Killian, Bush's commanding officer, typed the documents--though his wife says "he wasn't a typist."

(2) That Killian kept the documents in his personal files--though his family says he didn't keep files.

(3) That the disputed documents reflect his true (negative) feelings about Bush and a contemporaneous official document he wrote lauding Bush did not.

(4) That he typed the documents on a technically advanced typewriter, an IBM Selectric Composer--though that model has been tested and failed to produce an exact copy of the documents.

(5) That this advanced typewriter, which would have cost $15,000 or so in today's dollars, was used by the Texas National Guard and that Killian had gained the significant expertise needed to operate it.

(6) That Killian was under pressure to whitewash Bush's record from a general who had retired 18 months earlier.

(7) That Killian's superior, Maj. Gen. Bobby Hodges, was right when, sight unseen, he supposedly said the documents were authentic, but wrong when, having actually viewed the documents, he declared them fraudulent.

Now if you can't accept all that, there's another side. To believe the documents are forgeries, you have to believe this:

(1) The documents were typed recently using Microsoft Word, which produces documents that are exact copies of the CBS documents.

(2) There's no number 2. All you have to believe is number 1.

--The Weekly Standard (Hat tip Bill Hobbs)

Posted by robbernard at 4:17 PM in Media , Politics/Government

I had been feeling disappointed in the Cincinnati Post. They had an editorial today all about how the forged documents showed that President Bush didn't fulfill his guard commitment and didn't mention at all that the documents had been shown to be forged.

It was like saying that this memo...

...which I discovered* and could claim to be from the personal files of Kerry's direct commander raised serious questions about not only whether he earned his Purple Hearts but also about whether he was in Vietnam at all and whether there was a serious purple monkey problem in Vietnam at the time. Just as this "document" says nothing about Kerry's service record, the forged national guard documents say nothing about President Bush's. They're fake, they can't show that President Bush received preferential treatment or disobeyed a direct order.

It now appears that they've seen the light and taken down the editorial as the link above now gives you a "URL is not valid" error. Good for them for correcting their mistake unlike some others. *cough*CBS*cough*

* "discovered" meaning "Found on my desktop after typing it up in Word, printing it out, scanning it in, editing it in Photoshop and saving it to my desktop"

Posted by robbernard at 4:10 PM in Cincinnati , Media , Politics/Government
The American Spectator on the internal CBS reaction to "The Documents"
All day Friday, Rather, his producer on the story, Mary Mapes, and other 60 Minutes staffers were scrambling to shore up support from their sources on the story. That effort didn't go so well. By Saturday, one of their key sources, retired Maj. Gen. Bobby Hodges, had said that CBS misled him, and that he had never been shown the memos in question.

"We pulled the trick of only calling some sources at the last minute to reconfirm," says the CBS producer. "Someone called Hodges, I think, on Monday night and read him parts of the document. The late contacts are a standard practice so we don't tip off the competition or our sources."

Hodges is a critical loss for CBS News' credibility. He was the superior officer of the man CBS claims wrote the memo, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, who died in 1984.

MEANWHILE, OVER THE WEEKEND journalists from around the country were attempting to track down the original source of the documents. "We're having a hard time tracking how we got the documents," says the CBS News producer. "There are at least two people in this building who have insisted we got copies of these memos from the Kerry campaign by way of an additional source. We do not have the originals, and our sources have indicated to us that we will not be getting the originals. How that is possible I don't know."

One individual several news outlets were looking at was Bill Burkett, a former Texas National Guard officer. Burkett in the past has cooperated with both press and Democratic Party opposition researchers in slinging mud at President Bush. Burkett gained some national attention earlier in the campaign when he claimed he was at National Guard headquarters in Austin 1997, when he overheard Guard officials and a representative of then Governor Bush discuss how to sanitize Bush's files. That story was fully discredited. Nonetheless, Burkett sat down for at least three different interviews with CBS News for the story now at the center of the controversy. One of those interviews was with Rather's producer, Ms. Mapes.

"There are rumors here that if there are any real documents, they are hand-written notes from Killian that someone like Burkett was holding, and that instead of using the hand-written notes, someone typed them up to look more official," says the CBS News producer. "They would look better on TV and posted on line if they were typed, but on a number of levels, that story just doesn't hold up. There are too many inconsistencies factually with what is in the memos."
REPORTERS ARE ALSO LOOKING at staff and associates of Sen. Tom Harkin, who enthusiastically held a press conference on Thursday morning using the forged documents as the tent pole for attacks against President Bush. Harkin called Bush a "liar."

"Harkin has been pushing this story for a while," says the CBS producer. "Not this specific story, but the 'Bush is a liar about his record' story. His people seemed particularly interested in making sure they could keep their boss up to date on what was going on."

That Harkin was the individual selected to be the attack dog on this particular issue was an interesting one, give that Harkin himself has a checkered history about telling the truth about his involvement in the Vietnam War.

--The American Spectator

Gee, if you have no idea where the original documents are and can't get ahold of them... maybe you can't be too adamant about them being real...

Posted by robbernard at 1:13 PM in Media , Politics/Government

Sunday, September 12, 2004
Note to the mainstream media...

It's "Times New Roman", not "New Times Roman"!

Posted by robbernard at 1:47 AM in Media

Friday, September 10, 2004
Hodges misled by CBS

CBS says Retired Maj. General Bobby Hodges, Killian's supervisor, was a source in verifying The Documents.

A senior CBS official, who asked not to be named because CBS managers did not want to go beyond their official statement, named one of the network's sources as retired Maj. Gen. Bobby W. Hodges, the immediate superior of the documents' alleged author, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. He said a CBS reporter read the documents to Hodges over the phone and Hodges replied that "these are the things that Killian had expressed to me at the time."

--Washington Post

The problem? Hodges isn't playing along. He says he was misled by CBS.

HODGES SAID HE WAS MISLED BY CBS: Retired Maj. General Hodges, Killian's supervisor at the Grd, tells ABC News that he feels CBS misled him about the documents they uncovered. According to Hodges, CBS told him the documents were "handwritten" and after CBS read him excerpts he said, "well if he wrote them that's what he felt."

  • Hodges also said he did not see the documents in the 70's and he cannot authenticate the documents or the contents. His personal belief is that the documents have been "computer generated" and are a "fraud".
  • --ABC News (Hat tip Instapundit)

    Posted by robbernard at 11:41 PM in Media , Politics/Government
    Where the documents came from

    It should probably be taken with a grain of salt, but The Spectator (working link with the text here) suggests that CBS got The Documents from the DNC who got them from an unidentified individual.

    More than six weeks ago, an opposition research staffer for the Democratic National Committee received documents purportedly written by President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard squadron commander, the late Col. Jerry Killian.

    The oppo researcher claimed the source was "a retired military officer." According to a DNC staffer, the documents were seen by both senior staff members at the DNC, as well as the Kerry campaign.

    "More than a couple people heard about the papers," says the DNC staffer. "I've heard that they ended up with the Kerry campaign, for them to decide to how to proceed, and presumably they were handed over to 60 Minutes, which used them the other night. But I know this much. When there was discussion here, there were doubts raised about their authenticity."
    The CBS producer said that some alarms bells went off last week when the signatures and initials of Killian on the documents in hand did not match up with other documents available on the public record, but producers chose to move ahead with the story. "This was too hot not to push. If there were doubts, those people didn't show it," says the producer, who works on a rival CBS News program.

    Now, the producer says, there is growing concern inside the building on 57th Street that they may have been suckered by the Kerry campaign. "There is a school of thought here that the Kerry people dumped this in our laps, figuring we'd do the heavy lifting on the story. That maybe they had doubts about these documents but hoped we'd get more information," says the producer. "If that's the case, then we're bigger fools than we already appear to be judging by all the chatter about how these documents could be forgeries."

    --The Spectator (working link with the text here)

    Again, take it with a grain of salt until there are more actual facts.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:07 AM in Media , Politics/Government
    CBS's reaction to the forged document kerfuffle
    CBS NEWS executives have launched an internal investigation into whether its premiere news program 60 MINUTES aired fabricated documents relating to Bush's National Guard service, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned. ... The source, who asked not to be named, described CBSNEWS anchor and 60 MINUTES correspondent Dan Rather as being privately "shell-shocked" by the increasingly likelihood that the documents in question were fraudulent.

    Rather, who anchored the segment presenting new information on the president's military service, will personally correct the record on-air, if need be, the source explained from New York.

    --Drudge Report

    ABC News meanwhile has a good story up on the situation.

    Marjorie Connell — widow of the late Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, the reported author of memos suggesting that Bush did not meet the standards for the Texas Air National Guard — questioned whether the documents were real.

    "The wording in these documents is very suspect to me," she told ABC News Radio in an exclusive phone interview from her Texas home. She added that she "just can't believe these are his words."

    First reported by CBS's 60 Minutes, the memos allegedly were found in Killian's personal files. But his family members say they doubt he ever made such documents, let alone kept them.

    Connell said Killian did not type, and though he did take notes, they were usually on scraps of paper. "He was a person who did not take copious notes," she said. "He carried everything in his mind."
    More than half a dozen document experts contacted by ABC News said they had doubts about the memos' authenticity.

    "These documents do not appear to have been the result of technology that was available in 1972 and 1973," said Bill Flynn, one of country's top authorities on document authentication. "The cumulative evidence that's available … indicates that these documents were produced on a computer, not a typewriter:"

    Among the points Flynn and other experts noted:

  • The memos were written using a proportional typeface, where letters take up variable space according to their size, rather than fixed-pitch typeface used on typewriters, where each letter is allotted the same space. Proportional typefaces are available only on computers or on very high-end typewriters that were unlikely to be used by the National Guard.

  • The memos include superscript, i.e. the "th" in "187th" appears above the line in a smaller font. Superscript was not available on typewriters.

  • The memos included "curly" apostrophes rather than straight apostrophes found on typewriters.

  • The font used in the memos is Times Roman, which was in use for printing but not in typewriters. The Haas Atlas — the bible of fonts — does not list Times Roman as an available font for typewriters.

  • The vertical spacing used in the memos, measured at 13 points, was not available in typewriters, and only became possible with the advent of computers.
  • --ABC News

    Posted by robbernard at 12:56 AM in Media , Politics/Government

    Thursday, September 9, 2004
    More on the possibly (probably?) forged documents

    Instapundit has a good roundup of the information.

    Proportional spacing... superscripts... non-straight quotation marks... the fact that every line ends at the same word as it does in Word...

    You have to admit, it doesn't look good for the folks at CBS questioning President Bush's Guard service.

    Posted by robbernard at 9:59 PM in Media , Politics/Government
    Forged National Guard documents?

    These two results could simply be coincidence, but if they are, you have to admit that 1972-73 documents exactly matching documents typed up in Word today with standard 12 point Times New Roman font is a big enough coincidence to be worth noting.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:31 PM in Media , Politics/Government

    Sunday, July 25, 2004
    The Times a liberal paper?

    In the words of the Times' "public editor", Daniel Okrent: "Of course it is."

    Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?
    Of course it is.
    I'll get to the politics-and-policy issues this fall... but for now my concern is the flammable stuff that ignites the right. These are the social issues: gay rights, gun control, abortion and environmental regulation, among others. And if you think The Times plays it down the middle on any of them, you've been reading the paper with your eyes closed.

    But if you're examining the paper's coverage of these subjects from a perspective that is neither urban nor Northeastern nor culturally seen-it-all; if you are among the groups The Times treats as strange objects to be examined on a laboratory slide (devout Catholics, gun owners, Orthodox Jews, Texans); if your value system wouldn't wear well on a composite New York Times journalist, then a walk through this paper can make you feel you're traveling in a strange and forbidding world.

    Start with the editorial page, so thoroughly saturated in liberal theology that when it occasionally strays from that point of view the shocked yelps from the left overwhelm even the ceaseless rumble of disapproval from the right.

    Across the gutter, the Op-Ed page editors do an evenhanded job of representing a range of views in the essays from outsiders they publish - but you need an awfully heavy counterweight to balance a page that also bears the work of seven opinionated columnists, only two of whom could be classified as conservative (and, even then, of the conservative subspecies that supports legalization of gay unions and, in the case of William Safire, opposes some central provisions of the Patriot Act).

    But opinion pages are opinion pages, and "balanced opinion page" is an oxymoron. So let's move elsewhere. In the Sunday magazine, the culture-wars applause-o-meter chronically points left. On the Arts & Leisure front page every week, columnist Frank Rich slices up President Bush, Mel Gibson, John Ashcroft and other paladins of the right in prose as uncompromising as Paul Krugman's or Maureen Dowd's. The culture pages often feature forms of art, dance or theater that may pass for normal (or at least tolerable) in New York but might be pretty shocking in other places.
    Times publisher Arthur O. Sulzberger Jr. doesn't think this walk through The Times is a tour of liberalism. He prefers to call the paper's viewpoint "urban." He says that the tumultuous, polyglot metropolitan environment The Times occupies means "We're less easily shocked," and that the paper reflects "a value system that recognizes the power of flexibility."
    But it's one thing to make the paper's pages a congenial home for editorial polemicists, conceptual artists, the fashion-forward or other like-minded souls (European papers, aligned with specific political parties, have been doing it for centuries), and quite another to tell only the side of the story your co-religionists wish to hear. I don't think it's intentional when The Times does this. But negligence doesn't have to be intentional.

    --The New York Times

    He goes on to explain the liberal bias as a result of being in New York; that New Yorkers are liberal and that New York attracts liberals so thus the paper of New York will naturally, without a concerted effort to overcome it, be liberal. And that would be all well and good except that in general the Times likes to pretend that it's not liberal, that it's the personification of fair and balanced, that they are "truly non-partisan, and non-ideological" and "don’t wear the political collar of our owners or the government or any political party".

    The Times presents itself as a national paper, the paper of record, THE paper, no matter where you are. If they really want to be that then “we’re liberal because we’re in New York” isn’t an excuse.

    (quotes via Ed Driscoll)

    Posted by robbernard at 3:56 PM in Media

    Wednesday, July 21, 2004
    Ho-baggate update responds to yesterday's news story that was a little, shall we say, offensive to the reporter.

    A Message from WLWT's General Manager

    POSTED: 6:44 pm EDT July 20, 2004
    On Monday, July 19, language was added to a news story on that was offensive and hurtful toward one of our staff members and was an egregious violation of the standards of this news organization. As soon as the posting was discovered it was immediately removed from and a company-wide effort was mounted to remove all references to the story from Web search engines.

    This posting was the result of one individual's actions and that individual has been terminated.

    We regret the trouble this has caused for the individual named and our entire staff and we apologize to viewers of


    Richard Dyer
    President & General Manager

    Posted by robbernard at 2:18 PM in Cincinnati , Media

    Tuesday, July 20, 2004
    Oh my goodness

    This recently apppeared on and went out over the AP wire.

    Investigators are not sure if Powell died where her body was found or if she was killed elsewhere, WLWT Eyewitness News 5's most-overrated, obnoxious, annoying, stick-like, ho-bag, sperm-receptacle staff member Raegan Butler reported.

    Stay tuned to WLWT and for updates.

    The article was quickly removed. now says "The article that you are trying to view is no longer available through this Web site. The content is copyrighted by the Associated Press, which requires to delete its stories two weeks after they are originally posted." You can see it here and here.

    Hat tip Michael King.

    Posted by robbernard at 6:05 PM in Cincinnati , Media

    Wednesday, June 30, 2004
    A convergence of two posts

    An interesting convergence between two posts from yesterday, one with a link tearing apart the Washington Post's Baghdad chief, the other talking about Iraqi reactions to Paul Bremer's farewell speech to Iraq.

    The Baghdad chief had a piece in the Washington Post today saying that the speech never happened. Bold is mine.

    When he left Iraq on Monday after surrendering authority to an interim government, it was with a somber air of exhaustion. There was no farewell address to the Iraqi people, no celebratory airport sendoff. Instead of a festive handover ceremony on Wednesday, the date set for the transfer, an improvised event occupied five minutes on a Monday morning.

    --Washington Post

    Lebanon's Daily Star confirms there was a speech.

    Truly a great day for the Washington Post’s journalistic integrity.

    Hat tip to Tim Blair.


    The LA Times also blows it.

    L. Paul Bremer III, the civilian administrator for Iraq, left without even giving a final speech to the country — almost as if he were afraid to look in the eye the people he had ruled for more than a year.

    --LA Times


    The text of Bremer's farewell speech:

    The future of Iraq belongs to you, the Iraqi people. We and your other friends will help, but we can only help. You must do the real work.

    The Iraq your children and their children inherit will depend on your actions in the months and years ahead. You Iraqis must now take responsibility for your future of hope. You can create that future of hope by standing fast against those who kill your police and soldiers, who kill your women and children, who wreck Iraq's pipelines and power lines, and then claim to be your champions.

    You can create that future of hope by supporting your government and the elections they are pledged to bring you. You can create that future of hope in a thousand different ways by sharing through your words and deeds a personal commitment to a stable and peaceful Iraq.

    You, Iraq's Kurds and Arabs, Shi'a and Sunni, Turkomen and Christian, you are more like each other than you are different from one another. You have a shared vision of how a united Iraq can, again, be a beacon of hope to the region. You have a shared hatred of the violence inflicted on you by those who abhor your vision. And you have a shared love of this wonderful, rich land.

    Let no one pit you against each other. For when Iraqis fight Iraqis, only Iraqis suffer.

    I leave Iraq gladdened by what has been accomplished and confident that your future is full of hope. A piece of my heart will always remain here in the beautiful land between the two rivers with its fertile valleys, it's majestic mountains and its wonderful people.

    --CNN (Hat tip Tim Blair)

    Posted by robbernard at 5:57 PM in Media , War/Terrorism/Middle East

    Thursday, May 13, 2004
    Media Bias
    The other day, while taking a break by the Al-Hamra Hotel pool, fringed with the usual cast of tattooed defence contractors, I was accosted by an American magazine journalist of serious accomplishment and impeccable liberal credentials.

    She had been disturbed by my argument that Iraqis were better off than they had been under Saddam and I was now — there was no choice about this — going to have to justify my bizarre and dangerous views.
    But then she came to the point. Not only had she ‘known’ the Iraq war would fail but she considered it essential that it did so because this would ensure that the ‘evil’ George W. Bush would no longer be running her country. Her editors back on the East Coast were giggling, she said, over what a disaster Iraq had turned out to be. ‘Lots of us talk about how awful it would be if this worked out.’ Startled by her candour, I asked whether thousands more dead Iraqis would be a good thing.

    She nodded and mumbled something about Bush needing to go. By this logic, I ventured, another September 11 on, say, September 11 would be perfect for pushing up John Kerry’s poll numbers. ‘Well, that’s different — that would be Americans,’ she said, haltingly. ‘I guess I’m a bit of an isolationist.’ That’s one way of putting it.

    --The Spectator (via Instapundit)
    And people wonder how anybody could think the media has a liberal bias....

    Posted by robbernard at 7:28 PM in Media , War/Terrorism/Middle East

    Sunday, April 25, 2004
    Thoughts on the new Iron Chef America

    I'm liking the new Iron Chef America. It has a couple problems, but I think they could be worked out and it could become a series. It's 10x better than the show that was in New York which had terrible production values and it's 100x better than Shatner's version. Shatner's version's biggest problem was the crowd it was huge and it made an unbelieveable amout of noise. You could barely hear the commentators.

    Couple things they should they change about the show...

    1)Bring in somebody to sit beside Alton Brown. Brown's done a good job, he's got the Hattori role down, but he needs a Fukui-san. He's the brains and without someone to talk to he ends up having to ask himself questions so he can answer them. That could just mean bringing the floor reporter, who knows and does nothing, up to sit with AB.

    2)Have a small crowd of supporters. Just 20 or so. It shouldn't be open to the public, but the chefs should have a small cheering section.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:34 AM in Media

    Monday, April 19, 2004
    The LA Times' David Shaw on Air America
    My fellow liberals have long argued that they haven't been able to match the conservative success on talk radio because the medium is ideally suited to conservatives. According to this self-serving argument, conservatives are more willing than liberals to engage in nasty name-calling and to see everything in black and white, while liberals — concerned with nuance and complexity — are inevitably reasonable, willing to consider both sides of an issue. But President W's policies — especially in Iraq — have now so enraged liberals that they are willing to play dirty too. Hence, Air America.


    Not, at least, during the 17 hours I listened. Oh sure, the new network's assorted hosts, guests and callers did engage in a bit of obligatory name-calling. Henry Kissinger was "a war criminal." Rice was "reptilian," "a liar" and "a perjurer." President Bush was "an idiot," "a liar," a "lazy sack of crap," "a fake Christian," "a murdering scumbag" and — amid a discussion of Janet Jackson and the Super Bowl — "the biggest boob of all."

    But Limbaugh does his name-calling so creatively and hilariously that it usually winds up being entertaining. As repellent as I find his politics, Limbaugh is an entertainer as well as a polemicist, and after liberal talk-show experiments with such policy wonks as former Govs. Jerry Brown of California and Mario Cuomo of New York all failed, the folks behind Air America promised that they'd learned their lesson. They too would find ideologues who are funny.

    Nice try.
    I laugh easily, and I didn't get a single laugh from Franken, Garofalo or Rhodes — or from any of the other Air America hosts I listened to. Rhodes is the best of them, but unlike Limbaugh — who has a rich, mellifluous voice — her voice is so grating that I found myself wincing, no matter how vigorously I agreed with what she said. (Even Rhodes says, "I hate my voice.")
    In a country in which 64% of the public say they attend weekend worship services at least once a month, mocking religion might not be the most effective way to win converts — and yet, on Good Friday no less, that's exactly what the various Air America hosts repeatedly did.

    Two of the hosts gratuitously announced that they're Jewish, and one — Marc Maron of the network's "Morning Sedition" program — went on to make fun of Easter and Christmas rituals. Then, in a segment he called "morning devotional," Maron began his prayer for divine guidance on behalf of President Bush by saying, "Dear Lord, what the hell is going on up there?"

    --LA Times

    Posted by robbernard at 3:26 PM in Media , Politics/Government

    Friday, April 9, 2004
    A note to Howard Stern...

    You call the fines against you a "witch hunt" by the Bush Administration for criticizing President Bush.

    Have you seen the Congressional vote for H. R. 3717, which raised the fines for indecency? It passed 391-22. 218 Republicans voted for it, joined by 172 Democrats and 1 Independent. This was not a close vote. This was not a party lines vote. It may be a "witch hunt" by politicians at large, but it's certainly not limited to the Bush administration and has a lot more to do with Janet Jackson's breast than anything you've ever said about President Bush.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:20 AM in Media

    Sunday, April 4, 2004
    First Wonderfalls, now this

    Leo Laporte has been fired from TechTV. Looks like the current owners of TechTV owed him some stock and tried to get him to give it all up for nothing.

    It's a damn shame. On the plus side, the problem seems to be with the current owners so there's still the possibility that when Comcast takes over they can make the right decision and hire him back.

    Are there any network execs out there who'd like to kick some puppies just to keep the streak going?

    Posted by robbernard at 1:40 PM in Media
    Well, they cancelled Wonderfalls

    It was a great show so of course it couldn't last. Damn Fox. This makes me sad.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:42 AM in Media

    Monday, March 29, 2004
    Blogs do accomplish something #2

    There's been quite an uproar in the blogosphere over the NY Times' refusal to correct their columnists. The Times has now decided to make some changes.

    Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who would have made an excellent editorial page editor if he could have put up with the meetings, once said that "everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts." Gail Collins's determination that corrections will appear on their own at the end of a succeeding column, and not disappear into an unrelated digression, is on its own a significant piece of progress. But it's her assertion of responsibility that matters most. Critics might say her statement of policy is very gently phrased, but when I asked her if there was wiggle room, she was unequivocal: "It is my obligation to make sure no misstatements of fact on the editorial pages go uncorrected."

    In the coming months I expect columnist corrections to become a little more frequent and a lot more forthright than they've been in the past. Yet the final measure of Collins's success, and of the individual columnists, will be not in the corrections but in the absence of the need for them. Wayne Wren of Houston, a self-described conservative and "avid reader" of National Review Online, expressed it with great equanimity in a recent e-mail message to my office: "If Mr. Krugman is making egregious errors in his Op-Ed column, they will catch up with him." Same goes for Brooks, Dowd, Friedman, Herbert, Kristof and Safire - and, most important, for The New York Times.

    --NY Times

    Posted by robbernard at 3:37 PM in Media

    Thursday, March 18, 2004

    If you didn't catch Wonderfalls last week the premiere is being repeated tonight at 9PM Eastern on Fox. The premiere was great, one of the best new shows of the season. Plus it's got a talking monkey statue. It may not be everybody's cup of tea, but I suggest you give it a shot.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:58 PM in Media

    Saturday, March 13, 2004

    Wonderfalls debuted on Fox tonight... last night... ok, Friday night, and I was very impressed. I'll have to see a few more eps before I can really make a judgment, but with Las Vegas falling off slightly as the season's gone on, it's got a good shot at being one of the top two best new dramas this season. If it doesn't drop off I could definitely see it ranking up there with Joan of Arcadia, Las Vegas, I'm With Her, and Arrested Development among my favorite new shows of the season.

    I love how the inanimate objects that talk are using Hello My Baby, which was sung by Michigan J. Frog back before The WB when he was just a dead, singing frog in a WB short.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:33 AM in Media

    Thursday, March 4, 2004
    Blogs do accomplish something

    Ted Rall's comic has been dropped from the New York Times website. Rall blames blogs.

    My trouble with the Times website dates back to the "terror widows" controversy. That cartoon, which appeared in March 2002, became the target of a coordinated email attack by right-wing "warbloggers." These pro-Bush bloggers, coasting on a wave of post-9/11 patriotism, sent out emails to their followers (helpful souls forwarded some to me) asking each other to deluge the Times and other papers with complaints that purported to come from their readers.
    It seems that the warbloggers consistent campaign of email harrassment has finally taken its toll over at Times Digital. Because they're annoyed by receiving so many email complaints about my work--all of them motivated by partisan politics--the Times has decided to drop my cartoons entirely.

    --Ted Rall

    Posted by robbernard at 11:17 PM in Media

    Thursday, February 19, 2004
    Opening "The Passion of the Christ"

    Roger Friedman had a piece at Fox News on Friday decrying the theaters "Passion" is opening in as "out-of-the-way-theatres", highlighting "black neigborhoods and poor neighborhoods" and "out of neighborhoods that are considered Jewish, upscale or liberal".

    David Poland in turn rips Friedman's article a new one

    Sometimes, a journalist makes a mistake. And sometimes, a journalist makes a mistake that is so heinous and easily remedied by any fact checking that the person's publisher deserves to be threatened with litigation and the person in question deserves to lose their job.

    Such is the story with today's breathtakingly inaccurate and malicious fairy tale by Roger Friedman, printed at regarding the release pattern of The Passion of The Christ. The premise of this unresearched mess is that Newmarket Films and Mel Gibson are avoiding big cities and Jewish populations with the theatrical release pattern of the film.

    There has been no journalist who has been more critical of Gibson's self-fulfilling-prophecy style of showing this film selectively, building a furor when he is publicly claiming to be fearful that one will erupt, than myself. However, a major media outlet propagating false information in an attack on the film - especially when suggesting that it is news and not opinion - is beyond any acceptable idea of journalistic ethics.

    Moreover, for Roger Friedman, a Jew, to so incautiously swing these lies around like a bag full of angry cats is, in my opinion, deeply damaging to Jews everywhere who do not wish to be accused of being willing to stoop to any depth in order to maintain our position in society.

    I am not sure that Roger Friedman meant to put such a blatant factual lie in print. I am sure his editors would have stopped it had they known. But Friedman failed to do the most basic job of being a journalist… checking out the facts. Instead, he lazily went to one internet source, apparently unaware of two basic facts: 1. Ticket sales websites are not well designed for long-range presales. 2. There is no movie ticket sales website that offers tickets to all the theaters in any major market.

    It took me all of two minutes to find out that Roger Friedman's facts were incorrect. I went to two web sites and made one phone call.

    -- David Poland - Movie City News

    He then goes on to lay out how the release isn't nearly as selective as Friedman says, and how easy it would have been for him to find out.

    Then Monday Friedman comes back with a "news story" with comments like "Gibson's personal liability on "The Passion" [is] roughly $50 million. That's a lot of money to prove a point. It's $40 million more than Rosie O'Donnell spent on her musical, "Taboo." "The Passion" is now the most expensive vanity production in history." Now it seems to me Gibson's "vanity production" is a much better deal than Rosie's, considering that I've never heard of "Taboo" in my life. He goes on to claim that Newmarket added new screens but were still avoiding upscale and Jewish areas.

    Ironically, in this second article he manages to both misquote himself and rail against someone else for not correcting an incorrect column.

    Poland in turn fires back with a column that refutes just about everything in Friedman's second column. It isn't the most costly vanity production ever. The screens Friedman says were added were added before his Friday column.

    Gotta give Friedman credit though. I never thought I'd see someone live up to the high standards for crappy reporting upheld by Harley Sorensen.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:11 AM in Media , Religion

    Tuesday, February 17, 2004
    Couple quick thoughts on last night's TV

    First off, I thought Mel Gibson acquitted himself quite well on PrimeTime talking about The Passion of the Christ. He wasn’t some loony evangelical trying to impose his views on others, but rather just trying to get something he believes in out there. He didn’t claim his way was the only way but at the same time made clear what he believed to be true.

    Secondly, I thought The Littlest Groom came off much less exploitative than it might have. It wasn’t trying to make fun of the participants; it was largely just your standard The Bachelor knock-off with little people.

    Posted by robbernard at 5:37 PM in Media
    It's censorship! It's censorship! Or not...

    The Palm Beach Post and others are complaining about the list of shows approved and disapproved for closed captioning support from the U.S. Department of Education. The Post's bitching is particularly asinine.

    [T]he shows they censored suggest a perspective that is Talibanesque.

    The government is refusing to caption Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, apparently fearing that the deaf would fall prey to witchcraft if they viewed the classic sitcoms.

    Your government also believes that Law & Order is too intense for the hard-of-hearing. So is Power Rangers. You can rest easy knowing that your federal tax dollars aren't being spent to promote Sanford and Son, Judge Wapner's Animal Court and The Loretta Young Show within the deaf community. Kids with hearing problems can forget about watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, classic cartoons or Nickelodeon features. Even Roy Rogers and Robin Hood are out.

    --Palm Beach Post

    A "Talibanesque" perspective. That's a pretty strong accusation. Let's look at the actual lists.

    The disapproved list.

    On this list are shows like The Simpsons, This Week in Baseball, the Bed Bug Bible Gang, Behind the Music, Courage the Cowardly Dog and Justice League.

    The approved list.

    On this list are shows like 60 Minutes II, ABC World News Sunday, Barney and Friends, 39 Cable in the Classroom series, Reading Rainbow, and 61 shows with the word "News" in the title.

    The Department of Education supports the captioning of shows that are "educational, news or informational.” Can you honestly tell me that the shows on the disapproved list aren't significantly less educational and informational than those on the second list? As entertaining as they are, are people really suggesting that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bewitched, JAG or Oliver Beene are educational? Of course they're not educational. Can they still be captioned? Sure, but it's not going to be with the assistance of the Department of Education. If a company wants to chip in and get one of those "Closed Captioning provided by:" commercials at the end they're more than welcome to.

    The Department of Education helps caption educational shows. The Department deciding that a non-educational show isn't educational isn't censorship, and it certainly isn't "Talibanesque".

    Posted by robbernard at 4:07 PM in Media

    Monday, February 16, 2004
    I think I've got Alias figured out

    My theory is that they think that if they only have a new show every three weeks they'll be able to go a full 3 months without a complete reset of the show.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:45 AM in Media

    Saturday, February 14, 2004
    D'oh! Angel cancelled

    Stupid WB!

    It's really a shame. One of the best shows out there. Sounds final and everything... I'd be interested in knowing if they considered approaching UPN with it.

    There's a petition here.

    Posted by robbernard at 1:22 AM in Media

    Wednesday, February 11, 2004
    Bob Arnot leaves NBC, calls Iraq coverage biased
    In a 1,300-word e-mail to NBC News president Neal Shapiro, written in December 2003 and obtained by NYTV, Dr. Arnot called NBC News’ coverage of Iraq biased. He argued that keeping him in Iraq and on NBC could go far in rectifying that. Dr. Arnot told Mr. Shapiro that NBC had alienated the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad since it shot and then aired footage of correspondent Jim Miklaszewski at the scene of the November bombing of the Al Rashid Hotel, in which a C.P.A. staffer was shown injured. That incident, he wrote, "earned the undying enmity of the C.P.A." ... Dr. Arnot included excerpts from an e-mail from Jim Keelor, president of Liberty Broadcasting, which owns eight NBC stations throughout the South. Mr. Keelor had written NBC, stating that "the networks are pretty much ignoring" the good-news stories in Iraq. "The definition of news would incorporate some of these stories," he wrote. "Hence the Fox News surge." ... In his letter to Mr. Shapiro, [Bob Arnot] wondered why the network wasn’t reporting stories of progress in Iraq, a frequently heard complaint of the Bush administration. "As you know, I have regularly pitched most of these stories contained in the note to Nightly, Today and directly to you," he wrote. "Every single story has been rejected." ... Dr. Arnot said he knew for "a fact" that Mr. Shapiro’s problem with his reporting was that "it was just very positive." ... "What happens if NBC is wrong[?]" he wrote. "What happens if this is a historical mission that does succeed … that transforms the Middle East … that brings peace and security to America. What if NBC’s role was like that of much of the media in general … allowing the terrorists to fight their war on the American television screen, where their stories of death and destruction dominate rather than that of American heroes?"

    --New York Observer

    Posted by robbernard at 3:56 PM in Media

    Tuesday, February 3, 2004
    Who are the ad geniuses who came up with that one?

    The Pepsi ad with Britney, Pink, and Beyonce is really and truly bad. Words can't properly describe it.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:31 AM in Media

    Monday, February 2, 2004
    Superbowl ads

    iFilm's got video of this year's Superbowl ads.

    I liked Gillette's "Angel by Your Side" ad. Compared to the other ads it was very classy and stood out to me.

    The Truth "Glass Freeze Pops" ad was good, I think they came off a bit less preachy than normal.

    I liked all the AOL Teutul family ones.

    Ali was looking pretty good in the IBM Linux ad.

    The Simpsons Mastercard ad was right up there at the top.

    I'm not proud of it, but the Budweiser dog and gassy horse ads made me laugh. The wife yelling at the ref, the donkey, and the talking monkey ones were pretty good too.

    The Dodge "Monkey on your back" ad was good, but it doesn't take much when you've got a monkey.

    I really enjoyed the Staples mafia supply supervisor ad.

    The Snow Volleyball ad was pretty good too.

    The Pepsi ones were ok, but they were nothing special.

    The Charmin quarterback/toilet paper ad was just disturbing.

    I can't say any of the movie spots blew me away.

    The viagra clones werre just bad all around.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:08 PM in Media

    Sunday, February 1, 2004
    The halftime show (including Janet Jackson's nipple)

    While I appreciate MTV and CBS's effort to flash Janet Jackson's nipple live on the most watched television show all year, I wouldn't consider 30 second clips from 15 songs to be "entertainment". The whole "let's throw every possible type of music against the wall and see what sticks" approach to the halftime show just doesn't work for me.

    Posted by robbernard at 9:56 PM in Media

    Thursday, January 1, 2004
    Ack! They cancelled The Brak Show!



    Posted by robbernard at 5:45 AM in Media

    Tuesday, November 18, 2003
    A salute to the media

    From the soldier in the middle.

    Posted by robbernard at 8:37 AM in Media

    Tuesday, November 11, 2003
    CNN planting questions

    It appears that CNN planted the PC vs. Mac question of the recent Rock The Vote debate.

    The alleged reasons for this question to be used was her other question was not "lighthearted." If this is true I see a small trend in the media growing: editors think people under 35 are shallow and stupid.

    --Cincinnati Blog

    Not that that's anything new. The media's thought of people under 35 as shallow and stupid for quite some time. That was partially how the Gen X stereotype came about.

    And that's not to say that they aren't at least partially correct. There is a certain shallowness and stupidity inherent in being younger.

    That being said, I think if Rock the Vote wanted to play it up to the stupid and shallow sector of the under 35 crowd they should have considered running it on MTV instead of CNN.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:06 PM in Media

    Tuesday, November 4, 2003

    This isn't the defeat of free speech that some are making it out to be. The Republicans didn't think it showed the Reagans in a fair light. CBS agreed.

    "Although the miniseries features impressive production values and acting performances, and although the producers have sources to verify each scene in the script, we believe it does not present a balanced portrayal of the Reagans for CBS and its audience,"

    This wasn't a documentary shining light on the truth of the Reagans that was he was a fundamentalist Christian homophobe, that Nancy ran things, that he said he was the Antichrist and that he had serious symptoms of Alzheimers while President. This was a movie made by Reagan haters that made stuff up to make Reagan look bad. This isn't Primary Colors. This isn't written by sombody close to the Reagans. The Reagans aren't being played by staunch conservatives.

    Conservatives have every right to get upset when people start making stuff up to disparage one of their own. Likewise CBS has every right not to air a movie so unbalanced that it may hurt them. Personally I think they could have gone ahead and aired it with a few disclaimers and if they had followed it with the forum containing both viewpoints that Showtime plans to run. It may show CBS to be a bit weak, but I can't fault them for not wanting to air something they don't think is "a balanced portrayal".

    Posted by robbernard at 3:30 PM in Media , Politics/Government

    Monday, November 3, 2003

    "The Simpsons" has apologized, saying that the comments by Matt Groening saying that Fox News almost sued Fox over a Fox News sendup on "The Simpsons" were simply satire.

    Posted by robbernard at 3:11 PM in Media

    Wednesday, October 15, 2003

    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.


    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.

    Monday, July 14, 2003

    This time taking a swipe at the NY Times. Pastis has been on a roll lately.

    Posted by robbernard at 11:26 AM in Media

    Friday, July 11, 2003

    This article's attempts to convince us W only cares about Africa for the oil reads like something out of The Onion.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:59 PM in Media

    Tuesday, June 3, 2003

    He’s worked up a pretty good case of paranoia over this FCC ruling. He seems to be under the impression that people's problems with radio are over conservative hosts like him, and not the stranglehold that Clear Channel has in most markets.

    Posted by robbernard at 12:35 AM in Media

    Friday, December 20, 2002

    The Media Research Center Has a good section up giving out awards for the worst/most biased reporting of the past year. They give out awards like the Fourth Reich Award (for Portraying John Ashcroft as a Fascist), the General Phil “Cheap Shot” Donahue Award (for Swipes at the War on Terrorism) and the Begala & Carville War Room Award for Bush Bashing.

    Check it out.

    Posted by robbernard at 4:06 PM in Media

    Wednesday, December 11, 2002

    The radio industry isn't particularly happy with Tom Petty's latest album. Here's a pretty amusing try to refute Petty's "rock radio is a lifeless shell of what it once was" argument. Of course Petty's right so it's not a very effective refutation, but still...

    Posted by robbernard at 12:13 PM in Media

    Friday, December 6, 2002

    And aside from the MSNBC stuff, it's interesting to note that the highest rated CNN show (Larry King) had 30% lower ratings than the lowest rated FOX News show (Greta).

    Posted by robbernard at 1:10 AM in Media

    Wednesday, December 4, 2002

    The NY Times is apparently stifling dissent within it's columnists. Nothing says journalistic integrity like not letting your columnists disagree with you.

    Posted by robbernard at 5:28 PM in Media

    Monday, December 2, 2002

    ... to make responsible spending sound like petty inter-party bickering.

    Posted by robbernard at 2:10 AM in Media

    Friday, November 8, 2002
    Bias watch

    For a paper named "The Independent" the headline
    "Republican steamroller forces its agenda on Congress" seems a little un-independent

    Posted by robbernard at 10:37 AM in Media


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